One of the facets that make video games so special is their ability to transport you into another world, where you’re turned into a virtual explorer able to investigate every nook and cranny. It's the world of The Witcher 2: Assassins Of Kings that makes this PC RPG (role playing game) such a rich and rewarding experience.
Spanning an expansive area, it is crammed with intricate detail and memorable characters. Whether you're investigating the depths of a dungeon invested with wraiths, or exploring a dwarven city carved into the side of a mountain, few games have ever made the player feel such a strong sense of place. You play the titular Witcher, a mercenary specialising in the fun pastime of hunting down monsters - and it's up to you how you'd like to do it.
Using the standard RPG mechanic of upgradeable character skills, you can choose to specialise in four different areas - magic, swordplay, potions/traps, and general abilities. Whichever version you choose, you'll be rewarded with satisfyingly hefty combat at every turn, swiping screaming harpies from the sky or slashing undead necromorphs into small red cubes of meat.
Based on the Polish series of books called, surprisingly enough, The Witcher, the storyline is also one of the game's biggest strengths... and something of a weakness. It's superbly written, tackling mature themes such as racial vilification and the loss of a lifelong love, and all of the dialogue is beautifully voiced. However, it's also a very complicated web of intrigue — if you thought Game of Thrones was hard to follow, prepare to be thoroughly bamboozled.
The story can change dramatically at the half-way point, depending on a single decision you make, so there's plenty of replayability in this 20-hour experience. Even if you're not a fan of role playing games, if you've ever wanted to chug a beer with a bunch of arm-wrestling dwarves or step into battle alongside a rebellious elven clan, you simply must step into The Witcher 2's memorable world. Be warned though, you may not want to come back.