Just as in the original The Witcher, The Witcher 2 really makes you feel like a witcher. You’ll need to educate yourself on the monsters of the world by reading books, and from there you can exploit their weaknesses by bringing the proper equipment. And with the difficulty of some of the enemies, the game has taught me the meaning of being prepared. By picking various herbs and acquiring other materials to create bombs, traps and potions, this act will give you an advantage in battle. To create these concoctions, Geralt will need to meditate, and as a welcome change from the first game, he can now meditate anywhere that is safe instead of looking around for a place to light a fire. It’s all part of the zen aspect of being a witcher that has intrigued me and it isn’t lost in the sequel. Also, don’t forget to upgrade the magic spell, Quen, which creates a barrier around you. It’s a handy spell to have.
Graphically, even with an outdated video card (I have an 8800 GT), The Witcher 2 still looks fantastic. While I’m not getting all the bells and whistles of a more powerful card, my old card still does the game some justice with a nice amount of visual fidelity. Clothes look like they are actually worn and the textures that encompass them are so intricate that you can even see the small fibers that make up the clothing. The amount of detail is also captured in the character models that look like they were sculpted with a lot care. The environments also shine beautifully with great lighting effects that enhance the different areas you’ll be exploring. For instance, the light coming down from the canopy of the forest surrounding Flotsom looks remarkably realistic as it hits the ground, eeriely glowing silver, in the monster infested under-brush.
So far, about 8 hours into the game, The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings is a blazing improvment over The Witcher, which is still a damn good game. The scale is bigger, the graphics are top-notch, the choices look like they will have far reaching consequences, and while the combat takes some getting used to, I’m already liking the challenge compared to the original. It’s definitely an RPG experience made for the PC audience and the attention to detail that CD Projekt RED has given it, shows in spades. It’s a very impressive game that will definitely keep me going for hours and hours to come.
Return to Page 1: Even Before Opening, Grand Scale and Combat
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