CD Projekt RED’s The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings: Enhanced Edition for Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox 360 and the PC is an epic and complex role-playing title that features versatile combat, magic and character building in an intricately detailed medieval tale.
In The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, monster hunter mercenary Geralt of Rivia saves King Foltest from an assassination attempt. Now captured and jailed, Geralt recounts key moments in battle and begins a quest to find the mysterious assassin.
The combat system is solid with a combination of offensive and defensive maneuvers. Weapon combat is fluid with strong and weak attacks to hack and slash foes. Signs, which are activated via a quick menu, can cast fire, enable a shield, or even confuse enemies using the Vigor meter. Vigor is limited but auto-regenerates quickly. In addition, Gerald can parry, counter, and roll to evade enemies.
Enemies, which include standard knights to demonic monsters, all fight with varied mechanics to require a tactical response.
Alternate options include Crafting to build new items out of found objects and Alchemy to create new potions from found herbs. Gerald can enable potions to heal or help see in dark areas.
In addition to a highly customizable range of weapons, armor, and items, users can level their character with several upgrade branches, including Magic, Alchemy, and Swordsmanship.
Quests can involve multiple objectives, from clearing enemies to aiding in sub-quests. Users can point to a particular quest in the menu to have the map guide to the next objective. The narrative is excellent with tons of cinematics and dialogue to illustrate the deep relationships and political strife within the kingdom. Also, the quest is non-linear, with user decisions that factor relations, political status, and into one of 16 endings.
The graphics engine is solid at 30 frames-per-second. The vast kingdom with villages and scenic mountaintops is rendered with plenty of detail and lighting effects. The sound engine is consistent, particularly the voice cast which handles each character with sophistication and care.
Finally, the Enhanced Edition release includes a new Dark extreme difficulty mode, Arena mode to fight waves of enemies, and three new characters and two new adventures to add four hours to gameplay.
The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings is an excellently crafted RPG. From the tactical combat system to the vast user customization, the Witcher takes a victorious stand in the kingdom.