CD Projekt made waves throughout the gaming industry with their highly popular, uniquely designed action-RPG The Witcher, which was based on a series of short stories and novels by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski. The game didn’t just set a landmark within the industry for ushering in a different kind of medieval-fantasy universe, but it did so for also giving gamers a morally divisive set of situations and circumstances that challenged the traditional “black and white” “good and bad guy” moral complexities offered up in other games. This set a high standard for what gamers would be expecting from CD Projekt’s long awaited sequel. This Witcher 2 preview irons out some the details and changes made to the upcoming game.
Combat And Engine
One of the other unique features of The Witcher was the dynamic combat system where instead of swinging weapons around carelessly, each swing with each weapon is technically crafted with dynamic motion capturing. The game’s multiple fighting styles and large variety of usable weapons will also be making a return in the Witcher 2, including new styles and additional weapons that round out the already impressive combat mechanics from the original game.
One of the major changes for the new game is in the advancement of the game engine. The developers are no longer settling for what they were using with the modified Aurora Engine from BioWare, they’ve decided to upgrade their standards in order to facilitate more functionality out of the design tools, which in turn allows for more immersive gameplay and performance.
For instance, the light sourcing has been heavily modified so it’s now all in realtime as opposed to lighting nodes being attached to specific points within the environment. The team has also made advancements to get away from the “white room” environment mapping and instead designed the world from the ground up using their own innovative creativity as opposed to recycling a lot of structures and props in pre-designed maps.
Bigger Story, Even Bigger Bad Guys
If you thought all the multiple choices, branching narratives and morally divisive scenarios in the original game had your head spinning, well things get even more complex and dire for lead character Geralt as he deals with a brand new threat. The story picks up after the end of the first game, and a small faction within the Elven community are on the surge of revolt, aiming to assassinate select kings to get their point across.
The game will place gamers in the midst of the uprising, either being neutral, siding with or siding against the various factions and groups throughout the game that will ultimately determine what the end-game will be like.
More Women, Less Cards
CD Projekt has done away with the erotic “trading cards” from the original game, where after players scored a night with a lady they would receive an erotic trading card for their accomplishments. Instead, there will simply be cut-scenes involving some of the damsels Geralt can “interact” with throughout his travels.
Supposedly, given the sequel’s larger story scope, vast landscapes and multiple choices, the ability to pick up more ladies and give Geralt more mature themed action will be in greater abundance than in the first game. I don’t know if this is something that would make or break the game but for those who enjoyed the feature it will be there, willing and waiting, along with the consequences of those decisions.
Interactive Dialogue Returns
The new thing in today’s age of role-playing games is interactive dialogue which keeps the pace of the conversations moving steadily ahead at a cinematic pace rather than the oftentimes cumbersome dialogue sequences from old-school RPGs. Much like Mass Effect 2, players will be able to dynamically interact with other NPCs, exchanging dialogue or progress the story with multiple choices.
Supposedly, some of these choices and interactive sequences will be affected by more than just the decisions made in the sequel. Borrowing a page out of BioWare’s book, the game will allow for players to import their saved game and experience things as a true continuation of the journey originally started in the first game.
New Monsters, More Combos, Bigger Game
Even with CD Projekt Red withholding a lot of information regarding the highly anticipated sequel, there’s still enough info available to get mature RPG fans crowding to the retail shops to pick the game up, as the Witcher 2 release date circles around a May, 2011 window. Some brand new foes have been introduced, with a lot of speculation revolving around a grand battle with a dragon, as well as an even more enhanced combo feature to fight multiple foes at once. All in all, The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings is shaping up to be an even bigger game, much in the same way Assassin’s Creed II was to the original Assassin’s Creed, and I’m sure most fans can’t wait. You can check out more previews of upcoming 2011 games here at Bright Hub or learn more about The Witcher 2 by visiting the Official Website.