The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings

Posted: July 19, 2011 in Beaten Down Path, Reviews
Tags: , , , , ,

Publisher: Atari
Developer: CD Projekt
Genre: Action, RPG

There are many games I played since my last review here. Many exceeded my expectations, many failed. There seems a draught of good games in the past four months. Don’t judge me; I do not play the horror genre. Otherwise this segment saw many good releases filled with mutants and hair rising work of the Devil. This is so told by my colleagues who enjoy the creeps.

The story starts where the previous one ended. Geralt now serves the king in the war along with his love Merigold. After the war gets over, he becomes a suspect in the assassination of the king, which becomes the primary plot. Geralt now seeks the murderer, to clear his name. As the game progresses you take help of the king’s benevolent spy Vernon Roche or the defamed elf Iorveth. The story develops as per your actions. This is classy “witcher”.  Story wise Witcher 2 is better than its predecessor. While in the first part Geralt tries to get over his amnesia and remains disoriented in his story, in the sequel he’s far more focused. One would enjoy the storyline.


The gameplay in Witcher 2 is different from the first part. The combat technique has been brought back to general, which is easy. But the thing that made The Witcher such a hit was the swordplay. You’d have to hit the buttons at appropriate time to initiate a combo and Geralt finishes it. That was spectacular to watch and cold minded to play. But by bringing the crazy button hitting style combat, Witcher 2 has lost the previous charm. But that may be the only noticeable knockdown. Geralt can now NOT talk to everyone, which was very much annoying in the first game. Geralt can now NOT enter every household in the corner; another save from the annoyance. But Geralt can now find and loot everything he can think of in alchemy and crafting in everything he sees around. He can now find the coins in the fruit basket too! Another addition is the carriage capacity like in Stalker. This prevents Geralt to carry the world load of substances in his small pouch. Ha! There is no fast, group or strong style of combat as there were in the first part. Instead Geralt can unlock Berserk/ Heilopt/ Group-finisher move as per his path unlocked in the character upgrade. Geralt has a new adrenaline bar on the screen which is way too cool and worth a watch. To end the game, it’s shorter than The Witcher, as there are rarely any side quests. About 30 hours of playtime there. And you have to forgive and forget the conclusion. This I mention because I learned the story, and the ending is like the great TV series “LOST”- unsatisfying and naive to brew.

Take a look at the graphics of Witcher 2, you’ll be AMMAAAZED. CDPROJEKT has used everything that’s available on the God’s green earth in terms of bells and whistles. CD Projekt developed their own engine for the game, unlike the first installment which ran on a modified version of BioWare’s Aurora Engine. Even at the medium settings the game looks pretty much pretty. Thanks to the new Red Engine with Havok physics engine and Real support. The detailing is neatly done. The ambience and the lightings during the night are a bit bright compared to the first part. The cut-scenes use the in-game graphics for video instead of being external and independent. So if you squeezed a few bucks to settle for a mediocre graphics card, you won’t like what you see. But look apart, you got a nice rig, and Witcher 2 won’t give you a chance to look down.


Apart from lookey see in the game, what you hear is the best in any games produced (not sure about the horrors, because I never tried them). The background music when Geralt anticipates a fight will make your heart rate go gaga. Every sound you speaker (provided you got a nice pair of Creative soundmakers and above) makes is enough to keep you engaged to listen to it. Full marks for the sound.

The game is rated R for strong language and explicit visuals. I especially love Triss. In the meantime, you can also try Fable III, which released about the same time. But once you have played Witcher 2, you can easily ignore the garrulous release from Microsoft which is a failure before the glory of The Fable. Witcher 2: Assassins of the Kings is a fantastic game and a good bang for the hard earned bucks. CDPROJEKT has surely worked very hard for this. Although The Witcher was deadly in terms of combat, Witcher 2 has many things in its sleeve for the show.

If you have bought the game already, it’s because Geralt and CDPROJEKT have earned it. 8.5 / 10.

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