Before you read any further, make sure you first read/watch Kevin’s review of the pc version from The Witcher 2 as everything from that review is virtually the same and there’s no point in retreading water. That being said, this review will only accentuate why the Witcher 2 is still a great game on Xbox 360.
As with any port of a PC game, the initial concern from the average gamer is loss in graphical quality. While I’m sure that Witcher 2 looks far better on modern PC rigs, you can’t deny that The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings ENHANCE EDITION is still an astonishing feat in console graphical quality. Any gamer who loads this game into their Xbox 360 will instantly get cavities from the massive eye candy buffet you’re thrown into. After personally playing Mass Effect 3 for about a month and thinking I wouldn’t play another game anytime soon with any kind of graphical comparison, I can confidently say this game far surpasses Mass Effect 3 in terms of graphical prowess. I literally had to stop numerous times, even in the middle of battlefields, just to look around in awe. Now, with all that being said, let me make sure that you understand that the PC version will ultimately give you a better experience. You’ll notice texture pop-ins and the forests may not give you as many beams of light as the PC version, but if you’re use to playing console games you’ll still be left in awe, and PC gamers will likely have to commend CDProjekt for making as valid an effort as possible in porting. I strongly urge gamers to follow CDProjekt’s recommendation and install the game onto your HDD to get the most out of the graphical power and smoothness in playing.
That being said, graphical milestones mean nothing if you don’t have great gameplay to back it up (see Crysis, Killzone 2, etc). So does combat transition well into the 360 version? To that I say a strong maybe. Let me explain: RPG enthusiasts will likely enjoy the complexity of the battle and menu system, while casual RPG players may be off put by the intimidating learning curve. Combat is a mixed bag of tricks on the 360 version as it isn’t as simple as a game like Dragon Age 2, but that’s not necessarily bad. Between using different weapons, sub weapons (daggers, bombs, traps, etc) and spells, you’ll find a preferred method to play and you’ll be able to customize your leveled character through different skill trees to compliment your play style. The good news though is that I didn’t experience a lot of the problems Kevin had when he played the PC version (for example, long wait times between switching swords). Where the game might get messy is the amount of different menus and options you need to select during combat. While the tutorial section does an admirable job of showing you where everything is located, you’ll most likely forget at least a few of the locations of specific moves, spells, or items for quite a while. What’s worse is that opening these menus doesn’t actually pause gameplay like in the Mass Effect series, it just slows it down to a some-what reasonable pace (think marginally slower than bullet time). This might not be different from the PC version, but on a console where options may not be as easy to access in a timely manner, it would have been a welcome change. None the less, CDProjekt has made the menus work on a 360 controller, and it’s an admirable job well done. You’re going to need to make an effort to learn to play the game, but you’ll be thankful for sticking it out.
Let’s move right into the area where many gamers are questioning: The mature content. I can tell you that the sex and nudity has remained unchanged from the PC version and this is still a game meant for adults and by no means children. To be honest, I’m surprised this game hasn’t received the game developers feared Adult’s Only rating by the ESRB, but I’m not complaining. I can only emphasize for players that this content shouldn’t be interpreted as adult, but rather mature. If you’re just playing this game for virtual boobs and banging, you’re going to be disappointed (and missing out on a fantastic overall experience).
Finally, the 360 version does add (approximately 4) hours of new content to The Witcher 2. If you haven’t played the PC version and don’t have that strong/modern of a rig, it’s definitely worth picking up for your Xbox 360. I also can appreciate the guide and soundtrack included when you buy the game, they’re nice touches to show the developer really values its fans. Ironically, I would give The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings ENHANCED EDITION for Xbox 360 a B+ just like Kevin’s review of the PC version, but don’t mistake this score for meaning the game is virtually the same. While it may not give as strong a presentation as the PC version, The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings ENHANCED EDITION is a fantastic graphical feat for console gaming that shouldn’t be missed by RPG enthusiasts.
Recommended Buy Prices:
RPG Enthusiast? $49.99
Everyone else? $44.99