THE WITCHER 2: AS­SAS­SINS OF KINGS

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Games -

Sys­tem: PC Out: May 17 PC gamers who favour deep, ma­ture role-play­ing games lapped up The Witcher when it was re­leased in 2007.

With a won­der­fully writ­ten story and hu­mor­ous di­a­logue, the game was ex­tremely well re­ceived, garner­ing many Game of the Year awards and cre­at­ing a le­gion of fans.

The Witcher 2: As­sas­sins of Kings sees se­ries pro­tag­o­nist Ger­alt of Rivia re­turn as the last of the Witch­ers, a pow­er­ful group of mon­ster hun­ters who use their skills in com­bat and alchemy knowl­edge to rid the world of evil.

With this se­quel, de­vel­oper CD Pro­jekt RED aims to im­prove all as­pects of the orig­i­nal, and also make the game more ap­proach­able for ac­tion-ori­ented play­ers.

Com­bat is no longer a finicky tim­ing and stance-ori­ented af­fair, with a more fluid fast- strike and at­tack-based sys­tem that will be in­stantly fa­mil­iar to any­one ac­cus­tomed to tra­di­tional ac­tion games.

With a few mouse clicks, play­ers can eas­ily jump be­tween en­e­mies and slash them down with ease. Ger­alt also has the abil­ity to slow time down to a crawl, let­ting play­ers step back and choose their mag­i­cal at­tacks or com­bat tac­tics in the mid­dle of a battle.

The de­vel­oper has also cre­ated its own game en­gine for The Witcher 2, which lends the game stun­ning graph­ics that eas­ily eclipse those of the orig­i­nal, and in­deed most other role-play­ing games on the mar­ket.

Each player’s ex­pe­ri­ence will be unique, too, thanks to a non-lin­ear cam­paign with a num­ber of com­pletely dif­fer­ent out­comes based on de­ci­sions made. If the writ­ing can live up to the qual­ity of the orig­i­nal, The Witcher 2 has the mak­ings of a clas­sic. It’s re­leased world­wide on May 17.

STEPHEN LAM­BRECHTS

Clas­sic: Ger­alt of Rivia re­turns as the last of the Witch­ers.

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