The Witcher 2: From PC to 360
The Witcher 2: Enhanced Edition for the Xbox 360 is set to be released in April 2012, allowing many an unsuspecting 360 owner to get their hands on a game that could possibly be one of the best games released this year. I say ‘unsuspecting 360 owners’ as from talking to my fellow Xbox friends, most of them are completely oblivious to The Witcher 2’s upcoming release, and boy will they miss one hell of a game.
The Witcher 2, like its predecessor, was originally an exclusive PC only game that got rave reviews for its incredibly engaging story, characters, unique lore and a sublime, atmospheric world. I remember literally quivering with excitement at its release date drew nearer, and it’s safe to say the game did not disappoint.
Now the incredibly talented people at CD Projekt RED have managed to take a fantastic PC original and seamlessly transition it to the 360. For this, they deserve medals – big ones. The Witcher 2 is as engrossing as it is deep, so typically would be a mammoth task to adapt to a console. My Alienware needed quite a bit of tweaking and overclocking to get to grips with the game’s demands, so for the development team to create an engine that allows it to run smoothly on a console is very commendable.
Often you will see scaled down graphics or an unstable frame rate, but early looks show that the graphics have not taken a hit and the frame rate is very stable, boding very well for release. Gamers may still yet be sceptical, wondering how an Xbox controller will cope against the previous weapon of choice – a keyboard and mouse. Well be sceptical no more. True you will have to utilise every button of the controller to properly control our protagonist, Geralt, yet the tutorial and combat style allow for seamless integration for beginners and experts alike. I personally used a wired controller when playing the PC version and so can safely say the 360 controller will cope just fine.
In The Witcher 2 every decision counts; some missions will take you through gorgeous backdrops fighting off numerous assassins, whilst others will have you competing in a fist-fight ring. Of course doing these quests is a question of choice, while there is often more than one path to take, each decision adapts the characters and world around you. Different dialogue selections can lead to awful ramifications, putting you in the middle of swordfight or alternatively save someones life through cool diplomacy – to be honest, I wouldn’t argue with Geralt.
Taking all this into account it does surprise me at the sheer lack of buzz there is surrounding The Witcher 2’s release. It may not have the marketing budget to compete with the likes of Skyrim but this is a game I would rank as high, if not higher than Skyrim on my pre-game-excite-ometer. It should not be seen as yet another console RPG release, and we have seen a fair few already in 2012, but a fantastic RPG PC to Xbox 360 port – mastering what many other games in the past have tried and failed miserably to do.
The action is gritty and tight, the world lush and expansive, the story dark, detailed and gripping. It’s time to scream, wave, cry and find that pre-order button as The Witcher 2 is coming to Xbox 360.