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(The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Enhanced Edition has been selected as one of MacLife's 25 Best Mac Games Today!)
While Mac gamers frequently have to wait a substantial amount of time to see AAA games arrive on the platform, the delay is sometimes a gift. Such is the case with The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Enhanced Edition. We’re now free to enter this dark, adult-themed, medieval fantasy world at its prime, with user-interface upgrades and add-ons a seamless part of the journey. You’ll need some hefty hardware to get the full experience, but Witcher 2 is an amazingly well-crafted tale with uncompromising grit.
Picking up a month after the final events of its predecessor, The Witcher 2 finds monster-slayer Geralt of Rivia recounting the events that have led to his apparent imprisonment. Revealing too much of the incredibly well-written story would be a massive disservice, but the basic premise surrounds the assassination of a king (go figure) and how Geralt chooses to manage the ever-changing status of warring factions. Much like the original Witcher, the sequel tasks you with making sometimes-difficult decisions, which affect the game’s 40-hour-plus story in unexpected, far-reaching ways.
CD Projekt RED has made considerable changes to the combat system, and for the most part, it’s an improvement. Gone are the three “stances” of The Witcher, replaced with a strong or light sword attack, plus alchemy and strategic planning via meditation remain intact. The combat feels more streamlined, but midway through the game, The Witcher 2 becomes regrettably confusing, bogged down by bits of minutiae in an otherwise immersive experience.
Your dialogue choices have far-reaching consequences. Choose wisely!
Despite its brutal tale, The Witcher 2 is a gorgeous game. Of course, the impressive visuals have a cost: a higher-end Mac Pro or iMac with a great graphics card will present The Witcher 2 as was intended. Other rigs will require some reduced settings, lest the frame rate affect the game flow.
The bottom line. If your Mac is capable of handling the task, The Witcher 2 is an impressively mature trip, unwilling to cop out in the realm of narrative or deep role-playing mechanics.
The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Enhanced Edition
Mac OS X 10.7.5 or later, Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 4GB RAM, GeForce GT 650M (512MB) or Radeon HD 5770 (1GB)
Deep, engrossing story. A mature take on the role-playing genre. Engaging, strategic combat.
Occasionally confusing mechanics. Demands high-end Mac hardware.