The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Updated Hands-On - Tales From Captivity

We spend some time playing through the opening segments of The Witcher 2.

When we last saw the stoic Geralt of Rivia, he had been tasked with investigating the mysterious murder of a young man and its possible connection to a local succubus. Now we've returned to take on the role of the witcher, an ancient profession that excels at the study and extermination of supernatural creatures, and explore the initial areas of this third-person action role-playing game. Be advised that this story focuses on the game's opening and may contain minor plot spoilers.

They don't like Geralt's spooky eyes, do they? Maybe the witcher should relieve these prison guards of theirs.

From the title screen we had the option to import our previous save data from the original Witcher. We decided to start fresh instead, and loaded up a new game. Our adventure began with our hero, Geralt of Rivia, shackled within a dungeon. We were in unfamiliar surroundings, and the only insight the two portly guards could offer was that we were sure to hang tomorrow. After they finished gloating, a hooded man appeared and ordered that we be led into an interrogation room. Fearing the worst, we were left with little choice but to comply. However, instead of torturing us, he simply sat us down for a chat. After a few exchanges of vulgarity, we began to recount the events that had led up to our imprisonment.

The tale was broken down into four parts, but we won't cover all the juicy details here. To summarize: it involved Geralt, a certain monarch, and a rebel uprising. Jumping ahead to the middle of the tale, we found ourselves in the midst of an assault on the rebel's stronghold atop the walls of the enemy's keep. We were beset by enemy soldiers almost immediately. In The Witcher 2, the rhythmic swapping between stances has been done away with in favor of a more traditional combat control scheme. The left mouse button controlled our light attacks, while the right controlled the heavy ones. By exploring different combinations of clicks we were able to string together three- and four-hit combos to devastating effect.

While this worked great against the initial, lightly armed troops, a few soldiers armed with shields soon arrived to halt our aggressive advance. For these armored brutes we had to make our own luck by parrying their strikes, meaning we blocked just as they moved to strike, and then we counterattacked when they recoiled. And if all else failed, we could always tumble out of the way by tapping the space bar. We also had access to Geralt's arsenal of diverse magical abilities. Whenever we found ourselves being overwhelmed, as was often the case, a shield spell proved indispensable as it would block hits without our needing to guard.

Geralt's attempts to weaponize the high five has so far been less than successful.

We also discovered another useful tactic for battling large groups of enemies--the combination of the trap and mind-control spells. Essentially, we would lead our foes someplace narrow where they couldn't easily surround us. We would then stun the first aggressor and mind-control the second, their two bodies creating a wall that the other attackers couldn't advance through. And while our new ally kept the enemies at bay, we were free to cut down the original foe.

With the rebel soldiers out of the way, we turned our attentions to a discarded ballista. Using this massive siege weapon, we could provide some assistance to our brothers-in-arms who were being pinned down by archers stationed in a nearby guard tower. Interacting with the massive weapon brought up a simple prompt letting us load and properly align the contraction by repeatedly clicking a mouse button. Once it was squared away, we cut the massive bolt loose and watched as it decimated our ranged aggressors.

Further into the battle, it looked as if victory were just within our grasp. That is, until the dragon showed up. Obviously, it was going to take more than a few fireballs and a steel sword to topple this beast, so we decided to flee. After dodging and weaving around a few deadly cones of fire, we found ourselves in an all-out mad dash back across the castle walls with the fire-breathing beast hot on our heels. This cinematic sequence was accented with a few quick-time events as we ducked and dodged out of the way of its attacks. Finally, we managed to lodge our rusty sword in the creature's mouth and sent it packing, hopefully with a bad case of tetanus as well.

Leveling up lets you advance your character in one of four areas: swordsmanship, training, magic, and alchemy.

We'll go ahead and cut the story off there, but suffice it to say that things did not end up going as planned. Graphically, The Witcher 2 was a beautiful game to behold, with its soft, muted color palette and realistic-looking sunlight. On the high graphical setting there was an impressive amount of detail on both the character models and the environment. The Witcher 2's revamped gameplay, impressive visuals, and dark storyline make for an exciting role-playing sequel. You can track down The Witcher 2 on May 17 for the PC.

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250 comments
nyran125
nyran125

this game may very well own most games that are out this whole year. The Witcher 1 was so damn good, that i may even replay it after i play The Witcher 2 again. I have a feeling this game is going to destroy Dragon Age, it may not be the open world epic that Skyrim will be, but it will be one HELL of a great story and a fantastic ride that rivals anything that comes out this year.

Garnog
Garnog

Considering how badly my 'real' life sucks, I have high hopes for this title. However, no more pre-purchases as I've been burned too many times ( DA2 and Arcania take notice). Waiting for the review.

RiOrus
RiOrus

Can anyone give any info? I've looked for the Xbox 360 release date and all listed so far state tomorrow (17th May) but all I can find is preorders for the PC. I presume we're still on for a console release? Bearing in mind i'm in the UK. Why has there been no Gamespot update since Aug 2010? I really hope it hasn't been panned, i've put this at the top of the recent buy list ahead of LA Noire and Portal 2. The console versions seem to be totally non existent?

SjaakTrekhaak93
SjaakTrekhaak93

about 77000 seconds more waiting before it is realesed, according to thewitcher.com.... I have seen near on 10.000 seconds tic by today, just counting down 'till i can finally GET IT!!!

gamespotjulius
gamespotjulius

Sounds like it has potential! Hope is is much better than dragon age 2 which was a poor sequel

Moloch121
Moloch121

Looks so good I have paid for 2 copies. Collector's Edition and Steam version.

lyncer777
lyncer777

Game of the YEAR! looks like CD Projekt Red is really working hard for this game you should watch the latest videos guys search it Already PRE-ORDERED!

firzok
firzok

Can't wait just 16 days to go.

Humorguy_basic
Humorguy_basic

I think the sign of a great RPG is it is "clunky" at the start! Why wouldn't the first hour of a 100 hour cRPG be clunky, after all, that translates into the first 5 minutes of a 10-12 hour shooter, and surely every gamer spends 5 minutes orientating themselves with the shooter mechanics!

stevo367
stevo367

Absolutely loved the Witcher. This despite being extremely unimpressed with the "tutorial" phase at the beginning. It seemed clunky and boring. After venturing forth into the first town though i realized it was good. By the time i got to the second town i realized it was great. Definitely one of the best RPGs i've played. Yes i look forward to Witcher 2. After the huge disappointment that was DA 2 i need an RPG to raise the bar once again.

No_SuRReNDeR
No_SuRReNDeR

I just requested my vacation starting may 16th....Witcher, dont let me down!

No_SuRReNDeR
No_SuRReNDeR

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

master_foam
master_foam

personally i preferred DA over the witcher.. but this will eat DA2 alive seriously that game was such a disappointment

gsmull
gsmull

I bought this off the shelf without much fanfare at the time and was pleasantly floored. I dropped everything else within days and played it non-stop until finished. Unique and well done. Engrossing storyline. Visuals look better so far. Hopefully they do not strip this down and rush it to market like more recent releases from other producers. If this is no better than the original than it will still be one of the top two RPGs this year.

JTR_IceBerg
JTR_IceBerg

Back when I first heard of this new game "Witcher" my exact reaction was "WTF is that?" Made by who? really? and yet it looks somewhat interesting... And then for some reason I decided to buy and play it and was utterly immersed and completely blown away. Even with some extremely annoying issues (which the extended edition fixed nicely - and they offered for FREE I might add), I finished the game because it just held my interest all the way through. There are very few games that I will pre-order or even consider purchasing before the reviews come out. Being developed by the same group building on the same great formula and with no publisher pressure BS to worry about, Witcher 2 is absolutely one of those to buy sight unseen. edit: They corrected and offered the extended edition because they were not 100% happy with their work. They take ownership seriously and manned up to admitting to an issue, correcting it and passing on that fix to their customers for free. Considering what we get from the "big names" now days, CDPROJEKT has more than earned my respect. (I also hope they have already accomplished that level of polish in Witcher 2)

downloadthefile
downloadthefile

Here I thought that DA2 would hold my interest until the actual game I was looking forward to, Witcher 2, came out. Sadly I was wrong, and now am twiddling my thumbs.

PCsama
PCsama

i'm getting it to see where the storyline going

clsbis
clsbis

@kaem79= same here, wait 3 year and half for this game and still waiting ,take days off to free to play , 1 month and go no life :)

kaem79
kaem79

the witcher 2 will be my goty...

jiggaleroy
jiggaleroy

Some people are optimistic, some are pessimistic. I say that whatever it comes, it can only be an upgrade to Dragon Age 2, because no RPG can be any worse than DA2.

musicman998
musicman998

Still trying to beat the first game. Hard when you do don't have a lot of time on your hands.

jollybest1
jollybest1

@clst most of us do apreciate your hard work so don't explain, thx for the posts

clst
clst

@ArachisPT : it's hust a french test of a man who spend 5 day in cd project studio i couldn't link it in one ( 1500 words maxi )i try to translate it with my bad english for you to us to enjoy after ....i couldn't do more

Sideras
Sideras

I just finished The Witcher, tooks some time for me to acually play it. But damn was I glad I did. It just felt like a classical RPG, and that's rare.

Loosifur
Loosifur

"It's an RPG, padawan." - Pemobian Quoted for lulz, I actually spit coffee. I thought the Witcher was fantastic, and I was skeptical going into it. I don't see much similarity to AC, frankly; maybe more to God of War or Prince of Persia for the rhythm of the combat system. Still, broad similarity, and not one that detracts from the game. I never preorder, and I preordered this just to show the devs some love. @Musambani - I only sort of mean this as a dig: have you played games besides Assassin's Creed? Was that like the first game you got for your 360 or something? It's just that there have been about seventy billion other games that you could compare this to on every platform (conservative estimate), but you seem to be pressed about AC. Which, frankly, is a substandard game whose legacy is redeemed primarily by its successor. And what was the first Witcher "dumbed down" from? What are you comparing it to? If that's AC, I'm not sure how the addition of an inventory system, leveling, skill trees and multiple attack combos constitutes "dumbing down". Oh, and hey 16-year-old. I'm 32. Does that qualify as a "senior gamer"?

jollybest1
jollybest1

@Musambani you got to be kidding me , go play mario and save the princess or something

jollybest1
jollybest1

:wallbash:.........................................................................

Pemobian
Pemobian

@ Musambani Wow, you sound angry. > 'hit an enemy 3 times and you can instant kill them' I think you oversimplify, but let's consider that it's pretty unrealistic to survive for moments on end while being hacked by a large sword. Blood sprays a couple of times, you're done. You can't always do that in AC, either. Have you even played it? > 'The rudimentary AI is there' How do you know? Oh, you don't. > 'a wheel of powers...similar to the AC series' inventory in general.' You think AC invented that idea? How old are you? > 'It's like Assassin's creed with skill points to spend...' It's an RPG, padawan. > 'looks even more dumbed down than the first' How do you know? Oh, again, you don't. And how could the first game have been "dumbed down?" There was nothing before it to compare to, except different games, and I actually thought it was very good. > 'The series is as shallow as a plastic kiddie pool.' Then don't buy it. Problem solved. But you'll be missing out, I suspect.

XeonForce
XeonForce

@cist Having played the first game, I think I get what you're saying, I think...

KinaskiAuditore
KinaskiAuditore

All right, I can respect constructive criticism. Maybe with my sixteen years of age I can't fully comprehend what goes on in gaming industry and how does it work, but what I see now is that every comment consists of comparing this game to DA2 in the form of saying that the other one is ''epic fail'', ''garbage'', ''ugly'' etc. in a way that it only gives them ''thumbs up'' from our senior gamers.

ChiefFreeman
ChiefFreeman

Dragon Age 2 was a huge, ugly, decrepid terd of a game, and this will be a million times better than that overrated Bioware crap.

blackfray
blackfray

Looks great just like dragon age 2 did before it came out...well, Dragon Age 2 failed i hope this one doesn't.

h_cj
h_cj

@clst Thanks for the update

clst
clst

this is for the french but he says after that's all version are well care

clst
clst

end)8)Open your well escourdes Witcher, You Can Sleep on it! Did you like the music of The Witcher, and although the news Will get drunk, So They are as good or better Than the first. Written by Adam Skorupa, Krzysztof Wierzynkiewicz, They fill out Fulfilling Their roles in your emotions and chills When Necessary, a festival channel. French localization, est aussi excellent craftsmanship, Worthy of a big Hollywood movie, All the voices stick Perfectly To The Main and secondary characters. Events The NPCs Have Their Own Often corresponds very funny. So That We Can Say That side, to say nothing, and I do not think anyone I Will On That contradiction. The Quality is well above-the first Witcher, though some characters Have The Same players over dubbing. In conclusion, not only of The Witcher Assassin 2 Kings promised a quality RPG, Amazes it to us by a thousand feelings and emotions. You liked the first game, you'll love the second year RPG That Will Have Absolutely, If Only One Is a fan (or not). The appointment of May 17th IS Already taken, Without hesitation, enjoille!

clst
clst

7)You've Probably Already Seen and reviewed Some screenshots, and wondered if you HAD Been Some retouched? Well nay, none has been "corrected Because The Game Is Simply Beautiful, The developers really cared Have For Every detail and animation. There Is Always the management of The Weather With That of day and night, drank with extra features ... "Drinking Alone As Much IS Concerned With That ....." Although It Is not here to open environments, Everything Is Done That One Feels so free. Mountains, swamps, caves, dungeons, Nothing Is prepend, EACH thing has icts importance. The decorations are really rich and VARIED, you never get bored one second and weekends Enjoy the discovery of Each place. All Our senses are Awakened And We do not treat for The Eyes At Every discovery. We Meet Again, of course, some characters, Always Equal to Themselves, like Dandelion and Zoltan, Who Will share Responsibilities in the game Also Triss Merigold Which Will Have A Significant Role In The adventure. You Will Also Meet Other Old Acquaintances Of The Witcher and first batch of new Equally amazing as Each Other.

clst
clst

6)Last update on Geralt, historical inventory. This Is Totally Different Than What You've seen so far, Either In The first Witcher, Gold In Other games. Management Is Done Easily, drag and drop your objects, and double click to read a book or notes, for example. You Will Be Limited by a certain weight According To The armor you wear. You Will Need to manage your equipment Because bad news, There Was No storage lockers for your business. Theys implanted May Be In The Final version, to this restes unconfirmed. You're not a bit too green Witcher? You Were accustomed to erotic cards Witcher The First, And His dialogue has bit raw, Giving His label mature game, and although The Witcher 2 excellest icts Predecessor Even Further, Since The dialogues are not only more severe, to full nudity going on, true love scenes, as in erotic films, not just hugs all dressed in 15 seconds, 18 + PEGI has finally Justified. Hopefully, however, That Does not Intervene censorship at this level, It Would really spoil your viewing pleasure ... Do Not Forget The Goal Of The fighting violence, whether Against Humans, nonhumans, & the creatures, there's blood spurting's and butchering. Morality est aussi Being Challenged in the game, your choices difficulties and Always Will Be moral and Those characters Rather Than Elsewhere. "A PEGI Violence, drugs, sex and morals, a good thing for an Adult game

clst
clst

5)Magic Is an important element in the game Because it complements The Fight. Aard, and others Igni Will help you in your quests and advance in the game While The Principles of use Remains Virtually The Same as Before, In The Tree, You Can Increase Their power and vitality. The signs are in addition to fighting for The Player-to-call strategy. There Is No Longer pause to Choose the styles, Since They Are Assigned to Directly On Your mouse buttons. The fights are quick, direct and Evolve According To The Chosen Increasing competence. For example, You Have INITIALLY only modes quick and strong. Multiple combat mode OCCURS According To your skill if You Have Chosen. Although There Are Still useless Weapons in the game, You Will find lots of swords (steel and / or money) That You Can Improve With Runes of Magic. You Will Also find a lot of armor, and The Icing on the cake, make-you-can-through clothing Weapons and Plans That You Can Buy gold find. Geralt Cdn think this time he wants, No Need for campfire and flint. You press a button and you-can drink potions to meditate, advance time, use alchemy, gold Their allocate skill points.

clst
clst

4)A very important thing to note, There Is No loading times Between Areas or When you enter a building, a great feat On The share of developers. Will There Be Anything in your wallet Witcher? The skill tree IS Divided Into Four Parts (General Characteristics, alchemy, magic and fighting). You Will Need to Obtain some Characteristics in order to unlock "The Other 3. Then You Choose What You Want to put talents to Develop Your character. As in the First, You Can put 'em in The Three Characteristics, or by building a' preferred Above All. Note That There Is talent more bronze, silver or gold talent IS Recovered With The Growing jurisdiction of Geralt. By idiots, You Can Improve Your Skills With mutagens More or Less Powerful Than You Can Find Some Other creatures. Alchemy Is an important element in the game, although not essential, Because it lets you create potions and elixirs Other Exceptional, But You Will Also Make Your Own Weapons, explosive hooks, and armor. You Can Always Have Them Manufactured by Craftsmen from The Corner for a certain Amount of tether. Note That It Is No Longer Necessary To Have moult vials and Other spirits to create your potions. HAVING Simply The Right Ingredients, recipes and voila.

clst
clst

3)Each act IS Composed of more or less important quests. For example, make inquiries on Behalf of Another, gold hunting monsters, Without All That Seems basic. Not a single quest IS monotonous, It Will not suffice to leave your money to go sword-grinding to finish the quest, extensive research Will Be Needed before. I Have not found one of tiring or unpleasant, a festival at a time and a great satisfaction to the end '. Note thats the scenario Reaches More Than Sapkowski's novels did "The First. There are Many characters and places from historical allusions to novels and Many Other works, like Lord of the Rings to name one goal. There Will Be Two roads to take to make you replay the game Completely, and the secret army Scoia'tael impossible to Remain neutral this time. Announced With 40 hours of gameplay, So You Can Double Your Time In Choosing The Other Path. And he's not here just replicas, goal environments Rather That You Will not Have Access to One or The Other Side. There are mini-games aussi, With A novelty: the arm wrestling contest. Thesis allow us to gain and complete quests Some tether. Pugilism Is Now Playing the keys, so consoles (WASD) or You Will Be quick to Give your shots. The index system Is A bit disappointing at the moment Because MOST although aesthetically beautiful, Than It Is less immersive icts Predecessor. That Said, This Was Not the final version, see WE With The final version, Because All the mini games Is Still in the Works in Progress ".

clst
clst

2)The WAS version Tested Obviously Not the final version and WAS Still Suffering from Numerous crashes, But The second version I Could test at end of stay was stable Already Much More. The Computer Was a standard PC With A i7 processor 870, with 8 GB of memory and a Geforce GTX 560ti, resolution 1900x1080 (22 inches required). Tested in all resolutions (Low, medium, high and very high) the game has Always Remained very fluid. After intelligence, the Game Will not Support DirectX 11 "at its output, to really Did Not Suffer. What you expect Witcher? First Know That The Game Consists of 4 parts (a prologue and 3 acts, "latter containing The epilogue). The prologue consists "of 5 stories follow flashbacks That But The first 4 are done in entender you want. This prologue as an introduction reservations to the game and allow you to hand over the game sort of tutorial Without Really Being One, IS mouthing The scenery first hand and your quest. The prologue ends In The prisons of the Castle of De Lavalette.

clst
clst

this is a pre - test by a french site who spend 5 day a cd project studio = ( see 1-2-3-4-5... ect) 1)There Are Games That mark the Minds for a long time, and The Witcher Actually gone. Born studios CDProjekt Polish Red, created by Marcin Iwinski and Michal Kicinski, The Witcher has made icts Place in the world of video games and more specifically in the Heart of RPG players. Aim making a sequel is Never easy, and make a game Even Better Is A Gamble. Anyway, that's What developers want to CDProjekt Red Offering Highly Anticipated Sequel to soon, I Called The Witcher 2 - Assassins of Kings. Do you see "any red Witcher Invited to Warsaw (Poland), In The Studio CDProjekt (Blue, Red and GoG), I Could Spend 5 days of testing and Geralt Especially Anglicized version of this sequel. So I feverishly put myself in control of Our Heroes To See What The Witcher 2 - Assassins of Kings WAS in the Belly. I, however, considerable apprehension about The Quality of voice, Knowing The Big Disappointments of the Last Recently released RPG. Of course, I Will Not Go Into details & the unveiling of the Story, Because It Would Be downright cruel, so There Are Some Surprising and amazing. The IS scenario of Exceptional quality, Against the backdrop of conspiracies, Political intrigue, and killers of kings. A Long Story That Will leave traces in Our Memories have a great novel-worlds' fantaisy.

cjastero0
cjastero0

Intro seems pretty similar to that of Oblivion, no?

clst
clst

same like jufeguga

clst
clst

most of people don't buy pc to play ( most of theml for school , facebook , internet, movie , music ) play the last only fanboy like us consider it the ultimate playing machine ( me the same now i sell my ps3 and x box 360)

h_cj
h_cj

@Gibbersom You said DA2's "story line wasn’t great" excuse me maybe I played a different DA2 because mine didn’t have main plot

Poodlejumper
Poodlejumper

Actually I did play DA2 with my best bud in it's entirety including the "cliffhanger ending". This is my best bud were talking about. At her house over 3 weeks together. Unlike her I just didn't buy it. She regrets it and were both peeved royally at Bioware for what appears to be caving into EA Corporate (mis)direction. DA2 was C work from an A student. The least likable batch of Bioware NPCs ever. Flashier combat to make up for less substance overall. Repeatable maps and removal of depth of tactics. Trust the adults. We've been gaming since we were kids (and we have kids now) and know good/bad/mediocre games when we see them. We're not afraid of change despite what some naysayers mention. Witcher II looks great. DA2 was mediocre forgetable garbage.

jufeguga
jufeguga

i king of agree with a few comments, i've had nintendo, super nintendo, nintendo 64, play 2 and wii and of course since very little a PC CONSOLE.... i think pc console is the best gaming hardware available of course it is also the most expensive to keep upgraded due to technology advances and fast... but it is rewarding.... finally i dumped all my gaming consoles except the pc of course which is my life my reason to keep breathing day by day.... i recommend pc gamers to upgrade your pc every 2 years if possible.... of course at the end right after upgrading the latest games will have to be played with minimum or medium settings, maybe sacrifying shaders or something like that for performance..... but it is worth it its a pain in the .... to play shoooters and rpgs like mass effect on playstation.... and lets not talk about sims and strategy games