Review: The Witcher 2 Creates Another Vast Adventure For Xbox 360

CD Projekt RED converts the PC hit with flying colors and additional content.

When The Witcher 2 came out for PC last year, gamers everywhere were entranced with its open-ended world, hours full of quests and decisions that would eventually shape the fate of Geralt of Rivia, the main hero (or anti-hero) of the game.  So when we heard that WB Games was interested in porting the game to Xbox 360, we were intrigued, while at the same time concerned, considering that most PC-to-console ports didn’t meet with that much success.  However, leave it to CD Projekt RED, the original game’s developer, to not only step up to the task, but exceed it, giving the Xbox 360 one of its better adventure games since Skyrim and Kingdoms of Amalur.  And that’s saying something.

Throughout the game, you’ll guide Geralt through a series of missions, some for royalty, others merely for the sake of discovering a little something about himself.  But each one has significance, compared to just running around on fetch quests that go nowhere fast.  With each decision, you actually shape Geralt’s fate, as it were, and even events and folks surrounding him – including girls in possible romantic situations.  You do this through conversations, crucial decisions and more, either becoming more of an alchemy-wielding madman or a noble (or maybe not-so-noble) hero, the one that the troubled land richly deserves.  It’s your call, and that’s part of the splendor of The Witcher 2.  We made a lot of choices playing through the game, and still have discoveries lying in wait.  That's the sign of a game with utterly ridiculous replay value.

Geralt’s not just a heavy talker, though.  He can also back up his words, and you’ll discover this through the game’s excellent combat.  You’ll hack away at enemies with swords and also use secondary weapons to get the job done, including traps (which enemies foolishly walk into), daggers and bombs.  What’s more, Geralt knows a thing or two about alchemy, and can built essential new items that help him over the course of the game, once he’s gathered the proper tools.

Now, the controls do take some getting used to, since all the functionality of the PC game has been crammed into an Xbox 360 controller.  However, after a few minutes of play and getting used to menus and item wheels, we can honestly say that we didn’t have a problem with the game whatsoever.  Selecting and equipping items, assorting and selling new ones and using it all into a great context for battle is superb, even if there are times you’ll face multiple enemies, being forced to use defensive tactic instead of a spell that simply levels everyone.  But then again, Geralt isn’t exactly a God of War, now is he?