The Witcher 2 – The big news from the CD Projekt conference

The highly anticipated sequel to the game that won dozens of awards has stirred quite a bit of attention as of late and to help tantalize our taste-buds, CD Projekt have held a conference just moments ago. While I was sitting there in the early hours of the morning (Sydney time) for the conference to begin we are teased just moments before with the news that the face of one man will completely change the game. “THE MAN who’s gonna completely change the way you see The Witcher 2 and how you experience the game itself” was posted on the Facebook page for The Witcher.

The live presentation confirmed what we already knew, the release date is set for 17th of May 2011, but what we did not know is that the game will be released in 11 languages, 5 of which will be fully spoken (in game commentary) with the rest being text translation. We were also treated to the first look at the box sets available; the Premium Edition and the Collectors Edition. Below is what you will receive in these editions:

Premium Edition

  • Game disc
  • Second DVD (audio)
  • Game Manual (16 pages)
  • Pamphlet that will play a part in the game
  • Cursed coin that will also play a part in the game
  • Map
  • Papercraft (1 of Geralt and a random character)
  • Game guide (96 pages)
  • DLC content based on region (Exclusive weapons, finishing moves)

Collectors Edition

  • All the contents of Premium
  • Art book (200 pages)
  • Geralt sculpted head (computer generated from ingame)
  • 5 Dice from in-game (Styled from The Witcher) in bag with logo
  • The Witcher coin
  • 3 collectible stickers
  • 54 The Witcher card set (images used from in-game)
  • Small guide written by Dandelion in-game character (How to cheat in dice and cards)
  • Bigger papercrafts
  • Unique DLC (Jacket to boost Geralts fighting technique)

A digital premium edition is also available which brings all the content of the premium edition digitally — meaning guides etc. are downloaded, papercraft can be printed. Steam has began pre-ordering at 10% off for all the early birds — CD Projekt has a 100% DRM free policy on all their software.

The second part of the presentation showed off the new game engine for The Witcher 2 and the story changing aspect of the game depending on the players choices. We are taken through a level where Geralt needs to escape from a prison. Using the new speech system you lure the guards into the cell to trigger the new fist fighting aspect of the game. Straight away we see it has become more advanced with far more character movement animations. After dispatching the guards promptly, Geralt escapes his cell and makes his way to pick up his sword which gives us a first look at the new inventory layout.

The sword we are told contains a magical rune and this now is also visually shown on the sword with an effect. After escaping the cell the player has the option of using stealth or brute force to escape the prison level; using the new cat eye potion allows you not only to see in the dark, but also adds an effect to see your enemies through walls.

In addition, we were shown another new enhancement to potions to assist in your gameplay style. Using the stealth method to escape, the player also used a potion which visibly shows you areas which would create noise, such as puddles of water in the prison. The AI of your enemies is far more advanced, being triggered by environmental noise that can be generated by Geralts movement.

The demonstration moved on to a room where you meet a prisoner, and this is where the new non-linear style play is shown. Depending on your choices you can have this player assist you or not. You then progress further to meet another NPC which again you can decide to free or not depending on the speech choices you make. We are told that the story can completely change depending on how these instances are decided. As you make your way through the prison we notice that the character, Geralt, can now also climb obstacles and jump.

The final part of the presentation was epic to say the least. We are given a rare opportunity to see just how dynamic and powerful the new game engine is. The first performance presentation showed us the scale of the world and how detailed it is in this sequel — having the camera pan out over the landscape of the level.

The performance was shown with a battlefield level where you must fight a boss. While combating the boss, a commander of an army, he calls in the support of his demon minions which literally has hundreds of characters moving around in the background while you have a showdown with the boss. While fighting the boss you are rained down with fiery arrows and siege fireballs, and at one stage the boss transforms into a tornado and the visual effect is quite impressive.

Unfortunately, the big surprise about the man who is set to change The Witcher 2 game was not mentioned. Stay tuned to The Witcher’s Twitter feed which may update us on what this is all about.

The Witcher 2 is due for launch on the 17th May 2011.

About the Author

Nightshadow is an avid PC gamer, but occasionally strays off to the Xbox360 for some console action. Frequent writer for Gameolio - he has a strange obsession for uniquely flavored soft drinks such as Cherry Coke, Passion Fruit, and Buzz Monkey. Currently Playing: - Mafia II - Age of Conan - Red Dead Redemption