So what’s the game that has everyone abuzz this week? Down my hall it’s Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, the third-person role-playing video game sequel to 2007’s The Witcher, developed by the Polish studio CD Projekt RED. The video game is based on a book series by the same name, written byAndrzej Sapkowski. The Enhanced Edition for Xbox 360, which includes over 4 hours of additional content as well as updated controls, was released on April 17, though the original Microsoft Windows release date was nearly a year ago (May 17, 2011).
If you didn’t play the original PC game, there’s no reason to worry. The Prologue of this sequel does a great job filling in some important details, getting you caught up in the game in no time. In Witcher 2, you play as Geralt of Rivia, who is one of the few remaining witchers. (A witcher is a genetically enhanced human who has been trained to fight monsters from a very young age. Each witcher has his own special power, such as alchemy or sword handling).
Imprisoned in the kingdom of Temeria, Geralt is accused of assassinating King Foltest; however, Vernon Roche, commander of the Blue Stripe, a group of Temerian special forces, helps him make an escape, and they leave for a trading post called Flotsam, in search of the king’s assassin. They are aided by Triss Merigold, a sorceress with magnificent red hair. She is a skilled healer who is ironically allergic to magic, and who also happens to be unhappily in love with Geralt.
You will be forced to make some tough choices to clear Geralt’s name in this highly immersive game. The game-play is fabulous, and the world is well thought-out – even gorgeous in some instances (though not nearly as expansive as that Skyrim). The plot is extremely intricate, and it involves countless well-developed characters, such as Saskia the Dragonslayer, a leader of the revolt in Aedim, and her enemy King Henselt. There are three main chapters in addition to the Prologue and the Epilogue. The third chapter is surprisingly abrupt compared to the well-developed first and second chapter, which leads to some minor disappointment.
You can’t ask for more from this stellar game except perhaps a more satisfying conclusion. Witcher 2 earns four stars out of five.