The Average Gamer

The Witcher 2 Live Launch Event

Earlier in the week I posted a video of Geralt’s terrible seduction skills that somehow still managed to get a young elf woman into bed. That was nothing compared to a lad I met the other day who attempted to win me by arm-wrestling a fellow journalist. He was rather less successful.

To celebrate the launch of The Witcher 2 on Xbox 360, The Basing House pub in Shoreditch was transformed into a Temerian tavern for a day, so that we could experience life in Geralt’s world. Straw on the floor, dice games in the corner and lovely tavern maids either serving beer or wielding brooms if we got too unruly. We were Outlanders in our strange garb and odd mannerisms, just returned from helping King Foltest drive the evil Scoia’tael rebellion from the kingdom. Or so he thought.

A banquet was held upstairs to celebrate the slaughter of the non-humans. Alas, poor King Foltest was cruelly poisoned right there at the table and who did they lay the blame on? The foreigners, obviously. A hooded figure rushed us out before swords were drawn and we were off to mingle with the denizens of the tavern’s ground floor.

Before vanishing into the straw-filled night, the hooded figure told us to seek out the Scoia’tael. The elves would surely tell us who framed us for the assassination, because when a king drives you out of your home and destroys all your family and friends, you’ll surely help take down the person who murdered him over his celebratory dinner, right? Indeed you will, because the bastard robbed you of your revenge. Or something.

Anyway, because we were hiding from people who were hunting us for treason, we decided that the best course of action would be to wander about tavern asking “Have you seen the elves? We’re looking for the elves.” In true adventurer style, we had to partake in a variety of meaningless activities before anyone would tell us anything useful.

Pointless feats of strength!


Clapping people in the stocks!

Finally, the dice players gave us a bit of info and it was off to the elves we went, traipsing around Shoreditch in the rain with nary a cloak between us. Despite the fact that they’re supposedly one with nature and all that, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for the elves, stuck sheltering in the withered urban trees of a dreary Hoxton park. No wonder they look so grumpy. On our approach, hidden elves leaped out from behind the tennis courts and demanded to know why we were blundering about their little piece of almost-nature.

As it turned out, a baron by the name of Lafayette had previously asked the elves to help him kill the king. No one knew where to find him but the elves did know that his wife was currently taking a bath in the basement of the nearby Prague Inn. We decided not to speculate on how they could have possibly come by this information.

The lads quickly located the Prague Inn and we found Lady Lafayette, who tried to tempt us into the bath with her. After much shuffling of journo feet she took umbrage at our awkward stalling and attempted to cast some sort of mind-melting spell. At least, I assume that’s what the high-pitched shrieking was about. Lucky for us, we were saved by an actual Witcher* who jammed some herbs in her mouth and revealed that she was actually under a spell herself. That would indeed explain why she was attracted to games journalists.

Once again we were hurried out into the rain, this time to find a man named Neru who had cast the evil slut spell upon fair Lady Lafayette. Much to our surprise, we found him up on the smoking deck of the tavern that we had started in. Amazing! Due to his nefarious machinations with evil magicks and the like, Neru could only be killed by stabbing him in the back with a silver blade. Which we promptly did.

Hoorah, wandering adventurers save the day again!

*not an actual Witcher.

Read more takes on this live event from Grant Howitt at Look Robot, Daniel Horkan at Daily Joypad and a video from Sam Clay at VG247.

The Witcher 2 is out now on Xbox 360 and PC.