As pretty as it is, Temeria is a horrible place – it’s no wonder that the majority of its inhabitants are sex-obsessed, really. In a world where common folk spend their days scrabbling around in the dirt, it stands to reason that they’d spend their nights in pursuit of, shall we say, baser pleasures. Sex is as much a part of Temeria as shields, swords and sorcery; it’s a world where ‘ploughing’ is used as a weapon, a distraction and a currency for men and women alike.
And when precious few studios have the cojones to depict a full-on sex scene, CD Projekt RED goes ahead and creates one featuring a goat-legged succubus, single-handedly bringing a whole new meaning to the term ‘making the beast with two backs’.
But sex isn’t the be all and end all of The Witcher 2; it’s simply one of the more ostentatious markers of how the game, as a whole, pitches itself towards a more mature audience. Contrary to the gaming trends du jour, it doesn’t feel the need to give its players the run of a massive sandbox world in order to hold their attention. CD Projekt RED is so confident in its storytelling abilities that it doesn’t want you to deviate far from the prescribed path laid in front of you.
And while Geralt of Rivia isn’t the most affable sort, it’s becoming something of a rarity for an RPG to insist you control an already defined character rather than allowing you to assemble your own lumpy and hilariously disproportionate avatar from a production line of ill-fitting body parts. A lead character with character – it’s that kind of forward thinking that’ll bring a kingdom to its knees.
And yet, for a game that would appear more rigidly structured than your average open-world RPG, The Witcher 2 affords a surprising amount of freedom in how you can choose to approach it. There’s enough leeway in lone wolf Geralt that you can play him in a variety of ways, and that ambiguity also bleeds into picking your preferred combat style.
The Witcher can be a trapper, a warrior, or he can lean towards magic spells if that’s what you fancy. You can even approach the game’s ending in different ways, foregoing a final showdown with one of the antagonists entirely if that’s how you think your Geralt should handle it.
Its other adult features may be less tangible than a constant cavalcade of tits and/or arse, but it's these small touches that come together (stop that) to make The Witcher 2 one of the more unique titles in the Xbox 360’s later years. I can’t wait to see what its follow-up does with the benefit of new hardware.