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Force or Diplomacy in The Witcher 2

The Witcher 2: Enhanced Edition for Xbox 360 is almost a month away from release, finally letting 360 owners in on what PC gamers have been enjoying for almost a year (longer if you consider that the original game, The Witcher, was and is PC exclusive). The air around the game is electric; the PC release got a <a target="_blank" href="http://pc.ign.com/articles/116/1168535p1.html">9.0 from IGN</a> and was an engagingly deep and action-packed RPG with an awesome lore and atmospheric world behind it, and this year's release of The Witcher 2: Enhanced Edition stands as one of the biggest console exclusives on the Xbox 360 for 2012.<br/><br/><center> <object id="vid_7478b9935d228599d37a910f68ef50e7" class="ign-videoplayer" width="480" height="270" data="http://media.ign.com/ev/prod/embed.swf" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"><param name="movie" value="http://media.ign.com/ev/prod/embed.swf"/><param name="" value="true"/><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"/><param name="bgcolor" value="#000000"/><param name="flashvars" value="url=http://www.ign.com/videos/2012/01/27/the-witcher-2-cgi-intro"/><param name="wmode" value="opaque"/></object> <div style="width:480px"><a target="_blank" href="http://www.ign.com/videos/2012/01/27/the-witcher-2-cgi-intro">Check out The Witcher 2's awesome intro.</a></div></center><br/><br/>At GDC, we took another look at the base gameplay that people can expect from the action-RPG, and the thing that stood out the most from the title was how seamlessly it transitions to the system. The Witcher 2 was an extremely deep PC game, and typically the more PC-centric a title is, the more difficult it is to adapt to a console. Difficult though it may've been, the team at CD Projekt RED has done a truly awesome job of creating not only a graphics engine that runs very smoothly, but controls that, while fairly complex, won't beguile console gamers. The Witcher 2: Enhanced Edition feels almost like it was made from scratch for the Xbox 360, but manages to pack in the depth and level of immersion that hardcore PC gamers demand.<br/><br/>A couple of months ago, our very own Peter Eykemans <a target="_blank" href="http://xbox360.ign.com/articles/121/1217313p1.html">checked the game out</a>, and mentioned how it would take every button on the controller to properly control Geralt, and this is true. You'll have plenty of moves to pull off as the monster-slaying mercenary, as you deftly switch between steel and silver weapons (to combat human and beast creatures, respectively), utilize magic attacks and beat down assassins and beasts like a boss.<br/><br/><img src="http://xbox360media.ign.com/xbox360/image/article/121/1217313/the-witcher-2-assassins-of-kings-20120126092509851-000.jpg" /><br/>This takes place in the tutorial, no really.<br/><br/><br/><br/>In our recent time with the game, we were given a look at the quest structure ran one of the new missions available to the Xbox 360 version. We escorted Dame Brigida Papebrock through the woods, an informant for Vernon Roche who discovers the reasoning behind a noble's disappearance. Along the way we fended off assassins, giant poisonous spider creatures, and goblin-like monsters. Choice factored into our mission at various times; there were paths that would lead to a lot of enemies and thick resistance, as well as those that would be a lot longer and without as many foes. <br/><br/>Additionally, dialogue chains would determine the kind of missions you'd take, as well as how they'd be resolved, either diplomatically or by the sword. Your choices will have ramifications both small and large in the world, changing the landscape as you play. There is often an easy course for some of these dialogue chains, but this will often have negative ramifications if you just try to rush through them. One section that we played followed an incriminating note associated to a noble. We could have easily accused the noble of participating in a treasonous crime, but by reviewing the evidence, we were able to determine that he was in fact innocent, something that we wouldn't have been able to do if we blindly accused him of the crime.<br/><br/><img src="http://xbox360media.ign.com/xbox360/image/article/121/1217313/the-witcher-2-assassins-of-kings-20120126092515433-000.jpg" /><br/>This guy asked too many story questions.<br/><br/><br/><br/>Graphically, The Witcher 2 looks great, and doesn't have that scaled down look that many games do when they get ported to consoles from the PC. The character models are nicely detailed and the environments are diverse and well lit. The framerate is also very stable, which is great to observe even as the team continues to polish it for release.<br/><br/>Every nugget of information and play session for The Witcher 2 only makes us more rabid to actually get our hands on the final game. The action is tight, and the world expansive and detailed. If you're not getting excited yet for The Witcher 2 to hit Xbox 360 in April, you'd better start.<br/><br/><LINK REL="stylesheet" HREF="http://guidesmedia.ign.com/guides/uni/IGNE_style.css" TYPE="text/css"><br/><br/><DIV CLASS="IGNE_divider"></DIV><br/><br/><i>Steven Hopper is the Executive Editor for IGN's Xbox channels. Check him out on <b><a target="_blank" href="http://people.ign.com/Shopper-IGN">MyIGN</a></b> and <b><a target="_blank" href="http://twitter.com/Steven_Hopper">Twitter</a></b>.</i><br/><br/><br><br><br/><br/>&#169;2012-03-06, IGN Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved
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