The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings was classified as one of the greatest RPGs in recent years when it released on PC in 2011. That’s not an easy title to earn, as PC is the home of RPGs. As a 360 owner, I must admit I have been quite jealous in the past of some PC specific titles. Since I can’t bring myself to game on PC, when CD Projekt announced The Witcher 2 for Xbox 360, I was ecstatic. I cannot express how happy I was, especially after RipTen’s own Dave Oshry had personally reminded me multiple times how fantastic the game was. Then felt the urge to dazzle me with 250 ultra high screenshots.
Aside from the announcement, CDP promised to not only bring this epic adventure to consoles, but to enhance it and replicate the experience that was had on PC. Not only did they succeed, they damn near did it flawlessly. It goes to show you that hard work, dedication and the love for gaming can go a long way in development. It’s very clear that The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Enhanced Edition was made with pure love and dedication to their fans. This is a type of game you will remember for years. This is the type of games we need more of, and we need them more frequently.
This being my first Witcher game, I expected to begin my adventure with many questions from the previous installment. To my surprise, none of that was necessary. The narrative during the prologue alone is so deep and compelling that many questions I thought I’d have were gone. As the story began to unfold, I felt connected with Geralt and his relationship with King Foltest. As the prologue progressed, I found myself caring more and wanting to be involved in these characters virtual lives. It’s a difficult feat to capture and successfully express through a video game narrative.
Even as the main story progresses, the characters and their decisions get deeper and more satisfying. The more I played, the more I wanted to know about anything and everything. Thankfully, anything and everything you want to know can be found in Geralt’s Journal. This also included a list of every single quest as you complete them, with a full detailed description of the events and choices made throughout the game. It doesn’t stop there, either. Even more information on locations, characters, monsters, crafting, alchemy, culture and even politics can been looked into. You can spend hours reading into the history and current events of The Witcher 2 if you so desire.
This is a very useful feature in many ways. If you happen to forget a specific detail about a character or location, all the information can be found right in front of you, making the overall experience even richer. I have to admit, often times in RPGs, I find myself skipping through dialog. Most of the time, many side quests or random NPC conversations just aren’t that interesting compared to the main story line. The same can’t be said for The Witcher 2. I found myself listening to every line of dialog as I became more interested in the world, carrying on full conversations with random NPCs that have no major impact on the outcome of Geralt’s adventure.
This type of NPC encounter may not reflect the outcome of the game, but they still feel just as important. There are quite a few major decisions Geralt must face throughout his journey, but none of them feel pressed. There’s no Renegade or Paragon choices or magical bars telling you how good or bad you are. Instead, you must choose what you think is right. Even smaller choices feel like grave decisions. Some are even spontaneous, and if you’re not careful and choose to ignore them, you’ll never get another chance. I actually had a few instances were I wanted to reload my game because I didn’t do anything at the given time. I shouted, “Nooo! I should have done something to help!” Instead of reloading my game, I pushed forward to see where my actions would lead me. This is were you’ll find significant replay value, as your choices actually mean something here, unlike in those other games. Yes, I’m looking at you Mass Effect 3.