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The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings

Reviewed on: PC
CD Projekt Red Studio
Publisher: Atari
Rated: "M" for Mature

CHEATfactor Game Review
by Joe Sinicki

view user comments (8)
User Rating:        6
Presentation: 6

Developer CD Projekt built The Witcher 2's visual engine from the ground up, and the result is stunning and masterful. Featuring impressive details, beautiful environments and incredible effects, The Witcher 2 is one of the best looking games in years.

Gameplay: 5

Four years ago, the original Witcher was a flawed but impressive game that failed to reach the level many fans anticipated it would. Fast forward to today and the Witcher has done what the original should have and more.

Lasting Appeal:

Between the quests, pursuing personal relationships and the thrilling boss battles, you're likely to spend a ton of time with The Witcher 2. Decisions made will make you wonder “What if I had chosen differently” and you'll want to play through it again.

Overall: 6
A lot of games come close to “getting it right.” The Witcher 2 nails it in pretty much every category. With a ton of impressive moments, great presentation and a killer story, The Witcher 2 forces the RPG to grow up, and the result is fantastic.
CHEATfactor: 6

There's been a lot of talk in recent years about games growing up, about ditching conventional mechanics in an effort to put the emphasis on telling a more mature story. Enter The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings. It's a fantastic RPG that's carries with it a decidedly adult tone. Even so, it never forgets its roots and combines the best of modern RPGs and those that came before, proving that there's no need to change what works. The Witcher 2 is a gorgeous and rewarding labor of love that you'll want to play over and over.

The Witcher 2 picks up almost right after the ending of the original game (don't worry if you didn't play it, the game does a great job catching you up rather quickly). You once again play as Geralt of Rivia, monster hunter and all around badass. This go-round, you find yourself in the employment of the King, serving as his body guard (read: messenger boy) during a revolution. While I won't spoil too many of the plot points here, the tale that unfolds throughout the game is a thrilling one, and kudos must be given to the team at CD Projekt. The Witcher series takes its inspiration from a series of Polish (the development team is based there) fairy tales of the same name, so consider this one hell of a re-imagining.

"...feels an awful lot more action oriented than its predecessor..."


Much of the structure from the original Witcher has been scrapped in favor of a new, much more streamlined system. Now I realize that streamlined is a four letter word to a lot RPG fans, but it works here a lot more than in a game like Dragon Age II. Gone are the cumbersome mouse click attacks from the original; instead The Witcher 2 employs a much simpler system of short and quick weak attacks and long powerful attacks. As a result, the game feels an awful lot more action oriented than its predecessor, and that's not a bad thing. It's extremely cool to chain together a number of these attacks, roll out of the way and then start another chain on a different enemy.

Another major addition to the game's combat system is the handy and ultra-cool combat menu system. It's easiest to think of the combat menu as a sort of bullet time 2.0, as activating it will slow the game down and allow you to pick between your Witcher signs (the game's magic system for the uninitiated). What's really cool about this system is that it allows you to choose multiple signs and combine them to create new abilities. You can also use these abilities in non-combat situations, for instance using a sign that controls the mind of enemies to extract information.

Pretty much the entire game has received this streamlined treatment, including how you'll level up Geralt. Here, you'll get a point each time you level up to use in one of three categories ; signs, alchemy or sword play. While it may seem unimpressive, it's a deceptively deep system. Each category includes a number of different sub categories that you can choose to focus on (sword play for example also features parry and stun attack categories). Everything you expect is here; it's just organized a lot better.

What really makes The Witcher 2 shine though is the game's morality system. Now, a lot of games incorporate moral choices into games, but in most of the games, the choices are so black and white and obvious. Do you spare the orphan stealing in order to eat or turn them in? Do you take the obvious good choice or the obvious evil one? Things aren't so easy in The Witcher 2, as the game's story rarely lets you off the hook easy, and forces you to make some interesting and tough decisions. The result is an environment that's actually shaped by your choices as opposed to merely how you want to steer the character and as a result, the game. The Witcher 2 rarely features an easy answer, and the result is a truly captivating tale.

"...everything feels like it has its place in the game's world."


For what it's worth, The Witcher 2 also features some truly adult content. While much of your time is spent offing monsters, a good portion of Geralt's story centers around the lowest class in the world of The Witcher 2, and you'll have to deal with everything from poverty to racial inspired discrimination, political corruption and even rape and prostitution. The game never feels like it's pushing the limits just to push them though, and everything feels like it has its place in the game's world.

Along with the overhauled gameplay system, Projekt has built the game's visual ending from the ground up. The Witcher 2 is incredibly detailed and features wonderful animations, and impressive effects. This time around, the voice acting is also superb (except for a few spots), and localization seems to be handled very well. That being said though, you'll need a pretty beastly machine to get the best out of the game.

A lot of games come close to “getting it right.” The Witcher 2 nails it in pretty much every category. With a ton of impressive moments, great presentation and a killer story, The Witcher 2 forces the RPG to grow up, and the result is a truly fantastic experience. Any fans of great action, story or games in general shouldn't miss The Witcher 2



CHEATS USED: Add Vitality, Vigor, Orens, Double Capacity, more

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings requires you to make a lot of choices that you won't easily know the answer to. Luckily, here's an easy answer - you should use the trainer from, it's got pretty much everything you'll need to become the most badass monster hunter around.

Using the trainer, you'll have the ability to add unlimited vitality and vigor - making for an almost god mode like effect. You can also instantly add Orens, the game's currency. By far though, my favorite cheat in the trainer is the ability to double your capacity. I absolutely hated having to choose between two awesome weapons.



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