CD Projekt RED brings us the sequel to the first Witcher game that was released on PC back in 2007. You’ll be diving right into this superb role-playing game that takes you on an adventure as Geralt of Rivia, one of the few known Witchers left and is a force to be reckoned with. The Witcher 2 takes the player on a murky, blood-riddled journey involving political intrigue, rich character plot, and sensual endeavors, with this only scratching the surface of what will be explored.
Geralt of Rivia is a Witcher, a mutant monster hunter who possess magical powers, luscious silver locks and a plethora of scars that tell a story. The sequel picks up right where the first game left off, but if you didn’t play it don’t worry, the game does a good job of getting you up to speed. The game jumps right into the assassination of King Foltest, which you are framed for murdering him, and setting out to clear your name while catching the true assassin.
CD Projekt did a wonderful job at creating a world that feels alive as you make your way along your travels. Through the many towns you’ll come across there will be plenty of townsfolk seen selling goods at their shops, chopping wood or just chatting it up with other townsfolk. With background conversations offering some quality hilarious along with vulgar banter. They have made it very easy to get lost in the world that’s been created.
The story that’s put in front of you is an immersive tale and you’re given plenty of ways to make your own story with the many choices you are given. While some games let you make choices and don’t actually affect the course of the game, Witcher 2 puts you faced with making actual tough choices that can shape the rest of the game. These choices can lead to branching storylines and even multiple endings that were shaped by your earlier decisions. This alone adds some replayability to the game. With certain areas or quests being locked out because of a decision you made previously made, you can do a second playthrough and choose a different way and see how the story would now play out.
If you already love the immersive world and engaging storytelling, there’s even more to love with the action-packed combat with RPG elements such as crafting, leveling and an inventory management system. You’ll be able to equip Geralt with an array of traps, bombs, potions, different swords and armor that can all be crafted, upgraded and modified to help you in many different specific combat scenarios. Jumping straight into a big fight without preparing yourself first will certainly get you killed quick. Geralt can even take his swords and coat them in many oils to give bonus damage or even protect himself from potions to counteract enemy posion or bleeding effects.
Upgrading Geralt can also help you out in combat, giving you the ability to choose four different skill paths. With every time you level up giving you a skill point to decide where you want to spec that point into. Skill paths such as alchemy, sword-fighting, signs and training will have many different sub-skills for you to choose. Mutagens also further add to the depth of upgrading skills, by letting you permanently increasing Geralt’s health, signs, alchemy, defense or attack power. Choosing wisely based on your combat style can help immensely in a fight.
Signs are another nice combat addition. Geralt can use these to either burn (personal favorite), trap, add a defensive barrier, or push back an enemy. Using a variety of these can be very handy and at times can make Geralt feel very overpowered. Once again alchemy plays a big part into the combat. By finding and collecting herbs in the forests or dungeons you can combine them to create poisons or new oils for his swords, health/defensive potions to help regen HP over time and others with varying effects. In order to use these potions though Geralt needs to meditate, which adds a strategic element to this since meditation can’t be done during fights. So you’ll have to be prepared before a big fight. Potions also have a toxicity level, which means you can’t just take as many as you want. You’re limited to only a few at a time and having to wait until the toxicity levels wears off before taking more. Swords are Geralt’s main defense, which can also be crafted and upgraded throughout the game. Upgrading your swordsmanship path can give you bonus abilities that you can use your sword for such as; deflecting an arrow back at enemies or doing a riposte to an enemy.
The graphics in this game are very well and hold up decently. The animations are smooth and character models look nice. Framerate holds up rather well with little to no screen tearing present. All the little details put into characters is rather stunning. From the clothes to the facial features everything has been given great attention. In some areas you might notice some pop-in issues, but nothing too jarring or game-breaking. Cutscenes look great and dialogue scenes with the lip syncing looking good as well.
The sound and music is another place this game shines. The score is masterful and knows when to come in and pick up. Dialogue and the voice-acting is very good as well and is a clear stand out. The profane language can be fun at times depending on the timing of its delivery and the language used helps put you in the correct time period that this game takes place. Higher nobles and royalty have a pompous attitude and the lowest in of the lows in the taverns have a more gritty vocabulary.
The Witcher 2 is a wonderful RPG experience that gives you a deep and rich story, great upgrade system and abilities, intense combat scenarios, nice looking graphics and sound design that all come together for a great journey across Nilfgaard. This is a tremendous experience that any fan of RPGs or video games in general needs to play.