The Witcher 2 Enhanced Edition Review
One of the best RPGs of last year perfected.
Almost a year back CD Projekt RED released, what was to be for many, the best RPG of 2011. And yes, that’s including Dark Souls and Skyrim. And after the recent debacle of Mass Effect 3’s ending, the Xbox 360 community, at least, is ready for a something different to take their minds off. And so The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Enhanced Edition comes to our rescue.
The ‘Enhanced Edition’ of The Witcher 2 marks the debut of this franchise on home consoles; limited, of course, just to the Xbox 360 for now. For those of you who don’t know, the original Witcher was released in Fall 2007, becoming an instant classic thanks to engaging gameplay and deep plot choices.
Even back then The Witcher was released with an Enhanced Edition (known in the US as the Director’s Cut) that improved various gameplay elements as well as removing the censorship from the original US release. Today, we’ll be looking at The Witcher 2’s Enhanced Edition and what it brings to the table.
As I mentioned before, The Witcher 2 Enhanced Edition marks the first time this franchise has been on consoles, and while the PC version is one of the most beautifully standout games on the platform, the Xbox 360 is no slouch either. The game runs, for the most part, fairly smooth, with some frame drops later on in the game as onscreen action increases significantly.
Background textures aren’t exactly highres, but like the Mass Effect games, the full force of the Xbox 360 is out into rendering the characters with extreme detail, especially during dialogue sequences. Other effects like Depth of Field are also predominant throughout the game; just don’t expect the high quality lighting and particle effects as on the PC. In fact, if there’s no point of reference to the PC, you’ll really be happy knowing that The Witcher 2 Enhanced Editions is one of the most beautiful games on the X360.
Now coming back to the changes made in the Enhanced Edition, it comes with pretty much all the patches that were released since the game’s release on the PC last year. So things like better balanced enemy AI, fixing various bugs ranging from broken quests to graphical glitches, as well as the addition of the Arena Mode (think Horde Mode), Dark difficulty level and tutorial system are all par for the course.
Let’s not forget that every retail copy of the Xbox 360 version also comes with a full blown map, as well as a guide book for all of the quests within the game. It’s not a visual walkthrough with screencaps, but mostly written directions on each quest and how to approach each decision (as well as the consequences these decisions may have). Oh, and there’s a soundtrack CD as well, in addition to the two discs the game comes on.
The Enhanced Edition also adds new gameplay to The Witcher 2, in the form of new characters and quest lines, 35 minutes of cinematics, including a brilliantly animated new opening sequence that shows the assassination of one of the kings.
Of course, what I have discussed here is the Enhanced Edition, with sees improvements on the original release of the The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings. For a full review on the storyline and the basic gameplay mechanics, do check out our original review of the PC version from last year.
At the end of the day, if you’ve been wanting for an epic RPG and Skyrim and Mass Effect 3 are gathering dust, the The Witcher 2 Enhanced Edition is an absolutely must buy. With the plethora of new content and special packaging that puts any Collector’s Edition to shame, there’s no reason not to buy this amazing RPG.