Review: The Witcher 2: Enhanced Edition Shines on the 360
I’ll spare you all a full and in depth review of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Enhanced Edition’s story, because it technically is a game from last year and has been covered ad nauseam. Although, I still would like to bring its Xbox 360 version to your attention, because as I’ve found out this is a franchise that non-PC gamers have been missing out on. If you like hardcore violence, morality choices, foul language, and some digital nudity, then this game will be right up your warped alley!
The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings: Enhanced Edition
EB 8.5 out of 10 Buddhas
The Awesome: Full of testosterone, Engaging Story and replay value, Fantastic Sound and Visuals
The Not so Awesome: Crap menu system, Less than perfect combat mechanics, Lack of coherent quest navigation
Full of testosterone
I have honestly never played a game that has been more catered to males in my life. From the moment you fire up The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Enhanced Edition your smacked right in the face with a pair of titties, and the manliness only escalates from there. The dialogue is full of curse words and other scaring remarks that you’d hear at a bar full of drunk sports fans, or perhaps on your own game chat with your buddies. I’ve never heard the c*nt slur in a video game before, and it is liberally used in TW2 as if it were the secret word of the day (Pee-Wee’s Playhouse anyone).
Torture and Ta-Tas: Doesn’t get manlier than that
On top of the manly language this game also features the most gratuitous video game sex scenes that I’ve ever seen. At times I thought that I was watching a special hentai version of Skinamax, because unlike other games, you have multiple opportunities to exercise Geralt’s (main character) little sword if you know what I mean. TW2 isn’t Mass Effect either. There’s no fading to black in this game. Every love scene is long and in your face, so if you have little kids in the house I’d advise you to only play this game while the wee ones sleep.
Finally, this game’s testosterone is also visible in the gory combat. There’s no shortage of scripted death blows and body parts during combat sections in TW2. There’s plenty of blood to be spilled and limbs to hack off, so if you’re into graphic violence you won’t have anything to fear in this game.
Engaging Story and replay value
For a newcomer to the series I found it very easy to pick up TW2’s story without knowing anything about the first game. This speaks volumes about the amount of content the devs placed in this game for you to read up on if you choose to. Every quest logs notes in your menu’s quest section, which expand upon the details for those gamers wanting to know more about Geralt and his travels. The story is also open ended, meaning that you don’t have to play through certain parts in order. In fact, I played the prologue a*s backwards, but through flashbacks and forwards I didn’t miss a beat.
On top of this unique method of telling a story, TW2’s plot is genuinely interesting. It’s one of those video game tales that keep you playing even though you know it’s not healthy to stay up to 5AM, so you can finish ONE MORE QUEST. In addition to this it also has an extremely high replay value. I believe there are 16 total endings to this game, so if you want to see them all you’ll definitely have to play through the quest a few times. The morality decisions you have to make will shape your playthrough as you see fit, and there’s also a fork in the road decision early on that will force you to play this game twice if you want all of its achievements. Trust me, you’ll easily get your money’s worth out of this game.
Fantastic Sound and Visuals
Considering that this game was originally made for high-end PC rigs I was more than happy with how it looked and sounded on my lowly 360 console. Most of the hi-res visuals have remained in tact, and unless if you get up close to the environment their textures are very clear and defined. TW2 easily ranks up there with some of the best looking games for the Xbox 360, which is a feat considering its roots.
The sound profile of this PC franchise turned console darling is probably more impressive than its looks. CD Projekt Red went out of their way to bring TW2’s world to life by including an amazing ambient soundtrack that deserves to be heard. While traveling through some of the game’s wooded areas I could’ve sworn that I was actually in a serene forest myself. I could hear birds chirping in crystal clear quality, as well as other sounds of nature that you’d encounter in an unadulterated forest. You could use this game’s sound to meditate to. That’s how vibrant and clear it is. For those of you with 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound, you’ll be especially treated to the audible gifts this game presents. Ear sex is all I can say!
The Not so Awesome
Crap menu system
I can honestly say that TW2’s menu is one of the clunkiest game management interfaces I’ve ever encountered. It took the first few hours of my time playing the game to warm up to the menu, which is something that should be mastered within the first few minutes. The menu is unorganized and requires multiple shoulder button and trigger buttons to navigate it. When I want to equip a new weapon, or use a potion, I don’t want to have to think about what buttons I need to hit in order to get there. The funky menu isn’t a deal breaker, but it will confuse you more than help if you’ve never played a Witcher game before.
Less than perfect combat mechanics
Combat looks graceful but executing it is not
The Witcher 2 isn’t your typical button masher that you may think it to be, and you’ll find that out the hard way. The combat system requires very precise inputs. This actually results in life like swordplay, and once you master how to fight the combat system gets much easier to execute. If you get frustrated easily I promise you that the fighting controls in this game will give you a fit for the first few hours. It is a shame because the combat animations are some of the most fluid I’ve ever seen, but more often that not you’ll be focusing on not making errant swings rather than plotting your path of destruction through your enemy’s host.
Lack of coherent quest navigation
In addition to the less than perfect menu The Witcher 2 also suffers from a confusing quest navigation system. Some quests will show on your map, while others will not. You could be on a fetch quest and before you know it your next objective will not appear on your map. This forces you to either abandoned that particular quest to start another, or turn to the pages of TW2 wiki to find out where you need to go. This is especially frustrating considering that this is a semi open world game. I hate not knowing where I’m going in a large game world, and this annoyance occurs more than once throughout The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Enhanced Edition.
TW2’s Map isn’t very helpful
The Final Verdict
The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Enhanced Edition is more than just a PC port. You can feel and see the work that CD Projekt Red put into this console version of their 2011 PC hit. For the most part the game retains its amazing visuals and sound on the 360. I could honestly fire this game up, walk into one of its wooded areas, close my eyes, and fall asleep to the beautiful ambient sounds that this game creates. TW2 is hands down the manliest game I’ve ever played due to its raw language, nudity, and violent combat. Outside of a less than stellar menu system and shady quest navigation this game is a gem. I give it an EB 8.5 out of 10 Buddhas, and recommend it to anyone who enjoys fantasy based open world games with a side of boobs. Pick it up today! You’ve been wanting to see the debauchery for yourself…
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