The Witcher 2

Posted 11 years ago by myetvmedia


The side quests are not of the “go get that shit” or “go kill that shit” ilk they all have stories that may dynamically be altered by the choices you make. You might for instance choose to convince a herbalist to close shop after discovering his drug trade or allow him to keep it and reap a piece of the profits. Choice permeates the Witcher 2 just as it does in Bioware’s epics though CDProjekt has managed to break the mold by adding something completely new to the equation; based on the players choices the entire quest structure of the second and third acts will vary in one of two ways. Locations, objectives, characters and story will be completely different and both paths throughout acts three and four are excellent and illuminate the meta story on different levels. I have not seen choice so well implemented in an RPG since Mass Effect 2. Geralt is a complex literary character and while there is a lot of choice in this game (some being polar opposites) the choices made by Geralt always seem within character, the writing is that good.

The game is very different from Witcher the predecessor, not so much in philosophy but in the execution of the design. The developers attribute many of the changes to the combat system to Demon’s Souls (PS3) and it shows, the combat is unforgiving and manages to be both deep and elegantly simple all at once. Geralt uses two swords; one forged of silver and another of steel, the silver blade is used against creatures and the steel sword against humanoids. Geralt can use these swords (and a variety of other weapons such as staves and blackjacks) with a combination of quick and strong blows. The game has ditched the system used in the prior game (which relied on timing based clicks, that could get quite tedious) in favor of a more action oriented system, the quick sword strikes can be used to close distance (with a visually satisfying leaping stab or a rolling slash) and the strong blows are used to stagger foes and deal massive damage (though they will leave you open for attack).

Geralt is almost never fighting a lone enemy and will have to stay on his toes; he can utilize both a rolling doge and a parry to ward of attacks. The parry (which can be upgraded) can absorb damage at the cost of vigor points which are also used for magical attacks, Geralt cannot simply ‘turtle up’ and play defense all the time he will have to have a concise plan and use all the tricks at his disposal but luckily he can quickly attack it all directions (the backwards stab is particularly awesome) for a quick change of opponents that is handled simply by rotating the camera. Geralt also has access to sub weapons and magical spells. He may have one of each equipped and switching them is only a matter of pulling up a radial menu that pulls the game into slow motion, it never removes you from the action and that is wonderful. The spells or “magical signs” are all available right from the outset and offer a variety of different offensive and defensive abilities all of which may be supplemented with upgrades. The spells are flexible and each fits a particularly useful and multipurpose role.

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