Neal Molyneaux reviews The Witcher 2.
Developer: CD Projekt | Format: Xbox 360 | Price: £49.99 approx | Available: Out now
While Skyrim might still be the fantasy RPG currently swallowing the hours of your life on Xbox 360, that is set to change with the release of a game that has been out on PC for a while, watched with covetous eyes by console owners desiring o sample its charms. Witcher 2 has had its ample charms somehow squeezed into the architecture of the wheezing six year old Xbox with great aplomb by developers CD Projekt and, not only that, but this Enhanced Edition comes with four hours of extra content. This means that a straightforward play-through of the main story quests will now cost you 35 hours of your life.
It will be 35 hours well spent though, as the world of Witcher is a mature and well realised fantasy landscape in which racial tensions between species and wars between vainglorious kings and their nations weave a believable universe which your character, Geralt of Rivia must navigate. As a Witcher – a magically enhanced monster hunter for hire – Geralt is politically neutral but scorned by many of the humans he fights with. He’s also peculiarly attractive to the ladies, leading to many Daily mail baiting x-rated encounters.
A complex control and menu system on the console iteration makes this a bewildering game to get a handle on and takes a good hour or two of frustration to master but, once understood, it brings to life a game of unerring complexity and ambition – all liberally soaked in the gore of some masterful hand-to-hand combat implementation. In all, a stunning fantasy action game that rewards dedication with some thoughtful and mature story-telling.