E3 2010: The Witcher 2 (Impressions)
6/26/2010 8:40:00 AM
The hallmark of any good sequel is that you build on the good things from the first game and correct any issues that happened to slip into the original game. The folks at CD Projekt are following that pattern to a T with The Witcher 2 and fans of the original game (all 1.5 million of them) are in for a real treat.
The story of The Witcher 2 will be bigger in that you are now dealing with more than one kingdom and king. Graphically the game has also received a nice update as well although it feels a bit like putting another coat of paint on a Ferrari as the original was one of the best looking games on the market.
As far as what CD Project is fixing well fans of the first game will be relieved that load times have been eliminated completely from the game. Load times were a bit of a running joke when the first Witcher game was released and even though it was fixed in a patch it's good to know that loading screens have been banished from the game.
The combat system has also been overhauled to allow for a more fluid experience. Instead of having to time your attacks you'll now have a much more open system that allows Geralt to kill things in a much more natural way and even incorporate magic in his attacks. We saw a little of the new combat system in action and it looks a bit more like what you would expect from third person action game as Geralt can now dive around and attempt to attack people from behind.
Speaking of combat for those who play RPG's for just the story, CD Projekt has tweaked the easy mode of the game so that you can experience just the story of the game without having to worry too much about the combat. That seems a lot like reading Playboy for the articles but it's nice to see CD Projekt serving that part of their user base.
Conversations are a huge part of RPG's and the one in The Witcher 2 will feature the standard trees along with certain timed responses that must be answered before a timer expires. This seems like a nice evolution of the system in Mass Effect 2 and does seem to amp up the drama in the game.
Geralt will also be getting his Kirk on in the game as he'll be able to bed various damsels in the game. However you won't get cards when Geralt gets another notch in his belt as CD Project has abandoned the card system from the first game (learning the lesson that women really don't like being treated like Pokémon). There will still be sex in the game, just handled in a bit more adult fashion.
It's worth noting that the game is still a PC exclusive for now but the demo was done with an Xbox 360 controller hooked up to a PC so it's possible that the game could make its way to the console if there's enough demand or if something (*cough*Microsoft*cough*) ponied up some dough to help port the game over.
The Witcher 2 is looking to be a fantastic game and the only real negative I saw was that the game won't be out until Q1 of 2011.