The Witcher 2 Assassins of Kings: RPG gives right royal ripping yarn

Interactive Entertainment's The Witcher 2 is to fantasy video games what Game of Thrones is to fantasy fiction and television.

 

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Enhanced Edition

For: Xbox 360, PC

From: Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment/CDProjekt RED

Rating: M

 

Yes, there are dungeons and dragons, but The Witcher 2 offers a distinctly adult take on this all-too-often juvenile genre.

Like George R.R. Martin's masterpiece and its television adaptation, The Witcher 2 is packed full not only of swordplay, magic and fearful creatures but also political and sexual intrigue.

It boasts a deep and engrossing story that's full of flawed and fascinating characters, and which treats adult themes with real maturity.

You play as the titular witcher, a mutant monster-slayer named Geralt of Rivia.

Someone is killing kings, threatening to plunge the Northern Kingdoms into chaos, and Geralt is the number one suspect. He must find the real culprits and clear his name before things get worse.

After almost a year as a PC exclusive, this marvellous role-playing game has finally come to the Xbox 360.

As you might expect, the game has taken something of a hit in terms of graphics.

The six-year-old Xbox hardware simply cannot match the grunt of modern-day gaming PCs, leading to some pop-in, fogginess and texture issues.

But honestly, this is still a great-looking game and those minor blemishes ultimately don't detract from what is among the best RPGs of all time.

I really could go on and on about the storytelling: the writing is masterful, the dialogue is rich, clever and often very funny and the voice-acting is some of the best I've ever heard in a game.

But I really should talk about the gameplay. In short, it's terrific.

There's always a risk that games designed for the PC's keyboard won't work as well with a console controller, but Polish developer CD Projekt RED have done a brilliant job here in this regard.

Combat is deep and really tough - don't be ashamed to play this game on easy - and the character development and dialogue systems are top-notch.

Sidequests aren't as numerous as they are in games such as Skyrim or Reckoning but they're often more inventive.

One, for example, has you waking up on a pier in your underwear.

To get your gear back, you've got to piece together the drunken debauchery of the night before, Hangover-style.

It's also a game where your choices really matter.

One choice in particular can send you down two completely different paths - meaning that if you want to see everything this game has to offer, you'll need two playthroughs.

 

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