Monday, June 13, 2011

The Witcher 2

The Witcher 2

The first The Witcher game was very well done but suffered from a handful of issues that stopped it from being the perfect adult fantasy RPG. If you are new to the world of The Witcher, its a Polish book series that they hold very close to there hearts (has also been made into a TV show and movie).

The first game had a great story, interesting characters and a fantasy world done to perfection, but the combat, the bugs on release (which they later fixed with updates) and the lack of variety in NPC characters hurt the game. Still The Witcher was the reason I got back into PC gaming; a RPG for adults with a story thats as good as any fantasy book or movie.

All CD Projekt had to do to make The Witcher 2 a masterpeice was keep the quality of the first but fix its issues. Easy to say, but harder to do. They were quite successful with the first game in terms of sals and they've been on a mission to make the perfect RPG for the more mature audience since. Did they succeed? Oh, hell yeah!

There is not much more I could ask for in an RPG to be honest. The story is fantastic, the characters are interesting, the combat is way better then the first game, and the game world is simply amazing. If you enjoy HBO's Game of Thrones, I would highly suggest buying this game for the story alone. And so much love and effort has been put into this game's world, it is unbelivable. When you first finish the prologue, you arrive at this amazing forest village, which is hands down the most beautiful area I've ever seen in 20+ years of playing video games. It's not just high definition graphics but the artistic is just breathtaking. The game also has an epic soundtrack that would make Danny Elfman proud. As you finish a battle or watch a cut scene, you are brought right back into the game with the amazing music and sound effects.

One of my favorite aspects of this game was the decisions that you make, they have a huge impact on the story. Some decisions in this game had me paused for about 20 minutes trying to see who I should side with or if I should let someone go. In a lot of RPGs the decisions you make don't effect the game much, they are just there for show. In The Witcher 2 though, it's as if you are reading an epic fantasy book but you are in control of how things play out. Do you want to side with the humans or the elves and dwarves? Each side brings up great points and issues, this is one of the first times that a video game has truly made me stop and think about decisions or how to answer some questions from characters in the game. This makes it feel like you are part of the process of writing the story as it happens.

It's great to see a development team finally put in the work and love it takes to make a top notch role-playing game for adults. You will feel connected to the characters, pulled into the game world, and blown away by the graphics. Another thing I liked about the game is that the difficulty is turned up a notch compared to other RPGs. This reminds me of the NES days, when games were tough and didn't holding your hand all the way through.

This game is a breath of fresh air in a genre that is rather stale at the moment. The Witcher 2 tosses all RPG clinches out the window and instead makes something unique and original. Do yourself a favour and get a copy of this soon-to-be classic game.

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