The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings 2-Years Later ReviewGuest_Jim_* - December 17, 2013
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The central plot of the game is that the kings of different kingdoms are being assassinated, causing great turmoil in the realms. As Geralt was present at one of the assassinations, but unable to prevent it, he has been blamed for at least that one. Luckily not everyone believes he is guilty, so he is able to escape imprisonment in order to hunt down the real murderer. Of course many do believe he is guilty, so you can expect the occasional fight with bandits and more animosity than another mutant would receive.
This hunt takes Geralt to many places with old friends like Triss Merigold, a sorceress; Zoltan Chivay, a dwarf; and Dandelion, a minstel. As they have known you for years, they are more than willing to help you clear your name and find the real assassin, in what ways they can. Geralt also makes some new friends along the way, but this can depend strongly on the choices you make.
Like the game before it, The Witcher 2 features a complex story with choices that can completely change your experience. We are not talking about just different endings here (though the game does have those), but quests and significant events are dependent on your choices. One choice changes where the majority of the second chapter takes place and another greatly impacts how the game ends. Also some choices from the previous game can impact this one, assuming you load in a save from it.
One change I have noticed is the apparent lack of a middle ground for ethical choices. One of the more interesting and enjoyable aspects (for me at least) of the previous game was making choices to either sway the political situation or leave it alone. There was almost always a middle option, so you would not aid any political side, but in The Witcher 2 this middle option does not exist. At times you can state that the Witcher's role is to just slay monsters, and not to be involved with politics, but this does not really amount to anything, besides a dialogue response. Expect yourself to take a side at some point, like the end of Chapter 1.
A very major plot point for the game is Geralt recovering his memories from before his death. These memories impact how you interpret the events of the game, as different relationships are revealed. I want to avoid spoilers, so just understand that Geralt was not alone during his forgotten past.
One thing I notice now as I think back on the experience is the almost complete lack of monster killing. In the previous game, you would receive multiple contracts to kill a number of beasts and have to return with proof of your work. Though such side quests are still available, they are much fewer. Instead you see more missions concerned with rescuing people than actually removing a threat. This is not a significant change, but it does seem to dilute the 'monster hunter' role from the Witcher character.
With so much story to the game, I hate leaving this section so short, but I do want to avoid spoilers. It is a deep story as almost every mentionable character has their own history, from kings to trolls. If you give the game the time to explore and meet the different beings, you will find yourself in another world, and not just a game.
Definitely an exceptionally well presented and intricate story, which I look forward to playing through at least once more. If only more games featured as impressive of stories as this.