RETRO – There is not a PC gamer that does not know him, he is Geralt of Rivia the hero of the 2007 and 2011 Witcher games. Although the term hero here is probably not a very apt description of Geralt, as he does not help for a few good words, but mostly for gold. He slays demons that hide in the old villages, kings, and other bloody beasts.
He was able to gain such abilities because his training started at a young age, where he also had to drink different poisons. That is how he became a sort of “mutant” with special powers. The Witcher 2 is based on the popular book series written by famed Polish fantasy writer Andrzej Sapkwoski, and the first game was a huge hit. Was CD Projekt’s team able to double down on the success? Find out here!
A real dark fantasy
If you are the kind of player who never played the first Witcher, and decided to stumble into the world of the sequel, be prepared as this fantasy world is massive. It is a highly realistic and complex world, and it is not a simple Lord of The Rings knock-off. The world is full of blood and strife, with racial tensions between humans and elves, lynching and even in some cases, rape abounds in this dark world.
The game is reminiscent of the modern political world of our days, as nothing is black/white in this universe. Kings clashing, elf bandits, knights and mages that try to go ahead in life, however, their means might not be right all the time. One minute difference between our and their political life is that the Kings do not mock each other with speeches in a union of nations, instead, they just outright try to kill each other.
Geralt the main character of The Witcher 2 is not a revered champion, but a cynical, a bit burnt out person. Who is only acknowledged very slowly even after his quests of glory? Although what type of glory is gained, is determined by us, as Geralt’s personality and how his attitudes towards humans changes during the story.
A Witcher who’s on the wrong path
The story is excellent, and up to par with most of the high fantasy books. Our hero must find and kill a Witcher that has gone rogue and started killing kings one by one. The simplistic story becomes more and more complicated, as our hero becomes hunted because one of the killings has been pinned on him. He will have to find the killer, and clear his name before he is dubbed forever as “The Kingslayer.”
Geralt is almost like the main character of a film noir movie at this point: The nobility captures him many times, and he gets beaten up. Others try to coerce him to do their dirty deeds, and it ‘s hard to decide who we can trust, and who is attempting to double-cross us.
It is also an interesting part of the game series, that it was sometimes better to kill the lovely looking lady, as she can turn out to be quite a bitch. On the other hand, if we meet a monster, and we decide to let him live or join up with a bandit, we might end up with more gains in the long run.
I kill monsters for a good price
The mission system is like in the previous game: besides going through the main quest line to catch the Kingslayer, we’ll need to complete many side-quests. Of course, as a real Witcher, we can hunt down the local monstrosities for a hefty reward in return.
We’ll need to prepare for these encounters: the gigantic kayranna (that looks like a giant squid) can only be defeated if we levelled enough, and have the necessary tools and traps for it. For us to reach the proper level a lot of men and monsters will need to be slain.
The combat system has become simpler, compared to the previous game, although this does not mean we will have an easier job. We won’t be able to stop time entirely to make strategic decisions. We can only slow it down during combat. However combining the proper swords, and spells will allow us to overcome the most difficult parts in The Witcher 2.
Geralt the womanizer
The tired old warrior is again treated by the fairer sex: we get to “date” a few lovely women, which will result in an erotic scene. The only part I missed is the lack of sexy card collecting in the sequel.
Although released in 2011 the Witcher 2’s graphics is still up to part with most 2015 games. The characters are like from a movie, they are very detailed, and the building, caves, cliffs textures are insanely lifelike.
The NPCs are so life-like that you’ll forget that you are in a video game at some points. Especially when wandering around the small villages, and larger towns with Geralt.
Not your fairy tale
That no bedtime story that is for sure. The narrative and the universe of The Witcher 2 is dark and realize, but we can also say that about the city’s dirty streets where the whores sell their looks to the soldiers. The taverns that are full of drunks, big breasted barmaids, and singing patrons, these will be the people that we will come across here.
Besides these locations and scenes, there are fields, mountains, catacombs, and hellish/magical places.
The Witcher games are best if replayed several times. Soon towards for adventure: the monsters, girls, kings, fights, and finally the revelation of who is the mysterious Kingslayer, and why he is playing them.
+ Top-notch story
+ Graphics still awesome
+ Cool combat and skill system
– Using a gamepad is annoying first
– Ubersampling is best switched off
– Tavern music was better in the first game
Publisher: CD Projekt
Developer: CD Projekt Red
Genres: RPG, adventure, action
Publication: May 2011,