The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings achieves a level of beauty and detailed that is rarely seen in modern open-world role-playing video games today. From the start of the cathartic journey of memories lost, relationships changed, and consequences unmatched, there is unprecedented growth with astonishing and haunting outcomes that leave a mark on players long after the medieval journey is over. Every aspect of developer CD Projekt RED’s The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings is crafted with a level of significance, importance, and unforgettable gameplay design sorcery that becomes indelible despite any small lack of subtleties may appear in the game. The strongly varied characters, momentous interactions of political intrigue, double sided-morals, provocative sexual encounters and the luxurious environment with incredible depth insculpt a tale of historic proportions. With the hunt for a murderer, and the power of supernatural, the true calling of a Witcher has never been clearer in one of the best quixotic RPGs of 2011.
The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings beautifully tells the tale of a classical antiquated hero whose journey is detailed to a length that is unforgettable as it is engrossing for the monster hunters that witchers grow up to be. The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings brings a different meaning to narratives for RPGs where the players go through the game and become the witcher who seeks answers and most eminently the truth in a world which has turmoil with kings and different factions of political adroitness. Themes such as loss, consciousness, and redemption are brilliantly influenced in a mature journey that is not afraid to be sexually provocative. Taking place after the events of Andrzej Sapkowski’s Witcher 1 influenced title, The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings brings to life the true Beowulf tale of a witcher that is set out to do justice, bringing everyone who reads his dark tale of self-sacrifice and vindication with their eyes and hears the words with their ears into a conspicuous world where they experience the seemingly sudden actions and prolonged consequences themselves as the protagonist.
Geralt of Riviera is the powerful witcher that makes a return into an obscure night where he collapses after being hunted down by the king’s men. He is beaten, and taunted as the slayer of powerful monsters, but remains hanging with a graceful acceptance for his trials and tribulations. Geralt is uncertain of the events, but is soon reminded of them in a way that truly shows how incredible the cutscene direction becomes. Geralt has marks on his body, indicating that he is not only a nonhuman who has been through too much in the past, but also a nonhuman that has human emotions and needs. Geralt does suffer from his antedated mistakes, although unknown to the audience, and repents for them in the way he espouses to live out his life regardless of choices that may be considered morally grey. The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings gives viewers the entry into a world and storyline that is decisive as much as it is masterfully planned and executed, providing the tonal qualities of mystery, sorrow, and tension above all phenomena.
The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings truly feels like a novel approach, giving not only qualities of a novel in terms of detail, but progression of sequences for different acts for a cohesive gameplay aspect. Three acts make up the core of the gameplay, not including the prologue and epilogues. Throughout every act, newer characters are introduced which provide a level of help or disloyalty to Geralt’s quest. With these unique set of characters, the players continue an adventure that is constantly building up to the apex of the conclusion, giving The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings the perpetual reason to seek out more dialogue and completely elaborate on the complicated storyline with central complex characteristics of politics and justice. The dialogue and written script pays extreme attention to not only details of the obvious kind, but also the kind which are subtle to gesticulation and moment of the mood. The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings harnesses this dialogue system and controllably unleashes it to the audience in bits and pieces, while exploration in terms of dialogue/storyline is given key incentive in terms of the actual non-liner fashion of the gameplay design. As such, The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings has environments which are not completely open world in the traditional sense, making players explore a limitedly closed environment for all of its details and quest/journal objectives. Other elements of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings underscore the breathtaking effects to the storyline with dialogue and the effects it has on the dramatic impingement of developments in later acts, creating a completely open-world related story which relies on dynamic pacing. Choices become the central facet of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, not being completely good or completely bad, but instead developing in a conversationally adept way that is realistically accentuating to the overall thematic elements of the storyline with the realism of the central characters of the game.
This realism carries through to the The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings’ mission mechanics. Players are able to get various weapons throughout the game, which can be upgraded while newer more powerful weapons can be purchased using monetary coin that is gained from missions and most of all: fighting. Combat utilizes a similar structure to the The Witcher, but is clearly enhanced, using extremely adept tracking systems for statistics such as Vitality, Vigor, Health, Heavy Attack, and Light Attack. All of these aspects together create a realistic fighting environment where players may find themselves dead too often, a combat system which is too implicative of ATLUS’ Demon’s Souls. The combat sometimes becomes frustrating as the challenges seem, deluding itself into a level of hack and slash, which sadly does affect the gameplay adventure. Regardless, this lack of attention to a better combat system that is less repetitive hardly appears too often for the game to be displeasing. Instead, intensity of the timing in the battles still retains the kinesthesia of urgency. As players continue to experience the gameplay through the acts and combats with multiple missions, levels are directly gained from experience points (XP). These experience points come from the various set-pieces and battles that occur throughout the game in terms of huge enemies from dragons to armies and much more. The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings falters in terms of a combat structure that is visually plentiful most of the time regardless of boss battles, but the noteworthy crystallization between other cohesive elements through visual mastery, voice acting, technical production, pacing and mood eclipses The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings to a level that leaves other role-playing video games in uncountable adulation for everything it conquers in terms of accomplishment and savoir-faire.
Technical mastery is unforgettable within The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, from the textures on the walls, to the details of doors, the nuances of voice dialogue, and the sheer mastery of splendid cloth woven elements. The facial expressions are not its strong suites; however, the title gives believable dialogue that expounds the level of detail of emotions that are splendid and sorrow or complicated at the same time. Consoles users must however be extremely wary that everything graphic-wise can potentially go out the window in terms of consoles at low framerates and confirmed settings not to be anywhere close to Ultra, but developer CD Projekt RED promises it will still be a visual delight compared to games on consoles regardless, similar to the visuals of Crysis 2 and even beyond.
DirectX 9 technology with the power of PC throughput and high-resolution textures makes The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings a graphical clambake that is truly something to be heralded, especially being reviewed on a CrossFire X + SLI setup with 2GB VRAM at resolutions of up to 1920×1200 at a constant 180 frames per second on Ultra settings. The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings does what few RPGs manage to do for its time: it conquers the conception that visual achievement must be inversely proportional to the level of details and storyline that create the other constituents of gameplay.
The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings creates a title that is memorable without exception and loveable despite any of its scars. The storyline reminds us of an anecdotal trait with themes that are profound. We find that every character has a purpose, and while there is a linear fashion in a limited open-world perspective RPG, there is freedom to still find an open-world with brim characters despite limits. The styles of combat can be frustrating, but the intensity level is there regardless of the difficulty of the challenges. The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings creates a chronology where a RPG finds itself in the timeline and makes sure it sojourns there, ready to deliver the next exciting chapter in the series.