Obviously, “Skyrim,” with its over 300 hours of gameplay, is still at the top of the games-to-beat list for many readers of Button Mashing. However, you may want to pull yourself away from it and invest your time in a game that gives you a visceral, adult-oriented good time. That game is “The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings.”

The original “The Witcher” was developed by CD Projekt RED and published internationally by Atari. It was released in Europe and North America in October 2007 for PCs.

“The Witcher 2” contains numerous storylines and multiple endings. As in the first game, players assume the role of the stoic Geralt of Rivia, one of the few remaining witchers. Witchers are humans who have been genetically enhanced and rigorously trained to fight the vile monsters that inhabit the kingdom of Temeria. They are also given a special power, such as alchemy, magic or sword handling.

“The Witcher 2” has all the elements of a great RPG, but the game is heavy on adult themes. The dialogue is vulgar, which can be shocking for some, but other gamers will appreciate this level of maturity. “The Witcher 2” also flexes its muscles with its visceral presentation, showing blood splattering across the screen as enemies are impaled, slashed or otherwise victimized by whatever gory method you can think of to kill your adversaries.

“The Witcher 2” contains elements of other third- and first-person role-playing games.  Due to the ability to affect the story by choosing the protagonist’s dialogue during scenes, this feature also allows players to play through the story more than once to see other routes they could have taken.

The combat in “The Witcher 2” is fast, fun and exciting. Geralt relies on his two trusty swords — steel for human enemies and silver for monsters — to dole out considerable damage. He can set up traps, throw bombs and knives and conjure up a number of spells to whittle down his enemies during combat. All this may seem intimidating at first, but once you get familiar with the command wheel, which is a device that slows down the flow of combat, allowing easier access to Geralt’s weapons, items and magic, players will find themselves experimenting with different ways to execute enemies. Taking advantage of these elements is crucial if you want to survive the game’s progressively increasing difficulty. The game does punish mistakes, so be careful.

As Geralt advances through the game’s levels, players can divide talent points across a skill tree to enhance his existing abilities or to unlock new ones. Doing so allows players to customize Geralt, but it can also tempt gamers to favor a select few skills rather than availing themselves of  all the unique skills Geralt has in his arsenal.

For example, you could unload all of your skill points on the magic spell Quen, which deploys an electrical shield that temporarily blocks attacks from Geralt’s aggressors and simultaneously discharges damaging bolts to foes. Combine this with an overpowered fire spell and there you have it. There is no need to learn to use any of Geralt’s other maneuvers. This doesn’t detract from the game, but it feels a little backward, considering that at the outset you must make use of almost all of Geralt’s abilities to survive.

The game also features a potion system, which is set up to punish players who quaff potions and other restorative items mid-fight. Each potion contains a toxicity level, which is a numerical amount that differs with each potion. Recklessly chugging down potions and restorative items will increase Geralt’s poison level, and if you are not paying close attention to this, Geralt will gradually begin to lose health, making you even more vulnerable to harpies, dragons, wyverns and other hideous creatures that roam the world of “The Witcher 2.”

This kind of system forces players to operate more thoughtfully and strategically when going into battle. Hacking, slashing and drinking potions when your health bar is close to depletion won’t work.

In every significant way, “The Witcher 2” is just as rich and compelling as it was on the PC, despite a few technical and graphical hiccups. These minor flaws don’t detract from “The Witcher 2” as a genuine RPG. This is an absorbing game, but it’s genuinely mature as well.