Games: 6,848 | Reviews: 6,632 | Previews: 8,504 | News: 13,314 | Images: 199,410 | Videos: 13,426
Battlefield 3 GameStop, Inc.
The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings [PC]





More of a FPS than an RPG

7.0

Great
Difficulty:
Just Right
Time Spent:
20 to 40 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"All flash, no substance"

Summary

I bought this game in the first week of release, having enjoyed the first in the series.

I am a pretty average/poor player, not very good at the combat stuff, and found the first release impossible to play. I couldn't understand the combat or how to move around, which was very frustrating and I ended up shelving it quite quickly.

However, after the 2.0 upgrade and the great tutorial, I finally manged to 'get it' and proceeded to play to the end on the easy setting, after not killing anyone in the arena (like I said, average to poor skills!). This only took a couple of weeks of playing for a couple of hours in the evening, so it wasn't very long. There was not much character progression and I guess, as a female, I never really felt any affinity to Geralt, nor for bedding the available ladies.

In summary, if you are a male fan of FPS, you would like it but as a female fan of RPGs (proper ones like Morrowind which I actually finished right to the very end), it won't be that exciting.






TW2 has noticeable flaws that can't be ignored, but it has more innovations than it's faults.

9.0

Editors' Choice
Difficulty:
Just Right
Time Spent:
40 to 100 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Ambitious"

Summary

In terms of RPG elements, such as varieties of quests and how the story and side missions diverge, it is something modern RPGs could not achieve until now. Only BG series and PST have better role-playing elements than TW2.

You are an amnesiac Witcher called Geralt of Rivia. In a course of event, you are accused of murdering the king of Temerian empire, and you have to clear you name. You are also unveiling Geralt's mysterious past, and the killer seems to be deeply involved with Geralt. What makes TW2's story so interesting is how each characters and side characters are portrayed in detail. You'll get to know their motives and relationships with various factions and kings. Supernatural elements like ghosts and curses add feeling of dread, but they don't detract realism from the story. The world is also rich with lore and histories. If you are a forgetful person, you may have some hard times understanding the story because it is a little complicated. It could rap up more nicely though. The story ends abruptly, and the last chapter is much shorter than the rest. There are Prologue, Ch.1, Ch.2, Ch.3, and Epilogue. Regardless of the disappointing ending, you'll be kept entertained by the interesting events and characters.

TW2's story is divided into chapters, and you are stuck inside a big area. It sounds like not letting the player explore the world, but each map is huge and complex enough to reward players for exploration. There are also plenty of quests and side missions to perform, and they are all unique. Some main quests can even trigger other quests that can change the course of a chapter. There aren't much to complain about this aspect of the game. There is one small problem though. There are some continuity errors that can make you scratch your head, but they are only few in number, and they don't even affect the main story. I recommend to use your journal frequently because you'll get more insightful information by reading it.

The world of TW2 is immersive to say the least. Spectacular graphics is one thing, but seeing people go to work, spending their free time playing dice pokers, and going home at night, you can't help but reminded of Oblivion's Radiant AI. Small sound effects like people's chatters, a rock hitting on the ground, a smith's hammer hitting on a blade, really make you feel like you are living inside the world. I noticed allot of texture pop-in, but it could be my PC being dated. In fact, not much people complained about it.

The weakest part of the game is it's combat system, but that's only because other aspects of the game are almost perfect. It is still a good system. You have two types of sword, steel and silver, and you have to switch between the two depending on your foes. You also have bombs, traps, potions, and magical abilities at your disposal. The first 2 chapters are challenging and fun because your abilities are limited, but it could get easier later. In fact you may be using a same tactic over and over for the rest of the game. This is due to some skills are being overpowered. The boss battles are fun until you find your own ways to dispatch them. This is because they don't change their patterns. I didn't have much problem at the beginning of the game, but I know a lot of people had. You don't have to worry though, because they've added more helpful tutorial mode.

Aside from the combat, control in this game is not the best of its kind. Sometimes the control responses can be delayed, or the player character may do things you didn't intend to do when there are interactive objects clustered together. You may want to use your keyboard and mouse because controller can't navigate through the menu system well. Regardless of these issues, it is still manageable. So it is passable.

Regardless of what I complained about the game, because TW2 exceeds in so many levels it manages to be the best RPG of the decade (at least for me). If the developer fixes all of these issues in TW3, I am certain it'll be a legend.








Entrancing, gorgeous, and a painting of human nature.

10

Editors' Choice
Difficulty:
Just Right
Time Spent:
20 to 40 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Masterpiece"

Summary

Like all great works of art, The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings has the much coveted trait of entrancing the audience. It is a gripping tale of love and hate, yet never removed from the harsh reality, that reaches its hand into the core of everyone's heart. From the first few seconds of Geralt limping half naked in a foreboding forest to the last few seconds of him leaving the gates of Loc Muinne, the story has never let up its grasp on the audience. This is all thanks to the captivating combination of a powerful story and world with the gorgeous cinematic presentation. The interface and dialogue options have also been seamlessly (with the exception of potion drinking, I found that took away immersion) integrated into the frame of the game, never giving the audience a chance to realize that they are just playing a game, rather than being in an alternate universe and deciding the fate of the White Wolf. From the great voice deliveries by the whole cast, and the fact that whenever you choose a dialogue option, Geralt actually says it, the player gets a strong sense of immersion, as compared to voiceless heroes which are the norm in Bethesda games. Combined with the strong emotions and lifelike qualities that drive the characters, again absent from most other popular RPG games such as Skyrim, The Witcher 2 becomes less of a game and more of a dramatic telling of an epic tale that the audience has a hand in shaping. Supporting its backbone of a storyline is the enjoyable combat system. This new combat system is very rewarding, as it is very difficult to just button bash their way across battles, forcing the player to take a step back and consider the situation tactically. These tactics include considering what potions to drink before entering the battle, which opponent to tackle first, what signs to cast, and what kind of attack to use (whether fast or hard). After coming out of a battle having had to use your wits, you feel better about yourself. The combat also does not get overly hackneyed, as even when you have godlike equipment combat still presents a challenge (sometimes). As compared to Skyrim where combat at higher levels is basically a chance to show off the godly equipment and spells rather than overcoming adversaries. After having completed the game once, I find myself compelled to complete it again, making different choices, to see what the world would be like if I did this rather than that. I find that the game intends for the player to replay the game, however, I think it would have been better if a new game+ kind of feature was introduced to further draw players to replay. Overall, The Witcher 2 is a great piece of art that is sure to endure the trials of time and be remembered decades later as a milestone in the making of games.




Letho .. You bastard

9.0

Editors' Choice
Difficulty:
Just Right
Time Spent:
40 to 100 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Worth playing"

Summary

The Witcher 2 reminds me of... Ehm... Apparently I cannot think if any game or movie this incredible interactive piece of software reminds me of because it is unique, gorgeous and satisfying. This game has some unique set pieces that are unmatched, more reason why it will be contender for RPG of the year. I have not played a game in 5 months since my PC went dead and this was the only game I could think about once my PC was up and running.

After an assassin failed at killing King Foltest from the ending of the first game, he entrusted his protection to the Witcher, Geralt of Rivia, a well-known and feared mutated monster slayer with a knack for making bad decisions. This game is full of decisions that will lead you to several paths. There are 2 major paths or allies you can follow depending on the decision you made at the end of chapter 1

Geralt let his guard down for one second and the King is slain by another witcher who is basically an assassin of Kings because he killed other kings. The castle guards immediately rush in and they see Geralt leaning over Foltest's body. This scene does not look good for anybody no matter how hard you try to convince the guards. The real game begins when you break out of jail, joining your sorcerer friends Triss Merigold and Vernon Roche to a city called Flotsam. There are twist and turns as you navigate Flotsam and its surroundings solving quest after quest.

Gameplay is just the same as the first game in 2007 in which you only have 2 swords: a steel and silver swords which are used for Humans and monsters respectively. The combat system is better and very fast. With any typical RPG, you get to level up and spend skill points. Spending skill points is simple and if you try to choose everything, you might not be able to complete a particular skill like combat but choosing skills from magic can also help in combat. Alchemy and potion drinking is essential if you are playing at a higher difficulty which is easy to make. The best potions are the ones that enhance your combat abilities or skills in my opinion. At some points, the game can be very difficult even on normal settings. You cannot take potions on the fly but only if you meditate for a split second. This sometimes is a problem because you might forget to take a potion before going into combat only to realise that you are outmatched by a foe.

The Witcher 2 graphics and sound are fantastic. For a direct X 9 game, if they told me it was Dx 11, I would have believed them but FRAPS does not lie and this game looks gorgeous on an HD screen. Some graphics settings will have to be turned down in order to keep at least an average of 40fps if you are running a system that has a core i5 2300 Sandybridge and a 2 year old HD5850. Surprisingly the HD 5850 is good enough for even ultra settings but with UberSampling disabled. Character lip-syncing is spot on and mature in content. When combat kicks in, you can hear every single slice or tabbing.

There are some memorable characters in the game that stand out like Letho, Triss, Vernon and so on and so although there is a lack of deep character development going on here. I wish The Witcher was a true open world game because it can be linear at certain points but it is still worth playing. I could not think of a better game to sink my teeth after my hiatus for 5 months. This is a must play for any RPG fans out there.





This game.... This Game.... you don't know.... You don't know....<br /> <br /> This Game is.... is Difficult to Descri...

10

Editors' Choice
Difficulty:
Hard
Time Spent:
40 to 100 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Hard to describe"

Summary

This game.... This Game.... you don't know.... You don't know....

This Game is.... is Difficult to Describe.

On Many Aspects, it's very Traditional, but on others, it has innovation written all over it.

this is getting Difficult, so instead of writting the Things i like and dislike(like i always do), i'll analize it by pieces and do my best to Describe the Greatness of this game.

Graphics: As a PC exclusive game, it had to look decent.
and it did.
and it Hit it out of the gate.

This game has the Best Technical aspect you can find in an RPG, Period, and one of the Best Out there(i think Only Modded Crysis can compare actually).
Everything has been filled with Detail, from the Highly detailed Faces from every single person you see, to the Breath Taking vistas(though there aren't that many, sadly), all the way to the Goddamn Weapons, even THAT has tons of detail.

And it's not just technical, artistic and general detail as well.

Every single thing that we have equipped is represented in Geralt's Body(with detail. I'm Saying that too much i'm i? lol), and there is a Body Animation for just about everything we can do(minus Dice, Potion Making and Crafting), which is something i'm starting to see lately on many games(like Skyrim), and i'm glad, since this helps with the immersion.

And as for artistic, this game is also great, with a glowing and vibrant Color Palette, and excellent Design for Armors, character looks and cities(and they don't overuse Characters models like they did in the First game, thankfully).

The ONLY complain i have about it, it's the fact that, once again, the Characters are very emotionless on their faces, they certainly have more animations than the previous game(or should i say, they actually Have them), but i still don't think it's enough.
and the lip animation... Oh my god, it's like all they need to do is open their mouths and words will come.
they don't emote with their mouths, they just.... open it, and words come out.
but don't let that drag down something that is Sooooo good.

I'm probably spending too much time with the graphics, so i'll just move and say this: They're Gorgeous.

Sound:

One of my favorite Aspects about the first game was it's music( Believe FTW!!!), so naturally, i expected a great soundtrack, and while i think that, for the most part, the First game had better music, this one is still great.

The main theme is Awesome, and hell i didn't start the game immediately after i loaded it for the first time, i just stayed there and listened.
When it was done, i knew i was in front of a great game.
And of course, what would be of The Witcher without Inn themes?
There are of course inns and in them, there is a great atmospheric theme, like you're with buddies, it's a feeling not many games have, and the have all Themes, that, for the most part, work very well, though i think The First One's Themes were better.

Now, Voice Acting.
as much as i loved the First game, It had some of the worst VA i have ever heard, with only a handful that i thought were decent.

This one has fixed that, and it has an overall strong VA(though there are a few exceptions here and there *Cough* Foltest*Cough*), and yes, i like Geralt's Voice acting, i know many people think it's boring, but i think it adds to his badass-ness(?), and the rest of new roles are strong, my favorite One being Iorveth("Scoia'Taeeeeeellllllll!!!!!"), and the returning ones being considerably improved(for the most part, i'm not really a fan of Triss' voice acting).

as for Effects, they do their Job, though it's more open ended than the first game(in which you spend a considerable amount underground, Swamps, Dark Dungeons, and overall just Dark Places), so it's considerably Less Atmospheric (or at least, Moody), but it's payed off by the sound of the streets.
Everyone is doing something, and they don't just stop to look at you for no apperant Reason(*Cough*Elder Scrolls*Cough*).
Their on their **** you're on your ****.
You will always hearing the sounds of the streets and their people, and it's highly immersive in itself.
i Must Say, watching them going on their own lives is very entertaining in it, i stopped several times to watch them, and i loved it.

and, even though it's directly Related To Voice acting or sound, this Game is Really Funny!
and in part the voice acting is one of the main reasons for that ("The Cock calls at dawn's Light - Damn, he's Bloody Loud! Suit up! Fall in! attack and get well ploughed " lololol), and the characters themselves are pretty funny when they can.
There is this Mission involving Dandelion and a Succubus...
i Couldn't Stop laughing.

Overall, great Sound.

Gameplay:

I know a lot of People didn't liked The combat of the First game(a lot of people say they didn't finished it because of it), but i enjoyed, i didn't "Wuuuvved" it, but i liked it enough, so i was mixed about the Massive overhaul that this game was getting for it's combat.
But now that i've played it, i realize that i was being stupid.
i absolutely Adore the combat of this game, i think it's one of it's stronger aspects.

it looks Dumbed down, certainly, and it was clearly done with the Gameapad in Mind, but despite that, i still think it's a huge improvement over the first one, which, despite looking very deep, it ultimately boiled to A Series of QTEs, with some potions along the way, style change(i disliked The Styles, BTW), and some jumping.

In this one.... Well like i said, it was clearly made with a Gamepad in mind, so it's considerably less "PC-ish" than the previous one, but i think that, at least this time(as a long time PC gamer), was for the better, like i said(even though, although i enjoyed it with a pad, i simply prefer the Mouse and Keyboard, just a personal preference)

If you have played games like Demons's/Dark Souls, Assassin's Creed or even Prince of Persia, you'll probably be able to familiarize with the combat system of this game, it's very akin to them(though in no way a carbon copy), Very Hack n slash-y.

You no longer have styles, instead you have 2 types of attack(one on each different button of the mouse), Strong and Fast, and like the previous game, you have to change between Steel Sword(for humanoids), and Silver Sword(for Monsters), and you can no longer carry more than that(you didn't needed it anymore than that anyway)

The Signs return.

Aard(a Telekinetic Push, that will knock down or at least stagger enemies), Igni(Fire attack), Quen(Magical Barrier that has an upgradable Damage threshold), Yrden(a Magical Trapt, that can be expanded for up to 3), Axii(basically, Jedi Mind Tricks) and Heliotrop(the last one has to be unlocked, and it has to ability to create a field, where time is slowed down, except for yourself)

And unlike the previous game, you have them available right off the bat(make sense, since loosing them would have felt cheap), And Now, you really need to use them a lot, unlike in the Previous Game were i only used Aard and Igni, everything else was pretty much useless(to me anyway).

i said early that the combat was Hack n slash-y, and if you have played games like Demon's/Dark souls, you'll be in familiar territory.

Unlike the previous game, Geralt can't "Stick" with an objective, his attacks are aimless, therefore you have to guide him and his attacks with the camera, though you can lock an objective to make it easier to him them.
The combat is fluid (akin to Prince of Persia), and it has a very good pace and design, i never felt that the game was being cheap, it was just making me play a difficult game.
i Remember people complaining about the Tutorial, well, now that the patch 2.0 is out, the game gives an indept tutorial of everything you SHOULD know, in order to prepare, and that's good cause the original tutorial was awful, it was just a bunch of text that i didn't had time to read because i was IN THE MIDDLE of a fight.
Kudos to CDPR for caring so much.

Anyway, like i was saying, the combat is fluid, but it requires thought, most enemies will have some sort of weakness that you need to exploit, and you need to use the Right attacks, but you need to mix things up, use your signs(SPECIALLY use the signs), and the game uses a fairly simple with nonetheless useful bomb and trap making system.
Personally, i never used them too much, unless i had to, which makes me sad, because it will make look the system less deep than it is, since another mechanic is relegated to completely optional, that's just not right, imo.

oh, and you can no longer drink potions in of the fight, you have to do through mediation.
i didn't like that, because even though you can prepare, you would have to know when you will be attacked, and most of the time you won't know, which makes it sorta pointless.
Now you might say that if you get badly wounded during a fight, you have to drink potions to recover afterwards, right?
well yes.... but you have regenerating health, and with all the time it takes to drink a f***ing potion, you might as well just wait.
So overall, i thought the Potion system was really wasted here.

as for the rest of the gameplay, the game takes it's time, and it expects you to be fairly intelligent(that's why it's a PC exclusive, >_^).

It is fairly big,not as big as the First one though, but with that, comes CONSIDERABLY less backtracking, and like before, there is no Fast Travel here, you have to walk(something you'll be doing a lot, so you better like Geralt's pony Tail, cause you'll be waving it a lot), and i LOVE that, i just love seeing these amazing enviroments, i just love watching animals go about their lives, and i just LOVE watching people go about their lives.

Their is a Meditation system, like i said before, and unlike the Previous game, you no longer have to look for Bonfires or Smoketacks, you can do it anywhere.

it's mostly the same as the previous one.
You rest for a certain amount of time, you create potions, oils and bombs(and it's the only way to drink Potions), and you can arrange your talents and mutagens(think of Runes, but for Skills rather than weapons and Armor), although you can arrange your abilities outside of it(except on Hard and there on).

And you no longer have to read to know where an enemie's brain is or to harvest a Plant.

There are Physics but you can't jump and there are a lot of Invisible walls, so no, it's not a sandbox(neither was the previous game).

The Potions have been modified.
Now, they have a Secondary Effect.
for example, the Cat potion, which allows to see in the dark, will now make luminic objects blinding, unlike the Previous game, in which it would only do any effect in dark places.

You also have to find Diagrams.
Meteors are back but unlike the previous game you don't have to recollect many, now, weapons and armor require other types of ingredients, like Leather for Armor.

you can enhance them both by using Runes, which have all kinds of effects.

Finally, it's Side Quest, there are a lot less than there were in the Previous game, but they're are much better.
there are Contracts, of course, but there are also side missions from the people, from haunted Houses to Dealing with Demons, All of which have a type of consecuence that may or may not affect you at some point.
They're overall well developed and have tons of backstory and care put to them, and their characters are easier to appreciate. it's an overall improvement over the first one.

Overall, i loved the gameplay in The Witcher 2, it's one of the best of the Year, for sure.

Story:

ah, Story.
Story, Story, Story.

one of the strongest aspects of TW1, was it's story, so how could i not be expecting something good this time?

and the story more than delivers.
it's one of the best of the year.

First off, it's starts slow, but not as slow as the first game, and it uses frame narrative for the two Hour or so. but it does so Well, unlike... another game that shall not be named.

It creates for some great Story telling, and there is an scene at the End of the Frame narrative, Goddamn.... you want something powerful, THAT'S powerful.

Afterwards, the story takes up a slower pace.
The First Act is relatively Slow, and there is a main quest that seems to be more of an exposition than an actual Plot Mover(that's a word, right?), but it works.

The Thing that amazed me the most, is the fact that, based on your decisions, the Second act can be COMPLETELY different.

The overall plot is the same, but the setting, side quest and of course characters can change Completely(even though you will cross paths with the other way, the one in which you would be if you had taken another decision).

The Overall story is about Geralt and his struggle to find the Kingslayer, after he has been wrongly accused of the murderer of a certain king.

It sets itself with that, and it evolves into an ever growing Political battle between The Northern Kingdoms, With the Involving of Several other factions, The Kingslayers and Scoia'tael.

More of that i shouldn't give away, other than it's an Personal, Political and overall Epic, Chase Story, with a good pace, great characters, good development and some of the best Storytelling i've seen in years.
It is a Bit Convoluted(same with Witcher 1) however, but it's storytelling and exposition is so good that you'll be able to follow just fine.

Replayability:

This Games BEGS for a Second Playthrough, because like i said, act 2 can be completely Different.

Not just that, but the only way to get the full picture is playing it twice.

At many points during my second playthrough, i realized that had i not played it like i did the first time, i would have had no idea who this person was or how this came about.
I'm not really sure how i feel about that, because yes, it encourages the Player to replay, but at the same time, i don't think making a played put 40 more hours or so just so they can understand something that required more exposition on the other act is a good idea.
That's just the way i see it.

In addition to that, the game has 4 skill trees, and you can fully depend on them without really worrying about the rest, so it encourages you to try some combinations.

And, the game took about 40 hours to complete the first, and i had every side quest i could find, plus another 30 for the second time, with a completely different.

So, yeah, you're not allowed to say the game has no bang-for the buck.

Final Thought:

i have made this long as wall text to try to explain to you why this game is so great, and i still think i could go on for hours, but i think it have made my point.

The Witcher 2 is one of the best games i've played in the last few years, and easily my GOTY and RPGOTY

i don't believe in scores ,but Since i can't really put this review up without it, i'll rated it, but all i want you to do, is go out, and buy This Game.

Now.
9.0

Editors' Choice
8.8
Assassins Creed Revelations GameStop, Inc.
Battlefield 3 GameStop, Inc.