The Witcher 2 PC Review

Gaming

The Witcher 2
Developer: CDProjekt
Publisher: ATARI
Platform: PC
Genre: Role-Playing Game
Costs: $49.99US (Purchase) / $84.58 AU (Purchase)

Intro

CDProjeckt, owners of GoodoldGames (re-seller of classic games via digital distribution) and creators of the The Witcher franchise, have recently released The Witcher 2 for the PC. The game itself is quite awesome and I found it to be surprisingly fresh in a market full of boring rehashes and sequels that have less features, or worse features than their predecessors. This game is a huge improvement over the original, and not only that, it is also such an awesome game that it can not only be enjoyed, but also easily jumped into (from a story perspective). This game has been nurtured really well and the matured product is something that any reasonable person would admire.

Story

The Witcher 2 has an amazing story, that’s both realistic and fantastical in nature. It follows the travels of Geralt of Rivia as he attempts to clear his name against a nation that has accused him of murdering their king. Over the course of his travels he meets old friends, new enemies and a holy group of strange individuals each with their own personal flaws and characteristics.

witcher2-005-005

Geralt of Rivia.

The thing that I loved about The Witcher 2’s story the most is how dark it can get at times. Like early on in the game, you’re exposed to a Mayor of a town who seems like a niceish bloke at first, but as you go through the story, you find out that he has done some nasty stuff. This game should not be played by children, at all, ever. I mean, this mayor dude kidnaps and elf woman and keeps her as a sex-slave (who eventually falls pregnant with her child) while his wife sits in the basement getting high off some form of Cocaine.

The story isn’t just dark here either, not too much later it has a king murdering a monk via smashing his face into a stone tablet, for no apparent reason. This is some really dark fantasy here, and the uniqueness of it drives you to continue playing until you’ve experienced it all and completed the story.

Graphics

Graphically The Witcher 2 is a stunner. While it’s not as huge a leap as Crysis 1 was back in the day, it’s still amazingly pretty and can actually dazzle you at times. This actually happened to me during the first boss-monster fight, tentacles flinging everywhere, dodging from side to side, trapping those things; all the while the pretty graphics and filters were all doing some amazing things to what it was that I was seeing and it was just so amazingly beautiful! I mean, it is so incredibly hard to describe how amazingly pretty that battle looked, and how much more awesome it made the entire thing.

Another thing that I really enjoyed with this title graphically is how they change the post-processing filters depending on the area that you are currently in. I first noticed this in the earliest town in the game, but it didn’t immediately click mentally until towards the end of the quest lines that take place within the town and it’s surrounding areas. For instance, when you enter the town from the outside, the colours become more vivid and brighter. But, when you go outside into the swampy forest, it uses a different kind of filtering to better convey the environment. It’s one thing to use tech in this way because you can, it’s another thing to use it and use it artistically. I’m thankful that the developers have chosen to go with the latter.

witcher2-010-010

The post-processing really adds to the feel of a scene.

Not only has the team done an amazing job with the environments, but also with the character models and other various models used in the game (like weapons and crates and stuff). The title is very highly detailed in these areas. What really struck me by surprise was how much attention to detail they placed on the character models. I mean, really, I don’t think I’ve ever seen CGI boobage so well done (granted it’s not like I actively go out looking for CGI boobs to ogle during my down time or anything, but it’s the internet, so you’re bound to have come across a pair or two in your travels at some point), so props to you guys and girls that developed the game; I bet you all had an amazing time “researching” those features.

witcher2-012-012

The research has really paid off! I especially like the purpley magic.

Though, there is one thing that I found a bit buggy graphically. That thing is actually quite minor, but it’s still pretty bad. It’s that, basically, sometimes when the game would take over Geralt in a cutscene his swords would occasionally not sit inside their sheathes properly, which is kind of weird. It usually fixes in a scene change or a reload or whatever, so it isn’t that big of a deal really.

Audio

As many of our more loyal readers will have noticed, I tend to rate a games soundtrack and audio based on the amount of time it takes me to switch from game audio to Windows Media Player. This game has lasted me it’s entirety so-far, so that’s a pretty good sign. This means that I have yet to switch to Windows Media Player because I’m absolutely loving this games background soundtrack and stunning audio effects.

witcher2-019-019

Aristocrats of some kind.

Even the voice work in this game is amazingly well done. Though, Geralt does seem to have a little bit of a Dark Knight-esque Batman speech thing going on, but I think it suits the character. On this topic, the first thing I noticed in the dialogue is how it is very cliched fantasy in its style. Though, one thing that concerned me was that the characters had differing accents some of the time. I guess, if you think about it, those characters could have been raised in other countries or whatever. Though, it’s certainly not game-breaking and most players probably won’t even notice it.

There really wasn’t any faults in the soundtrack and it has kept me amused for the large amounts of time that I have spent playing the game.

Gameplay

The game mechanically is basically hack-and-slash mixed with RPG elements, it really makes the game quite enjoyable. I know that there have been a few games like this released in the past, but I feel as though The Witcher 2 is probably one of the best finished projects of this type. When you add this style of gameplay to a mouse and keyboard setup it can take a little while to get used to, but, if anyone here has played the PC port of Fable: The Lost Chapters, you will probably be able to relate to the control scheme quite easily.

The game itself has various elements to it, elements including: the main storyline, side-quests, brothels, companion lovin’ and boss fights. So for now, I’ll talk about how the main story integrates itself into the gameplay.

The storyline itself seems (at first glance) like your typical fantasy RPG type of thing. Kings, wars, swordfights, wizards, that kind of thing. Gameplay wise, the story is told mostly through Geralts interactions with other characters and can be influenced by the players choices in dealing with these characters. The story is also told through combat and adventuring, as players will be required to pass certain points in the game in order to advance, like participating in a certain storyline quest and the like.

witcher2-002-002

“It’s Angry! Watch Out!”

Side quests are much like the side quests in other games from this genre. They take place in the same area that your character is currently in and can optionally be completed for additional experience and rewards. The side-quests seem to be more of the same old “go here, kill x” type of missions, but it’s done really well and you don’t really notice it too much. They’re also usually pretty short but some of them can be a little logic defying at times. Like this one sidequest early on where you have to bomb these tunnels that some monsters use to travel around through. The idea is to plant an explosive in the holes, but you can’t just use any bombs, no, you have to use the correct bomb, even if you have one with very similar effects (or more deadly) effects.

Brothels are present within the game and make for an interesting diversion from the adventuring and killing aspects of the game. Usually you bribe a prostitute and this makes them more venerable to penetration. The whole deed is pretty much an in-engine cutscene with no input from the player. You will also find that the prostitutes aren’t very accepting of small bribes, so if you want to “get some” you’ll have to fork over the big bucks. Worth it? That’s up to you to decide. Companion lovin’ is quite similar to the prostitution present in brothels, only its freer. The downside is that they’re only available at certain points in the game if you push the dialogue in that direction.

witcher2-011-011

Certain points like this one.

Now the main thing that I really love about this game is the Boss Fights! Not enough games have them these days, and even fewer of them are actually challenging. Fighting Big-ass monsters is a staple in gaming, and it’s a staple that I do not want to see removed for “realism”, or because the player testers couldn’t beat a certain enemy, so the developers gimped it to make it easier on them. As long as there is a clear winnable pattern (like in this game) then so what if it’s too hard? That’s what makes boss fights, well, boss fights. The challenge, the one last difficult thing that stands between you and the next point. That feeling of elation and awesomeness when you finally beat that thing. So much love from me there.

I could really go on all day about how great the gameplay in this game is! But then this review would never get done. Be sure to check the embedded video for a better look at the combat.

Overall

The Witcher 2 is the penultimate hack and slash RPG so far. While it’s certainly not for everyone (especially children, as it has very strong sexual, violent and drug related stuff within) it is certainly a game that must be played by as many people as possible. If any of you have played The Witcher, this game is barely recognisable from that, sure some of the characters look similar, but this game is like a 10,000-up on it’s prequel. If you love RPG’s, if you love hack-and-slash, if you love Dragon Age or Mass Effect… man, really, if you love video games at all; you will buy this game as soon as you get a chance to.

9-5-capsules-out-of-10

Gaming for as long as my memory serves me, probably longer.
  • We have a FREE Copy of the game to give away for The Witcher 2. Leave a comment and let us know what you thought of the review for your chance to win a copy of the game on PC.

    • Ryan DeJonghe

      Thanks for the chance to win this. My mouth has been watering to play this game. My fingers are crossed for the chance to win. Thank you, thank you.

    • Denise Dillon

      Scintillating review – can’t wait to get my hands on a copy. Now I know what all the fuss is about!

    • What a great review! Really makes me look forward to the story and to the varied NPC intteractions.

      Thanks for the opportunity to win this! :3

    • Daniel O

      Firstly, I’m bookmarking this site. I only found it cause of a twitter post.
      Second, I was originally going to just enter the contest, but after reading the review, I was thankful to do so because I really wasn’t interested in Witcher 2 in terms of hype. Before, it was like I’m interested in the game, but if I had money, I would be spending it on something else. After the review, I wanted it. So thanks for a review that was worth reading!

  • James Moorehead

    Enjyoable review, however I think there were a few details that could have been included.

    First off you didn’t really give an indication of the length of the game. Naturally gameplay comes first but when purchasing a game I’d like to know how long it’s going to last roughly, especially when it comes to an RPG.

    Also I think you could have given us better idea of how the combat works. It’s fair enough to say that if you’ve played another game you’ll know but what about those that haven’t? We’re still left a bit unaware of how it’ll be played. Nothing overly in depth of course but something.

    There were also a few typo’s within it aswel but overall you’ve actually got me really wanting this game and I think the purpose of a review should be to do that. It needs to let the reader know if the game is worth purchasing and you have done that.

    • Did you check the included video of the combat? I couldn’t think of a way to accurately describe it, which is the reason for it’s existence.
      I think the idea of a review is to inform people on what they’ll be getting without copying and pasting from the instruction booklet, which is why I’ve talked more about how it feels rather than plays.
      It’s length varies like any RPG, depending on whether or not you complete side quests and the like.
      I’m pretty anal on typo’s can you let me know where they are? So I can fix it up a bit?

      • James Moorehead

        For some reason I thought I replied to this last night.

        Reagrding typo’s, there were very few the biggest one I noticed was the line “getting high off some form Cocaine.”

        As for the person commenting on my typo’s, yeah I’m pretty bad for making them. I review games myslef so welcome any corrections to my work too.

        I haven’t checked the video yet, I think it’s good that you included it though but I think maybe a little thing in that section saying “to get a better idea for how combat looks and flows check out the video.”

        And the length, yeah I imagined it would vary but maybe some indication of how long it took you personally to get through the game.

        To be honest though, these things are really minor and like I said in the original comment you’ve got me really wanting this game now so job done.

        • You mean this bit at the end of the gameplay section? “I could really go on all day about how great the gameplay in this game is! But then this review would never get done. Be sure to check the embedded video for a better look at the combat.”
          Thanks for spotting the cocaine one, I probably shouldn’t proof these at Midnight… Haha 😀

          • James Moorehead

            Ah no wonder I didn’t see it, I was looking more at the section where you mentioned the Fable comparison, my bad 😛

            Out of interest, just noticed the game has 3D, did you see how it looks in 3D? I’m not really a big fan of them putting 3D but am intrigued as to other peoples thoughts.

          • Unfortunately I’m largely against glasses-on 3D. While I don’t get discomfort or headaches or anything, I just prefer to game without it.

  • blakehu

    Great game, great review, great score! 8)

    • blakehu

      Adding:
      I love the concept of the game, I can’t say anything bad on the review, you guys are Awesome. I just hope the game will be as good on the console as on the PC.

  • rogXue

    really want to play this game! Hope I win!

  • Ryan DeJonghe

    This game looks amazing!! I have my fingers crossed that it will come to OnLive, but if it doesn’t I may have to make the jump to get it. I am truly impressed with all the great reviews; especially for a PC only game (for now).

  • Chronorayven

    Good Review. All indication seems to point that this game is better than the first game. This is what sequels should be and the best part is it is aimed more towards “mature” gamers unlike Dragon Age/Mass Effect while both were good it didn’t quite feel like what witcher has done. This is one of my favourite new series to come in years and hope to see this for many years. Also Triss is hot. 😛

  • Cypher

    I was pretty intrigued by this game, I’m usually not the biggest fan of role playing. But the combat video on this makes it seem like something I’d enjoy. As for that first comment, “Enjyoable” has a typo and “aswel” isn’t a word (no offense to the original commenter) but at least check your own post if you are going to say something about the reviewers typos (in which I didn’t see any, unless he corrected them).

    Good review, making me question if I should get it or not. I’m going to book mark and check out some more things on this site. But, consider this my entry. :P.

    • James Moorehead

      No offence taken, I welcome any corrections I’m awful for typo’s which is why I always feel bad pointing them out but I think if I notice them then it is better to inform the person regardless.

      As for me, I get then/than mixed up, you spotted the aswel problem, (Honest do not know why I do that) and sometimes my fingers go too fast and I muddle up letters. 😛

      • Cypher

        No problem, just read your other comment. Glad we got it all settled. 😛

    • Congrats on the win man!

  • Travis Bruno

    This definitely makes me wish I had a computer strong enough to run it.

    • Ryan DeJonghe

      That is exactly the reason I think it should come to OnLive. Atari already has a partnership with OnLive, so it should be easy enough.

  • Cellophane Girl

    Nice review. Makes me glad I bought a copy of the game. Gonna have to install it and load it up this weekend sometime. 🙂

  • As good as the 1st game was the review makes this sequel sound even better. Geralt is a fantastic character, the graphics look great, the video of that boss fight looks amazing. Hopefully the rumored console port will come to pass so even more people can experience this game. Hats off for a good review!

  • Wow .. this game simply looks amazing! PC gaming is alive and well 🙂

    • Ryan DeJonghe

      I see you use your xbox avatar, did you happen to see that they just announced today that this is coming to xbox later tis year? Probably around November.

  • Looks amazing, the graphics are truly stunning, I hope I can save up enough cash to buy this one for myself, this is why PC is always one step ahead of other gaming consoles.

  • zubalove

    Great review. I’m interested in how the females measure up to those in the first game. If I don’t win a copy, I hope this and the first one make it to OnLive soon!

  • I played this game a bit at my friends house and it is awesome. I really hope to win so I can lock myself in the den and forget reality.

  • Paul K

    Thanks for the review. Good to know this is much better than the first!

  • Bipple

    This game loooks like it will consume a large of my time : D. Awesome! Your review has made it so I have to have this game!

  • Rhu

    I never played the first Witcher but I’ve heard everywhere that 2 is much much better. Reading this review lets me know it’s even more true.

    I actually played about an hour of The Witcher 2 and fell in love with it but haven’t been able to pick it up yet so I would love to win. 🙂

  • Fullnass

    I really liked the review!! That made me want even more this game *.*

  • JL02

    Well written review.

  • Kilaen

    Loved the first game, can’t wait to play this one.

  • Mike

    I think it was quite a good review, good pictures also… I hope I win this, I have been dying to play this game but I ain’t got the moneyz !!!!

  • Ryan DeJonghe

    I heard today that this will be released for the Xbox 360 sometime in November or so (confirmed). However, I still would love to give this a whirl on the PC if I had a choice. Seems like this game and the PC were meant for each other.

  • IDFinners

    I really liked your review and I am glad that I am not the only one who, if a games background music is horrendous, will use my own music. Thanks for the review and of course the very generous giveaway.

  • Ludono

    Good review! Really want to play this game, especially after loving the first game!

  • orgasMICK

    This was a sweet review… Enjoyed reading it and the pictures were quite nice.
    I really hope I win this game, I enjoyed the first one so I can’t wait to get this one. (if I win)!

  • Munchkin

    Loved the detail of the review, very comprehensive analysis and the screen shots just top it off. I so want to play this now!

  • Rob Hestar

    This line made me drool and wish bills would disappear and I could get this game already!! “The Witcher, this game is barely recognisable from that, sure some of the characters look similar, but this game is like a 10,000-up on it’s prequel”.

    I LOVED LOVED the first one to death!.I’m happy to see the PC get some amazing games this year to make me look at my consoles and say “nono,your staying off for a little bit longer” :P.

  • Nicole

    Awesome Review it makes me want the game even more now Thanks alot lol

  • Thanks for the comments everyone! I counted 42 of them! That’s a record for me there 😀
    A winner has been selected and will be announced after they have been notified.
    Gratz to the winner and thanks to everyone who participated!

  • AND WE HAVE A WINNER !!!! … Drum Roll PLEASE !!!! ……..

    The Winner of the Witcher 2 Game is :

    Cypher .. WHO SAID …

    I was pretty intrigued by this game, I’m usually not the biggest fan of role playing. But the combat video on this makes it seem like something I’d enjoy. As for that first comment, “Enjyoable” has a typo and “aswel” isn’t a word (no offense to the original commenter) but at least check your own post if you are going to say something about the reviewers typos (in which I didn’t see any, unless he corrected them).

    Good review, making me question if I should get it or not. I’m going to book mark and check out some more things on this site. But, consider this my entry.

    Thank you to everyone that entered. Make sure you check out our Hunted competition we are giving away 3 copies of the game check out the link here : http://www.capsulecomputers.com.au/competitions/hunted-the-demons-forge/

    MasterAbbott

    • Cypher

      Wow, I’ve been pretty busy lately with everything and did not expect to win this at all, thank you so much.

      Thank you all for the congrats, and again thank you.

  • blakehu

    Congrats to Cypher. Now you can surely try it out.

Lost Password

Sign Up