In this week’s Red Bull Gaming Blog, Glen Ferris indulges in some fantasy with The Witcher 2: Assassin Of Kings, gets gritty with Medal Of Honor: Warfighter and considers buying a Resident Evil 6 leather jacket.
The Witcher 2: Assassin Of Kings - Enhanced Edition Review
Ever since Game Of Thrones made it cool again to read/watch tales of murdering, warmongering and shagging in a fictionalised world, the fantasy genre has been attracting a growing mainstream audience. As long as there are lashings of sex and violence in amongst all the spell-castings and battle strategizing, it seems your average person on the street will lap up whatever you put in front of them.
Take The Witcher 2: Assassin Of Kings – Enhanced Edition for example. A game based on a series of Polish fantasy novels; it’s exhibiting its breakout predilections by not only moving on from its PC-only geek confines onto Xbox 360, but also bringing with it lots of killing and more than its fair share of knee-knocking. As such, it could very well do for the fantasy RPG what George R.R. Martin’s A Song Of Ice And Fire saga did for fantasy literature.
The epic game sees you taking control of the blond-haired, mad-eyed Geralt, one of the titular Witchers (mutated humans trained in the ways of magic and monster slaying) who kicks off his long-and-winding adventure having been accused of murder of a monarch he was supposed bodyguarding. It doesn’t take him long to escape from prison and go on the run from a lot of people out to separate his head from his shoulders.
Plot-wise, it’s hardly the stuff of legend but what The Witcher 2 does get very right is the realistic depiction of its characters. All are saddled with questionable morals and the potential for good and evil and you’ll do well to never trust anyone at any point.
That includes Geralt himself. Our ‘hero’ is often given a selection of bad choices and it’s up to you to plump for the least worse if you wish to make it to the closing credits with even a shard of your soul intact. Basically, if you make a decision in which only a few people are killed then you’ve done a pretty good job.
It’s these moral quandaries and not so much the boobs and decapitations that make this a very adult game – probably not suitable for young kids is what we’re saying.
The Enhanced Edition, which adds four extra hours to a game that should take about a day to complete, features compelling (and thankfully non-turned-based) combat, gorgeous vistas and the afore mentioned difficult decision-making in what is a well-rounded and accessible RPG. Whether mainstream audiences will take to it as they did Game Of Thrones remains to be seen, but for a game chock-full of dastardly characters and questionable judgements, you’d be hard pressed to find anything more intriguing than this.
•While it remains to be seen if EA actually win the war, they’ve got in the first strike ahead of the now-annual Medal Of Honor/Call Of Duty face-off, with the launch of the first gameplay trailer for Medal Of Honor: Warfighter. This year, EA are going all-out for realism with a story based on actual events and combat consultation from real Tier 1 soldiers. With only two weeks separating MOH’s October 23 release and the expected launch of the as-yet-unannounced Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, we can expect to see tensions escalating between these two powerful forces…
•Hey, do you like Resident Evil? Yes? Then how do you fancy spending 105,000 yen (that’s over £800, around 950 euro or 1,250 US dollars) on the Resident Evil 6 Premium Edition. For just 14 times the usual retail price of the game, you could order this Japanese-only set. For your money, you’ll receive Resi 6, some phone covers and, erm, a replica of Leon S. Kennedy's leather jacket – for that price, all we can say is that it had better be a bloody nice jacket. If you’re interested, you may have to move fast as the Premium Editions are currently exclusive to the Land of the Rising Sun. The rest of us will have to make do with this lovely new trailer and the news that the European and US release date has been moved forward to October 2…