Witcher 2 Review: Now with More Boobs!

The Witcher 2 - Artwork

Traditionally, two development houses are acknowledged as the premiere PC gaming single player RPG standard: Bioware and Bethesda.  It’s now not untrue to say CD Projekt RED has become a legitimate third studio to add to that list.

The original Witcher was a good first effort. It had a compelling story based off a series of existing novels, and the world was well realized.  Plus, the combat mechanics were different enough from genre peers to be interesting– use a steel sword for humans and a silver sword for monsters, for instance. Sure, some of the questing mechanics were a bit repetitive, having you ferried back and forth through the same areas over and over, but overall, The Witcher was a well-made RPG. The one major fault the game had was in its story. While intricate, it was somewhat on rails until late in the campaign, when you finally began to choose sides in the overarching conflict.

The Witcher 2 has made improvements on almost every piece of the original game. The world itself is even more fleshed out, with interactions on a much larger, political scale. The environments are much more varied and diverse as well, not to mention the new graphics engine that beautifully renders them. Yet the biggest improvement to the story has got to be the dynamics of your game choices throughout the campaign. You can pick sides, kill off main storyline characters, side with the villains; you name it. The entire story is altered based on what you decide.

The combat has been streamlined, too– it basically combines the sword styles of the original game. Conversely, the character development/upgrading system has been expanded with a skill tree set that reminded me of the one from Dragon Age. In this case, the imitation is a good thing.

Not much has really been said about the adult content in the game. I would argue it is the most risqué in any mainstream game. That said, these adult experiences are voluntary– you have to take action to play them, and I would agree with several other reviews I have read that the content fits both the story and context of the game itself.  The game pulls no punches, and I could not recommend it for anyone under 18. Parents take note.

Medieval breast augmentation! Now with full frontal nudity!

Overall, The Witcher 2 is one of my top games of the year so far. The truly powerful, game-altering decisions you can make put this above Dragon Age 2 and is varied enough that I will most likely be playing through it again to see some alternative choices.  It is an adult, gritty world, populated with interesting characters, that’s well worth your time if dark fantasy RPGs are of any interest to you.

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