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The Witcher: Enhanced Edition

The Price Of Neutrality

For the most part of course, the game is actually the same as it always was. You still play Geralt of Rivia, professional monster hunter extraordinaire and you still have to pursue the same main quest.

Likewise, the core of the game is still an exploration of the same issues and players will find themselves forced down into a muddled world of raunchy ladies and carefully refined racism levelled at those who have mutated their bodies in an effort to become better Witchers.

Nowhere is this made more clear than in the new adventures that have been added onto the game, each of which can easily last a couple of hours on its own and breaks aside from the main body of the game.

The Price of Neutrality is definitely our favourite of the two missions and it begins with Geralt returning to the Witcher stronghold in preparation for the coming winter only to find that political intrigue has enveloped the keep. It seems that while the White Wolf was out Witchering a young princess, who may or may not be a totally evil mutant and the daughter of one of Geralt’s fellow Witchers, has taken sanctuary in the keep.

The Witcher: Enhanced Edition The Witcher: Enhanced Edition - Gameplay

Sanctuary from whom, you ask? Well, from the King’s men and his extremely full-breasted court sorceress who together are camped at the bottom of the mountain – that’s who. Unwilling to get dragged into a war with the royalty, Geralt is forced into siding with one faction or the other in order to bring an end to it all and along the way he’ll get chance to sleep with one or two ladies and gather a wheelbarrowful of wolves' livers.

The Price of Neutrality really does showcase The Witcher at its best, giving a snapshot of the game and the type of issues it likes to throw up. There are no compromises in the world of The Witcher – no middle of the road option that’ll keep all parties happy and still net you a hefty reward.

This is a bleak, strangely real and distinctly Eastern-European world. You’ll have to choose your enemies and allies wisely and be well prepared for when the consequences of your actions rise up much, much later in the game because the result is never as easy to predict as the path is to tread.

The Witcher: Enhanced Edition The Witcher: Enhanced Edition - Gameplay

The best news of all though is that the game is actually made a lot more accessible and easy to digest the second time round too, which is something else the standalone adventures showcase by throwing you in at the higher levels straight away. While the interface and statistics are still difficult to get your head around sometimes and the world is so littered with complexities that it’d make a PHDseem simple, the translation and voice work has been tightened up a lot. The improved new manual and strategy guide don’t hurt either.

The best bit of news though is that CD Projekt Red wasn’t joking when it said the load times had been improved significantly. Now, rather than having to sit through regular load screens that last for a good minute or two and which pop up every time you try to walk, eat, rest or bed a bewitchered maiden, you get much shorter (though still regular) loads.

Naturally, it is still a little bit annoying to have to load every time you go into or out of a pub or house, but at least you don’t have to be annoyed for so long any more.

In fact, the one disappointment of the The Witcher: Enhanced Edition in regard to the actual game content is that the graphics haven’t been noticeably improved. The game doesn’t look bad, but it isn’t cutting edge by any means and the character animation during certain conversations is just staggeringly bad. The automatic camera work still isn’t great either – expect to be seeing the inside of a wardrobe mid-conversation regularly.