The Witcher 2 features some excellent animation and some very finely animated characters. The combat in the game is fluid and the various cinematic death moments are extremely well put together. The rest of the animations are executed with the same attention to detail and each frame has been hand-keyed from the motion-capture to make sure itís tweaked to near-perfection. The facial animation looks a little off at times, but itís only a minor thing that you notice if you look way too closely at things like this, most people wonít even spot it. The feel of life to the characters though, thatís something that really works as they stand and talk to you, they move their arms and gesture as they speak.AI
The world of the Witcher 2 lives and breathes around you, so when the weather turns inclement many of the people will seek shelter. They will react to each other, to a drawn sword and so on. In combat the enemies use various tactics to make each battle fun and in some cases for the big bosses, which can frustrating until you work out their AI tactics or the old-school pattern to their attacks.
No real hiccups with the AI, the NPC path-finding is rather good.Physics
RED Engineís physics is decent enough; it can turn debris into a weapon or simulate heavy knockdowns in combat or by Geraltís use of the Aard sign. Ití does a good job of making the world feel as though it has weight, mass and form.Sound
CDPR have done a remarkable job on the various audio aspects of the game, the sounds that are all around you as you explore the world (inside, outside, day, night and spot-effects) are excellently done. The environments all have a great aural feel to them and exploring under a full moon in a forest is truly creepy at night. The clash of blades and the sounds of battle are fantastic, especially at the start of the game and they truly bring to mind the chaos of open conflict when armies come together in a fantasy world and start hacking the hell out of each other.Music
Witcher 2 has some fantastic dark fantasy music and the score is one of the best, even better than the Witcher which was no slouch when it came to delivering a superb musical accompaniment to the gameplay. The Premium Edition comes with the CD of the OST and itís what Iím using right now to write this review to. The mix of various themes works perfectly in the game and thereís a wonderful sense of Geraltís world evoked through them.Voice
The voice acting is great for a lot of the game, some of it is not the best Iíve ever heard but it works in the context of the actual game world. I would expect the Witcherís various kingdoms to be full of regional accents and the like; it makes it far more realistic and so on. There are a few missteps with vocal delivery from some of the non-key characters, on the whole though Geraltís voice actor, Trissí and especially Dandelion do a bang-up job of conveying their characters this time around. Dialogue
A mature game with a lot of cussing, so be aware of this. The story dialogue is well crafted and the characters donít actually feel wooden. The pacing is pretty solid throughout and the spoken dialogue is well written if a little clichťd at times. Its again, one of those realistic dialogues that you might hear if that kind of world were real. So I can forgive that kind of thing.Multiplayer
None...which is a good thing for this kind of game.Best RPG of 2011?
Iíd say this is the best PC fantasy RPG of 2011 so far, I canít see much in the way of third person action RPGs beating the Witcher 2. Itís certainly far more expansive than others and only Skyrim has a chance to compete but thatís in a sandbox fantasy game-space and the Witcher 2 is a linear story, with non-linear events and several vastly different pathways through certain chapters. You need to play this one more than once to get the best out of it.
So far there are only a few bits of DLC and the side-quest, Troll Trouble, is definitely worth the trouble to play.
If you have a fairly decent rig youíll see some amazing things, if you have a low end rig, youíll get a damn fine looking game regardless. Witcher 2 is a game you canít afford to miss out on...
Since patch 1.2 there have been some bugs introduced, but they werenít there for the first playthrough of this game and therefore did not affect the score. Witcher 2 never gave me a single CTD for my first play and I hear that quite a few of you have had CTDís since 1.2 and so on, CDPR assured us they are working to resolve these issues and a few more...their first patch was released with a quick turn-around and this is the kind of support we like to see from developers.
A grand job all round and well deserving of the score that itís been given.