From PC to Console
I didnít think it could be done really, but CDProjekt RED managed to do it. They took a great PC rpg (probably one of the best if you read the GX review of it) and managed to bring it to the Xbox 360 with everything about it intact. There are some graphical pop-ups now and then and a few texture issues here and there, but itís never going to be as pretty as the Witcher 2 was on a friendís high end game rig. Since a lot of people may not have the specs to run the game at all, this is a viable and great alternative.
Witcher 2 Enhanced Edition on the Xbox 360 (Also as an upgrade on the PC) is not a port; itís a great addition to the Witcher franchise. So much so that thereís a new CGI intro, many expanded cut-scenes that fill in the gaps of the story and even a brand new epilogue at the end of the credits that definitely speaks of a new story in Geraltís history. The console version comes with all the DLC that was previously on the PC, all the upgrades/patches that the PC version has received since release and several additions of its own.Story
You are Geralt of Rivia, a Witcher: a supernatural monster slayer that can use magical powers known as Signs. You have been wrongfully accused of a murder that you did not commit (the assassination of a king) and now you must clear your name. The story is incredible in the game really, with so many twists and turns, divergent paths and unexpected moments. It is interactive storytelling at its finest with a dark, mature non-linear style of gameplay.Gameplay
Witcher 2 is an action RPG with a strong emphasis on player choice. This also comes down to the difficulty level you play the game at as well, with the addition of Dark Mode (where you can get unique swords and armour) that is a hard mode and probably comparable in places to the difficulty curve of Dark Souls at least. Even on Easy at times Witcher 2 can be quite punishing, thankfully thereís a brief and effective tutorial to smooth out the learning curve and help determine the difficulty level for you to start the game on.
The game is third person with responsive combat controls, levelling up, skills to buy and secrets to uncover. Itís not an open world game but there is a definite sandbox approach to some of the area design allowing for multiple paths through zones and hidden goodies to uncover. Using the 360 gamepad in combat is fluid and effective, the Witcherís moves chain well into one another and later on down the line you get some pretty impressive abilities as long as you invest your talent points wisely.
There are three main skill trees, Swordsmanship that allows you to become a master of the blade, with lightning quick flurries and incredible adrenaline fuelled multiple kill-moves that can take down 3 enemies at once. Alchemy that allows you to become a master of the Witcherís alchemical arts, making potions that can do wondrous things to your metabolism and even allow you to see in the dark. Magic that allows you to extend the power of the Witcherís Signs and unlock a very powerful hidden Sign that can slow down time in a radius around Geralt.
You can also put points into a basic Witcher path that lets you learn to throw daggers, block and reflect arrows and more.
The Witcher 2 revolves around questing, with a few fetch quests here and there. There are contracts to complete on monsters and sometimes these yield unexpected and cool rewards, such as a new sword. It is important to remember that in the Witcher mythos, a silver sword is used against monsters and a metal sword works against humans/non-monstrous foes. The swords can be used quickly via the d-pad and the UI is superb for that.
At most times Geralt can meditate, to drink potions and wait for a specific time, as well as create potions from his alchemical ingredients. Again, these systems are simple and effective with no complicated UI decisions. The right bumper brings up the menu and slows time, it allows you to quickly change Signs, swap quick-slot weapons and switch swords if you want. Itís a radial menu and it works superbly.
In combat the game is brutal, the enemies are pretty clever and will use pack tactics against you. So the game forces you to think on your feet, change your tactics and switch up your Signs. There are numerous ones, such as Igni that lights foes on fire, or the Yrden Sign that acts as a magical trap. The tutorial does a good job explaining what these Signs do.
The main story quest isnít straightforward and it certainly isnít a hum-drum affair at all. Not many of the Witcher 2ís quests can be considered typical of the genre; there are some really great ones with some unexpected twists to be found.