Whether this mistake was genuine error, or a more sinister ploy to make a few bucks at the expense of more established game retailers, we will likely never know. I for the most part was completely unaware, shambling into my local Tesco on a quest for Cat food, Butter and AA Batteries, I came across The Witcher 2 in the entertainment aisle.
Without a second thought I dropped one of the many copies on sale into my basket and set off towards the quest marker at the checkout. I encountered no enemies on route and no traps, not so much as a puddle of spilled Ribena. Plain sailing.
After tweeting about my recent purchase, I received a few messages of confusion from friends and followers. For the most part these read something like "Howd u gt that?? N0t out till tues...!". After doing a bit of googling, I stumbled upon this article on EuroGamer, which explained the mix up.
|Some of the environments are stunning|
In all my gaming history, I've not really experienced this before but the sensation was probably akin to time-travel...or being sent a review copy of a game. Without hesitation, I decided to get stuck in, and here's what I found:
Following a short, obligatory tutorial designed to introduce you to the combat mechanics and some of the basic functions, you are thrown into a large battle between two ruling powers in the fictional land of Temeria. Your character (Geralt, the Witcher) is a super-human who specialises in slaying monsters. However, on this occasion, you have been summoned by the King to assist in a clash against his enemies.
So far this looks like an excellent example of a modern RPG. The story is well crafted with characters that have a depth and complexity that makes them really come to life. The graphics are excellent considering that this is a game that has been ported from a PC and adapted to fit the aging hardware of the Xbox.
In general, the game feels a lot more focused than some open-world RPGs like Skyrim for example (Not that freedom in Skyrim is a bad thing!) but you don't get the feeling of being herded in one direction. I spent the best part of the day exploring, getting pretty stuck into the initial quest, only to find that I was still in the prologue and hadn't even started the first chapter! So, needless to say, there is plenty to do in the world of Temeria.
|Mean looking chappy, eh?|
The Xbox version also comes with some additional DLC and some lovely booklets, manuals and a map. Manuals. Remember those?! If you are a fan of RPGs, Game of Thrones or fantasy in general, I think you'll dig it.