The Witcher had a distinct charm, maybe it was due to the fact the we had gone without a great traditional PC role playing game for so long, or maybe it was the wonderful fantasy world created by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski that had us immersed. But there was something special about The Witcher, and that's why we eagerly await the sequel.
Geralt, the famous swords man and conjurer of magic makes a return, and he is out to get an elven spy named Iorveth, and a mythical murderous individual called Kingslayer this time around. At his side he has redhead Triss Merrigold from the first game and a hardened soldier named Vernon Roche.
We got to see a sequence where this group explores the forests surrounding a town called Flotsam. During their visit in nature, the characters are constantly bickering and talking to each, but the small talk is interrupted as Iorveth appears out of nowhere. A brilliant action sequence where Triss makes full use of her powers begins, and it looks bloody brilliant to be honest.
The first impression, as in most cases, based on looks alone, is very good. The environments in The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings are razor sharp and the lush forest is somewhere you may just want to take in break in to enjoy the scenery. The facial animations are of the highest calibre, and a new system for day and night cycles, light and shadows, allows for an even more realistic fantasy world. I'm fascinated by little details such as when Geralt turns a wooden barrel into match sticks, and the town folks gather around in a beautifully disorganised cluster.
As Geralt and his crew approach the main square of Flotsam they are thrown into a situation where they have to prevent a hanging from taking place, as this is where we're given a glimpse of the new dialogue system in The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings. We can easily pick our replies or actions. Geralt can solve the situation by getting his sword out and attempting to cut down his friends who hand by their throats, or spark a mob uprising against the execution.
When the villager in charge appears we can chose a diplomatic approach or take a more aggressive stance. Sure, we have seen it before, but in The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings it's beautifully implemented.
The battles follow the same bloody and intense path as in the first game. The execution moves have become more detailed and the sword duels will makes our hearts race. The combat has been simplified, and you won't have time your button presses this time around. We are free to mash the buttons as we see fit, but you can also tie together combinations, both offensively and defensively.
There will, of course, also be a bunch of major boss encounters to look forward to. We were especially impressed by a giant squid-like dragon. Place traps in strategic spots and take the critter out one tentacle at a time. Proven classic gameplay made great with an excellent score and brilliant camera work.
We were only given a brief presentation of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, but it left us wanting for more and with a pencilled release next CD Projekt have plenty of time to polish this to its full potential.
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