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The Witcher - All News

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Box Art

Wednesday - August 20, 2014

The Witcher - Retrospective @ Kotaku

by Couchpotato, 05:50

GB Buford of Kotaku has posted a new article about The Witcher, and writes about how the games fourth act takes RPGs to the next Level. Here is a small sample of the article.

If you've played a role-playing game in the last several years, be it Mass Effect or The Elder Scrolls, chances are that most of the game involved people asking you to go places, bop things on the head, and return with items for a reward. Unless you've played The Witcher.

As The Witcher 3 starts catching more eyes, friends who haven't played the series inevitably end up asking me "should I play the first two games in the series?" Many people will recommend playing The Witcher 2, a great game with solid controls and a unique twist that effectively gives the player two games in one. While I'd agree with that, I'd also add that everyone should play the first game, because it is one of the best role-playing games of all time, maybe even better than The Witcher 2. It's a true RPG, one that focuses on choice and consequence, rather than character-builds or parties, and to that end, it's one of the finest examples of the genre… but there's a caveat.

In just about every conversation I've had regarding The Witcher, someone always admits to quitting, usually during the game's extensive opening swamp section. It's hard to blame them. That's where I originally quit, too.

The more I played, however, the more I found myself sucked in. Originally, I'd intended to ignore most of the side quests, but I soon found myself shopping by proxy for elves, brewing potions for bakers, giving gifts to people, making peace between races, and, yes, busting a few monster heads along the way.

The Witcher shows that there can be more to RPGs than just fighting people. When the third game comes out early next year, I'll be there, day one, all thanks to Act IV.

Monday - January 20, 2014

The Witcher - Editorial @ RPG Site

by Couchpotato, 03:49

RPG Site posted an article were they ask for your opinion on The Witcher series.

If you weren't paying attention to our Twitter account this past week, you may have missed out on the fact that we have hired ourselves a new Video Editor, Justin. He has already built up quite the reputation over the years producing videos over a lot of different games and subject matter.

Today, he has posted a video covering The Witcher series, in which he is looking to finally jump into the series, but wants your thoughts and opinions on the manner. With that, you can either comment below after watching the embedded video or post on the video page. A lot of his videos will be posted to our channel first and foremost, so make sure to subscribe if you want to stay up to date with a lot of the great content coming your way.

Wednesday - January 01, 2014

The Witcher - Two Canceled Expansions

by Couchpotato, 04:46

Well this came as surprise to me did you know The Witcher once had two expansions being developed. It's no wonder they were canceled either based on this Eurogamer article.

That's right CD Project was almost bankrupt at one time. Anyway here are the expansion details. Feel free to discuss this in the comment section.

The Witcher: Scars of Betrayal

The Witcher: Scars of Betrayal is a canceled add-on for The Witcher. It was in development by Ossian Studios for some time in 2008 but was canceled due to issues on CD Projekt RED's end.

Very little is known about Scars of Betrayal. It took place in a troubled mountain village, with the kind of problem that only a Witcher can solve. The add-on was to shift the gameplay focus further to choices and outcomes.

The Witcher: Outcast

Outcast was going to be released as DLC in most countries and have a disc release in some countries, like Poland and Russia. It was in development from late 2007 until around mid-2008, when it was canceled by CD Projekt RED.

The story takes place in the early part of Geralt’s life, before he is established as a Witcher, during the reign of King Videmont of Aedirn (around 1190). It takes place in the Skellige Isles off the west coast, on an island ruled by jarl Harald. Many years ago, a monster attacked Harald’s pregnant wife Morganna. In return, Harald went out to slay the monster, with the help of the gnome Shiltzen. As payment, Shiltzen demanded Harald’s firstborn, but when Morganna gave birth, she bore twins. Seeing that the second child was monstrous, Harald gave that child to Shiltzen instead of the firstborn Astrid.

Sunday - December 22, 2013

The Witcher - Realism vs. Heroism

by Couchpotato, 03:47

A man by the name of MrBtongue has posted a new youtube video as part of his Tasteful Understated Nerdrage video series. In his latest video he uses The Witcher as an example of Realism vs. Heroism.

Thanks go to RPG Codex as I never heard of his video series.

Tuesday - December 17, 2013

The Witcher - Editorial @ Hardcore Gamer

by Couchpotato, 21:58

Hardcore Gamer has poted a new article that compares The Witcher and The Witcher 2. So which one is better I leave that up to you, or you could just read the article.

The two Witcher games from CD Projekt RED were some of the best role playing games of this past generation. Based on a Polish series of novels, the world of The Witcher presents a more mature and morally gray take on the traditional fantasy setting. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is one of the most anticipated games of next year and based on trailers, it’s looking fantastic. Interestingly, The Witcher and The Witcher 2 Assassins of Kings are both very similar and very different in some major ways, so let’s compare the two and see which is the better game.

Friday - December 13, 2013

The Witcher - 5 Years Later Review

by Couchpotato, 04:33

Overclockers Club has posted a new review for the original Witcher, and as the name of the review implies it's five years late.

In 2007, the video-gaming world was introduced to Geralt the White Wolf by CD Projekt RED with its first game, The Witcher, which is based on the literary work of Andrzej Sapkowski. Since then the developers have released an Enhanced Edition of this game and The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings (plus an Enhanced Edition of it), with The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt targeted for a 2014 release. As some gamers may only be discovering the series with the latest game, we are going to take a look at where it began.

Witchers are warriors who have undergone training and mutation to make them the most effective monster hunters possible, as they are the only defense humanity has against these monsters. Or at least they were, as new groups have formed to protect the people, supplementing and replacing the Witchers, whose numbers have been dwindling due to time and war. Sometimes though, it still takes a professional monster hunter to get the job done.

The Witcher is a role playing game filled with complex characters with secrets to hide and lies to share. Geralt, having lost his memory, is exposed to all of these anew as he struggles to recover that which was taken from him. Fortunately his friends have not forgotten him, so there are helping hands along the way.

The Witcher has an M rating for blood and gore, violence, nudity, strong sexual content, and strong language. Trust me, it has earned that rating, so if you should not be exposed to such content, you should probably not be reading this review.

If you have never played a Witcher title before, but are now interested in the franchise for any reason, is its origin story worth your time and money, or should you save both for something else? About time we find out.

Sunday - September 01, 2013

The Witcher - Following The White Wolf Fan Film

by Couchpotato, 00:28

A team of fans have released a short film based on The Witcher called "‘Following The White Wolf’.

"Following The White Wolf" project is a fans' thanks to Andrzej Sapkowski and CD Projekt RED for creating "The Witcher".

All material for "Following The White Wolf" movie was realized in one day of shooting. The realization was possible only thanks to the funds, passion of the authors and the engagement of everyone taking part in the project.

Wednesday - August 07, 2013

The Witcher - Top Game Adapted From Books

by Couchpotato, 03:02

GameInformer has a new article listing the top ten games that have adapted from books. I wasn't sure if I wanted to post it but they mention The Witcher at spot #1.

The Witcher saga took root in the 1980s, when Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski penned “The Witcher” (Polish: Wiedźmin), his first short story starring Geralt of Rivia. Several short stories and five novels later, Sapkowski’s narrative finally made its way to the video game world in 2007. The author doesn’t consider CD Projekt Red’s RPG series to be canon, but virtual Geralt is still the stoic, Sign-wielding, badass mutant beast hunter that he always has been. 

2007’s The Witcher received mostly praise from video game critics, but it was The Witcher 2 that really put the franchise on the map outside of Poland. Assassins of Kings polished the best elements of The Witcher, like atmosphere and character development, and successfully introduced new ones, like additional weapon types and a more real-time approach to combat. Both games in the series, and likely The Witcher 3 when it comes out next year, turn staple RPG elements and traditional fantasy themes on their heads. Instead of drinking healing potions after a battle, players drink them beforehand as a form of planning. Rather than the wise, gentle-voiced elves we’ve come to expect, the Scoia'tael are tribal guerilla warriors. As fantastic as The Witcher series is, it’s a shame that Andrzej Sapkowski doesn’t play video games.

Sunday - June 24, 2012

The Witcher - Full Combat Rebalance Mod Updated

by Dhruin, 02:25

The Witcher site notes the Full Combat Rebalance Mod (original, not the sequel) has been updated:

Flash has just updated his Full Combat Rebalance MOD for the first Witcher. The update along with the complete list of changes can be downloaded from project’s official website, where you can find more information about the modification itself. Don’t forget to leave your feedback in the special thread on our forums and to check out the trailer for FCR. 

Wednesday - June 06, 2012

The Witcher - Don't forget your GOG backup

by Dhruin, 22:47

CDPR reminds us to head over to GOG and secure the free Witcher digital backup:

All PC gamers who already own The Witcher (the first game in the series) are eligible to receive a free digital back-up copy on GOG.com. All you need to do is go to GOG.com/witcherbackup and follow the instructions to obtain your free back-up copy. This offer is also valid for everyone who is planning on purchasing The Witcher in the future.

Don’t wait any longer and redeem your free back-up copy and gain access to The Witcher from anywhere in the world, anytime and of course with no DRM now!

IMPORTANT: If your version of the game does not have a code on the back of the manual, you have time until the 30th of June to provide us with the proof of purchase.

GOG.com is also offering back-up copies of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings to everyone who has bought the game or intends to buy it in the future.

Saturday - September 10, 2011

The Witcher - Medical Problems 2 Mod

by Dhruin, 01:05

The Witcher Community Site is highlighting a new community mod for the first Witcher, titled Medical Problems 2 (you may remember the frst part back back in March 2010). Here's their description and the link:

Corylea, one of the most active members of our community, has recently released her new adventure for the first Witcher game. Titled “Medical Problems 2,” the adventure can be downloaded here. Reading the short summary attached to this adventure, we will find Geralt puzzled as Vesemir and Eskel get sick, and it is up to the White Wolf himself to find out what’s going on. The adventure has several different endings, depending on your choices of course.

Thanks, Cory.

Tuesday - May 31, 2011

The Witcher - Authentication Still Down [solved!]

by Dhruin, 22:09

Irian writes a frustrated email about the authentication servers for The Witcher 1 still being down despite promises to get them back up a couple of weeks back. This is preventing people who recently installed the game from updating the game and, Irian points out, is ironic given CD Projekt's stance on DRM. Thread on GOG, as an example.

Update:

It seems CD Projekt uploaded an updated The Witcher 1 patch 1.4 and successfully kept it a secret. Authentication is no longer necessary and the patching process works as advertised. Check the news discussion for more details.

Forum and game registration is still down, but since it's no longer mandatory it can be considered a minor problem.

Wednesday - May 04, 2011

The Witcher - Dealing with Choice @ RPS

by Dhruin, 23:56

With The Witcher 2 two weeks away, Rock, Paper, Shotgun looks back at the original game to examine How The Witcher Dealt With Choice (spoilers apply):

We need to begin with an example from the game. So let’s try this: You’re out at night, slaying monsters by the shore for a local merchant, when some elven guerrillas come up to you, asking about the shipment of goods – nearby goods – they were expecting from your temporary employer. They can’t risk being around for long, so they need you to make the decision of whether to take them at their word and let them haul away their goods, or tell them to bugger off.

Do you:

Let them have the goods, which are potentially weapons, and could very well help the guerrillas carry out acts of terrorism against the populace of Vizima?

Or

Inform them that you have no idea whether they own the goods or not, and they could very well be trying to steal them?

Consider that either decision has potentially grave ramifications. You don’t know what the goods are, but if they’re desirable for these freedom fighters, there’s a good chance they’re essential for their resistance. It could be food, meaning that they would starve without them, or it could be weapons, meaning they’d be poorly equipped and more likely to get killed if they don’t get them.

Monday - February 21, 2011

The Witcher - Retrospective @ Eurogamer

by Dhruin, 23:04

Eurogamer looks back at the first Witcher game in a retrospective article:

On returning to the game now, it's the stories within stories that impress most. Those narrative mini-arcs that show the game's tagline to be more than idle boast: "There is no good, no evil – Only decisions and consequences." There's the expected branching storyline, but with very little of the blatant good vs. evil choices that are so clearly signposted in other RPGs. As long as you choose the path that is best suited to how you're playing Geralt, rather than that which you estimate will net you the most loot, you're never made to feel that you've made 'wrong' choice.

Tuesday - February 01, 2011

The Witcher - Mods @ GameFront

by Dhruin, 22:20

GameFront has a small list of mods for The Witcher, most of which we've covered before.  Thatsaid, Roxtar's Extreme Immersion Mod is an interesting idea if you've already played the game through a few times:

The Witcher Extreme Immersion Mod is not for the faint of heart. Modder Roxtar stripped almost all of the HUD elements out leaving the player to rely on observations and wits alone. Geralt’s stance is the only indication of which fighting style he’s taking and your enemy’s wounds are the only health bar you get. For a more detailed description of The Witcher Extreme Immersion Mod, check out Roxtar’s post on The Witcher Enhanced Edition Forum.

Tuesday - December 07, 2010

The Witcher Versus - Coming to the iPhone

by Dhruin, 20:00

The promo browser game Witcher: Versus is heading to iDevices, according to this PR we received:

CHILLINGO PARTNERS WITH ONE2TRIBE TO BRING 'THE WITCHER: VERSUS' TO THE APPLE APP STORE 

Experience the Dark Magical World of ''The Witcher' in This New Title for iPhone and iPod touch! 

London, UK., – December 7, 2010 – Leading independent games publisher Chillingo, a division of Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: ERTS), today announced a partnership with popular indie games developer, one2tribe to bring ‘The Witcher: Versus’ to the Apple App StoreSM.

Based on the successful online browser-based PC RPG brand, The Witcher: Versus immerses players into an action-packed strategic combat world filled with fierce duels, powerful foes and dark magic. Choose between the classes of Witcher, Sorceress or Frightener and jump right into the fray of battle. Fight, gain experience and develop your skills against other players. Embark on quests to prove bravery and battle enemies to unlock new weapons, amulets, and magical items. Players can compete against others playing the online browser and WAP versions of the game for an unparalleled MMO dueling experience.

“The Witcher franchise is one of the industry’s most popular PC RPG games and we are proud to collaborate with one2tribe to bring this new version of the browser-based MMO dueling title to the iPhone and iPod touch,” explains Joe Wee, Co-General Manager of Chillingo. “We aim to provide consumers with a variety of game genres to choose from and The Witcher: Versus shines as one of our best MMO titles to date.”

“Fans will still find epic duels in The Witcher: Versus; however we have revolutionized the gameplay for iOS devices so they quickly discover new possibilities and features unseen before,” explains Wojciech Ozimek, the CEO of one2tribe. “Chillingo is the ideal partner to publish our game based on their proven track record – we wanted to ensure that our title is introduced properly with new consumers so they can discover the immersive, addictive adventure at their fingertips.”

‘The Witcher: Versus’ will be arriving soon on the Apple App Store. Learn more about the massively addictive game by following  http://www.twitter.com/chillingo and http://www.facebook.com/witchervs

Tuesday - June 29, 2010

The Witcher - Must Have Mods

by Dhruin, 23:10

Witcher2Game.com sent in their article about Must Have Mods for the first game.  Unfortunately, it's a very short list with only the Full Combat Rebalance we've covered before, Flash's Scabbard Mod and a Texture Mod - no story/quest mods.

Friday - June 25, 2010

The Witcher - Which Version to Play?

by Dhruin, 23:47

Witcher2game.com writes in about their article about which version of The Witcher to play while you wait for TW2.  In case you were wondering:

Sometime after the Enhanced Edition was released and bemoaned by North American gamers the Director’s Cut found it’s way onto the internet. This, again, was the work of CD Projekt in response to fan demand and removed all of the North American specific censorship. This version is exactly the same as the European Enhanced Edition and can be brought either from Steam. Additionally, those who already own the North American Enhanced Edition can download the director’s cut patch from CD Projekt’s Witcher site for free!

Saturday - May 29, 2010

The Witcher - Platinum Edition Released in Europe

by Aries100, 10:34

The Witcher official website has been updated with this announcement. The Platinum Edition of the original the Witcher game can now be bought in Europe. The difference between this edition and the Enhanced edition? It includes the fan-made adventures and the 1.5 patch as well as all uncensored content. 

Wednesday - April 14, 2010

The Witcher - Cancelled Addon Details

by Dhruin, 22:41

Details have emerged of a cancelled Addon for CD Projekt's The WitcherNews originally broke via Unseen64 of The Witcher: Outcast, in development by roXidy (hit the link for lots of concept art).  You may know roXidy as the former DLA (Dragonlance Adventures) mod team for NWN and Steel_Wind, who posts on our forums.

GameBanshee goes a step further by coming up with an original design doc with quest flow charts, character summaries and so on.  Here's a snip showing the Act 1 outline:

Act I: Kaer Karreg, Lublow & Woodland:

Geralt begins the story recovering in the Sanctuary of Freyja in Lublow. Ylva the priestess tells him he is healed, and that jarl Harald, who employed him, can be found up at castle Karreg. Both Harald and Ylva will also point Geralt towards Ingrid, the pregnant woman that Geralt was trying to save in the opening cutscene. Ingrid confirms that she also saw the Masked Woman. As Ingrid begins to show signs of illness following the attack, Geralt tracks down another woman who was attacked many years ago by the beast. Her story is similar to Ingrid's, and she suggests that Ingrid may suffer the same fate as she did – to give birth to a monster. Ylva is unable to offer a cure for Ingrid, and in desperation, Ingrid and her husband beg Geralt to visit the Wise Woman in Han Cross. This opens Act II.

In parallel, Geralt investigates Lublow and its surroundings and takes on regular contracts. Astrid, Harald's daughter, fearing that her father will continue to blame the non-humans for the disappearances around Lublow, offers her help to Geralt, becoming available for several of the monster hunts as the game progresses.

Gisla, Lord Harald's second wife, also urges Geralt to find the monster and the Masked Woman he saw. The villagers confirm to Geralt that Gisla has hired Bounty Hunters to do the same task in the past, and Gisla confirms this, telling Geralt that the Bounty Hunters were killed or that one, a woman, disappeared. She asks Geralt to purchase swords quietly from the smith in Han Cross, in order to form a militia to defend Lublow from the beast. Geralt must be circumspect however; thralls are not entitled to bear arms, and Gisla would rather not have to explain herself to Harald until such an action has proven its worth.

Wednesday - March 10, 2010

The Witcher - Medical Problems Mod

by Dhruin, 22:43

The Witcher site is pointing out a new adventure mod called Medical Problems, hosted at ModDB.  Here's the description:

Description:

Shani needs help fighting an epidemic of a new, unknown sickness. But what could a monster slayer possibly do about a medical problem?

The game has several different possible endings, depending on which choices you make while playing. Three choices each have consequences, making eight different paths through the game, and which ending you get depends on the combination of choices.

Geralt has monsters to kill, human lives to save, a mystery to solve, and witcher contracts to fulfill. There are also some ladies to woo, though all but one of them are optional. :-)

Features:

* 12 quests (only 11 of which can be completed in any one game, since two of them are mutually exclusive)
* 45 NPC's, all of which have names and conversations of their own.
* 18 explorable areas plus three special areas, with 19 new loading screens
* 40 monsters to kill
* 6 sex cards to get, including one new one and 5 recolored ones
* Many, many recolors of clothes
  * Approximately three hours of gameplay

Thursday - March 04, 2010

The Witcher - Full Combat Rebalance Mod

by Dhruin, 20:17

I'm a bit surprised we don't see more Witcher mods, but perhaps we're just not looking for them.  GameBanshee points out the v1.1 Final of the Full Combat Rebalance Mod, which sounds just the thing for a new play through.  Here's the description from Mod DB:

The Full Combat Rebalance mod was published on the 8th of July and it is, so far, the biggest modification created for The Witcher. The combat system basis has been rebuilt and it has been done single-handly by Andrzej "Flash" Kwiatkowski. The aim he was motivated by was maximizing the realism of the gameplay, this way making it more similar to the world created by Andrzej Sapkowski and maintaining the gameplay to the highest possible standard at the same time. The fights have became more brutal, they need more tactics and strategy, but on the other hand the combat system rules have become more logical. We warmly encourage you to test the modification on your own – and experience a completely new game!

Source: GameBanshee

Monday - November 30, 2009

The Witcher - Advent Calendar Contest

by Dhruin, 18:58

Seems CD Projekt and TopWare read the same marketing manual, with a Witcher flavoured Advent Calendar contest also on offer at The Witcher site.  Prizes for this one are Witcher medallions and dice.

Wednesday - October 28, 2009

The Witcher - Reduced Price on Steam

by Aries100, 12:54

Shack News writes that Steam now sells The Witcher at a reduced price. This game is now digitally available in all regions of the world. Note that is the Enhanced Edition: Director's Cut version of the game.

Source: Shack News

Wednesday - October 14, 2009

The Witcher - Halloween Contest

by Dhruin, 23:20

The Witcher site has announced a Halloween pumpkin-carving contest, so if that sounds like your thing, head over for the details.

Tuesday - August 04, 2009

The Witcher - Adventure Card Game Coming

by Dhruin, 23:38

From The Witcher site comes news an Adventure Card Game - currently available in Polish - will soon be released in English and Spanish:

We are very happy to inform you that “The Witcher” card game – already known to Polish players – will soon be published in English and Spanish. The Spanish version will be available in August, and will be distributed by Gen X Games (http://www.genxgames.es). The English card game will premiere this Fall during Spiel’09 in Essen, Germany. You will be able to buy it through the Kuźnia Gier distribution network, which is the creator of the game. You'll find a list of places that stock their products here: http://kuzniagier.pl/whereToBuy.html and, as Kuźnia Gier promises, that list will soon be expanded with new entries!

It’s worth mentioning that there are intensive talks being held about translating the game into other languages. More information soon.

Saturday - August 01, 2009

The Witcher - Director's Cut Now Available in NA

by Dhruin, 01:13

The headline is all you need to know.  Official PR for TW:EEDC follows:

DIRECTOR’S CUT OF THE WITCHER: ENHANCED EDITION NOW AVAILABLE IN NORTH AMERICA

 

Who:                Atari, Inc., one of the world’s most recognized videogame publishers, announced today that new content will be available for The Witcher: Enhanced Edition for Windows PC.

 

What:               The game as the developers, CD Projekt RED, intended with mature content only released outside of North America – until now! The Witcher: Enhanced Edition Director’s Cut is now available for download at www.atari.com and other major digital distribution outlets.  This new Director’s Cut content is available as both a patch for The Witcher: Enhanced Edition as well as a full game download.   

 

                        The Witcher, originally released October 2007, has won more than 100 awards and has sold more than 1.2 million copies worldwide. The Witcher: Enhanced Edition brought the game close to perfection, with more than 5000 lines of re-written and re-recoded dialogue, more than 200 new dialogue animations, a new character differentiation system for NPCs, an enhanced inventory with improved alchemy, reduced loading times, improved combat responsiveness and two new adventures. AND NOW, with the release of The Witcher: Enhanced Edition Director’s Cut, the game is available in its entirety to North American audiences.

 

When:              The downloadable content is available starting today JULY 31, 2009

 

Where:             The Witcher: Enhanced Edition Director’s Cut game and patch are available at ATARI.com, Steam (steampowered.com), Impulse (impulsedriven.com) and Direct2Drive.  The patch is also available at TheWitcher.com.

 

Why:                Representing the pinnacle of storytelling in role-playing games, The Witcher: Enhanced Edition Director’s Cut shatters the line between good and evil in a world where moral ambiguity reigns. In a beautiful, rich game universe, the player takes on the role of renowned monster slayer, Geralt of Rivia, in an epic, action-packed narrative in which his decisions have a major impact on how the story plays out. The Witcher emphasizes story and character development in a vibrant world, while incorporating tactically-deep real-time combat like few games before it

Monday - July 27, 2009

The Witcher - Director's Cut Release Date

by Dhruin, 22:50

CD Projekt has announced the release date for The Witcher: Enhanced Edition Director's Cut:

For everyone waiting for Director's Cut version of The Witcher we have good news!

The release date for this project is now set to 31st of July.

If you want more information about The Witcher: Enhanced Edition Director's Cut, please go to FAQ post on our forum - http://www.thewitcher.com/forum/index.php?topic=24841

Wednesday - July 15, 2009

The Witcher - Director's Cut Info

by Dhruin, 00:14

The Witcher site has a FAQ on The Witcher: Enhanced Edition Director's Cut, which should be available shortly.  Turns out the Director's Cut is simply a North American release that combines v1.5 and the original uncensored content.  Here we go:

  • What is The Witcher: Enhanced Edition Director’s Cut?
    The Director’s Cut is the version of the game our developers originally intended for you to play. It is essentially the same game that gamers around the world have experienced – now available legitimately for the first time in North America. 
  • Where will The Witcher: Enhanced Edition Director’s Cut be available?
    The Director’s Cut update will be available from TheWitcher.com and all applicable digital distributors in North America, including Steam, Impulse and Direct2Drive. We will announce the release date in the coming days, but as of that date, people who buy The Witcher: Enhanced Edition from digital distributors will be purchasing the Director’s Cut, as it will replace the existing Enhanced Edition on those sites.
  • Will The Witcher: Enhanced Edition Director’s Cut obtained from digital distribution contain 1.5 patch features (i.e. additional adventures):
    Yes, Director’s Cut version of the game will have all features of patch 1.5.
  • Do I need The Witcher: Enhanced Edition to get the Director’s Cut?
    If you want to just install the patch to get the Director’s Cut content, then you do need The Witcher: Enhanced Edition. If you’re just buying The Witcher for the first time (or feel like buying it again!) then you can just purchase the product via Steam, Impulse, Direct2Drive, etc. as they will offer the Director’s Cut as a full product already patched to the latest version. 
  • I don’t live in North America or I imported a copy of the game from outside of North America. Should I get the Director’s Cut?You really already have the Director’s Cut if you have the international edition of the game and have installed the 1.5 patch! 
  • What is the age rating of The Witcher: Enhanced Edition Director’s Cut?
    The Director’s Cut has received an M rating from the ESRB, with Blood and Gore, Nudity, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content and Violence.

Wednesday - July 08, 2009

The Witcher - 1.5 Patch Now Available

by Magerette, 17:39

The official site for CDProjekt's crpg The Witcher announces that the latest patch, v 1.5, is now available for download:

We are happy to inform that latest patch version for The Witcher is now available to download!

Here are the features of patch 1.5:

Modifications:
- copy securities (DRM) are removed
- playing the game no longer requires the game disc in the drive
- patch solves problems with EAX and blurred graphics

Additionally:
- 5 bonus adventures made by the Witcher community: ‘Deceits’, ‘Blight of the Bogs’, ‘Wraiths of Quiet Hamlet’, ‘The Wedding’, ‘Merry Witchmas’.

In order to install patch 1.5 correctly, original Witcher game upgraded to 1.4 (i.e. The Witcher: Enhanced Edition) should be installed.

You might also want to download the new game-difficulty modification, "Flash Mod", prepared by our community member Andrzej "Flash" Kwiatkowski. Now surivivng in the world of The Witcher will be much more challenging than ever before!

You can pick up the patch at the link above, and also at Action Trip, Worthplaying, and The Patches Scrolls.

Monday - June 22, 2009

The Witcher - v1.5 Patch on July 8th

by Dhruin, 23:16

CD Projekt sent out this PR announcing the DRM-free v1.5 Witcher patch for July 8th:

Patch 1.5 coming for download on July 8th!

Starting on the 8th of July, you’ll be able to download the next update for The Witcher, version 1.5.

The patch focuses mainly on removing troublesome DRM, allowing you to play the game without the disc, while providing additional hours of fun thanks to new adventures created by the fan community. Patch 1.5 is the next stage of The Witcher’s life, and is also a means of expressing our thanks to the modding community for their hard work on creating the adventures. The update will also be included in forthcoming The Witcher: Enhanced Edition Director’s Cut; more info on that product will be released shortly.

Patch 1.5 features:

Modifications:
- copy securities (DRM) are removed
- playing the game no longer requires the game disc in the drive
- patch solves problems with EAX and blurred graphics

Additionally:
- 5 bonus adventures made by the Witcher community: ‘Deceits’, ‘Blight of the Bogs’, ‘Wraiths of the Quiet Hamlet’, ‘Wedding’, ‘Merry Witchmas’.

In order to install patch 1.5 correctly, original Witcher game upgraded to 1.4 (enhanced edition) will be required.

Thursday - June 11, 2009

The Witcher - New Adventure Mod

by Dhruin, 00:29

The Witcher site is pointing out a new community adventure mod titled Entrapped:

Exhausted after a long journey through Temeria, the witcher arrives at a village which to be no different from any other in the region. All he wants is to spend a night in the nearby inn and set off in the morning… but suddenly he finds himself in serious danger. He’ll be trapped in the village and the way out won’t be easy...

Enjoy!

You can download the adventure here.

Tuesday - June 02, 2009

The Witcher - Version 1.5 Announced

by Myrthos, 23:03

The Witcher: Enhanced Edition version 1.5 will soon be released by Project Red. The new version will include all bonus content from The Witcher: Enhanced Edition and five additional fan-made adventures. Most importantly, The Witcher: Enhanced Edition 1.5 is completely DRM-free! Moreover, the 1.5 version will remove the disc check, allowing you to play the game without the DVD in the drive.

All available versions of the game will be upgraded to 1.5, including the forthcoming The Witcher: Enhanced Edition Director's Cut for North American gamers.

As usual the patch containing the additional content will be available to download for free  for all registered The Witcher and The Witcher: Enhanced Edition owners!

Thanks ton_hur for letting us know.

Monday - May 04, 2009

The Witcher - Interview @ RPG Codex

by Dhruin, 12:08

We missed this interview with CD Projekt's Michal Kicinski last week at RPG Codex, which was written before the news of the cancelations broke.  The conversation covers some RPG staples, the successes and failures of The Witcher and hype:

In the gaming industry and the gaming press there's a noisy opinion that certain game mechanics and design aspect featured in more traditional RPGs (e. g. tactical turn based combat, isometric perspective, skill based gameplay) are things of the past, things that the evolution of gaming left behind. What's your take on that and how are chances we might ever see such a game from CD Projekt.

Hmmm... you probably won't see an absolutly classical RPG from CD Projekt. Designing The Witcher we discussed that repeatedly. We reached the conclusion that we want to keep close to the values of classical RPGs (a well developed plot, possibly realistic depiction of the world), but we shouldn't clutch outworn formulas. Instead, we wondered what could be refined and change in order to achieve the overriding aim, that is, immerse the player into the imaginary world and allow him to identify with the hero. That seems to be the essence of the problem. That how specific elements are realized is less important than if the way they work brings us closer to the superior aim.

An example (no necessarily the best) might be the real time combat system used in The Witcher vs. typical turn based combat. TB combat has one huge advantage: it gives a lot of tactical possibilities and the outcome depends entirely on intellectual effort. For a lot of players, and that's the drawback, it might look too statistical and play out too slowly though, which is far from realistic. When designing The Witcher we tried to merge tactical possibilities (preparing to fight, alchemy and the use of potions, choice of weapons and styles, use of magical signs, use of dodging moves and combos, pause) with a dynamic depiction of the whole process. I have to add that the more sophisticated tactictics are needed and more visible when playing on higher difficulty levels.

Thanks to that the combat system in The Witcher allows, despite its apparent simplicity, for a lot of tactical possibilities while at the same time being more dynamic and realistic in its presentation. More realistic because real fights take place in real time ;). Obviously we might not have managed to make combat as deep a TB system would have allowed, but that example illustrates a little bit our approach. It's more important to have realistic combat with tactical possibilities than a specific combat system.

I feel it's worthwhile to build on technological progress. Since the appearence of the first classical RPGs the possibilities to design games have evolved drastically. It's worthwhile to stay faithful to what's most important in in RPGs, but that doesn't mean that you have to stay away from refining the formula in order to make playing a role more realistic. For example in The Witcher lots of RPG mechanics are interwoven into the game's inside and the player doesn't even realize they exist, but thanks to that the world and the NPCs populating it are more believable.

Sunday - March 08, 2009

The Witcher - Book vs Game @ Fantasy Fan

by Magerette, 18:06

Fantasy fiction site Fantasy Fan posts an article discussing the relationship of author Andrzej Sapkowski's Witcher books to CDProjekt's cRPG, The Witcher:

 I can't stress enough how important it is to remember that the game was created based on the brilliant writing of Andrzej Sapkowski. The books are not mere extensions of the successful game drawing from its success. Remember, the books were first...

..The last concern I want to touch on in this article is the consistency between the game and books. I was worried that the Witcher game would disappoint me and instead of bringing fun it would negatively impact the memory of the saga. I'm happy to announce that it didn't happen. The independent story brought Witcher back to life and the strong links to the books which exist in the game made it seem like you're simply reading another chapter from Geralt's life. But more importantly, the brutal world of moral ambiguity, difficult choices and sarcastic humor was preserved. Andrzej Sapkowski was involved in creating of the game and it really shows.

 

Source: GameBanshee

Friday - March 06, 2009

The Witcher - One of the Top 100 PC Best Sellers

by Magerette, 16:40

The official site for CDProjekt's 2007 crpg, The Witcher reports it's sales figures for the game place it on the list of Top 100 Best Selling PC Games in History:

First of all, I would like to apologize to all of you, as we’re going to brag once again. Yes, yes – I know we promised not to do that again, but on the other hand the occasion is so important for us that we couldn’t avoid mentioning it. So what’s all the buzz about? Well, according to our latest sales data, The Witcher has sold more than 1,2 million copies around the world! “More numbers,” you might say, but let me finish ..Because of those numbers, The Witcher has jumped onto the list of the 100 bestselling PC games in history! Not bad, huh?

Nevertheless, bragging is not the most important thing here. What’s important is the fact that we would like to thank all of you - our fans. We did it once before with the anniversary movie, and we just can’t stop thanking you for making The Witcher a popular choice among PC games. You are the real proof that sometimes going upstream, no matter what people say, is worth taking a risk. Without you, none of this would be possible and none of our dreams would ever come true.

Wednesday - December 24, 2008

The Witcher - EE Patch

by Corwin, 01:53

The Witcher Official Website now offers a hotfix for The Witcher: Enhanced Edition, addressing two specific problems in CD Projekt RED's action/RPG. Word is: "The hotfix resolves problems related to EAX technology, which did not operate properly in conjunction with the game and generated critical errors when activated in the Game Options panel, and also eliminates the blur remaining after cut scenes and dialogue sequences on certain system configurations."

Source: Blues News

Monday - December 15, 2008

The Witcher - Christmas Contest

by Dhruin, 21:29

Head over to The Witcher site for a Christmas Contest that will see you creating dishes for a witchers' feast, such as the provided example of Drowner's Fricasee.

Saturday - November 29, 2008

The Witcher - The Hunt Begins @ Official Site

by Magerette, 18:01

CDProjekt has posted some obscure hints on the official Witcher website inviting everyone to hunt across the internet for some unspecified development news:

Are you eager to learn our deepest, darkest secrets? Would you really like to see what we're working on before anyone else?

Then take part in the Hunt! Be the first to find all the clues and you'll be rewarded with... something.

You'll have to be very smart and perceptive. Keep your eyes wide open as you search for the hidden clues.


So, why are you still here? Go visit http://www.gog.com  to find the first clue!

 

Source: Blues News

Thursday - November 20, 2008

The Witcher - New User Adventure @ Official Site

by Magerette, 17:39

The official site for The Witcher has a new user-created adventure available for download called 'Tribute':

This time you play as a muscleman drunkard and your task will be to save the inn from being burned by evil Basar.
You must prevent the only place to sell and consume booze in the neighbourhood from being destroyed!

The adventure has two different endings.

Tuesday - November 18, 2008

The Witcher - EE Interview @ Gaming Nexus

by Dhruin, 22:31

Gaming Nexus has a post-release interview with Maciej Szczeœnik, project lead for The Witcher Enhanced Edition. There's nothing new but CD Projekt expresses a desire to work with the RPG genre for the moment:

Is CD Projekt planning on specializing in RPGs or are cross-genre games or even titles from a completely different genre possibilities?
At the moment we plan to stay with RPGs, but we aren’t shutting out different genres. As designers, programmers and artists, we play all kinds of games. Most probably we will try different genres, as well, but first we want to establish ourselves as a top RPG developer.

In other Witcher news, PanKarol's blog at IGN has a new entry looking behind the scenes at the PR team.

Thursday - November 13, 2008

The Witcher - EE Review Roundup

Thursday - November 06, 2008

The Witcher - John's Diary Mod

by Dhruin, 21:06

The Witcher site is promoting a new mod called John's Diary:

We are pleased to announce the release of the new adventure for The Witcher - "John's Diary"

John, a drowned dead, wants to take revenge on the Witchers. You need to lead him in combat with Lambert, Geralt and Leo, win the fist fight with Bob and take part in an unusal 'tournament'… ;)

You can download the adventure here.

Wednesday - November 05, 2008

The Witcher - 1M Sold - the Secret to PC Success

by Dhruin, 22:43

Edge Online talks to CD Projekt co-founder Michal Kicinski about their success with The Witcher with a relatively unknown IP and only on the PC.  Not pandering to the mainstream is one of the answers:

In hindsight, the reason for the game's unlikely success is clear to Kicinski: Know your audience and make a game for it. Maybe even throw a little respect their way and make them feel special. Basically, wine them and dine them.

Game makers these days are adamant about making games for the masses. It must be cross-platform. "Accessibility." Proven storylines in proven genres based on proven IP released on proven platforms. That's the mantra, and what many publishers will say is the best way to get return on investment.

But CD Projekt, which spent $11 million to develop The Witcher and its "Enhanced Edition" follow-up, found success by narrowing its focus from a spotlight to a laser beam, and making a game for a certain kind of gamer instead of trying to be everything to everyone.

Monday - November 03, 2008

The Witcher - Blog Update

by Dhruin, 22:52

CD Projekt's PanKarol has kicked up a new blog entry at IGN, celebrating the 1-year anniversary of The Witcher and 1 million sales.  He goes on to hint about their next project...all stuff we know, so far.  Underneath the text is a diagram showing The Witcher in 2007, The Witcher EE in 2008 and a question mark over 2009.  So, an expansion / addon / sequel coming soon?  Your guess is as good as mine:

So, you’re probably asking yourself: what next? I’m still not in a position to tell you (though I’m still shooting for that quick string of promotions that’ll get me there). I can promise you one thing: we’re not one of those developers who make one game and retire. We created The Witcher, but there’s so much more we want to achieve. They say the sky’s the limit, and we couldn’t agree more. We’ve got a lot to show the gaming world and we’ll do our best to make some more noise in the industry in the not too distant future.

Thursday - October 30, 2008

The Witcher - Anniversary Trailer

by Dhruin, 21:08

Dag writes in to point out a one-year anniversary trailer for The Witcher that celebrates their recent 1-million copies announcement.  The more interesting thing is the "And we're just getting started" message towards the end, followed by a fast sequence of images.  It's hard to pick everything out but, presumably, we're seeing cinematic snips from a future Witcher title (and a shooter gets mixed in).  I'll let you interpret and let us know in the comments.

The Witcher - Sells a Million

by Woges, 20:52

That's into players hands not shipped to retail. It's the current news of the week on the official site and there is an article up at Gamasutra as well. So congratulations to the team.

All the ghouls, vampires and wenches in the world couldn’t stop the white-haired Geralt from conquering the world! CD Projekt RED is proud to announce that The Witcher, the epic RPG that puts players in the morally lenient boots of the aforementioned anti-hero, has sold more than a million copies to real, live people since its release twelve months ago. Scientific research has proven that those sales numbers are quite good for a debut game based on a relatively unfamiliar IP from an unknown studio on a “dead” platform.

Monday - October 27, 2008

The Witcher - EE Review @ games.on.net

by Dhruin, 21:10

Aussie site games.on.net has a review of The Witcher: Enhanced Edition.  As with most critiques, the article is highly positive despite a few niggles remaining.  The score is 5/5 and here's a snip:

The narrative presented in the game is a highly mature tale that addresses many themes. The scope of the main quest is magnificent, and is progressed primarily through your own actions whilst controlling Geralt. While a lot of it is scripted heavily, you're left with an illusion of freedom, which allows you to either be friend or foe to any NPC. The game world is not comprised of black and white decisions with everything instead tinged with grey.

This is made evident throughout the game. Your decisions do effect things, and not just in a superficial way. For instance, if you agitate a particular character in the world, their influence amongst other NPCs will either tarnish or enhance your reputation amongst their allies and colleagues, while gaining you favour with their enemies. This is portrayed foremost in dialogue, though dialogue is sometimes let down by poor translation, even after a thorough rewrite of the script.

Source: Blues News

Sunday - October 26, 2008

The Witcher - Review @ ComputerGames.ro

by Dhruin, 21:09

Another review for The Witcher: EE, this time at ComputerGames.ro, where the score is 88/100.  We've taken so many positive quotes, here's a bit on bugs:

On the other hand, despite the improvements brought, the frequency of the CTDs still remains a serious motive for hitting the table and swearing for the lost time since the last save. At the same time, although the game is generally more fluid, the framerate drops are still severe during the scenes populated with many NPC, which shows the technological limits of the Aurora engine related to its scalability against to the increased performances of the actual PCs.

Source: Blues News

Thursday - October 23, 2008

The Witcher - Blight of the Bogs Mod

by Dhruin, 23:52

An new adventure for The Witcher has been released, titled Blight of the Bogs:

We are proud to present new adventure for The Witcher - "Blight of the Bogs".

This time we'll have to lead Geralt through his 'swamp' adventure, solve a riddle and (to what Witcher got used for sure) make a difficult decision.

Click here to download the adventure.

Follow the first link for installation instructions.

Saturday - October 18, 2008

The Witcher - EE Review @ Games Radar

by Dhruin, 23:14

Another score of 8.5/10 for The Witcher Enhanced Edition in Games Radar's review.  Since we've covered everything else so many times, a grab on the free modules included:

The enhanced addition also has two additional missions to go along with the five chapters of the original game. These missions are sort of stand-alone stories that involve Geralt and have very little to do with the main game itself. In one chapter, "The price of neutrality," has our man Geralt investigating whether or not a princess is cursed and how to deal with the situation. This was the better of the two new stories and it was really only around two and a half hours long. The second story "side effects" has our man Geralt attempting to buy a friend out of debt by raising 2,000 gold (orens in this game) by playing errand boy. Not much of value was added to the game with these two quests, the first could have been more if it had been fleshed out fully and the plot, more accurately ended, but the second really needed to be so much more.

Source: Blues News

Thursday - October 16, 2008

The Witcher - Poet's Pride Mod

by Dhruin, 22:11

The Witcher site is promoting a new adventure / mods titled Poet's Pride:

Here comes next adventure for "The Witcher" created by our community!

In "Poet's Pride" Geralt has to help Dandelion retrieve his lute.

After the poet insulted an elven lutenist, the latter took the instrument and hid it preparing some very interesting puzzles to solve.
In this adventure, time matters greatly. If we don't find the lute till midnight, the instrument will be lost.

Click here to download the adventure.

Wednesday - October 15, 2008

The Witcher - D'jinni and Fan Art Contests

by Dhruin, 21:32

Stage 5 of CD Projekt's D'jinni Adventure Editor Contest is under way:

The last part of D'jinni Contest has just started! The deadline to send in the final version of your adventures is November 29th.

In stage 5 you can contact us at adventures@thewitcher.com to get technical help with any major problems you run into.

All completed submissions will be rewarded with The Witcher swag pack and promoted on the site in the news section.

The best adventure will be rewarded with a unique reward, a suprise from CD Projekt RED.

You can send your files to us at adventures@thewitcher.com.

...and from a few days back, they also have a Halloween fan art contest.

Tuesday - October 14, 2008

The Witcher - EE Overview @ Gamebanshee

by Magerette, 19:24

Gamebanshee's Steven Carter takes a look at the recently released Enhanced Edition of CDProjekt's cRPG, The Witcher and stresses this article is more an examination of the effectiveness of the patching of the game than a review. On the dialogue improvements:

I know there are some players out there who would prefer scripts and scripted events to be as terse as possible so they can concentrate on killing things, but the changes to The Witcher’s script are actually more subtle than I expected them to be. Conversations flow better, NPCs are more conscientious about telling you where they’ll be and what you’ll need to do to complete their quests, and all of the nonsensical comments have been removed. Better yet, CD Projekt Red achieved this without the script seeming much “wordier.”...

On dice poker:

Another nice change is that CD Projekt Red improved dice poker. When the game was initially released, the dice poker opponents were monumentally dumb, and they’d often roll dice at random, without any regard to whether they were helping their hand or actually hurting it. But now the opponents are both smarter and luckier, and so it’s much tougher to get through the dice poker quest in the game. It also means that you can no longer use dice poker as a source for easy money. But on the downside, dice poker also isn’t as much fun to play any more. Opponents constantly roll full houses and six-high straights, and you’re now much more likely to lose than to win (I lost to Dandelion 10 times in a row before I finally beat him).

 

Saturday - October 11, 2008

The Witcher - EE Review @ FI

by Dhruin, 23:25

It's been a while since we linked to Frictionless Insight but now they have a new review of The Witcher: Enhanced Edition.  The score is 4.5/5 with praise for the overall design, despite some remaining quibbles.  On consequences:

It's wonderful to play a game with consequences. A game in which the developers are willing to allow you to make decisions that will prevent you from seeing some of the content they so lovingly created. There is no perfect path, only the path that most appeals to you. Geralt's gruff amnesiac identity and the legacy of Andrzej Sapkowski may appeal to a few fans, but meaningful choices should appeal to everyone. The main story stays similar, but the available side plots merit at least a repeat play of the game.

Source: Blues News

Tuesday - October 07, 2008

The Witcher - EE Review @ Videogamer.com

by Magerette, 17:12

The official site for The Witcher has a new review link posted  for the recently released Enhanced Edition. Videogamer.com gives the game a 9/10 and has this to say:

So, how much difference do all these changes make, you might ask?...Obviously the most noticeable difference is due to the script. With five thousand lines of restored dialogue and a re-recorded voiceover (which is better directed than the original version), the game world now feels richer and more vibrant and believable than before. One of the things we liked best in the original game was the way the world was presented in shades of grey, with there being no obvious right or wrong moral choices. This aspect is even more apparent and better detailed with the revised script. Some characters that were merely dislikeable first time around are now utterly repellent, as are the decisions they ask you to make.

Source: CD Projekt

Thursday - October 02, 2008

The Witcher - EE Review @ GameSpot

by Dhruin, 01:08

8.5/10 is the score for The Witcher: Enhanced Edition in GameSpot's review:

Where this enhanced Witcher takes a welcome turn is with its story and presentation. Although the plot of the first game was a remarkably mature tale that ditched traditional black-and-white RPG morality for a gray universe, the story was sloppily adapted from its original Polish. In it, you took the lesser-of-two-evils approach and found a common cause with rapists and murderers. A bizarre decision to cut back the English dialogue preserved only chopped-up portions of the full script, leaving plot points hard to understand and cut-off conversations in midstream. All those issues have been corrected here. Thousands of lines of English dialogue have been rerecorded, fully fleshing out the storyline and removing the awkwardness of the original game. The English translation has been gone over with a fine-toothed comb to get rid of some jarring word choices from last year. The game is still a lot more modern sounding than some would probably like, throwing around F-bombs and curse words in ways that just don't seem to fit with swords and sorcery. But at least the script has been smoothed out and given a unified voice. Any way you look at it, this is a huge improvement over the first Witcher, which veered wildly between formal D&D-speak and New Jack City.

Tuesday - September 30, 2008

The Witcher - The Graveyard Party Mod

by Dhruin, 00:52

Another mod announced at The Witcher site:

The GRAVEYARD PARTY: "Pick your Poison!"

Welcome, warrior - today, you have been challenged to survive the Graveyard Party. There is no sense here! There is no getting out alive! There is only honor and glory of smashing your way through hordes of foes using the skills you choose!

Now, there are no limits to your choices. We’ve conveniently selected defensive, offensive, and evasive options for you to choose from. NOT ENOUGH? Fine! Go ahead and build it up yourself, start from scratch! It’s up to you. This is all about choices in this party! Dress up as anyone you want for the harvest season: a growly dwarf with a wicked axe and an AARD to thrust away your foes… a Red Knight with a holy hammer to pound undead flesh into the soil and casts Yrden to become invulnerable… a sorceress who can summon ifrits to attack and defend her while her spells devastate the enemies… or, a witcher with his legendary steel and silver swords!

Get in here, and beat the Graveyard Party to a pulp! Pick your poison and see how long you can last!

Monday - September 29, 2008

The Witcher - EE Review @ 1UP

by Magerette, 18:23

1UP contributes their take on the recently released Enhanced Edition of The Witcher in this extremely short review, giving it a "B" and seeming mainly taken with the language fixes:

...we must offer many blessings upon CD Projekt for the tweaks they've made to the Enhanced Edition of their debut role-playing game, The Witcher -- the best of which is the ability to mix and match voice and subtitle languages. I went with the original Polish voices with English subs, but you can choose French with Spanish, Czech with Czech, or whatever strikes your bilingual fancy. This little tweak alone does wonders to ameliorate (or at least mask) the bad acting and writing in the original version, and it represents a stroke of simple genius that all overseas game companies should consider...

 

 

Sunday - September 28, 2008

The Witcher - Review @ Bit-tech

by Dhruin, 02:22

Bit-tech is the latest site to review The Witcher: EE, spending quite a bit of time on the added modules and other content, although bizarrely wasting time with dead cat analogies for other games.  The score is 8/10, although they think this is for the hardcore-est of the hardcore:

Much of that threat though is by-the-by, because despite how things look on the face of it, The Witcher isn’t the type of game that is going to appeal to all RPG gamers. It’s more niche than Mass Effect or Fallout 3. Instead, The Witcher is, now more than ever, a game for the old-school, hardcore RPG players. This isn’t for people who drifted through Baldur’s Gate and thought it was OK – this is for the people who dived into Planescape Torment, completed every sidequest, came out the other side and started writing fanfiction.

Saturday - September 27, 2008

The Witcher - Review @ Wired

by Dhruin, 01:54

Praise for the story in The Witcher: EE with a review at Wired:

I use the words morality play to describe the plot of The Witcher, because simply calling it a story would be disingenuous. Throughout the game, you're forced to make choices that are rarely "good versus evil" -- instead you're choosing between various levels of moral justification. During the introductory mission, for instance, you're asked to either stand and fight a behemoth monster that has just burst into the castle, or hunt down a wizard in the depths of your dungeon. Wanting to be rid of the wizard (who was almost certainly the leader), I went with the second option, grabbed the rookie of the group, and headed down the nearby stairs. Everything was going fine until the rookie caught a crossbow bolt to the chest and died shortly after.

That sort of "delayed-result morality" makes The Witcher extremely interesting, if only because it will leave you questioning every choice you make, until you eventually realize that life sucks and something terrible can happen no matter what you decide. Personally, I prefer this realistic slant to more traditional "knight saves princess" stories. You might feel otherwise, but you can't deny that it's a unique take on the genre.

Monday - September 22, 2008

The Witcher - Deception Mod Released

by Dhruin, 23:08

The news at The Witcher site switches away from the EE edition and on to the community, this week.  First up is news of the first major mod release - Deception:

"Throwing daggers, custom models and areas, new items, side-quests to play, sharing ideas with the community is what builds camaraderie to be proud of"

Deception is the first community adventure for The Witcher game, introducing not only a new story for the player but also unique locations, characters and functions.

The town of Carreas has been designed from the bottom up, with its own structures, textures and geographical area. Everything was kept at as high a quality as possible to reflect a society that would have actually existed and functioned in its own right. The main aim was not to let the mod lose any of the charm the original game had, not only in terms of the setting but also story. Geralt travels the land in search for more jobs to fill up his empty purse and he arrives in his journeys to Carreas. There he discovers that his all-time companion Dandelion has landed in his usual bog, out of which only Geralt might save him. The player will have to solve a murder mystery, questioning suspects and looking for clues. But in the end not only Dandelion’s but also Geralt’s fate will be decided through a number of different possible endings.

Red Flame is a team made up by more than 50 persons from around the world (Graphics, Script writers, Concept Artists). With support from whole Witcher Community they worked hard to eclipse everything created by Witcher fans to this moment.

You want to see fruits of their labor? Simply click here and get it!

317Mb .zip file, for those planning to hit the link.

Friday - September 19, 2008

The Witcher - PanKarol Blog

by Dhruin, 23:49

You should all be playing The Witcher instead of reading blog entries about it but just in case, PanKarol has a new entry as they say goodbye to this project:

As they say, every end is the start of something new… The Enhanced Edition is done, RED has brought another chapter in its history to a close. You can finally try it and decide if spending an additional year improving The Witcher was worth it. In my opinion, it was. That’s why we did it – since the beginning we’ve believed there’s a method to this madness!

The Witcher - Enhanced Edition Live! [Updated]

by Dhruin, 12:53

You can now download The Witcher: Enhanced Edition patch! CD Projekt has a simple illustrated guide to the process - although the actual file link goes to a Polish site, which might be a bit disorienting.  Hit the big yellow-ish button, then again on the second page, then wait for the 10 seconds for the fle download to appear.  We'll update as mirrors pop up.

[Update] We've been a bit slow with mirrors but here we go.  Main update:

...and the English language pack:

Thanks Blue's, Skavenhorde, Bossman and Mute.

The Witcher - EE Blood Patch for NA

by Dhruin, 12:38

A small snafu means the North American version of The Witcher: Enhanced Edition is missing a file and players won't see any blood.  Apparently it's a very minor issue and the missing file just needs to be replaced.  Grab the 500k file from:

Voodoo Extreme
Fileshack
Worthplaying

Again, this applies to NA only (and not the download patch)!

Thursday - September 18, 2008

The Witcher - Enhanced Day #5

by Dhruin, 23:32

A bunch of new stuff at The Witcher site today, such as two new gameplay movies, focussing on the character differentiation, the Enhanced Edition will ship in Germany on Sept 25 and then several Versus updates - head to the site for all of them.

The Witcher - EE Review @ Games Radar

by Dhruin, 13:15

PC Gamer UK supplies this review of The Witcher: Enhanced Edition.  The score is 8/10 and here's a bit on the sccript improvements:

However, all this is just bonus content compared to the big addition – the new script. For reasons too silly to go into here, the original version’s translation didn’t so much get cut down as slashed to bits with a machete. Since then, the developers have scraped together the cash to pull the actors back into the studio, re-record a few thousand lines and slot them in. It’s exactly what the witcher doctor ordered... as far as it goes. The replacement lines are a massive improvement, but they’re resolutely a patch-job, not a full rewrite. Where before a question might be simply “Murderers?” you now get “Why do you say I work for murderers?” or extra flavor text such as “that flea‑ridden hick” instead of simply “Odo.” Go in expecting Geralt’s adventures through the land of tits and racism to suddenly smack of a Chris Avellone/Dostoyevsky tag-team, and you’re going to be disappointed. There are plenty of rough edges and dodgy conversations left over, not least the incoherent innkeeper from the very start of the game. They’re just not constantly shoved in your face any more, letting you focus on the bits that actually matter.

Source: Voodoo Extreme

Wednesday - September 17, 2008

The Witcher - Enhanced Week, Day 3

by Dhruin, 22:52

Lots more stuff at The Witcher site as they continue to pump the Enhanced Edition.  The thing today are some specific examples of the new script, such as:

Dialogue 1 (Conversation between Geralt and the Rich Merchant - Act3)


Old:
-    Why are you here?!
-    None of your business!
-    Do you know who I am?!
-    I don't. But I do know lots of ways to kill a man.

New:
-    Why are you here?!
-    This is none of your business. Get lost.
-    How dare you?! Do you know who I am?!
-    I don't, but I do know this cut that leaves the victim with one ear, one cheek and half a jaw. People survive it, but playing the flute is just one of the things they can't do.

The old threat was just cliche. Though perhaps uncharacteristically verbose for Geralt, the initially intended threat is far more original. Call it a rare verbal flourish for our hero.

The links are actual examples on YouTube.

The second item is premium content for their web-based game, The Witcher: Versus.  Here's the press release they send over:

Exciting premium content coming to The Witcher: Versus

Warsaw, Poland – September 17 – Eager to drink from goblets of gold and eat from plates of platinum, one2tribe and CD Projekt RED are excited to announce plans to introduce premium content to the tremendously popular and incredibly addictive browser-based game, The Witcher: Versus. Oh, that’s a joke. The reality is that operating and continually developing a game with more than 60,000 players tends to cost a bit of money.

Later this year, developer one2tribe will add premium content to further enrich the deep gameplay of The Witcher: Versus, based on the hit PC RPG from CD Projekt RED and the wildly popular fantasy books from Andrzej Sapkowski. To avoid riots and hate mail, one2tribe reassures cash-strapped gamers around the world that they will not be shafted by this new content, as those who indulge in premium content will not gain an advantage within the game. The core gameplay of The Witcher: Versus will remain free of charge, and will continue to evolve in parallel in the coming months.

Premium content will be added gradually; the first premium access package will contain new features intended to ease account and character management; they include a rucksack for items that are not currently equipped, a history of fights against a certain player (for ultimate bragging rights), as well as a private duels archive. The designers will reveal additional details over the next few months.

Future changes in The Witcher: Versus will not focus on premium content only, and will serve to make the free-to-play game even more enticing; leagues, tournaments, challenges, a full-featured RPG world and much more will begin to find their way into The Witcher: Versus in the later part of the year.

Gamers who wish to hack, slash, and uhh… magic their way to victory over friends and strangers on their lunch breaks (or anytime, really) can visit http://versus.thewitcher.com to get in on the action.

Other miscellaneous goodies include more footage from the Leipzig GC and another PanKarol blog - hit the official site for everything.

The Witcher - EE Review @ Eurogamer

by Dhruin, 22:46

Unspectacular but welcome is Eurogamer's verdict on the changes in The Witcher Enhanced Edition, with Kieron Gillen's review scoring 8/10:

All that's been tweaked, thankfully. Apparently over 5000 lines have been re-recorded, plus there are extra character animations. The results are not exactly overwhelming. The character animations are far better, but it's a case them now being acceptable rather than impressive. The translation changes are subtle and welcome, and result in rather less foot-in-mouth moments. To give one example, there's a scene in the original where the Head Witcher tells the others they should treat Love Interest Number 1 with more respect, before calling her "babe". In the new version, they've use the word "child" - so the paternalism they were aiming for now comes across.

Tuesday - September 16, 2008

The Witcher - Enhanced Edition Ships & Related News @ Official Site

by Magerette, 17:14

The official site for The Witcher has a few new items up on their news page today, including the notice that the Enhanced Edition has shipped to North America, with the free downloadable version for those who already own the game available on September 19th.

There are also links to some Witcher ringtones and a video at Gametrailers as well as the usual full description of everything included in the EE and two reviews.

Monday - September 15, 2008

The Witcher - Enhanced Week, Day 1

by Dhruin, 23:02

CD Projekt is celebrating the imminent release of The Witcher: Enhanced Edition with week-long updates.  Today's major feature is a decription and screens of the free module, The Price of Neutrality:

We would like to present you the first new adventure that was developed for The Witcher: Enhanced Edition. It is titled ‘The Price of the Neutrality’. The story starts when Geralt returns to his home at Kaer Morhen to spend the winter with other witchers. He believes that it will be another calm winter, with a lot of sleeping, resting and feasting. Unfortunately, destiny has other plans.

Things start to go wrong at the very beginning of the adventure, when he finds a small camp near the stronghold. Kaer Morhen is a rather secluded place that no one knows about – at least until now. What’s more, the camp is full of soldiers… and you know how it is – if there are soldiers nearby, trouble is sure to follow.

TW:EE will also be released across all three major digital platforms (Steam, Impulse, Direct2Drive) and PanKarol has a new blog update, this time with a more positive spin.

Saturday - September 13, 2008

The Witcher - More Enhanced Edition News

by Dhruin, 02:24

A bunch of updates at The Witcher site and elsewhere in ancticipation of the imminent Enhanced Edition release.

...and specific details on the download edition:

Wipe away your tears, little one, because we’ve got a nice treat for you. If you bought the original version of The Witcher and registered it at thewitcher.com, you’ll be able to download all of the great content from the Enhanced Edition for free starting September 19!

That’s right – FREE! No strings attached, just good old-fashioned FREE. Log in and download.

You may be wondering – “What do they mean by ‘all’ of the content”? This is what we mean:

-    Patch 1.4 (which turns the standard edition into The Witcher: Enhanced Edition)
-    D’jinni Adventure Editor v1.4
-    Two new adventures (“The Price of Neutrality” and “Side Effects”)
-    Making-of videos
-    ‘Inspired by The Witcher’ music CD
-    Official soundtrack of the game
-    Game manual
-    Official game guide
-    Map of The Witcher’s World
You may notice that “all” in this case doesn’t include the short story that is found in the retail version… unfortunately getting that released online would be some sort of massive undertaking involving numerous book publishers around the world. So it’s almost everything.
Pretty impressive, isn’t it?
So, let me suggest you that visiting www.thewitcher.com should be – no, more than that - it must be the very first thing you do on the 19th of September!

Know-how to installation of Enhanced Edition
1.    Download the Patch file (it’s something about 1GB)
2.    Download the language file/files  (more or less 500 MB)
3.    Gather them In one folder
4.    Start the installation of the Patch.
5.    Enjoy  The Enhanced Edition :)
6.    (Optional) Download bonus content & soundtrack

Finally, if you haven't yet bought The Witcher, the EE version has been added to Stardock's Impulse digital service.

Friday - September 12, 2008

The Witcher - Enhanced Edition News

by Dhruin, 00:59

Keen to get our grubby mits on The Witcher: Enhanced Edition, we fired off a missive to ask exactly when the download option will be available from the official site.  CD Projekt told us to keep things simple, the download version will be available to everyone on the 19th.  Time to clear some hard drive space and watch that download limit.

In other Enhanced Edition news, the official site has some mini interviews with three developers:

Which changes in The Witcher: Enhanced Edition will be the most and least visible for players?
It's hard for me to speak for all the players, so I will tell you which changes are most noticeable for me. First of all, the new inventory is far clearer than the original. It's more pleasant to use and it's easier to find items you need, thanks to the sorting buttons and a separate space for alchemy components. Similarly, I like the diversification of monsters and NPCs, which makes the world around Geralt more real and definitely less repetitive. Personally, I like to play in Russian with Polish subtitles, so I enjoyed the mechanism of free choice of text and voice-overs. German and English players will surely notice the difference in the quality of dubbings, as we re-recorded the whole German version and over 5000 English dialogue lines. As for more subtle improvements, I would point to the possibility of switching off the automatic game saving, as well as the more natural dialogues found in the game, as we recorded over 250 new gesture animations. There are loads of improvements, and I believe that every player will have to answer for himself which changes he notices or likes the most. It's impossible to list everything we corrected; I will only add that apart from the completely new mechanisms, we were able to fix over 1000 smaller and bigger problems, the most significant of which were stability and level-load times.

Wednesday - September 10, 2008

The Witcher - Enhanced Edition - Sept 16 (or 19)

by Dhruin, 23:32

About time, too.  CD Projekt has announced the official dates for The Witcher Enhanced Edition and they're just around the corner:

We know that you‘ve been waiting for this all year… and we are not talking about Christmas or your birthday. The Witcher: Enhanced Edition, the ultimate version of the best RPG in years is done and will soon be in your hands! We’re serious – we actually finished it. The game will ship to stores on September 16 in North America and September 19 elsewhere in the world.

Shortly after the release of The Witcher, some of the greatest minds in the universe (the developers at CD Projekt RED, of course!) got together and collected tons of feedback from fans and media about the game. They used that feedback to craft a huge list of things they felt they could improve to make The Witcher even better. New inventory, voice-overs, models, adventures, gestures, animations, languages, alchemy and sex cards, as well as improved stability, reduced loading times, and many more enhancements have found their way into the game… frankly, we can’t remember all of the changes. Blame it on the Polish vodka, long work hours, or whatever.

What’s more, we’ve prepared what we think is the richest “standard” edition in the history of games! Together with the game, you will get bonus DVDs with re-mastered “Making-Of” videos, the official soundtrack of the game, the “Music Inspired by The Witcher” album, a game guide, manual, map of the Witcher’s world and a short story from Andrzej Sapkowski. Start clearing room on your shelf now… you get all of that stuff for the price of a regular game.

Oh, one more important thing – because we’re – ummm… well… crazy – we’re giving all of this away for free to anyone who already purchased The Witcher! Yeah, that’s right – FOR FREE!!! Just login on our page and download it directly to your hard drive.

If you haven’t played The Witcher yet, though, keep it quiet! There’s nobody less cool than someone who didn’t buy last year’s PC RPG of the Year. Just head over to the closest store and pre-order it if you can. Buy a copy for your mother, brother, grandpa, aunt, lover and even for that old lady that lives next door! They will love you for it.

So mark the date – September 16 in North America and September 19 everywhere else. Rock on.

Monday - September 08, 2008

The Witcher - Dev Diaries

by Dhruin, 23:35

A couple of new dev diaries are out from CD Projekt devs.  PanKarol's IGN blog has been updated, discussing the challenges of game development and the official site has a video diary from Marek Ziemak released as part of the Leipzig Enahnced Edition fanfare on the D'jinni editor.

Thursday - September 04, 2008

The Witcher - Ultimate Gadget Pack Contest

by Dhruin, 23:06

From The Witcher website:

How far would you go to get something you really want? What would you do to possess something so awesome that others will crumble at your feet and beg for your friendship?

Do you remember how irritating it was when you asked your friend at school to lend you a pen and he’d reply, “What’s in it for me?”!
Let’s go back to that lovely immature time and play the same game:

Head over to the forum and tell us what you’re going to give us in return for The Witcher Ultimate Swag Pack!

  • The Witcher Figurine
  • The Witcher Medallion
  • Book – “The Last Wish” by Andrzej Sapkowski
  • The Witcher Dice Game

We'll choose the most creative one to win!

Hit the link and post a comment to participate.

Wednesday - August 27, 2008

The Witcher - Versus Event Begins

by Dhruin, 03:01

News from The Witcher site that an event called The Outbreak has kicked off for their Versus multiplayer minigame.

Friday - August 22, 2008

The Witcher - EE Impressions @ Gram.pl

by Dhruin, 01:02

The Witcher official site is pointing out a feature on the Enhanced Edition at Polish site Gram.pl, which serves as a reminder to our existing knowledge of the improvements:

One of the most noticeable changes is the differentiation of in-game character models. Now there is a greater variety due to the color of NPC's clothing, also the monsters have a wider skin color range. Moreover, second - plane characters have been altered. Such persons as Carmen, Hairy Bear's Innkeeper and Jethro the jailer are noticeably different.

They also have four new videos from GC - an EE promo trailer and short (English) interviews with designers Katarzyna Kuczynska and Marek Ziemiak and project lead Maciek Szczesnik.

Wednesday - August 20, 2008

The Witcher - GC Newsletter

by Dhruin, 22:33

CD Projekt Red has sent out the latest newsetter, covering The Witcher at the Leipzig CD.  I can't see anything new but head over if you're a dedicated fan.

Tuesday - August 19, 2008

The Witcher - Final Thoughts @ Twenty Sided

by Dhruin, 22:20

You may recall Twenty Sided's Shamus Young had been dissecting The Witcher (see Meet Geralt and Presentation) and after a delay, we have the Final Thoughts.  Shamus has decided to avoid actually critiquing the game, other than the obvious inferences in his sarcasm-laden post:

It turns out I never really took the steps needed to enjoy the game. I’ve been unfair. Luckily, people have provided me with lots of helpful tips on what I’ve been doing wrong. It turns out that to really enjoy the game you just need to:

   1. Read a 72-page manual.
   2. Read the series of books on which the game is based. (You need to learn Polish first, as only the first book is available in English.)
   3. Wait until the patch comes out in a few months that will fix up all the annoyances and problems with the game.
   4. Spend hundreds of dollars upgrading your computer. Only a fool plays a game with mid-range hardware, anyway.
   5. Play for several hours until you get to the good parts.

I admit, I just jumped right in and expected it to be fun. Seems kind of crazy in retrospect. I’m going to discontinue this series until I can complete the tasks in that list so that I can give the game a proper review.

The Witcher - EE Packaging PR

by Dhruin, 22:14

CD Projekt sent out this PR on the packaging for The Witcher Enhanced Edition:

THE BEST REACHES PERFECTION WITH 'THE WITCHER: ENHANCED EDITION'

Improved, Enhanced and Expanded Edition of CD Projekt RED's Acclaimed PC Role-Playing Title Coming September 2008

LYON, FRANCE – 19 August 2008 – Atari today announced the forthcoming launch of The Witcher: Enhanced Edition, the PC role-playing opus from Polish development studio CD Projekt RED, which continues to garner high praise and new fans the world over thanks to its unique blend of mature fantasy universe, tough decision making and intense tactical combat. The Witcher: Enhanced Edition is an improved, enhanced and expanded version of the game considered by many players and media as the best PC RPG of 2007, and is scheduled for release across Europe in September 2008.

The Witcher: Enhanced Edition will be presented in a high-quality package, bound in a luxury embossed box set featuring a wealth of high-value extra content including additional adventures, music from and inspired by the game, re-mastered making of feature, a short story by the creator of The Witcher Andrej Sapkowski and much more. Numerous enhancements have been made to the widely acclaimed original game to deliver an experience second to none in the PC RPG genre.

“We always have the fans’ best interests at heart so we have listened closely to their comments. The Witcher: Enhanced Edition has given us the opportunity to put their feedback into action as well as offering something totally new with exclusive content,” said Adam Kicinski, CEO of CD Projekt RED. “We believe that The Witcher: Enhanced Edition is a product of exceptional quality – packed with gameplay improvements and additional physical value – that should come close to being the ideal game for fans of PC role-playing.“

Technical enhancements include faster loading times alongside improved combat responsiveness and precision. Following feedback from fans, the English script has been re-worked, while extensive amounts of the voice-over has been re-recorded for the English and German versions, all to deliver an even more immersive and involving story experience. All of the enhancements will be available as a free download to existing game owners via the game’s official website, www.thewitcher.com.

The Witcher: Enhanced Edition will be available in a highly desirable, content-packed box set, the full contents of which include:
• Multilanguage The Witcher: Enhanced Edition, a reworking of the best PC RPG game of 2007;
• DVD bonus disc including the D’jinni Adventure Editor and two brand new adventures created by CD Projekt Red:
- the D’jinni Adventure Editor: allows players to create or modify their own adventures in the world of The Witcher;
- "The Price of Neutrality": the adventure tells the story of Geralt coming back to Kaer Morhen and finding a mysterious camp near the stronghold (featuring 3 new quests);
- “Side Effects”: the first ever release of this new adventure which focuses on Geralt's close friend, Dandelion, and his troubles in Vizima City (featuring 5 new quests);
• Remastered “Making Of” documentary with never-before-seen bonus material;
• Soundtrack CD of original music written specifically for The Witcher;
• CD of original music inspired by The Witcher;
• Instruction manual and game guide;
• Short story by Andrej Sapkowski featuring new art from the Monsterbook;
• A map for exploration throughout The Witcher ’s world.

Sunday - August 17, 2008

The Witcher - Enhanced Edition Trailer

by Magerette, 18:38

GameZone posts a press release from Atari confirming the September release of the Enhanced Edition of CDProjekt's The Witcher which includes a 63.9 mb trailer of gameplay footage. You can also download the 1.36 min video at GamersHell.

 

Monday - August 11, 2008

The Witcher - Enhanced Edition Interview @ GameCyte

by Magerette, 16:56

The official website for CDProjekt's The Witcher has posted a link to an interview at GameCyte with Maciej Szczesnik and Tom Ohle about the ins and outs of the soon to be released Enhanced Edition. The article also has some screenies and a couple of short before/after voiceovers.

GameCyte: How did the decision first come about? Whose decision was it? Was there any particular resistance to/enthusiasm for the idea on the part of either CD Projekt or its Western publishers?

Tom Ohle: Don’t get us wrong; we were very happy with The Witcher and were confident in the game we released. However, as Maciej said, we wanted to deliver the game that fans deserved. We were grateful for all of the feedback we got from fans and media (and horribly angry at the reduction in review scores brought about by the issues raised… the anger still builds up inside me sometimes, so bad I can hardly stand it!!!) …breathe, Tom, breathe.

Okay, so we had two options: just release a typical patch that would let us fix only a few of the issues, or whip a larger team together, spend some more money and make a lot of changes that would ultimately give us the best game possible. Our publishing partners have been very enthusiastic about the idea; rather than just churning out some “Game of the Year” edition, we’re giving them a much more polished product that will help us reach a lot of people who never played the original....

Source: CD Projekt

Wednesday - August 06, 2008

The Witcher - Enhanced Edition PR

by Dhruin, 23:20

CD Projekt's Tom Ohle has sent out a Product Fact Sheet PR for The Witcher Enhanced Edition.  I can't see anything new but just in case, here we go:

PRODUCT FACT SHEET

PLATFORM:
Games for Windows
RELEASE DATE: September 2008
DEVELOPER: CD Projekt RED
PUBLISHER: Atari, Inc.
GENRE: Role-Playing Game
ESRB RATING: RP (Rating Pending)

Game Description:

The Witcher: Enhanced Edition is the ultimate version of the ultimate role-playing game. The Witcher, which was released in October 2007, has won more than 90 awards and has sold more than 800,000 copies worldwide, and The Witcher: Enhanced Edition brings the game even closer to perfection with a number of technical and visual improvements jammed into the value-packed retail box. The enhancements introduced in this version include more than 5000 lines of re-written and re-recorded dialogue, more than 200 new dialogue animations, a new character differentiation system for NPCs, an enhanced inventory with improved alchemy, reduced loading times, improved combat responsiveness and much more.

In addition to the in-game updates, The Witcher: Enhanced Edition will feature premium packaging loaded with value, including the multilingual game disc allowing you to play with any combination of voice-over and subtitles, two new adventures with full voice-over, the D’jinni Adventure Editor, the Official Soundtrack CD, a Music Inspired by The Witcher CD, an official game guide, The Witcher short story by Andrzej Sapkowski, a Making-of DVD with behind-the-scenes video footage, and a map of The Witcher’s world.

The Witcher represents the pinnacle of storytelling in role-playing games, shattering the line between good and evil with a world where moral ambiguity reigns. In a beautiful, rich game universe, the player takes on the role of renowned monster slayer, Geralt of Rivia, in an epic, action-packed narrative in which his decisions have a major impact on how the story plays out. The Witcher emphasizes story and character development in a vibrant world, while incorporating tactically-deep real-time combat like no game before it.

Monday - August 04, 2008

The Witcher - Product Page for Enhanced Edition

by Magerette, 17:15

Along with the site refurbishment Dhruin posted earlier, CDProjekt also has put up a product page for the soon to be released Enhanced Edition of The Witcher here.  If you haven't scoped everything out yet, this will give you all the details, complete with pictures.

Saturday - August 02, 2008

The Witcher - Site Refurb

by Dhruin, 10:54

CD Projekt has spruced up The Witcher site as we get near(ish) the Enhanced Edition.  Can't say I noticed it much but here's the blurb:

If you came here today and thought, “hmmm… am I going totally insane or does something like different?” you can probably relax… you may very well be crazy, but things actually have changed here at thewitcher.com! We’ve given the community site a bit of an overhaul to prepare for the launch of The Witcher Enhanced Edition, allowing you to find a bit more info about the upcoming version; it’s just a little over a month away, so we thought you might want to actually know about it!

The Witcher - Presentation @ Twenty Sided

by Dhruin, 01:02

Shamus Young continues his experience with The Witcher, this time discussing performance and presentation. As before, Shamus has nothing positive to say, although the article is marred by an inaccurate description of the interface and complaints about terminology clearly discussed in the manual.  Here we go - on performance:

So I fire up The Witcher and it’s the same damn nightmare from Oblivion all over again. This game does not look appreciably better than Oblivion. Okay, the character models look better, but the Oblivion models were notoriously ugly. You didn’t need technology to improve on those. You just needed decent art direction.

But The Witcher runs like an inebriated John Madden trying to run in the Boston marathon while pulling a busload of other John Maddens. The game is unplayable at the default settings. If I turn everything down I can get the game to look very terrible and still stutter quite a bit. Let me make this clear: At these settings the game looks far worse than Oblivion and yet still somehow runs slower. Considering that Oblivion was an appalling glutton when it came to GPU cycles, that’s really saying something. What is the game doing with my processor? Building fractals? Trying to find the last digit of Pi?

Wednesday - July 30, 2008

The Witcher - Meet Geralt @ Twenty Sided

by Dhruin, 05:29

Shamus Young has a piece on The Witcher titled Meet Geralt, in which he discusses the preset character, amnesia and sex cards.  Shamus intensely dislikes all of these elements as you can see from this sample:

Does Geralt sound like someone you want to play? A lot of your enjoyment of the game hinges on your answer to this question. Some might like it, in a “playing-the-flawed-good-guy” sort of way. Heroes with faults are usually more interesting than their more idealized counterparts. Maybe his ugliness or awfulness will give the game a certain novelty for you. There are lots of tabletop gamers who play the horribly scarred, brooding, but inexplicably promiscuous adventurer who collects sexual conquests the way other players collect notoriety or magic items. He’s certainly a break from the square jaw goody-goody medieval superman knockoffs that have been foisted on us over the years. I would give the game full points for allowing you to inhabit this archetype, if not for the fact that this is the only character you can play.

For me, inhabiting the role of Geralt was about as much fun as shuffling around the house in Hugh Heffner’s nasty old bathrobe, which forever stinks of booze, smoke, Ben Gay, and Old Spice. As Geralt I was more interested in finding someplace to take a bath and get a haircut than I was at bedding all the dirty peasant women I met.

It's important to note Shamus is clear this shouldn't be seen as a traditional review.  Based on the comments section, further articles will be forthcoming with a similarly negative point of view.

Friday - July 25, 2008

The Witcher - Upgrade Pack Poll @ Official Site

by Magerette, 19:33

With the launch of The Witcher Enhanced Edition coming up in a few months, CDProjeckt is asking for input from game owners on how they'd like their upgrade. They've already made it know that the new features will be available as a free download, but due to the size of the package and number of improvements, they are checking to see if fans would be willing to pay for a physical copy:

We remember the promise we made, so of course, anyone who has registered a copy of the game will be able to download a free update to turn the standard version of The Witcher into the Enhanced Edition. Because of the many technical improvements and additional content (audio files of all language versions, new adventures, D’jinni editor, etc.), we realize that this will likely be a rather large file to download. That’s why we’ve come up with the idea to meet our players’ needs halfway and preparee something special for people who don’t want to download it from the internet.

The idea is a sort of “Upgrade Version” that would allow them to enjoy all the wonders of the Enhanced Edition without buying another copy of the game.

When we make decisions, we always take into consideration the opinions of our fans, and that’s why we would like to ask you about one thing. Would you be interested in buying this set, if it were available in shops?

Content of the set :

- New game box
- Patch that turns standard ‘The Witcher’ into the Enhanced Edition
- Bonus DVD with new adventures and D’jinni e editor
- Game manual
- Game guide
- Remastered ‘Making of The Witcher’ DVD with additional content
- ‘Inspired by The Witcher’ Music CD
- Soundtrack CD
- Map of the world
- Andrzej Sapkowski’s short story

You can vote here after you log in. The estimated price would be about 14.99 euros. 

Source: GameBanshee

Thursday - July 24, 2008

The Witcher - Enhanced Edition Screens

by Dhruin, 22:57

Worthplaying has five screens from the Enhanced Edition of The Witcher, although I can't see anything about them that particularly sets them apart from normal Witcher screens.

Monday - July 21, 2008

The Witcher - Adventure Editor Contest Enters Stage 4

by Magerette, 21:10

The official site for CDprojekt's crRPG, The Witcher, announced that the contest to create an adventure with the D'jinni Editor has reached the quest and dialogue stage:

Our contest has reached the crucial stage of creating an adventure, i.e. making a quest and dialogues. You face a difficult task, just as your mod is starting to gel! With this stage completed, the adventure actually should be finished, there will only be one more stage for tests and final cuts.  

 

Saturday - July 19, 2008

The Witcher - EE Previews @ GameSpot, GameSpy

by Dhruin, 00:18

More first-hand coverage of The Witcher Enhanced Edition.  Let's start with GameSpot:

The gameplay remains largely untouched, but you will notice a bit more diversity among Temeria's many inhabitants. Previously, swarms of enemies of the same type looked exactly the same, and citizens in town were nearly all identical twins. CD Projekt has since been able to randomize many elements of these character models. Although the models themselves will remain the same, clothes will be generated at random so each person has a different look. We watched our character take out several drowners that each looked slightly different from each other--some brown, some green--a nice improvement over the original game.

GameSpy doesn't have much to say but here's a sample:

There's a new inventory system which allows you to not only auto loot monsters but also sort items in a much more streamlined way. Basically the idea is to keep you out of fumbling through your satchel and more into playing Geralt and killing monsters.

The game editor, which is currently available for download, will be in the new version as will two new mini-adventures designed by CD Projekt complete with new voice work. In all the new content equals about five hours of gameplay. Rounding out the new stuff is a soundtrack CD and a new short story from Andrzej Sapkowski, the author of the "Witcher" novels. Finally, you will also be able to play the game with several subtitle language options from Russian and Polish to Italian and Chinese.

Thursday - July 17, 2008

The Witcher - Enhanced Edition Preview @ IGN

by Dhruin, 14:45

IGN has a nifty preview of CD Projekt's Enhanced Witcher.  We already know all the new features but it's nice to read about the details:

Aside from more load time improvements and other technical improvements, one of the best improved features will undoubtedly be the inventory system. Player inventory has been reconfigured to be split into two categories: alchemical items and everything else. There's also now a button to auto sort your items by further category so that all like items (scrolls or potions or books) will move next to each other and any duplicate items will automatically stack. There will also be buttons that can be used in the alchemical items section that can be pushed to highlight substances with specific ingredients so that you don't have to click through them all. This system should definitely make the stash inventory much more manageable. Combined with a small improvement to the alchemy system that will allow players to see which of the ingredients needed to create a specific potion isn't in their inventory should make the extensive potion gameplay features much more fun to use.

Thursday - July 10, 2008

The Witcher - More Adventure Contest Resources

by Dhruin, 22:59

CD Projekt Red has a sample solution for Stage 2 of their D'jinni Adventure Contest if you'd like to use that in preparation for Stage 3.

Wednesday - July 09, 2008

The Witcher - CDProjekt Launches Versus

by Magerette, 17:42

The official website for The Witcher posts this announcement today: 

Pick up your sword and slash your so-called friends into submission in The Witcher: Versus, the web-based dueling game formerly known as The Witcher: DuelMail. In The Witcher: Versus, players can finally fulfill their dreams of challenging a friend or complete stranger to a duel without having to put their real-world lives on the line. The game is free to play at http://versus.thewitcher.com.

The Witcher: Versus should be considered a serious hazard to productivity for anyone with computer access at work, due to its “just one more fight and then I’ll quit for today” nature. As a sorcerer, witcher or frightener, players challenge others to head-to-head battles with magic, swords, claws and more at their disposal. Winning a duel earns the player experience and money, which they can then use to upgrade their character’s attributes, learn new skills and buy new weapons in hopes of reaching the upper echelon of the game’s online leader board. The Witcher: Versus will be continually supported in the coming months with special events, competitions and more.

...and you can check out a preview on combat at IGN that presents the different classes and abilities.

Friday - July 04, 2008

The Witcher - DuelMail becomes Versus

by Dhruin, 01:21

The Witcher site advises their DuelMail web game has been renamed Versus:

With an upcoming release of a free-of-charge web-browser game produced by creators of The Witcher in cooperation with one2tribe company, we have decided to launch a special edition of newsletter addressing only The Witcher: Duelmail. It is also the right moment to introduce changes that are coming along with the game release, the most important of which is a new game title! From now on, "The Witcher: Duelmail" will be replaced by "The Witcher: Versus"! For more information concerning the game release, title change as well as newly introduced features please visit the newsletter site. The Witcher Versus newsletter should have been received by everyone, who have registered account at our forum.

Wednesday - July 02, 2008

The Witcher - June Newsletter

by Dhruin, 22:51

CD PRojekt Red has released their June newsletter for The Witcher, with a news roundup of recent events and coverage of three mod efforts.  Here's REDFlame's Deception:

 

REDFlame started out as a group of friends who had a collective dream to be a driving force in today’s game market. Tied by this common goal they sought out hardy, creative and loyal people who would join REDFlame on their first project: adventure for one of the best book-based games ever made, The Witcher.

Their first step was working with the developers of The Witcher, CD Projekt RED, and presenting them with a dose of their ideas and talent. REDFlame added intriguing and original features to the game and proved they were capable of creating an interesting storyline, thematic artwork and keeping the high level of quality set by CD Projekt RED.

“Deception” hopes to rock the world of The Witcher harder than a horde of Strigas by allowing the player to choose his own path in the mod’s complex storyline, complete with multiple endings. Expect new and original content such as a new form of attack, Knife Throwing.

The writers, artists, programmers and designers under REDFlame’s banner plan to make Deception a mod worthy of its predecessor.

Monday - June 30, 2008

The Witcher - Stage 3 Adventure Editor Contest Announced

by Magerette, 16:49

The official website for CDProjekt's The Witcher  announces that stage 3 of the D'jinni adventure editor contest has begun:

We officialy start the third stage of The Witcher Adventure Editor contest!
 
Deadline for this stage is 18 July...

The winner of stage 3 will collect:
 Logitech G15 keyboard

STAGE 2 RESULTS WILL BE PUBLISHED AFTER 4th OF JULY

Please notice, deadline for sending stage 2 projects is friday, 27th of June!
Full information is available here. 

Friday - June 27, 2008

The Witcher - Closed Community Beta Testing for Deception Mod

by Magerette, 18:10

The official website for The Witcher has some information available for those who may be interested in testing REDflame's  new adventure, Deception:

REDFlame Interactive, The Witcher modding group, announces community closed beta test of their new adventure "Deception".

"Deception is the showcase module by REDFlame Interactive: a demonstration of ability and desire to create custom content of The Witcher computer role-playing game for the fans and community of Andrzej Sapkowski's world and stories. Deception contains custom abilities (throwing daggers), models (houses and terrain), textures, and a plot which challenges a puzzle-solving, exploratory mindset. With this custom town and its quest, Deception is given to the community to both enjoy and learn from to promote and enhance the custom content of the Witcher CRPG. With regards and pride, REDFlame Interactive presents Deception to you the fans and critics."

The full details for signing up are available here

Source: GameBanshee

Saturday - June 21, 2008

The Witcher - Contest Stage Extended

by Dhruin, 02:26

From The Witcher site on the Adventure Editor Contest:

Due to big amount of requests we decided to give you additional week to submit stage 2 projects.
Another good news is that we decided to give award to stage 2 runner-up!

The final date to submit your projects is now 27th of June.

GOOD LUCK!

Thursday - June 19, 2008

The Witcher - Adventure Editor Contest Update

by Dhruin, 23:07

Stage 1 results are up for CD Projekt's D'jinni adventure editor contest - head over for the winners and links to their project outlines.

Wednesday - June 18, 2008

The Witcher - September Release Date Set for Enhanced Edition

by Magerette, 16:57

The official site for CDProjekt's cRPG The Witcher, announces that a release date for all language versions of the Enhanced Edition is set for the second half of September, 2008: 

CD Projekt RED would like to announce that the release date of The Witcher Enhanced Edition has been finally set.  Consequently, the vastly improved edition of the acclaimed CD Projekt RED’s magnum opus has been set for the first half of September 2008. Setting the release date for September results from  the requirement of polishing all ten language versions and releasing The Witcher Enhanced Edition in all languages at the same time. The Enhanced Edition by itself will be a deluxe one, containing a lot of additional content not available in the basic version of the game.

The exclusive edition of The Witcher apart from the game dvd will also consist of a video dvd, a bonus materials dvd (among all D’jinni the adventure editor and 2 official adventures “The price of neutrality” and “Side effects”), the game soundtrack as well as a music cd with music inspired by the game. The new content and improvements will be available to registered users of the game free-of-charge.

Thursday - June 12, 2008

The Witcher - Sample Contest Plot

by Dhruin, 23:06

If you're planning to enter CD Projekt's Witcher mod-making contest but can't find the inspiration, they've put up a sample plot at the official site:

Here you can download sample plot written by Katarzyna Kuczyńska, designer at CD Projekt RED.

Please remember that You can still participate in the contest!
Write your own plot and attach it to your second stage task submission or you can use the sample plot and base second stage task on it.

Information about Adventure Editor Contest can be found here.

Good luck!

Monday - June 09, 2008

The Witcher - Japanese Version Released

by Dhruin, 22:35

I don't think we have too many Japanese readers but just in case, CD Projekt has news of a Witcher version for you:

We would like to inform proudly that "The Witcher" is reaching the most distant corners of the globe. After a Chinese version, a Japanese one has been shipped to shops in Asia, due to which now also inhabitants of the Land of the Rising Sun can enjoy the adventures of Geralt. Photo of the Japanese edition of "The Witcher" can be found below.

Saturday - June 07, 2008

The Witcher - Adventure Editor Contest, Stage 2

by Dhruin, 01:02

Stage 2 of CD Projekt's mod-making contest for The Witcher is now up:

The Witcher Adventure Editor Contest Stage 2

So, we begin the second stage of the Witcher Adventure Editor contest!
Quick reminder of the main aims:
Your task is to create a new Witcher adventure, named as you choose, with the plotline invented solely by you, keeping to the established rules and realities.
Each stage of the contest will be completed by picking the best project and at the end we will select 3 most interesting adventures which shall be awarded with unique prizes. Best works of each stage shall be rewarded with gadget sets.
As it is stated in this document, describing whole contest, today we begin working on preparing all elements necessary to implement the location in the right way.

Remember that you can join the contest at every stage, providing you complete the tasks from previous stage(s).
The moment a stage is completed, we present exemplary solutions.
We await the applications at adventures@thewitcher.com. Each application shall be confirmed with return e-mail.
 
The results of stage 2 shall be presented after 23.06

Head over for more, including links to tutorials and the like to help.  Stage 1 winners are due to be announced tomorrow.

 

The Witcher - Enhanced Edition Ad

by Dhruin, 00:51

It must be international special game edition day.  Tom Ohle from CD Projekt writes in to point out some sample ad copy on his blog for the upcoming Enhanced Edition of The Witcher.  It's an image of a Polish print ad but you can see a picture of the game contents with it's five DVDs and multiple booklets.

Wednesday - June 04, 2008

The Witcher - Deception Adventure Announced

by Dhruin, 23:13

An interesting one from The Witcher site with news of a new mod close to release:

We are happy to announce that creators of the upcoming "Strands of Destiny" adventure, REDFlame Interactive, are close to the release of "Deception", their first mod created for The Witcher using the D'jinni adventure editor, action of which take place in the town of Carreas. Apart from a competely new town, mod will introduce a new story, new artwork and even new weapons (throwing knives)! For more information please visit REDFlame Interactive site. Moreover please don't forget about our D'jinni's contest!

Friday - May 30, 2008

The Witcher - May Newsletter

by Dhruin, 23:11

CD Projekt Red has released their May newsletter for The Witcher, with details of the v1.3 update, D'jinni editor and contest, Enhanced Edition delay and so on.  Nothing new I can see but check it out if you haven't been watching our news.

The Witcher - Adventure Editor Contest Prizes

by Magerette, 18:18

The official site  for The Witcher has posted a snip about some of the prizes on offer for the winner of the first stage in their D'jinni Adventure Editor Contest. Here's a look at the featured swag: 

  • - Leather mousepad signed by the team.
  • - Dice Game
  • - The Witcher Medallion
  • - "Last Wish" book by Andrzej Sapkowski
  • - Totally Unique Silver Sword-like letter opener

Wednesday - May 28, 2008

The Witcher - Geralt for President Contest on the Witcher Forums

by Magerette, 20:45

Witcher guru Ausir writes in to let us know about a tongue-in-cheek contest up on the The Witcher forums to create the best poster of Geralt as a U.S presidential candidate. There are some pretty impressive examples up already--enough to make me wish Geralt was really running.

You can check out the thread here. 

 Thanks Ausir. You made my day.

Sunday - May 25, 2008

The Witcher - Modding Forum

by Dhruin, 01:09

From The Witcher website:

A special virtual tavern was created on our forums for everyone who would like to discuss about creating new adventures for The Witcher game. We give opportunity for every modding group to have it's own hall (tavern subforum) where they can discuss everything about D'jinni and adding modifications to The Witcher. We encourage everyone to ask questions to modding teams. For people interested in creating or joining a modding group we created a special announcement thread called “recruitment hall”.
You can find the Modding Tavern forum here.

Saturday - May 24, 2008

The Witcher - D'Jinni Contest

by Dhruin, 01:06

CD Projekt has kicked off a D'Jinni adventure contest for those itching to flex their creativity with the editor:

Today, we begin the first stage of The Witcher Adventure Editor contest for everyone interested in making new adventures for The Witcher game. The contest will have 5 separate stages (each stage will last 2 weeks) which will form the integral whole. 
 
The aim of the contest will be to solve 5 tasks which will be released for you in stages every 2 weeks. You will be obligated to obey basic rules and guidelines. In stage one we will focus on creating the main plot.
 
The best project chosen in every stage of the contest will be rewarded. At the end (after stage 5) we will also reward the best 3 overall projects (some super unique stuff is waiting!!! – further details soon).
After 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th stage we will publish official solution templates made by designer from CD Projekt RED.
 
We wait for your ideas at community@thewitcher.com
 
Here you have some useful links:
Contest Rules
 
Stay tuned, stage 2 will begin in exactly 2 weeks!

Sunday - May 11, 2008

The Witcher - D'jinni News

by Dhruin, 00:57

News at The Witcher site that a Russian version of D'jinni is available and they are seeking info on community mod projects:

We are pleased to inform that the community which gathered around D’jinni Adventure Editor is constantly getting bigger and stronger. This week we’ve started Russian version of the D’jinni Wiki (thanks to the courtesy of superfans from Russia). Everyone fluent in Russian language is more than welcome to contribute and form new modding teams.

We invite you also to have a look at new tutorials and articles on English D’jinni Wiki, part of which was created by our friends from REDFlame Interactive. We are also waiting for information from new modding teams – write at community@thewitcher.com!

Wednesday - May 07, 2008

The Witcher - DuelMail Premiere Rescheduled

by Dhruin, 00:42

They're sounding very busy over at CD Projekt Red and projects are getting pushed back...the official Witcher site notes their web-based online thingy DuelMail has been pushed back:

Duelmail’s premiere planned for this Friday had to be slightly rescheduled. The team responsible for the final version of the game (one2tribe and CD Projekt RED), guided by the remarks given by the players, decided to dedicate some more time to polish elements connected with balance, items and animation.

We reassure you that the delay in Duelmail’s premiere will not be long. This time it’s the case of a few days of adding some finishing touches and perfecting elements, which were asked for by the players.

At the same time, we do not give up the beta tests, so all the players are more than welcome to continue their duels! Precise information about the final date of the premiere will be given next week. Tomorrow, we will give you details concerning Thursday’s chat with the creators of the Duelmail!

On a related note, we fired off a missive to enquire about the official status of The Witcher's Enhanced Edition following yesterday's news via a Polish site of an August-September release.  We're told there's nothing firm to say yet but details should come soon.

Monday - May 05, 2008

The Witcher - Last Wish Novel Available in NA

by Dhruin, 23:06

Not strictly about The Witcher but Tom Ohle dropped us a line with this press release, announcing the release of Sapkowski's The Last Wish fantasy novel in NA:

"People like to invent monsters and monstrosities. Then they seem less monstrous themselves.” – From The LAST WISH

Orbit is thrilled to announce the first U.S. publication of THE LAST WISH, the fantasy novel from internationally acclaimed Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski

Geralt de Riv is a Witcher – a killer-for-hire. Geralt possesses magical and alchemical powers, a deadly blade, and a mordant wit. He is a hitman sent after the creatures of myth and fairytale.

But the lines between good and evil are never straightforward. In a world rife with racism, terrorism, and corruption, every motive is suspect. Hired to rid the world of its demons, Geralt often find that the demons are less guilty then their prey.

THE LAST WISH is available in bookstores nation-wide on May 1st.

The Witcher - Enhanced Edition Delayed til August/September

by Magerette, 15:36

ActionTrip posts a link to Worthplaying, which in turn quotes (what looks like) a Polish site, GRRR.pl to the effect that release of the Enhanced Edition of CDProjekt's The Witcher has been pushed back to August/September. A console edition for XBox 360 has also been confirmed. Here is the WP snip:

'The Witcher Enhanced Edition' Coming Aug/Sept., Console Edition Confirmed
Posted on Monday, May 05 @ 02:30:45 PDT
The Witcher Enhanced Edition, CD Projekt's action/RPG, adds changes to the game's mechanics, better graphics, shorter load times, improved stability, the recently released D'jinni mod editor, two new adventures, making of DVD, two soundtracks, etc. Originally scheduled for May 16th, it has been delayed until Aug/Sept., the previously revealed console version is making good progress according to product manager Maciej Sachmacinski, but still too far off to pin down a release date.

No word as yet as I post this from the official English language site. 

Source: ActionTrip

Friday - April 18, 2008

The Witcher - Enhanced Edition Delayed

by Dhruin, 23:12

It doesn't come as a huge surprise but CD Projekt Red has pushed back the release of The Witcher's Enhanced Edition, saying the exact date will be "announced in the upcoming days":

CD Projekt RED announces that the release of The Witcher: Enhanced Edition has been delayed. The delay can be attributed to the company’s goal of making The Witcher: Enhanced Edition as close to a flawless product as possible. CD Projekt RED is dedicated to a simultaneous worldwide launch, and is taking the extra time to polish each language version to meet the high standards of the global games market. The exact date of the premiere of the Enhanced Edition will be announced in the upcoming days.

CD Projekt RED decided to edit some language versions to meet the highest standards. Work continues on the English version, in which a significant amount of dialogue is being re-recorded and over 5000 lines of the script were rewritten, as well as the German version, in which the translation is being improved and many characters are receiving new voice-overs.

The Witcher: Enhanced Edition will be free of the majority of criticisms noted by fans and media in the original version of the game. The enhancements cover two major areas: removing technical issues (loading times will be reduced by 80%, stability of the game on various operating systems will be improved, and numerous improvements will be made to enhance fighting precision) and the aforementioned changes in language versions. Additionally, the product will ship to retail in a value-packed bundle that includes all language versions on a single master disc, the D’jinni Adventure Editor and two official adventures, the official soundtrack, an album of music inspired by The Witcher, a game guide, a map of The Witcher’s world and more. All of the enhancements will be available as a free download to existing game owners.

The exact date of the premiere of the Enhanced Edition will be announced in the upcoming days.

Sunday - April 13, 2008

The Witcher - More on D'Jinni

by Dhruin, 00:12

The Witcher site has a short message on upcoming support and info for the D'Jinni toolset, starting with these links to a video and the Wiki:

As we are totally aware of the fact, how extensive and comprehensive D'jinni is, we are supplementing previously posted content for The Witcher Adventure Editor. We invite you to watch the movie presenting features of the editor as well as invite to visit the Official D'jinni Wiki, thanks to great cooperation with Wikia.com. D'jinni Wiki will be constantly expanded, on Monday we are planning to add article on importing models and locations. New D'jinni content will be also available soon!

Thursday - April 10, 2008

The Witcher - v1.3, D'jinni & The Price of Neutrality Released

by Dhruin, 23:00

This is a long one, so just head to the bottom for the links if you just want to get under way.  CD Projekt Red and Atari have released The Witcher's latest v1.3 update, the D'Jinni editor and a free module titled The Price of Neutrality.  Here's the PR and links:

Atari today announced the release of the D’jinni beta adventure editor and Price of Neutrality adventure together with patch 1.3 for The Witcher. The first official adventure and patch 1.3 are available for free download via www.thewitcher.com, with a separate free download available containing the D’jinni beta adventure editor. The adventure editor requires the latest game patch installed. We have also launched the site, where gamers may add or download their adventures.

“CD Projekt has always been oriented to gamers’ needs, so releasing an adventure editor for the modding community is an obvious move. It’s quite a demanding tool, however, and it will bring loads of satisfaction to many of the fans. After all, we made The Witcher with this tool,” said Adam Kiciński, CEO, CD Projekt RED.  “We’ve also prepared the first official mod with a completely new adventure which will be available to download for free.”

The Price of Neutrality is the first official adventure from the team at CD Projekt and features around two hours of gameplay during which the player is introduced to the other witchers in more detail following their brief appearance in the original game.  Populated with new NPC’s and other new graphical assets, the adventure takes the player into the little explored outskirts of Kaer Morhen in a compelling story with tough decisions and more than one possible ending.  The adventure text is localised among all in English, French, Italian, German, Spanish and Polish.  In the same download, patch 1.3 readies the game for playing the new adventure.

The English language D’jinni beta adventure editor will let fans craft complete new adventures for Geralt using the existing graphical assets, maps and environments in the game.  By creating new stories, cut-scenes, graphical effects, dialogue and gameplay actions, users of the adventure editor can let their imaginations run wild predicting the turmoil and tests waiting in Geralt’s future, or even filling in the missing years between the close of Andrzej Sapkowski’s last Witcher novel and the start of the game.

Links to respective sites:
Download patch 1.3  or Click here
Download D'jinni  or Click here
Site with Adventures

You can grab the patch notes on this page.

Thanks, Nevarion!

The Witcher - DuelMail Success

by Dhruin, 00:28

CD Projekt Red is spruiking the early success of the DuelMail open beta:

During the first 24 hours of the open beta, the record of active online users of The Witcher board (898) had been broken. In case of the community site, the attendance has reached more than 4 million views with less than 3 millions the day before! Today, only 2 days after the launch of the open beta, statistics are even more impressive, especially when taken into account the broken record of active online users (1054 guests and users of The Witcher board). The Witcher: DuelMail success can be summed up with statistical facts from the game itself - by today, which means 2 days after the launch of the open beta, the number of duels fought in the game has exceeded 50,000 and the number of active accounts 10,000!

Anyone playing this?

Monday - April 07, 2008

The Witcher - DuelMail Hits Open Beta

by Dhruin, 22:43

From The Witcher site:

We are pleased to inform, that open beta tests of The Witcher: DuelMail, the game created by CD Projekt RED and one2tribe, have been started today. The presented game version does not represent the quality of the final product, which is scheduled to be released for 9th of May. Upcoming changes should regard the final version of the help document, full support for non-standard fonts (such as Cyrillic) as well as minor graphical fixes. In open beta may participate everyone, who has a registered account at www.thewitcher.com boards. Please also visit newly opened threads at The Witcher boards. Join in the ultimate dueling experience, visit http://duelmail.thewitcher.com!

The Witcher - Review @ India Times

by Dhruin, 22:37

Accessibility seems to be the big point in this review of The Witcher at the India Times:

Loads of patience, hours of poring through manuals and understanding the intricate mechanisms of the gameplay are factors that detract most gamers away from the role-playing game (RPG) genre.

Now, imagine a game that is easy to play without any great effort, and provides the same excitement and sense of belonging of established games, such as World of Warcraft (WOW) or Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.

Welcome to The Witcher, a gripping swords-and-sorcery RPG by Polish developer CD Projekt along with Atari.

Thursday - April 03, 2008

The Witcher - GDC Insights #8 @ RPG Vault

by Dhruin, 22:12

This one is only for the most passionate fans.  RPG Vault's odd series that asks developers what they got out of the Game Developers Conference sees CD Projekt Red's Tom Gop talking about his experiences:

I had been concentrating mostly on aspects concerning the story and design. It would be very difficult to mention every single valuable lecture, so I'll call out only those that are most engraved in my memory: Storytelling in BioShock by Ken Levine - for killing scientists and dogs in wheelchairs; Collaborative Writing and Vast Narratives by Ken Rolston and Mark Nelson - for disputes between old and new and evil overlord; Dialog Production for BioWare's Mass Effect by Simon Pressey and Mac Walters - for experience and procedures; A Portal Post-Mortem: Integrating Writing and Design by Kim Swift and Erik Wolpaw - for anecdotes about play tests and jokes. Those were all great lectures.

Wednesday - April 02, 2008

The Witcher - March Newsletter

by Dhruin, 22:02

CD Projekt has released a new Witcher newsletter, discussing their recently announced DuelMail browser game, offering a fan spotlight and other tidbits. 

Monday - March 31, 2008

The Witcher - Small Delay to D'jinni and v1.3

by Dhruin, 22:02

CD Projekt Red says the D'jinni toolset and the v1.3 patch for The Witcher will be available in a few days:

Despite our efforts, we regret to inform, that release of the D'jinni Adventure Editor and patch 1.3, which was bound for the last week of March, due to localisation issues had to be rescheduled. D'jinni, new adventure and patch 1.3 will be released at the same time, in a few days. We are sorry for this inconvenience.

The Witcher - Free Browser Game Announced

by Magerette, 17:13

The official site for the Witcher has posted the news that they are in closed beta production of a free web-browser  game called The Witcher:DuelMail. Here's the full description:

CD Projekt RED is very pleased to announce the launch of The Witcher: DuelMail closed beta, based on the company’s best-selling PC role-playing game, The Witcher. The Witcher: DuelMail is a completely free-of-charge next-gen web-browser game that offers depth seldom found in similar products.  The start of open beta is planned for April 7th, with the final version scheduled for release on May 9th.

The Witcher: DuelMail is centered around battles between two players digitally incarnated as one of three completely different character classes. Winning consecutive fights against other real-world people gains the player experience which allows them to advance to higher levels of character development, along with gaining new skills and items to use in combat. Players queue up attacks, magical spells and defensive maneuvers, then send their challenges to other players, who must create their own counter sequence in hopes of being the last one standing. In order to join, the game requires only a PC with an internet connection and a web browser with Flash installed.

What distinguishes The Witcher: DuelMail from a large number of similar Flash games is the high level quality throughout, which would usually be found in higher-budget products. The company responsible for The Witcher: DuelMail’s development, one2tribe Company, has been able to include spectacular battle visuals with high-quality animations created using motion-capture technology, as well as extraordinary special effects along with full sound implementation.

The Witcher: DuelMail is further distinguished by special events and regular updates that will keep the game alive and constantly expanding. Besides fighting for the top spot on the game’s ladders, top players can also expect to collect precious rewards in battle. To avoid feeling rampant loneliness, players can invite friends via e-mail in order to play together.

Saturday - March 29, 2008

The Witcher - Retrospective Interview @ CVG

by Dhruin, 08:53

CVG talks to Michal Madej about The Witcher in a short retrospective-style interview:

 If you read the books, the witchers fight in a dynamic, fast-paced way. We wanted to have the same impression as in the books: that you're playing as a professional. He's not excited at all, he's a fighting machine trained to kill in the most efficient way.

It took about a year of different prototype fighting systems to create something that was based on timing, which focuses on what's happening on screen in real time, and add some very simple choices to, in the end, create a complex, enjoyable system.

We wanted it to be simple, fluid, and focused on what's happening around you, reacting tactically and intuitively. It's there to make combat fun, cinematic and exciting - very much part of the story.

Friday - March 28, 2008

The Witcher - D'jinni Toolkit Interview @ IGN

by Magerette, 20:26

The Witcher Vault over at IGN has posted a short Q & A with Mateusz Kanik, designer and D'Jinni Team Lead at CD Projekt Red, about the  soon to be released  modding tool for The Witcher. The fact that the toolkit is for the experienced modder is stressed, and that it basically consists of the same tools used by the devlopment team to make the full game. The interview concludes with this question:

Finally, do you have any words of advice for anyone wanting to attempt to make a mod with the toolkit?

    First is [to have a] good idea. You should have really splendid idea. When you have it very important is to build the quests around this idea, psychological traits, and relationships of the NPCs, and getting them involved. There should be cohesion with an idea - for instance even side quests should be logically connected with main plot. When main idea of your adventure is love - put love everywhere you can! Second thing is modding/scripting experience. If you don't have it - learn it! It's not so hard, really. Read forums, tutorials, and try to experiment by yourself. And Third thing - your first adventure shouldn't be hudge. Try to finish small one at the beginning. Master the toolset and then start with something more ambitious. So basicly it's enough to have a lot of ideas and suitable motivation. The rest will come itself for sure!

 

Source: GameBanshee

Thursday - March 27, 2008

The Witcher - Walkthrough Now Complete @ Gamebanshee

by Magerette, 18:35

The official site for The Witcher has posted a link to the recently completed walkthrough of the game in the extensive Gamebanshee Witcher database.

You can lean on them for help in your off-course moments here.

Wednesday - March 26, 2008

The Witcher - Enhanced Edition Interview @ RPS

by Dhruin, 22:08

CD Projekt Red's Michal Madej has spoken with Rock, Paper, Shotgun about The Witcher and the upcoming Enhanced Edition.  Here's the definitive answer about the translation in the original release, which is improved in the new version:

What caused the significant, let’s say “differences”, between the Polish and English dialogue in the original game?

It was hard lesson to be learned for us – the localization process. At beginning of the development we had to make production estimates for the amount of English text to be recorded, and we based it on our experiences with Polish localizations. The assumption we made was that, as Polish text after translation from English is usually about 20% longer, the reverse translation would be shorter by a similar amount. We just didn’t realize that we were using different measures – number of pages and number of words. Because of how the English language works out, the resulting translation was way too much for recording, which came into play at the very last stage of development. We had a really short time to edit all of the English dialogues, shortening them by 30%. So basically, the original translation was really good; it was just trimmed due to production.

Thursday - March 20, 2008

The Witcher - Blog Updates @ Official Site

by Magerette, 19:03

The official site for CDProjekt's RPG, The Witcher  has posted links to their latest developer blogs. Here's the text:

 This week a trio of developers have posted updates. Check them out below:

Kasia Kuczynska introduces the dashing design team. Ladies, no need to rush; there's plenty of designers to go around.

Daniel Sadowski talks about some of the unexpected challenges of game development... like having big holes in your office. That sounds dirtier than intended.

And finally, Piotr Chomiak details a few of the new animations you'll see in The Witcher Enhanced Edition. No longer shall Geralt stare blankly into the eyes of a damsel he's hoping to bed. He'll use hand gestures and all sorts of stuff sure to make the ladies swoon.

Stay tuned for more tasty updates as Spring descends on Warsaw and the team keeps chugging away on the Enhanced Edition and other uber-secret stuff.

Friday - March 14, 2008

The Witcher - D'jinni Toolkit and First Mod Delayed

by Magerette, 16:37

The official site for The Witcher has posted an announcement stating that the D'jinni editor and the first adventure module "The Price of Neutrality" have been delayed to the last week in March:

We would like to apologize everyone, who impatiently awaited today's release of the D'jinni adventure editor and the first official adventure "The Price of Neutrality". Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances (legal issues concerning making and publishing of mods), the release of the adventure editor has to be delayed until the last week of March. We are sorry again and we thank [you] for understanding. We will also make all possible efforts in order to avoid any other delays and to provide new additions, that will meet your expectations.

Both the adventure editor and "The Price of Neutrality" mod will be free downloads for registered owners of The Witcher, and also part of the Enhanced Edition planned for May release.

Source: GameBanshee

Thursday - March 13, 2008

The Witcher - 2nd Sapkowski Book for English Readers

by Dhruin, 23:10

Not directly game related but the official Witcher site has news that Gollancz will be publishing Sapkowski's Blood of the Elves in English this September:

After a very positive reception of the first collection of short stories created by Andrzej Sapkowski "The Last Wish", we are very happy to inform, that another part of A. Sapkowski's prose is announced to be released in September. The first part of The Witcher Saga - "Blood of the Elves" translated by Danuta Stok - will be published, the same as with "The Last Wish", by Gollancz publishing house.

Friday - March 07, 2008

The Witcher - Enhanced Edition Interview @ GameBanshee

by Dhruin, 21:15

CD Projekt's Tom Ohle, Katarzyna Kuczynska and Mateusz Kanik speak to GameBanshee in this interview about the Enhanced Edition of The Witcher.  Here's a reminder of their plans:

GB: Tell us more about the recently announced Enhanced Edition. What can we expect from the two new adventures being included in the revised version and how will they tie into the original storyline?

Tom: When The Witcher was originally released in October last year, we got a lot of important feedback from fans and media about the issues they had with the game. For the most part, gamers were able to look past their concerns to get a lot of enjoyment out of it, but in some cases, those problems — long load times, inconsistent dialogue and stability, among others — meant enough to have a very negative impact on how some people perceived the game. We’ve made things better through patches we’ve released since launch, but we really want to fundamentally improve the game and give gamers the ultimate role-playing game. For The Witcher Enhanced Edition we’re fixing nearly everything that players and journalists complained about, repackaging the whole thing with some awesome bonus content like two music CDs, a making-of DVD, the D’jinni Adventure Editor and more. People who already paid for the original will get all of the in-game improvements for free in the form of a patch… which may or may not be gigantic.

Katarzyna: Both adventures take place before the events presented in The Witcher. The Price of Neutrality tells the story of a girl that arrives in Kaer Morhen and brings some trouble to the witchers’ world. She is Eskel’s surprise child and she wants to become his student. But there are some powerful people going after her and Geralt has to make a difficult choice… The Side Effect adventure is a completely different one. It focuses on interesting and diverse gameplay with a lighter, less serious plot. Geralt will have to help his friend Dandelion get out of trouble by gathering a considerable amount of money. 

The Witcher - Patch 1.2a

by Woges, 19:38

New patch over at the offical site

We have just released Patch 1.2a, which is designed to correct an occasional compatibility issue we found between the download version of The Witcher and Patch 1.2. We suggest to download and install the new patch from our site.

Wednesday - March 05, 2008

The Witcher - Enhanced Edition Trailer

by Dhruin, 21:17

Worthplaying is hosting a (hopefully new) 45Mb trailer for The Witcher Enhanced.

Tuesday - March 04, 2008

The Witcher - Will it Become a Major Franchise? @ RPGVault

by Magerette, 17:29

Jonric at RPGVault has posted  a short piece that covers no new bases, but looks at the game's development and speculates about the future intentions of CDProjektRed for their crpg, The Witcher:

Last month, the company revealed that sales had surpassed 600,000 copies in three months, definitely a solid number, especially considering the release date was in October, during the most competitive quarter of the year. A few days later, it announced The Witcher Enhanced Edition...


Naturally, I was already anticipating a sequel. The team is known to be working on an unannounced project, and what else would it be? But given all this plus CD Projekt Red's even more recent addition of a PR and marketing person for North America and the UK, there's ample reason to guess the studio has its sights set high. The most obvious guess would be growing The Witcher into a significant RPG and game franchise. Assuming this is so, I'm eagerly looking forward to seeing what's coming - and anticipating we'll see a lot more far sooner than another four years.

 

Saturday - February 23, 2008

The Witcher - Enhanced Edition Q & A @ ActionTrip

by Magerette, 19:21

ActionTrip's  Ure' Vader' Paul has gotten together with CDProjektRed's Michal Madej, Chief Designer on The Witcher, to examine some of the aspects of the new Enhanced Edition scheduled for this spring. It's a two page interview, so here are just a few highlights:

ActionTrip: Generally speaking, how are things at CD Projekt right now, after the successful release of The Witcher?

Michał Madej: Generally speaking - very enthusiastic, but we're also a little puzzled. We always believed that The Witcher is an outstanding game, but still we are surprised how well it does all around the world. I am very glad that editors and gamers understand our vision of a modern role playing game. On the other hand, we feel a great responsibility, so now following titles will have much higher expectations and we can't disappoint you all. Hopefully, it will inspire us even more, but not paralyze our creativity...

...AT: It's good to hear that current owners of The Witcher will be able to get all the extra content via a downloadable update. However, you mentioned that the update also contains patches released so far. Can you tell us roughly how large an update can we expect (500MB, 1GB...)?

MM: Yeah, all additional features and adventures will be available for free; for all registered users. I can't tell right now how big it will be, but considering such a huge amount of changers like new models, dialogs, voice-overs, etc. it will be probably compared to full The Witcher game (i.e. a few GB)...

...AT: What are your further plans for the franchise? The Witcher already has a strong fan base, so I think it's safe to expect a sequel or add-on at some point in the future, right?

MM: At this point we are completely focused on The Witcher Enhanced Edition and on supporting it, so future plans still remain the future. For sure, this is not our last tribute to the role-playing genre, and we still see huge potential of The Witcher world license.

...AT: Do you consider tackling different game genres (other than single-play RPG, that is)?

MM: Not at this point, as we didn't decide what our next big title will be - as I said we still focus on The Witcher support and the Enhanced Edition. I think that some day in the not so far future we will have to start with a different project, genre and maybe a different license.

 

Source: Bluesnews

The Witcher - Review @ AceGamz

by Magerette, 18:32

RPGWatch's Michael Anderson (txa1265) has done another review of The Witcher at Acegamz, this one more detailed and adult-oriented than his previous effort at Gamerdad. While giving the game a top score of 10/10, the reviewer is not blind to the faults of the game, but as usual with Mike, takes a close look at both the positive and negative in this in depth piece:

The problems with the game, and there are a couple, are centred on the seemingly incessant load times and issues with the translation of the dialogue from the original Polish. But let me cut right to the chase: this isn't a game that will be played and forgotten. Nor is it likely to end up like Oblivion or Halo as revered one day and ridiculed for all of its flaws the next. Nor like Bioshock is it likely to face a sea of backlash when enough time has passed for people to see the difference between the 'bestest EVAR' game in many reviews and the excellent game they actually played.

No, The Witcher is a game that will sell okay now, get decent reviews now and yet be the one on everyone's lips for 'top RPGs of all time' when they are discussing it five years from now...

Some of the flaws discussed are load times that have since been addressed in patches, character limitation, the first boss battle, and language:

The other complaint I have is with the dialogue. This was originally developed in the native Polish tongue of the developers, but alas suffers in both adaptation and translation. There are two reasons for this: first, the original Polish script had to be translated and reworked into English, apparently losing something along the way. Second, that script had to be acted out; this isn't an inherent problem like the first, and in general I found the voice acting quite good - but having heard some of the original Polish matched to the English version made me wish I had listened to my Babci and gotten off my dupa and learned some more Polish as a kid.

Having disposed of the flaws, the review goes on to list the game's strengths:

I could drone on about the technical stuff more, but in a real RPG there are three things that really matter: the story, the story and the story. Okay, perhaps that is overstating it - the combat system and quest structure also matter. So do many other things; alchemy, skill progressions and character development, to name a few. But, the bottom line is this - what separates many of the best RPGs from ones that are just very good is the depth of the story and how you fit into it as it evolves throughout the game.

My quick take on the story of The Witcher is that it takes game writing to a level we haven't seen since Planescape: Torment. You will find the usual assortment of quests, side quests, twists and turns, and other elements that keep you engaged for the eighty or more hours it will take you to traverse this massive tale. Eighty hours: they still make games that long? They sure do - games with tons of characters, loads of interesting stuff going on, masses of dialogue and just generally some of the deepest game writing we've ever seen. It all starts with the fiction of Andrzej Sapkowski, the Polish author of the Witcher novels and stories, and he is behind the story here. The style of the game is quite eclectic; it makes a choice not to present the characters and dialog and overall style in a manner such as Two Worlds that immediately suggests a time and place in existing history. Instead, The Witcher at times suggests themes associated with the whole of the European literary tradition, from Eastern to Western, ancient to modern and serious to humorous. It is this juxtaposition of humorous moments - of seemingly nonsensical pairings of characters and names and speaking styles - with a very serious set of themes associated with a world at odds with itself, one which is spiraling towards ruin.

It is this depth of moral and emotional content that sets The Witcher apart. Fairly early on you come across a village and meet up with a leader who tells you that the monsters are not just random creatures, but embody some sort of human evil and that the problems spreading through the land are the coming to fruition of those evils across the land. This isn't some sort of prototypical 'Evil Kowakian Monkey Lizard gone bad' story; it is a story of an evil and darkness encroaching that is of our own accord. In all honesty, it is the fantasy realization of the horrors that humans bring upon themselves and each other on an all too regular basis.

But don't let that make you think that The Witcher is a tale whose solution comes through recycling and biking to work; it is more that the characters you see in the game are mainly people you could see while walking through any big city anywhere in the world on a Saturday afternoon. They have just been put in that position of having years of suffering, injustice and brutality put upon them - and they increasingly come to reflect their surroundings. This ambiguous morality, of good people doing horrible things for what they see as the greater good, is just an absolutely fantastic backdrop for an epic RPG, and The Witcher takes full advantage of that setting. In this world, the choices you make truly matter and the decisions you make are not of the typical Bioware "I'll help you no matter what / show me the cash and I'll think about it / I'll kill them, kill you, and take everyone's money" sort. In those games you can see the impact of your good and bad decisions stacking up over time, such as with the 'light/dark' Jedi meter in Knights of the Old Republic. In this game however you get to make loads of small choices - give or take, be nice or cruel, help someone at the cost of a greater goal or let them suffer knowing that you are doing it for the right reasons.

Mentioning 'morality' and 'mature content' in the context of The Witcher is sure to bring a single topic to people's mind: sex. Certainly you can play the game as some sort of late-night soft-porn fantasy, but that really misses the larger point. Well, it misses the larger set of possibilities, but if that is how you choose to play then there is nothing to deter you, with the possible exception of consequences later in the game. In many role-playing games, the 'romance quest' is about as romantic as picking through a half-pound bag of M&Ms looking for the green ones, but here again, The Witcher isn't about a 'victory condition for romance'. It is about the fact that you are already a hero with a history behind you and a star-like reputation; you can use this leverage that for 'a bit of tail', you can try to be good to as many people as possible, you can seek out your 'one true love' only to find that you then need to choose between making her happy and doing what you truly feel is right.

Conclusion:

There is an old saying that basically goes "I have seen the future and it is 'x'". There have been some very popular RPGs released over the past few years that some point to as the future of the genre. I hope they are wrong and I hope this because I want more depth in my role-playing games and less glorified action games. So when I think of that saying, I hope that The Witcher represents the future; it has plenty of combat, a deep skill system, nicely integrated alchemy and most importantly one of the best and deepest stories and quests ever written into a video game, as well as looking gorgeous throughout. Now that is something to strive for.

This is just a representative excerpt, so for the full review, head on over to the link above.

Wednesday - February 20, 2008

The Witcher - Review @ The Jerusalem Post

by Magerette, 21:12

Ausir writes in to give us the heads up about a slightly different review of The Witcher at the Israeli news online site The Jerusalem Post.    The title of the review is If you're timid, don't be witched, and I'll let it speak for itself:

Technical rating: 4 stars
Moral rating: 0 stars

Freed from the shackles of communism, Polish software developers feel at liberty to go as far as they want, with unrestrained violence and sex in the videogames they export to Britain and other Western countries. This adult-only role-playing game, based on a series of fantasy stories by best-selling Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski, is an example of high technical skill and low morals that can nevertheless legally be purchased by youngsters.

The protagonist of the story is Geralt of Rivia, a mercenary killer ("witcher") of monsters who lives in Vizima, a cursed, gloomy and impoverished city (except for a few filthy rich who enjoy themselves). With long gray tresses and a scarred face that becomes even more bloodcurdling when he periodically swallows the contents of little bottles of potions, Geralt (nicknamed White Wolf) is a killing machine who can hardly be called a "good guy."

Geralt initially arrives at the Witchers' fortress suffering from amnesia. This forgetfulness allows the narrator to retell some of what the Witcher has been through in the past and forces the protagonist to roam the world and encounter people he previously met so he can regain his memories.

The game is offered at three levels of difficulty, with the option of using your mouse only or it and the keyboard. But you must have a strong computer to use it, and even if you do, the load time from one scene to another is very long, and frequent crashes are nearly inevitable. If you get through it all, it will take you about 45, 50 or even 60 hours to finish. The background music is stirring, voice acting believable, graphics impressive and sound effects authentic. But while there is an interesting story line, the game reeks of perversion.

As Geralt is a genetically altered human, he is sterile, but he can still seduce young women who offer to be ravished, and he takes advantage of their offer. After each sexual escapade, he earns cards showing the semi-nude image of the woman he had sex with and that he collects as a kind of trophy. The dialogue also includes plenty of filthy language.

 

Tuesday - February 19, 2008

The Witcher - X360 and PS3 Confirmation?

by Dhruin, 22:27

Well, no - but it's not surprising to read at RPG Codex that a CD Projekt staffer apparently let their plans slip on a social networking site, since we know they have been hiring console staff:

We knew that CD Projekt Red Studio is looking for X360 and PS3 programmers, but there was no confirmation on whether they'll be working on porting The Witcher or some other project. As the Gry-Online Polish gaming site reports, Tomasz Jonarski, a CD Projekt employee, mentioned that he's working on technology for porting The Witcher to next generation consoles: Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 at GoldenLine, a social networking website.

Lukasz Mach is quick with the "no confirmation", "not official" line in the linked thread.

Monday - February 18, 2008

The Witcher - Enhanced Edition Available in May

by Magerette, 16:59

True to their word, the official Witcher site has posted the following news about new content this spring. It will be in the form of an 'Enhanced Edition,' and will include improvements to the load times and other technical polishing, the D'jinni toolkit, two new mods with 5 additonal hours of play, and significant improvements in translation for all language versions, especially the English and German. It's a very long document, and there is also an associated pdf file, so I will only be quoting a few snips:

...aside from the game DVD, we are planning to include a DVD with a Mod Editor D'jinii, as well as two additional adventures, a video DVD with extended material concerning the making of the game, a music CD with 29 tracks from the game, a music CD with 15 tracks of music inspired by the game, an 80-page instruction booklet, a 112-page official guide written by the authors of the game, and a 50-page short story written by Andrzej Sapkowski. There will also be a map of the game world. As you can see it is quite an elaborate release and it is important to us that fans all over the world be able to buy this version of the game. Especially considering it will not be more expensive than the standard edition of the game!

For those who already own The Witcher, the new content will be available as a download:

Fans that have already bought the game need not worry, however, because the new content and improvements will be available to them in the form of a downloadable update "

And a short description of the mod content:


The Witcher: Enhanced Edition does not only mean changes in the game's mechanics or better graphics, however. There's also an included mod editor called D'jinni that allows players to create or modify their own adventures in the world of The Witcher, as well as two completely new adventures created by CD Projekt RED. First adventure “The price of neutrality” tells the story of Geralt coming back to Kaer Morhen and finding mysterious camp near stronghold (3 new quests) while second one focus on Dandelion and his troubles in Vyzim City (5 quests)

Head over to the links above for more details. (You can also read the same text, but with bigger screenshots, in the forum announcement.)

Thursday - February 14, 2008

The Witcher - 600,000 Copies Sold Press Release

by Dhruin, 22:02

Although we already have a newsbit covering this it's worth printing the full release CD Projekt sent over to highlight the "surprise" to be revealed on February 18th (last paragraph):

CD Projekt RED is proud to announce that the company's debut video game production, The Witcher, has sold more than 600,000 copies worldwide in just three months.

Adam Kicinski, CD Projekt RED Joint CEO, commented on the sales results: "We are very happy with The Witcher's performance to date. Our goal was - and still is - to reach one million copies sold during the first year. 600,000 games sold in just three months brings us much closer to this ambitious goal. It's a great success for us, made all the more impressive by the fact that The Witcher was created by a completely new team and it is our debut both as a game developer and in bringing our products to a global audience. The task was not easy, as The Witcher brand was completely unknown in many markets, and it was released in a busy season alongside franchises that have been on the market for many years. Yet, I can confidently say that we've passed this trial victoriously. Actually, only now - as we've conquered many of the initial barriers - can we spread our wings, which, of course, we intend to do. Such success wouldn't be possible without our publishers' support - Atari, Noviy Disk and the publishing branch of CD Projekt. They all put a lot of work into the game's promotion in individual markets."

The exceptionally warm welcome given to The Witcher by media and gamers around the world facilitated the commercial success of our game. This grand welcome is illustrated by 48 awards and distinctions - a number which is constantly rising - including the prestigious "PC RPG of the Year" from popular outlets like IGN.com, GameSpy, Play Magazine and the US edition of PC Gamer, as well as the award for "Readers' Choice Winner - Best RPG" at GameSpot (see the full list of awards: http://www.thewitcher.com/community/en/awards/). The game has received exceptionally high ratings from players all over the world, which is manifested in high average scores in players' reviews at sites like Metacritic (9.4/10), GameTrailers (9.1/10) and GameSpot (8.8/10).

Adam Kiciñski also hints at the developer's plans for the near future: "Our plans include continuous game support, the release of the powerful D'jinni module editor, the continued release of game updates and patches, and in late spring gamers can expect a pretty big surprise, which will be revealed at a press conference really soon - February 18th! We are still working on making the game better and we will actively support our fan community, which is getting bigger and bigger. Unfortunately I can't reveal anything further at this time, but I assure you that we won't rest on our laurels and we have very promising plans for the future. We set our standards very high with The Witcher and we surely don't want to lower them in the future."

The Witcher - Future Classic @ Forbes.com

by Magerette, 16:46

Along with announcing a sales figure to date of 600,000 copies, the official site for CDProjekt's cRPG The Witcher posts a link to a feature article at financial site Forbes.com that lists the title among ten future classic games in an article about the future of video games. While the article focuses on console devlopment and the Wii in particular, it also has this to say:

PC games are going to grow in importance, especially for older, more educated gamers. After being widely dismissed as dead (or irrelevant at best) only five years ago, PC role-playing games have made a tremendous comeback.

They also have some comments on the future of graphics over content:

Videogame graphics will continue to grow richer and more detailed. But don't expect that photo realism alone will be enough to sell a game. Sony's face-flop with the PS3 proves gamers aren't obsessed with hyper-realistic graphics to the extent that game designers are.

Most gamers don't require characters that look exactly like actors in a movie, and don't care how realistically blood splatters; they want to play great games. Chess isn't any more or less fun in high definition; it's the game that counts.

 

As a sidenote, Forbes makes a rather interesting prediction here:

Within 10 years, guilds formed on "War of Warcraft" or other online games will become offline political forces. Especially in Asia, look for these groups to start agitating for social change...In short, the instigators of the next Tiananmen Square could very well not be students from Peking University, but members of the "Chinese Nathrezim Finger Guild."

Saturday - February 09, 2008

The Witcher - Toolset Interview @ TW Vault

by Dhruin, 22:17

The Witcher Vault has a short interview with a handful of CD Projekt Red developers on the Djinni toolset.  Unfortunately, I'm still not clear on the scope of the toolset but have a read, anyway:

What was behind the decision to release a Mod toolkit for The Witcher?

The Witcher was always a game with a lot of potential. We have always tried to do as much as possible with it and we feel that releasing the D'jinni toolkit to the community is a natural step for us to take. It's the only way to really let the game grow beyond anything we could do and imagine. There are many talented people in the community and it will be interesting to see what they can come up with. Personally, I'm very eager to see the results. :) - Daniel Sadowski, engine programmer

Wednesday - February 06, 2008

The Witcher - Dev Blogs @ IGN

by Dhruin, 01:10

From The Witcher site comes news that a handful of CD Proket developers have updated their blogs at IGN:

We would like invite you to our developers blogs on IGN, as you can them freshly updated with a lot of new information concerning a day-to-day work in CD Projekt RED. Kasia Kuczyńska has written about some funny situations that happened during the creation of the game, Piotr Chomiak in his blog describes the creation of in-game locations, and Daniel Sadowski brings you some bugs, of course those that have been already removed from the game :).

Tuesday - January 29, 2008

The Witcher - Fan Fiction Contest Results @ Official Site

by Magerette, 17:47

The official site for CDProjekt's cRPG, The Witcher, has posted the results of their fan fiction contest held a while back. The winners, who will recieve a translated copy of Sapkowski's Last Wish  as prize, are listed along with links to their English language stories.

The site also notes that several earlier reviews of the game, including those at PC Games and Gamestar, have been revised upward in light of the recent patch.

 

Thursday - January 24, 2008

The Witcher - Review @ Anand Tech

by Magerette, 18:35

A tech and hardware review site called Anand Tech has posted a scoreless review of CDProjekt's cRPG, The Witcher called 'A Study in Neutrality', a screenshot-loaded and point by point, in-depth examination of the game. As you might expect from a hardware review site, a lot of the article focuses on how the game performs on various systems. Though there is no specific score, the reviewer sums up his impressions in the conclusion:

Like many of the games that get released today, The Witcher is something of a diamond in the rough. Whether you're willing to put up with the flaws or wait for someone else to come along and polish it is up to the individual. Perhaps like the protagonist, the game is neither strictly good nor bad, but instead takes the neutral path. Depending on your own inclinations, neutrality may be just what the doctor ordered. Certainly, this isn't a game for everyone, and I imagine there are some people out there that absolutely despise it. Those people probably also hate games like Oblivion, Fallout, Baldur's Gate, Planescape: Torment, Ultima Underworld, and a number of other games that I absolutely loved.

If you liked any of the titles I just listed, chances are you will enjoy The Witcher, warts and all. The combat system is a refreshing change of pace, keeping things from getting bogged down in the turn-based world of Dungeons & Dragons without becoming completely twitch-based. The story is definitely compelling, and while the choices you make might not ultimately have a huge impact on the ending, I at least was left wanting more. The graphics and sound are good if not great, helping to draw the player into the rich world of Andrzej Sapkowski. In fact, after playing the game, I'm one of likely many people that will now go out and pick up his books, just to experience more of the world of Temeria and its denizens.

The Witcher ranks as the best PC role-playing game I've played since Oblivion. Then again, outside of Neverwinter Nights 2, there haven't been all that many RPGs in the past two years for PCs. If you're willing to stretch the definition of RPG a bit, games like STALKER and Bioshock enter the picture, both of which I would rate above The Witcher. However, the game is a lot closer to Oblivion than it is to STALKER, so that's probably not a fair comparison. If you're like me — an RPG fan that detests MMORPGs and is eagerly waiting on Bethesda to finish up Fallout 3 — there simply aren't that many other options out there right now. Lucky for us, we have The Witcher to help tide us over. We may be left wondering how or why Geralt came back from the dead, but you certainly won't find me complaining about his reappearance. 

Source: Bluesnews

The Witcher - Zero Punctuation Review @ The Escapist

by Dhruin, 11:43

So, the famous Yahtzee has The Witcher in his sights in the latest Zero Punctuation review at The Escapist. If you don't know Zero Punctuation, it's an animated video review with a humorous, cynical twist - or at least, I presume that's the idea, although the forum comments seem to indicate a lot of readers take it quite literally. Yahtzee found The Witcher "boring and stodgy" and didn't like that the alchemy required "an 8 week correspondence course" to understand.

Thanks, Melvil!

Tuesday - January 22, 2008

The Witcher - Review @ GamersInfo

by Dhruin, 23:28

A new review of The Witcher is up at GamersInfo.  As usual for them, there is no score but it's easy to tell what the author thinks:

There is something about The Witcher that just "feels" right, and I can't describe it. Oddly, this feeling is one of the best parts of the game. Maybe it happens when a developer just nails it and creates a world, atmosphere and characters that all blend together just perfectly or creates a story that just really makes sense and is not full of sidetracks to extend the game. The Witcher has - as those American Idol goons say - the "It" factor. I kind of jumped ahead on some of the fluff there, but I felt it was very important — at least for this game — because the feel of this game is something I've encountered very, very rarely in the past.

Monday - January 21, 2008

The Witcher - Review @ TweakTown

by Magerette, 18:51

Reviews for CDProjekt's cRPG, The Witcher are still surfacing, this one from a site called TweakTown.  It's a thorough review of most aspects of the game, and recommends it with an 8/10 score:

...There is still plenty of action and variation if you simply follow the primary quests, but there is hours upon hours of gameplay if you also choose to focus on as many secondary quests as possible, and despite their non-compulsory status, a lot of effort has gone into making them quite detailed, and not just thrown together time wasters. You can become a dice/poker profession in the game's gambling scenes (often found in taverns), you can try and score with a few of the game's female characters (adding some adult themes to the gameplay), you can take up mercenary contracts posted on bulletin boards - the list goes on. There is just so much to do in this game, at times it was hard imagining it ever ending.

And this detail isn't just subject to the primary and secondary quests, it's an evident theme across much of the game. The environments and locations you will find yourself, while featuring clear physical boundaries, never feel closed in and 'staged' like you can often see in games like this. They feel like living and breathing villages and communities, filled with different characters and identities every step of the way. While the game does recycle quite a lot of the faces and voices you'll encounter, you never really get the sense anything in how the locations and environments were constructed in The Witcher was rushed - it all feels very carefully crafted with a lot of attention to detail, ultimately creating a quality gaming experience.

 

Source: Shack News

Thursday - January 17, 2008

The Witcher - Review @ IF Magazine

by Dhruin, 20:24

A site called IF Magazine has reviewed The Witcher, describing the graphics as "freaking amazing" and generally praising the gameplay:

Like many action RPGs, your decisions do indeed make a difference in terms of how the game progresses but in THE WITCHER it is amped up to a new degree. Take one side in a battle early in the game, it may either haunt you or benefit you further on down the road. Save a witch from a town mob, you may or may not benefit down the road. Choose one side in the middle of the game and you may confront a super baddie a lot sooner in the game than you should causing you many problems in defeating him or fighting him off. Plus, all of your decisions and periods of the game are presented with painted montages of some of the action that has come or happening in the game.

 

Wednesday - January 16, 2008

The Witcher - Nominated for Writing Award

by Dhruin, 10:31

GameBanshee has a press release from the Writers Guild of America nominating The Witcher for a games writing award:

WGA Announces First-Ever Videogame Writing Award Nominees

2008 Writers Guild Awards Winners to be Announced Feb. 9

LOS ANGELES, NEW YORK -- The Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) and the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) have announced nominations for the Guilds' inaugural Videogame Writing Award, honoring outstanding achievement in videogame writing during 2007.

VIDEOGAME WRITING

CRASH OF THE TITANS, Written by Christopher Mitchell, Sierra Entertainment

DEAD HEAD FRED, Written by Dave Ellis and Adam Cogan, D3 Publisher

THE SIMPSONS GAME, Lead Writer Matt Selman, Written by Tim Long and Matt Warburton, Dialogue by Jeff Poliquin, Electronic Arts

THE WITCHER, Lead Story Designer Artur Ganszyniec, Dialogue Sebastian Stepien, Additional Dialogue Marcin Blacha, Writers Sande Chen and Anne Toole, Atari

Source: GameBanshee

Tuesday - January 15, 2008

The Witcher - Official Modding Forum

by Dhruin, 11:14

CD Projekt has opened an official board to discuss the Djinni toolset and Witcher mods:

Because the release of out toolset Djinni is coming very soon, I'd like to introduce to you our new forum for modders. We'll try to answer all your questions about Djinni and other technical or meritorical matters. I hope that as soon as the toolset is released, all of you will get to work and create many unique adventures in The Witcher's world.

Source: RPG Codex

Tuesday - January 08, 2008

The Witcher - Review @ Play.tm

by Dhruin, 22:35

This reviewer at Play.tm apparently hates fantasy and avoided The Witcher but ultimately, the game turned him around.  The score is 80%, although the short text doesn't really explain what it was that broke through his  dislike of the genre:

You might think, once you've taken into account that opening volley, that I'm not the best person to review The Witcher. I'm probably not. I wouldn't go near this game if I had to buy it. But every now and then reviewing games for the good of gaming does offer a few unexpected pearls in return (besides the free game and kudos, but forget that, we do this for the love of the culture - sort of). While certainly without being forced to play The Witcher I would never have bothered; what an experience I'd have missed out on. Indeed this review should have been in ages ago, but I couldn't bring myself to put a finger to key - there was so much to do and experience, I didn't want to utter a word with so much left to uncover and so I didn't, I waited, experienced and played.

The Witcher - Interview @ TW France

by Dhruin, 02:06

Fansite The Witcher France has a short post-release interview with answers from a handful of CD Projekt Red staffers.  The possibility of multiplayer, Atari's role and a future X360 release are all raised but get negative or non-committal answers, so here's a bit on the toolset:

5. The release date of the SDK Djinni is drawing nearer. How difficult to use will it be and will there be some kind of tutorials to help users master it?

Djinni is a professional tool that we used for the implementation of the whole game. It was created by our programmers for internal use, but before releasing the tool for casual users some changes have been made to make it more user-friendly. However, to help the modders get used to out toolset, we prepared a manual that explains almost every aspect of using Djinni, with lots of pictures and examples. I hope that with that manual everyone will be able to master Djinni pretty soon. We will also try to support everyone willing to implement their own stories in the world of The Witcher and we'll try to be available on our forum and answer all the questions that may rise.

Please remember that Djinni is released as beta version, which means we cannot take full responsibility for any damage it can cause to the game.

Source: GameBanshee

Monday - January 07, 2008

The Witcher - Reviews @ GPM, HardOCP, F13.net

by Dhruin, 21:54

A trio of Witcher article can be found around the 'net.  Here we go, starting with a review at GamePlay Monthly, who gave it a B+ and are now disappointed in North American RPG developers:

The overall story of The Witcher isn't phenomenal. However, it is, on the other hand, quite unique in its own respect, and I'm not even sure if or when another RPG will come close to The Witcher's decision system. Let me explain. You see, games like Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic feature all sorts of decisions throughout the game that are quite blatantly “good” and “evil.” Unfortunately, once you get to the end of that sort of game, there will be ONE big decision that determines if you get the good ending or the evil ending. This means that you can be the biggest jackass in the galaxy, murdering every single kind-hearted person you find, then at the last second, choose the good guy option and be celebrated as a hero and looked at like you're a great guy. This is simply absurd. I love KotOR, but that aspect of the game is a bit ridiculous.

...F13.net has a really short overview:

The Good: the combat and controls were reasonably well explained and easy to pickup. The game is beautiful, and has the details I expect in modern RPGs, like full voice over on all the NPCs and a very detailed journal system. While it's classified an Action RPG, it still has elements like a detailed inventory and character progression to make it feel like an RPG. I can tell early on that if I want to make a gimpy mage out of my Witcher, the game will let me. The real winning point for me though was talking to a Blacksmith and asking him if he had been helping out the local terrorists. He promptly told me to piss off and wouldn't deal with me anymore. It's nice to see a game where I have to think about the conversation, as opposed to it just being a "click to learn more" thing.

Thanks to Melvil for that one.  Finally, HardOCP has a performance article that tests The Witcher on four different video cards.

Tuesday - January 01, 2008

The Witcher - Reviews @ BlueAlien and GamersInfo

by Dhruin, 00:31

Two new reviews are around for The Witcher - let's start at BlueAlien, who scored the game at a hefty 9.25/10:

The Witcher has three possible endings that depend entirely on the actions you take in the game. On top of the multiple endings each of the actions that lead to them have different in-game consequences. Supporting one group of people over another, or taking a neutral stance, will affect the game multiple chapters down the road. For example, you are tasked by a merchant to kill some monsters that have been interfering with his business. After you are finished with them you notice a group of people are starting to run off with the merchant's stuff. How you respond to this situation will make the next chapter more or less difficult but I won't say how. The Witcher is full of little choices and paths like this. There are a number of sidequests that are not necessary to the main plot but help to flesh out the world and, of course improve your character through money, equipment and experience. There are also two minigames that can be found throughout the course of the game, fistfighting, essentially drunken brawling, and dice poker. Both are the subject of own, entirely optional quests. Dice poker is played by rolling a set of five dice, looking for doubles, triples, straights and the like while fistfighting and drinking games are accomplished as you would think - hitting things and drinking things.

...the next is at GamersInfo, who have underestimated the choices if I am thinking of the right part of the game:

There are other issues as well: I found some quests to be a bit inconsistent in the way they handled multiple moving parts. For example (and I'll try to avoid spoilers), one ongoing mission involves multiple characters whom Geralt is investigating. The game allows the player to make up his own mind as to a particular character's guilt or innocence. But, a problem arises when the next step in the quest requires the player to contradict that choice. For instance, I had determined a character's innocence; however the mission-giver then required me to kill that character in the following step of the quest. As Geralt is unquestionably an intelligent being, it makes little sense for him to betray what he knows to be true in such a way. Yet in order to proceed with the remainder of the quest, the player must kill that innocent character. It just feels broken.

Source: Bluesnews

Friday - December 28, 2007

The Witcher - Review @ Avid Gamer

by Dhruin, 21:21

The Witcher has been reviewed at a site called Avid Gamer with a score of 8/10:

The immersion is continued by the interaction with the NPC’s. Each (unique) character has its own voice and identity, its own routine and skills and its own opinion of Geralt. This means that dialogue is always novel and keeps the storyline captivating. Don’t expect the usual magical beings, like talking trees. Nearly all the characters you come across are well grounded in the banes of humanity. There are mature themes on offer in The Witcher, ranging from sex and prostitution, corruption, politics, racism, violence and torture and bad language. The effect is one of plausibility. You may be playing a typical fantasy game with magic and monsters but its world is slightly closer to home. It’s refreshing that not everyone you meet loves Geralt, and it often means that certain situations will require careful thinking. Instead of rushing through dialogue, you’ll learn to take your time as your actions can affect the story line later down the line. There isn’t a simple ‘good versus evil’ choice, and the consequences actually have a solid effect. You’ll meet a wide range of people, from warriors, politicians, tradesmen, religious figures, other Witchers, sorcerers, alchemists; the list goes on. 

Source: GameBanshee

Wednesday - December 26, 2007

The Witcher - Review @ La Maschera Riposta.it

by Dhruin, 00:14

Mose wrote in about a review of The Witcher at the Italian site, La Maschera Riposta. The score seems to be 5/5, so I guess they liked it a lot.

The Witcher - Contest @ GameBanshee

by Dhruin, 00:09

GameBanshee writes they have a contest to win one of five copies of The Witcher signed by no less than 30 developers from CD Projekt:

We've teamed up with CD Projekt and Atari to give away five copies of The Witcher signed by no less than thirty members of the development team! In the event that you didn't get the holiday gift you were hoping for (or even if you did), snagging one of these should brighten up the holidays quite a bit.

For a chance to win one of the signed copies, simply send us an email with a paragraph or two describing why you feel The Witcher stands out during such a strong year of video game releases. The winners will be chosen randomly on January 8, 2008, so you have two weeks to get your entry in.

US residents only, unfortunately. 

Thursday - December 20, 2007

The Witcher - Patch 1.2 Now Available

by Magerette, 19:31

The official site for CDProjekt's cRPG The Witcher has announced the release of patch 1.2, before Christmas as promised. The patch is designed primarily to decrease save/load times and tweak in-game bugs:

After long and impatient awaiting, the time has come - we encourage you to download the latest version of patch (1.2) for The Witcher. We have made a lot of effort to ensure that patch 1.2 has been tested in the best possible way, and at the same time to present it to you before Christmas, as we have promised. Patch 1.2 fixes, among all, the issues of older versions that were most commented on, such as long loading and saving times, loading/saving mechanism, removes many possible random crashes, as well as several minor bugs. Patch 1.2 works with older versions of the game, starting from 1.0.

You can download the patch from the official webpage, and it's also available at the following mirrors: FileShack, Gamer'sHell, and The Patches Scrolls.

Thanks to kalniel, for posting the news on the Witcher subforum.

Thanks also to Magnus, theexar, Sythlia and Licaon for writing in.

Edit: Here are the relevant patch notes (mild spoilers could apply)-

Gameplay and text bugs fixed:
- Fixes for Alina not being at her home when she should (Act 4).
- Wife's Tears Potion fixes.
- Fixes for usable doors on the swamps (Act 5).
- Fixes for Alchemist in manufacture giving quest items to Geralt (Act 3).
- Fixes for some items to be found in Fields (Act 4).
- Fixes for a disappearing enemy in quest Haunted House (Act2).
- Fixed problems with Alvin's spawn (Act 1).
- Few minor text fixes for all languages.

Code bugs fixed:
- Loading times are much faster!
- Saving is much faster!
- Another portion of stability improvements.
- Fix for rare "red rectangle" effect on loading bar.
- Quest tracking fixes.
- Some cursor fixes connected with finishers in tight places.
- Quest now won't update when Geralt is dead causing multiple problems.
- Autosave mechanism fixes (numeration).
- Savegame files fixes – some irrelevant information was sometimes generated inside.
- The game won't make an autosave if Geralt has an effect preventing him from talking (like knockdown, stun, push) - the result would be no talking at all for the rest of the game.
- Now you can't attack neutral NPCs if you input the second (etc.) sword sequence in them, while first attacking a hostile.
- Dandelion's music won't be 'echoed' while changing location twice.
- The game can handle broken savegames now – it returns to main menu.
- Motion blur effect won't stay active despite Blizzard potion wearing off – drinking, then changing location, then cutscene.
- Final fixes for weapons disappearing from enemies’ hands.
- Grass and small stones being multiplied – fixed.
- Fixes for receiving damage from Striga while being far away.

Art bugs fixed:
- Few level decoration fixes.
- Fixes for barghest attack animation. 

Monday - December 17, 2007

The Witcher - Reviews @ Yahoo! Games, LoadedInc

by Dhruin, 23:05

4/5 is the score for The Witcher in a short review at Yahoo! Games.  It's hard to take too much out of the article, which is heavily constrained by the word count:

Many games have tried to do this and few have delivered, but The Witcher is one of them. Decisions you make early in the game will come back to haunt you, and not in the transparent light-side/dark-side format that you might have seen in Bioware games. In The Witcher, almost everybody is either corrupt, a crook, immoral, or downright insane, and you'll often have to pick between sides that are all, at best, morally dubious. If you're used to having your hand held through more conventional role-playing games, you're in for a shock.

Meanwhile, LoadedInc's much longer review calls the game a "hidden classic" and awards 9/10:

Wow: (interjection) An exclamation of surprise, wonder, pleasure, or the like. (verb) To gain an enthusiastic response from. (noun) An extraordinary success. Excitement, interest, great pleasure, or the like. All of the above interpretations of the word 'Wow' are applicable to my view of The Witcher from newcomer developers CD Projekt. First of all I am absolutely flabbergasted by the amount of non-advertising that I have seen about this game. I mean sure, you've got your obligatory banner ads on various gaming sites, but for what the game is I was half expecting to see trumpets and red carpet laid out for it!

Secondly, I was left figuratively and literally speechless by the game from the outset. As soon as I had witnessed the lengthy intro in all its glory I knew I was in for a treat. The visuals are the very best that current games have to offer and of course it's all high definition. More on the visuals later. And finally, the realisation set in that I am playing potentially one of the all time classic games...

The Witcher - Blogs @ IGN

by Dhruin, 22:20

CD Projekt has translated five blog entries from various staffers to put up at IGN.  I suspect these were meant to be out before The Witcher's release but got lost in the crunch time described below by designer Katarzyna Kuczyńska.  The official site has a list of the blog entries on this page and here's that sample:

Today I’d like to tell you about the dark side of game designer’s work (and also every other person in our team). This dark side can be reduced to only two short words: crunch time. Crunch time is a period of time (usually towards the end of the project) when everyone is forced to work more intensively, stay after hours and give as much as they can in order to finish the game on time (keeping proper quality at the same time).

Our crunch time started in June, and finished towards the end of September – full four months. For me (and probably for my colleagues as well) it was really difficult time. I started working everyday around 9am and left the studio at 7pm. I was at home after 8pm. On Saturdays I used to finish around 3pm, so I had just enough time to have a bit of rest before the next working week. It was tough – I can’t deny it. There were times when I was leaving the studio and saw many of my colleagues not even starting to go home and then I got e-mails from them sent at 3, 5 or even 8 in the morning! Sometimes, when I came to the studio in the morning, I found Karol sleeping at his desk. Then he woke up, drank his coffee and got back to work. Borys’ wife gave birth to a baby daughter and few days later I saw him sleeping under his office desk. Many of us put a lot of effort and our private lives into the project in order for “The Witcher” to be a good and polished game and that our fans wouldn’t have to wait another year for the premiere.

Friday - December 14, 2007

The Witcher - Review @ GameOver

by Magerette, 21:03

Gameover has posted their review of The Witcher, giving it a 78% score, citing interface issues, inventory confusion and the autosave and long load times as the main faults:

Usually when I give a game a score around 75%, it’s because nothing about it was that good or that bad, and all of the components of the score fall in between 70% and 80%. The Witcher, on the other hand, is sort of an odd game because there were parts of it that I loved, but also parts of it that I loathed. Let me start with the bad stuff.

Somehow, despite being based on an existing engine (and a fine but not great one at that), the Witcher has a terrible interface and some serious technical problems. Consider this oddity. Quick saves and autosaves always save to a new save slot. They don’t overwrite previous quick saves and autosaves. And since you’re not allowed to name your saves (you just get a tiny screenshot, the name of your location, and a time stamp), by the end of the campaign you’re going to end up with hundreds of saves but not know what any of them refer to. Well, yay.

Or consider your inventory. A lot of the game involves collecting ingredients (including things like flowers, zombie brains, and wolf pelts) and then using the base components of those ingredients to create potions and weapon oils. Well, that’s fine, except that there are dozens and dozens of ingredients, but you’re not given enough inventory space to keep even half of them...Some sort of display listing how many of each component you’re holding would have been an immense help, but even something as simple as an inventory sorting button would have made things easier...

...But here’s the big problem. The loading, saving, and transition times are abysmally long. When I said that the Witcher has a 50+ hour campaign, I think that translates to about a 40 hour campaign with 10 hours of staring at loading screens....The loading times really sap the fun out of the game, but supposedly the next patch (due out any day now) is going to address this.

Hopefully the first part of the review hasn’t scared you off, because the Witcher has some good stuff to it, too. First and foremost is the campaign. Instead of following the BioWare mold where you’re always given “good” and “evil” ways to solve quests, the Witcher swims in murkier waters. One of the themes of the Witcher books is having to choose “the lesser evil,” where you’re presented with a pair of options and neither one is right or wrong; they just have different shades of gray...

...The Witcher campaign is also interesting because it is a lot “denser” than other campaigns. In most role-playing games, when you go to a town you talk to the NPCs twice -- once to pick up a quest and then again to turn it in -- and then you move on to the next town. But the Witcher doesn’t have that many towns. Each of the campaign’s five chapters takes about 10 hours to play, but they only consist of a few major map areas each, and so you end up dealing with people over and over again through multiple quests. This helps to develop those characters so that you’re more likely to care how their quests turn out, but it also goes back to your decisions having consequences. Since you never know how many times you’re going to need to talk to somebody, you have to be careful what you say to them so you don’t burn any possible bridges.

Source: Bluesnews

The Witcher - Demo Now Available

by Magerette, 20:42

The official site for CDProjekt's The Witcher has posted the news that a playable demo of the game is now available.: 

Atari today announced the launch of the playable demo for The Witcher, the acclaimed first game from Polish development studio CD Projekt RED and a PC role-playing masterwork which delivers an engrossing story and thrilling tactical combat, all set in a mature and compelling original fantasy universe....

Giving players a tantalizing taste of the world of The Witcher, the demo begins with the first part of the prologue in which the seeds of the story are sown and the white haired witcher Geralt learns the rudiments of combat. The prologue is followed by the entirety of Act 1, during which Geralt of Rivia will see the first threads of the story weave their web around him and be called upon to slay man and beast to stay alive and earn his keep. 

A page with links to available download mirrors can be found here.

If the demo is out, hopefully the patch and toolkit aren't far behind.

Thanks to Dark Savant for his heads up in the forums!

Thursday - December 13, 2007

The Witcher - Fan Fiction Contest @ Official Site

by Magerette, 18:26

The official site for CDProjekt's cRPG, The Witcher, has posted news of a fan fiction contest, prizes being a copy of Andrej Sapkowski's The Last Wish, and publication of the winning stories on the website:

Prepare your pens and keyboards! The Witcher Fan fiction contest has just been launched! We wait for your stories based on the game world. Write down your story and send it to us!. There are 3 books "Last Wish" by Andrzej Sapkowski waiting for you. The contest ends by 5th January 2008....

Best stories will be published on our website.

Tuesday - December 11, 2007

The Witcher - Review @ GameTrailers

by Dhruin, 12:01

xSamhainx writes that GameTrailers has a video review of The Witcher

Monday - December 10, 2007

The Witcher - Review @ PC Gamer

by Dhruin, 21:38

The latest PC Gamer sees Desslock's review for the The Witcher inside.  We don't normally link to scans but since this one is at CD Projekt's official site, we'll run with this one.  Described as a "spectacular RPG", the score is 90% and you find the links on this page.

Thanks, xSamhainx!

The Witcher - Original Script Unlocked (Update #2)

by Dhruin, 21:31

RPG Codex poster 1eyedking has worked out how to unlock the original English dialogues in The Witcher that were cut by Atari (presumably to save money on voiceovers), sometimes changing the text dramatically. Here are the details:

1. Open Windows's Registry Editor (Start->Run->type "regedit"). Navigate towards 'HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWARECD Projekt RedThe Witcher' . Double-click the 'Language' tab. Enter '1' in 'Value Data' without the commas. Close the Editor (it saves the changes automatically).
2. Go to your Witcher's Data folder inside the directory where you installed the game.
3. Rename 'lang_3.key' to 'lang_1.key'.
4. Rename 'dialog_3.tlk' to 'dialog_1.tlk'.
5. DO NOT rename anything else. The game will still look inside voices_3_00.bif to get the dialogue wave files, for example.

As usual, please make appropriate backups and use separate saves in case of any problems. This will still leave the (shorter) recorded voiceover in place, which may prove distracting for some players - YMMV.

Thanks, Melvil!

Update: RPG Codex notes the rather nasty side effect that some diary entries will be recorded in Polish.

Michal Kicinski also notes on the official forums for the patch that "I really believe it's very close" and has this to say about possibly releasing the uncut dialogues in an official capacity:

We know, we know. We noted it when first comments appeared. Yet, it is huge task and in comparison to other stuff, priority is not that high. But, we WON'T forget about it. Some day you'll see (surprised;)

He goes on to comment that he is disappointed they didn't get the quality level quite right but thinks it was a good effort for a new studio with such a complex project.

Update #2: Looks like 1eyedking has resolved the journal entries problem, releasing a new package that lets you switch between three different dialogue modes:

So, I've decided to make your lives easier! I found a way to get both the uncut dialogues AND english journal entries. You'll also get rid of the '[dev]' tags before each dialogue. All of this in a neat, easy-to-install package!

Instructions:
Download my fix here.

Extract into your Witcher's Data folder. Make sure everything's in its default state.

In your Witcher's Data folder you'll find three files of particular interest:

English (original).reg - Double-click and select 'Yes' to load the original, uncut subtitles into the game. Journal entries are in english!
FinalEnglish (optimized).reg - Double-click and select 'Yes' to load the original, optimized subtitles into the game. This one's dialogues and entries are slightly different to the ones above - test both and choose the one more to your liking.
FinalEnglish_Short (default).reg - Double-click and select 'Yes' to load the default, cut dialogues (just in case you want to go back...but don't know why you would Razz ).

You can switch between each of the three whenever you like.

Enjoy!

Again, we haven't tested this so please made appropriate backups or proceed with caution - let us know in the comments how this works for you.

Source: RPG Codex

Sunday - December 09, 2007

The Witcher - Patch Update & Other Forum Tidbits

by Dhruin, 00:46

The Witcher patch we were hoping would arrive yesterday obviously hasn't materialised but a couple of CD Projekt staffers have commented following queries on the official forums. First, Dziadu says the date was just a rumour:

Guys, guys...

Release date of the patch was jus a RUMOR:) There was no official confirmation when it comes to dates. Plese, do not ask CD projekt to keep promises which were never made Smiley

Patch is on its way but... we won't give you any detailes until we are sure that it's working properly.

Be patient guys Smiley

...then Michal Kicinski says it is close:

Just a word on the patch. It is very close to be released. The problem with the patches to such huge and complicated games is that new version of the game has to be tested nearly as precisely as the game itself before the release. So making a patch is one thing then testing The Witcher is another big task. That's why it is not so fast (we wish it would be much faster).

..and regarding pushing for the release. We actually changed the release date twice. Once internally before the release date was even announced. First final date was June, then we moved to September and made an anoucment. Then we moved to the end of November. And that was actually the latest possible date. Next was Feb-March’08 (big titles would completely cover the witcher in Q4). And we couldn’t make such a big delay. For various reasons.

But on the other hand we compared TW to other RPGs and it wasn’t in worst shape that most of the releases. Which shouldn’t be used as an excuse, but we just had to make a decission and choose lesser evil. For sure we were in more difficult situation due to the fact that it is our first project.

But we believe in perfectly polished games:) and I’m sure that every next will be bettter:)

...and finally, Dziadu talks down changes beyond the loading times:

I think it will be no surprise if I say that our patch will mainly focus on loading times. We're trying to make it as short as we can Smiley Of course, there will be huge number of minor buges fixed.

In other Witcher forum stuff, Amfamaster writes about this interesting post from Michal that reveals the toal development cost:

Thank you guys for supporting us!!! In fact, each box sold count for us and it's greatest support we can get from You!

Regarding money/budget stuff. Game so far cost us 8+ mln usd. And it wasn't a bank loan or whatever. Just money we earn on games distribution (we are not so small company: offices in 3 countries, 200+ people, 40+ mln usd yearly turnover).

Actually, this was risky, but also good and very independent way:) Our money, our vision, our game:)
That is why we could make whatever we liked, and that's why the game is so different from the standard big corporation fare (targeted to anybody between 10-99 years old and always 110% political correct etc).

BTW: it is not obvious if we earn money on the project. Actually I believe that sooner or later Witcher will bring us profit. It seems that gamers (you!) like it:) and thanks to that the game as a product will have a long lifecycle. The most important for us is that we've learnt how to make games, good games:) And now we have short but good track of records.
That gives us very very good position for future (for example for negotiations with publishers).

Good position means also greater ease of defending our vision of the future projects. That's important as we want to keep the same direction, meaning making games out of passion not marketing analysis;)

..Speaking about marketing. I know that in some countries it wasn't as strong as it should be (US for example). We're in touch with Atari and try our best to find a ways how we can improve it. But this will come with more experience and time. As it is here in Poland.

Here The Witcher since release is no1 on all charts and since last Sunday sold through 81k units!!! Which beats all the best selling records in the market. It is more than twice as much as previous biggest seller (homm5). Similar situation is in Czech, Hungary and Russia (Novyi Disk company was a publisher there but we were involved in the process pretty much).

We know how to market games. We just need to learn how to organize it on the western markets. But this will some day come...

The Witcher - Reviews @ Scifi.com & GamePro

by Dhruin, 00:34

The Witcher site is pointing out a couple of new reviews.  The first is at Scifi.com, where they liberally praise the game apart from noting the obvious rough edges such as load times.  The rating is A+ and here's a grab:

I could go on about the combo-driven combat, arguably the best, most graceful, most visually and mechanically satisfying ever in a real-time action role-playing game. I could talk about the lovely technical enhancements to BioWare's Aurora game engine that ably translate game artist Damian Bajowski's stunning concept work into three glorious stand-and-stare dimensions. I'd love to write several pages alone on all the clever to-dos, like one where you have to scrimmage with a killer plant ... after drinking yourself three sloppy sheets to the wind. Or another, where you have to pursue a criminal investigation, complete with interrogations, bribes, cemetery spelunking, illicit autopsies and other bits of skullduggery.

...and then GamePro,  who manage six whole paragraphs (at least three more than usual) and a score of 4.5/5:

There are no clear-cut choices in the branching discussions you have with various characters in the game. Your choices are neither right nor wrong as you are faced with ambiguous situations affecting your course of action. An excellent example of this is the tutorial sequence, where you have the option to aid a Sorceress with battling a mage or face a giant monster called a Frightener. Each option will give you a completely different outcome to the tale, and it is up to you to decide where Geralt goes. 

Thursday - December 06, 2007

The Witcher - Review, Contest Results

by Dhruin, 21:30

Boomtown has reviewed The Witcher, awarding a score of 7/10 because of "a faint sense of discomfit" with a few issues:

The combat system, while a bit strange, is fairly easy to adjust to. The real problems with The Witcher lie elsewhere, and are twofold. Firstly there is a decided lack of freedom, particularly in the early chapters of the game. For a long time, events are centred in and around the city of Vizima, and feel incredibly plot driven. The Witcher is certainly no Oblivion - there are Bad Guys out there, and you must find them, now. You will not be spending 80 hours riding around on a horse in order to find the best mountain from which to view the sunset. While this focussed approach is not a necessarily a bad idea – particularly when backed up by the quality of writing The Witcher exhibits – the length of time you are forced to spend in each area becomes frustrating, as there is often little in the way of a feeling of progress.

The other issue lies with one of the cornerstones of the RPG experience – the quest for stuff. Loot is integral to practically all RPGs – weapons, armour, magic items – the constant search for something better than you already have. In the Witcher however there’s a pretty basic set of equipment which barely changes throughout the game. Geralt uses two swords – a steel one for fighting humans and a silver one for monsters – and some armour, and that’s about it. There is no longsword+5, no Boots of Speed. Instead you will mainly be collecting ingredients in order to brew potions which will help in the slaying of tougher monsters. It’s strangely circular – Geralt’s motivation for taking jobs is to get paid, but as there’s hardly anything worth spending the money on, it leaves you with a nagging feeling that something isn’t quite right.

Back at the official site, Kamil writes their "A day in the life of the witcher" screenshot contest has concluded and you can check out the winners and their work here.

Sunday - December 02, 2007

The Witcher - Reviews @ GameShark, DLA

by Dhruin, 07:32

Seems everyone is catching up on overdue Witcher reviews.  GameShark's review describes it as "the best CRPG to come down the pike since Baldur's Gate II", with a rating of "A-":

This is hardly the first game that asks you to make choices. Bioware and others have been doing that for eons. But even games that did very well at it, most choices you make are obvious in terms of their good or evilness. The Witcher gives you far more to think about when answering most questions. Will you risk condemning an innocent man in a plot against you if you’re not completely positive of his guilt? Will you bargain with a cannibal because he has information that’s of use to you? One quest, early in the game, forces you to decide the fate of a witch. Both choices have consequences and it’s not entirely clear, even after the choice is made, which was about the greater good. One certainly feels like the right thing to do, but the body count that ensues… well, even that choice doesn’t feel good when all the ramifications of it are made clear. Not since Fallout has a game so skillfully made the choices a player makes both vague and important.

You may also recall the Steel_Wind from DLA wrote some glowing first impressions a while back.  Skavenhorde writes that those impressions were updated a couple of weeks back with observations after completing the game, effectively making it a full review; score - 4.5/5:

Well I have finished the game now. There are some issues which surface as the game moves on I would like to draw attention to.

#1 - Vista Performance: Okay, we can say this the nice way, or say it the hard way. Vista performance is buggy as all hell in full screen mode. Played in windowed mode, the game is stable. That's the fix right now.

#2 - Crashes: I had some of these as the game progressed. Nothing that cost me a game or more than a minute’s inconvenience - but it did happen.

#3 - Pacing: I think this is the largest problem in the game from a design viewpoint. The game starts on a peak in the Prologue, then comes down to Earth a little too hard in Act 1 and even II to a lesser extent. That does not make these Acts un-enjoyable. They are fun. But after the high that the game starts off on, the plot ebbs away to a very large extent.

This is compounded by a sub quest design in Act II that is so large that the main plotline is lost for a lot of players for a looooong time. Not a big deal - but worth mentioning.

Saturday - December 01, 2007

The Witcher - Review @ RPG Codex

by Dhruin, 23:39

RPG Codex has posted their review of The Witcher, in what could only be described as a "comprehensive" article.  It's enormous, describing the gameplay in meticulous detail.  As usual, there's no score, but they clearly loved it.  Here's an excerpt:

You know by now that you can't choose your character's class, race, or even gender: you are Geralt of Rivia. Frankly, I don't have a lot of sympathy for people who can't get past that; if you think a game can't be a great RPG without letting you choose such details, then I implore you to try such masterpieces as Planescape: Torment and Ultima VII. What might be more of a problem, though, is that there's a level at which you can't choose your character's personality, and that might legitimately bother people. Often your character will speak to people without your guidance, and many of the more inconsequential dialogue choices from a Bioware (or even a Troika) RPG have been stripped out. Dialogues very rarely have two functionally equivalent ways of saying the same thing, so you're limited to dialogue responses that fit Geralt's hard-boiled, somewhat sarcastic, occasionally suave badass persona. You will, from time to time, insult people without having any choice in the matter, for example. Basically, you're taking on the role of an established character and are constrained to work within that role. You can make real, meaningful choices in the game, and you can decide Geralt's deepest values, allegiances, and even lovers; but you can't deviate too far from the character as established in the books, and you can't make him talk like either a Nancy-boy diplomat or a dumb brute.

RPGWatch Feature: The Witcher Review

by Dhruin, 02:23

It's taken us a little while but we finally have our review of The Witcher up. This time, Prime Junta joins us as a guest writer, taking us on a journey through his unusual perspective:

That's all true. They're there, both the good and the bad. If you rate The Witcher like most dopamine-reward-hijacking games, these flaws will easily knock off a couple of points off a perfect score. Meaning that the 8-out-of-10-ish scores it's been getting are completely deserved. If, that is, you rate The Witcher like most other games.

However, The Witcher is not like most other games. It is "about" something. Game reviewers simply aren't capable of fitting this fact into their conceptual review-writing framework, which leaves them handing out not-really-that-great grades... but with many of them nevertheless saying they liked the damn thing, without being able to say why; sometimes slapping an Editor's Choice onto it for good measure. That's because they'd really need to write two reviews -- the game review and the book review -- but they only have the capability to do one. Poor gaming journalists.

Read it all here.

Friday - November 30, 2007

The Witcher - Review @ Games32

by Dhruin, 22:18

An uneven review of The Witcher is up at Games32, with the author enjoying the wine and women but getting angry over combat controls.  That all comes out at a score of 82% and here's an excerpt:

The Witcher benefits from an innovative gameplay system: depending on what decision you make, you will see the consequences of your actions later in the game. This should give the player a more varied story if the game is replayed. But, having over 80 hours of gameplay, only hardcore gamers will try to create another personality for Geralt, plus our staff tested the game using different paths and in the end it all comes down to rather the same story. Despite this, the story of the game are solid, with ups and downs that will drag you more and more into Geralt’s world. A good way to make money is to play dice poker, same rules as the original poker but a lot easier. I find it very easy to make money in the game but maybe that's the developers idea, to buy booze or give it on women (yeah baby!) There is a lot of cool stuff they implemented: alchemy and everything you have to do for potions, identify and collect plants, try mixing new stuff to discover new potion formulas; drink contest to help you get more information about quests or characters, fist fights and women. No wonder this is a game rated mature. What made me angry was that the combat engine wasn’t acting like properly. If I wanted to attack a target, I had to click 3-4 times for him to start swinging the sword (not always but most of the times). Plus depending what camera I was using... he seemed to get stuck every once in a while. 

Source: Bluesnews

Thursday - November 29, 2007

The Witcher - Patch and Demo News

by Dhruin, 10:49

According to discussion on The Witcher forums, fan site witcher.phx.pl has word from CD Projekt Red's Michał Miąsik and Tomasz Gop that the v1.2 patch is expected December 7th if all goes well, the demo around the 13th and the editor around the same time.

Fingers crossed. Thanks, XS! 

Tuesday - November 27, 2007

The Witcher - Review @ The Escapist

by Dhruin, 03:00

The Escapist joins the list of The Witcher reviewers, with an article that is "overwhelmingly negative", according to the author.  There's no score as usual for this site and here's the introduction:

At the heart of The Witcher's design lies a rich and compelling roleplaying experience. Unfortunately, the rest of the game serves mostly to obscure this fact. As a storyteller with nearly 20 years of tabletop roleplaying experience, I tend to take my computer RPGs with more than a few grains of salt. I stuck with Gothic, despite its awkward control system and uneven vocal performances. I grimaced through Ultima VII's tongue-in-cheek, Olde English dialog. I spent countless hours wandering the wastelands in Fallout, despite my antipathy for turn-based combat. I even slogged through all of Neverwinter Nights and its follow up modules - more than once. Still, after spending well over 10 hours with The Witcher, I can't see myself returning to it.

Saturday - November 24, 2007

The Witcher - Review @ 2404.org

by Dhruin, 08:24

9/10 is the score for The Witcher at 2404.org in their new review:

Like many RPGs, you have the main quests and several side quests that are available. You are, however, confined to certain regions; you cannot roam around to different areas whenever you wish. The regions are fairly large, but if you’re really set on a free-roaming RPG, then you might suffer from some slight feelings of claustrophobia with this game. The areas you are confined to are fairly large, so I never really had a cramped feeling. For the most part, areas are fairly open but there are some areas where there are obstructions. Being able to walk off the sides of stairways, docks, etc. would have been better, in my opinion, and there were some areas in the swamp where you can only walk along a set path.

When the game advertises nonlinear gameplay, I don’t think it’s necessarily focusing on the order of the main quest, because that does follow a fairly straight order. There are, of course, side quests, but it seems to me that the nonlinearity term is focusing on Geralt’s decisions along the journey. You have to make small decisions all the time, such as whether to help someone or not, to be friendly or not, to do a quest or not, etc., and these decisions seem to take on a ripple effect in that they change many things. 

Source: Bluesnews

Thursday - November 22, 2007

The Witcher - Review @ GameSpy

by Dhruin, 21:11

It's taken a while for GameSpy to review The Witcher but the final result is a score of 4.5/5 and general praise:

The game nails the depressing and yet believable backdrop. The buildings look old and run down, the local inhabitants go about their routine, running inside when it rains, commenting on their mundane troubles, and so on. It's not uncommon to see a street beggar taking a whiz on the side of a building or hear a prostitute openly proposition. The language is equally gritty, but doesn't sound out of place. Sure, it might at first seem a tad odd that fantasy characters are dropping F-bombs during a conversation, but how else would the leader of a thug/pimping operation speak? Like Shakespeare?

Wednesday - November 21, 2007

The Witcher - Review @ ComputerGames.ro

by Magerette, 17:01

ComputerGames.ro  posts their detailed review of CDProjekt's  recently released cRPG, The Witcher, giving it a score of 86/100:

True, The Witcher isn’t the first RPG to offer choices and consequences that influence the storyline, but in this case they are faithful to one of the distinctive features of Andrzej Sapkowski’s fantasy universe...: there are no “good” and “bad” characters; you will always have to choose the lesser of two evils. Moreover, the consequences of your choices won’t become apparent right away, but after a few more hours of playtime, sometimes even stretching between acts. I have to admit that I was skeptical when I first heard about this choices & consequences deal, thinking it was just a PR gimmick (and I’m sure that I wasn’t the only one).
       Fortunately, I was wrong and CD Projeckt stayed true to their word. I think I clocked at least 80 hours of playtime with The Witcher, mostly because I replayed large segments of it in order to see what other paths the story could have taken. By their very nature, some choices will probably allow you to see, at least generally speaking, what the consequences will be, but others will have surprising results.

This is one of the main novelties in The Witcher: unlike other RPGs, you can’t choose between A and B knowing for certain that you will end up at C or D. You will do so either because you will try to relate to what the developers wanted you to experience and say that “well, the other option wasn’t important, and even if it was, I can replay the game” or depending on how you want Geralt to evolve during the story. For instance, in Gothic 3 things were simple: the orcs were “bad”, so if you wanted to be an "evil" character, you sided with the orcs. If you wanted a “good” character, you sided with the human population. In The Witcher there are far more nuances: are the elves freedom fighters or can they be considered terrorists, in the modern sense of the word? Will I stay neutral or side with the humans, among which I have so many friends? This gives the game an extremely high replay value, even for an RPG.

...Thus, in many ways, The Witcher is the game which probably a lot [of] RPG fans hoped for. The story, atmosphere, the relationship between choices and consequences, the graphics, musical score and the non-linear nature of some quests clearly define it as a reference RPG for years to come. And there are also some interesting innovations, like the character development tree and the combat system. But what prevents The Witcher from entering the gallery of truly great titles is what pretty much plagues other diamonds in the rough: lots of crashes, long and frequent loading times as well as an artificially limited freedom of movement.

Source: Bluesnews

Monday - November 19, 2007

The Witcher - Wiki Highlighted

by Dhruin, 21:15

The Witcher official site is pointing out a wiki on the game and Andrzej Sapkowski, which may be of interest the players. The wiki is maintained by Ausir, who many may remember from his previous RPG community involvement.

Sunday - November 18, 2007

The Witcher - Review @ Worthplaying

by Magerette, 16:19

Another favorable review of CDProjekt's The Witcher surfaces at Worthplaying, who give it a score of 8.6/10:

Although the fighting sounds complex, the action-oriented feel of combat works with some practice. Motion-captured moves performed by a professional swordsman behind Geralt's blade treat you to a visual show that is part Schwarzenegger's Conan and part Errol Flynn. It isn't a clickfest as you might find with Diablo or Oblivion, but your reflexes will be tested when you start chaining together attacks....Signs are also part of the witcher's bag of tricks; they act as quick and dirty magical abilities that aren't exactly considered magic, but they're useful enough to witchers. Signs range from a gust of wind that can stun foes, allowing Geralt to kill them quickly without the swordplay, to setting foes on fire, making signs a potent complement to his weapons prowess...

...Geralt can drink NPCs under the table for information; there's even a combat skill to improve his chances in combat while sloshed. As long as you can see through the blur and guide Geralt's staggering self to an inn, or imbibe a potion that clears his head in a sip, drinking friends and foes under the table can become second nature. You can also play poker dice, rolling for cash and become a professional. Thanks to the physics system, it really becomes more of a game of chance than the unseen, artificial edge that can often create your typical "ace" opponent in other titles. ...

...As fun as The Witcher can be, it does have issues. With as many interior and outdoor areas as there are, it's not unusual to wade through several dozen loading screens in only a few minutes, with each load often averaging about a minute or so. I had a book next to me to leaf through just for these instances...Saves also don't overwrite older ones, and given how many automatic saves there are including your own, the 20MB files can easily begin to add up and bog down the Load Game function...

Despite its faults, The Witcher is a diamond in the rough as a mature, gritty and atmospheric RPG that heads into territory not often explored. The modern, tongue-in-cheek additions to the fantasy tale of Geralt's journey and the choices that shape it build a unique experience that might keep you awake into the wee hours simply to find out what happens next. Games have grown up along with their players, and The Witcher is the kind of title that the genre deserves to have.

 

Friday - November 16, 2007

The Witcher - Contests @ Official Site, 1Up

by Dhruin, 21:51

CD Projekt has whacked up a Witcher screenshot contest with goodies on offer to winners:

We are pleased to announce our special screenshot contest. All you have to do, to take part in the competition, is to run the game and express  your imagination and creativity!  Make some screenshots  while playing and freely transform and edit them to fit your vision of “the day in the life of the witcher”. You can add comments, titles or even add text bubbles to make own custom dialogues.

The best stories will be awarded with ultimate gadget sets. The set includes: high quality t-shirt, poster, mousepad with the game logo, dice game and original witcher medallion!

Your story should consist of  from 1 to 5 separate screenshots, or may be composed into a comic strip. Here you can upload your files.

The deadline date to send your story is 30th November.

...and 1Up also has a Witcher contest, offering a Sweepstakes to win a spanky Dell system.

Thursday - November 15, 2007

The Witcher - Review @ Pixelrage

by Dhruin, 21:40

Pixelrage is the latest site with a Witcher review and the score is 89%:

This is what makes the witcher’s universe so interesting – realism. Monsters only lurk outside at night so you don’t just simply hunt them and during the day most areas are safe and people tend to their chores. You can get drunk and finish all the quests with a shaking, blurry screen camera. You can be a lady’s man and have several love affairs (which unlock concept art bonuses) or a total loner. A thing that I would consider normal is that most NPCs in the game can actually die and this really affects the game universe, which somehow reminds me of Elder Scrolls: Oblivion. For example, I got rejected several times by a beautiful gal at the local inn in Act I.

Source: Bluesnews

The Witcher - Second Project Underway (Updated)

by Dhruin, 21:21

Amfamaster writes that a second Witcher project is already underway and will hopefully be released in 18 months:

Tomasz Baginski, the guy behind 'The Witcher's' cutscenes was recently interviewed on Polish news channel (TVN). He stated that CDProjekt RED is already working on a second part of The Witcher and they are planning to release it in about 18 months. He also said that he will most probably work on cutscenes for the second part as well. CD Projekt did not comment on this news.

Based on reports from Polish sites gry-online.pl and gry.wp.pl .  Thanks, Amfamaster!

Update: Lukasz from CD Projekt dropped by our forums to say The Witcher 2 is not internally confirmed at this point.  In addition, Brother None points out that Yarpen from CD Projekt told the Codex forums "do not believe everything you read".

The Witcher - Patch News @ Official Forums

by Magerette, 20:18

Eriash, one of the community specialists at the official forums, has posted this bit about the next patch in the works for CDProjekt's rpg The Witcher:

CD Projekt and Atari are currently in the process of finalizing Patch 1.2 for The Witcher which is scheduled for release before Christmas.  The patch is being designed to improve loading and saving times, as well as to tackle a number of design, gameplay, stability and graphical issues and should significantly improve the overall playing experience.
Thanks to Dark Savant for spotting this and posting it in our Witcher sub forum. 

Wednesday - November 14, 2007

The Witcher - Review @ GamingHeaven

by Magerette, 17:14

GamingHeaven's review of CDProjekt's The Witcher, set in some elaborate visual formatting,  gives the game an Editor's Choice award and an overall score of 87/100:

For a fantasy RPG, the land of the Witcher is remarkably glum and dark. Towns are dying because of plagues, old spirits haunt forests and villages and even though a war has just ended another one is on the brink of starting. On top of it all, the various races that inhabit the world (humans, elves, dwarves, etc.) are involved in major feuding. You have to agree that it is not exactly common practice for game developers to create medieval fantasy worlds that closely resemble actual history with dirty cities and political problems. I personally rather like this approach and actually favour it over the more traditional, fairy tale offerings like NWN2 or Oblivion...

...Like any decent RPG The Witcher isn’t all about combat, but relies heavily on it. Being based on the Aurora (NWN) engine many expected the game to be a standard D&D ruleset based phase (dynamic pausing, dice rolls in background, etc.) combat RPG. Instead we got a more action oriented approach which relies both on statistics and background dice rolls as well as player interaction...

...As you level up (gaining experience from both combat and quests) you’ll get the chance to invest skill points into hundreds of available skills. These range from stronger attacks in various stances over the ability to knock down opponents to more pacifistic skills such as herbalism or potion brewing. You also unlock stronger versions of the spells you know this way, or rather unlock additional effects of these spells such as increased range, lower power consumption or increased duration. At first you won’t be relying on signs (spells) much, but later on they’ll mean the difference between life and death (unless you are heavily specialized in melee combat).

... 

Source: Shack News

Tuesday - November 13, 2007

The Witcher - Review @ Pro-G

by Magerette, 14:58

UK site Pro-G posts their review of CDProjekt's cRPG, The Witcher, with positive overtones and a score of 8/10:

...The game world itself is a pleasing palette of shades of grey - there is no universal definition of morality - the only real definition of good versus evil is that the Witchers are opposed to the Salamandra faction (essentially a collective of high-powered bandits), but both these groups act in ways that are seen as both good and bad in the context of the wider community. This ambiguity extends to the races of the world, too. Humans, for example, are not portrayed as having Tolkienesque honour and virtue - in fact, most of them are intolerant, obnoxious and racist. This all stems from the original fiction, where there is an uneasy balance of power between humans and non-humans. Humans are the largest racial group and notionally rule the world, but the Elves and Dwarves have formed an anti-human resistance movement, called the Scoia'tel (which is Elven for Squirrels) and the politics of the world are present throughout the game. It's a very refreshing change from the all too familiar setting of the Forgotten Realms, and it's good to see challenging themes like racism and intolerance addressed so openly in a game.

Source: GameBanshee

Sunday - November 11, 2007

The Witcher - User Comments @ Official Site

by Magerette, 17:46

The official website for the Witcher has gathered together a compendium of quotes from various online forums, showing comments from actual users of the game. Quotes from rpg codex, the Watch, Gamebanshee, Gamespot and other forums are featured.

Check it out here--some of you may recognize yourselves. 

The Witcher - Latest Newsletter

by Dhruin, 08:29

CD Projekt has sent out a new Witcher newsletter, although it doesn't contain anything new for those watching this title.  The release, review scores and the 1.1a patch are all covered. 

Friday - November 09, 2007

The Witcher - Review @ 1UP

by Magerette, 18:08

1UP contributes a brief effort to the slew of reviews hitting the web for CDProjekt's cRPG, The Witcher, scoring it overall 7.7/10 :

 Still, The Witcher offers such a solid experience (and such a strong endgame) that it's worth contracting a minor case of twiddler's thumb. Combat, for example, is innovative and deep yet surprisingly simple to learn. Stringing together combos is key. You do this by pressing your left mouse button at the appropriate time -- press it too early and you'll break the chain; press it too late and you're open for a counter. You can also dodge by double-clicking on empty ground, switch fighting styles with the keyboard (crucial for dealing with different types of enemies), and throw spells with the right mouse button. Mix in a cornucopia of level-up abilities, realistic medieval fighting styles, and many funky pig-stickers, and you've got the most visceral RPG combat this side of LARPing....

...graphical foibles aside, The Witcher demonstrates the growing creative energy of European game designers, who continue to take chances with ever more innovative games, even as American developers obsess over the next Halo.

Thursday - November 08, 2007

The Witcher - Post-Release Interview - Demos, SDK, Free Module...

by Dhruin, 21:40

CD Projekt's Michal Kicinski has been interviewed internally about the release of The Witcher and their future plans, with the article posted at the official Witcher site.  Michal discusses the reception, shortcomings, a demo and their plans for the SDK:

We will be very active in developing updates for The Witcher. The game will have very strong and long-lasting support from our team, which means that we will release patches as long as there will be nothing left to improve.

Going back to the question: we are planning to release a toolset and demo soon. And what is even more important is that along with a toolset, or soon after its release, we will provide players with new adventures, developed using the toolset. For now we are already working on one adventure that will be free for all registered users of the game. I think — and hope — that our post-release support will help The Witcher become even more popular for a longer period of time.

Note that the site was outrageously slow for me at the time of writing.

The Witcher - Reviews @ GamersHell & GamesRadar

by Magerette, 17:58

Two more reviews have appeared for The Witcher, CDProjekt's cRPG based on the works of Polish author Andrej Sapkowski. Both are highly positive in tone.

From Gamer's Hell:(8.5/10)

Combat is deeply satisfying, even though the dodge manoeuvres which have been implemented into the combat aren’t awfully useful unless you’re really stuck in a rut. The swordplay is excellent, but lack of control on the players’ part can make it seem repetitive, but don’t get me wrong, it’s never dull to watch. It can, however, be hard to execute in the early stages of the game; before you quite understand it and before you start distributing talents. With a bit of practice though, it doesn’t have a massive learning curve...

Quickies – “The Good”

• A highly polished game at release.
• Combat is fun.
• Animations are well performed.
• World is interesting.
• Graphics are competent and efficiently coded.
• Game is resource efficient.
• Individual voice acting is superb.
• Isn’t too demanding on the system.
• Is a lot of fun!
• It’s hard to believe this game was licensed from a book!

“Quickies” – The bad
• Lots of people look the same.
• Not without its glitches.
• Combat can seem a little broken on the odd occasion.
• Combat style match-ups can seem very arbitrary at times – with opponents parrying you perfectly every time unless you use the style the game deems appropriate.
• Lots of people sound the same.
• Foreign roots show (e.g., coherency of certain plotlines).
• Difficulty isn’t awfully consistent, especially moving from Vizima to The Swamp for example.

GamesRadar, true to their usual style, posts a positive (9/10) but rather tongue in cheek take:

 Fantasy games come in many shapes and sizes, but most of them strictly follow the code of featuring the great, the good and the virtuous fending off the bad, the corrupted and the green-skinned. Sex is generally confined to a pretty elf wearing a chain mail bra, and political comment never strays much further than a Greenpeace quest in which raw magic has infected some wandering hedgehog creatures and not only rendered them mad, but also significantly upped their armour stats.

The Witcher, then, enters our midst as somewhat of a game of our times. The authorities in and around the plague-ridden city of Vizima perpetuate a culture of fear and suspicion - freedom fighters could just as easily be called terrorists and racial segregation is rife. Moral values aren't so much blurred as smudged about the place by a recently-licked thumb - even those who might openly oppose the oppressors are seeking some kind of capitol gain, the undead have a conscience, drug use is a major issue and individuals will use whatever means necessary to get their way - by betrayal, or by allowing you pump them for information.

 

Wednesday - November 07, 2007

The Witcher - Reviews @ CVG, GameZone

by Dhruin, 22:42

8.8/10 is the score for The Witcher at both CVG and GameZone. CVG calls it "intelligent, adult and thoroughly compelling" and here's a short excerpt:

 It's your job to find a way to recover the secrets before they are put to nefarious use, all whilst finding out about your past and that of your dwindling clan. It's perhaps not the most exciting premise, but the presentation and pacing of the story is excellent throughout, from the lengthy opening cinematic even to the hand-drawn screens that guard the transitions as new areas load into memory.

Most noteworthy are the cutscenes, which have been storyboarded and edited with real cinematic flair and, together with the voiceovers and script, make The Witcher one of the best examples of interactive fiction I've enjoyed.

GameZone says The Witcher is a "benchmark RPG":

This is truly a refreshing game that may plague your conscience through choices you might make as your journey through the game. Focus on one goal, though, and being the fact that Geralt is a mercenary, a killer for hire that judges right and wrong from his own standpoint. Those that want to see him dead are in the wrong. Those who don’t may not be right. The only one who is right is Geralt. The Witcher offers no easy choices. This is a game that thrives on challenging players to think, not just wander through the world in a hack ‘n slash escapade.

Source: Bluesnews

The Witcher - Review @ Action Trip

by Magerette, 17:37

Action Trip has posted a very positive review of CDProjekt's new rpg, The Witcher, scoring it 91/100 and also giving it their Editor's Choice award:

All of us here at ActionTrip have been following closely the development of this one, hoping that we might finally get our hands on a decent single-player RPG, a genre which once has shone brightly, but its light is slowly dimming under the heap of pretentious and short-lived games.

As the day approached, we became more and more skeptical, if for no other reason than because this industry has thought[sic: taught?] us to be cynical; to expect titles with not enough marketing clout, with not enough draw for the Attention Deficit Disorder audience...Remarkably, the Polish-based team and the ailing publisher Atari managed to withstand this pressure, to crash against the waves in their makeshift raft and live to reach the high seas.

...From a technical standpoint, there are a number of gamers who have complained about the load times and admittedly, this is a concern. The loading screen will pop up way too often and at every single instance of this game. Interestingly, after the initial annoyance that it caused, I got used to it, and I have to say, at this stage of my Witcher experience it's not bothering me as much.

The reason why my aggravation has been dulled lies in the depth of the game world. The Witcher is an immersive experience on several different levels. While technically pushing the Aurora engine like no other title, the real draw is the rather unorthodox approach to the main character's moral choices...in games like KOTOR for instance, while available, the moral choices that the player had to make were as black and white as pieces on a chess board. And while this makes sense literally, one should keep in mind that the color of the pieces doesn't stand for right or wrong. It is a fight between pawns and kings - all with their tools, means and goals.

...Another issue, which stems from this rather unusual approach to game world building, is the absence of more spectacular and diverse loot in the game. A lot of the emphasis is put on Alchemy (potion-making) for some reason, while through Chapters 1 and 2 and well into Chapter 3, The Witcher has found one really good sword and is still wearing the Studded Leather Armor from the first chapter.

Still, one can simply argue that this is due to the game's design philosophy, and this would be in part true. The same can be said about the amount of dialogue in the game. Often times, The Witcher will seem much more like an adventure game than an action game. In fact, this is NOT an action RPG by definition. This is a...true RPG where dialogue and conversations take center stage over dungeon crawls.

 

 

Source: GameBanshee

The Witcher - Review @ Strategy Informer

by Dhruin, 00:32

Strategy Informer has kicked up a review of The Witcher, oddly complaining that the RPG genre is "over-explored" and concluding that The Witcher might suit jaded MMORPG players than hardcore CRPG lovers.  The score is 7.7/10 and here is a snip:

The linearity of the game demands a few sacrifices in the expected freedom most RPG’s now boast, and many quests or characters are simply unavailable until a specific in-game trigger has been pulled to progress the plot. While this might cause consternation for a diehard role player, the subtly of the forced direction and advancement of the overall storyline is repaid to the gamer (and then some) by way of an absorbing narrative that maintains a remarkable amount of empathy with Geralt. Indeed, The Witcher could quite reasonably be accused of being an RPG for non-role players; a game of middle ground and familiar mechanics for those who don’t want to wander the countryside murdering wolves or designing their own costume.

Source: RPG Codex

Tuesday - November 06, 2007

The Witcher - Review @ GameSpot

by Dhruin, 09:54

GameSpot has posted their review of The Witcher, awarding a score of 8.5/10 and really praising the combat (while ironically getting some of the details on difficulty and combat feedback wrong).  Here's the opening:

Don't be afraid of change. Even though The Witcher may scare off some people with inventive combat that replaces comfortable old rapid-fire clicking with rhythmic sword swinging, there is no need to avoid one of the deepest, most adult role-playing games to hit the PC in years. Polish developer CD Projekt has crafted one of those landmark games that moves the goalposts for everybody, a truly grown-up take on swords and sorcery that breaks just about every fantasy tradition in the book. Once you experience a grimy medieval world so realistic that you can practically smell it, quests that reject simplistic good and evil for ambiguous "decisions and consequences," and, yes, newfangled battle mechanics that add welcome twists to left-click scrapping, you'll find it awfully hard to go back to the usual D&D rip-off.

Thanks, Melvil! 

Sunday - November 04, 2007

The Witcher - An Hour @ Rock, Paper, Shotgun

by Dhruin, 21:42

Rock, Paper, Shotgun has a volley of Witcher coverage, centred on a feature called an An Hour With The Witcher.  First, there's some discussion about Atari's editing of the original Polish script, based on claims from a poster at Gamefaqs that he worked on the translation and knows lines were cut (Polish fans have discussed the differences on our own forums, so this is not new):

Someone called Martin Pagan posts on Gamefaqs, explaining that the script for The Witcher was given a decent translation, and then “butchered” to result in the garbled mess that now exists in the game (see the clip above - my favourite moment - and I stress, this is one continuous scene, no editing).

We can’t be certain Pagan is for real, but if it’s true, it certainly explains some things. Is this Atari trying to cut corners and save money on the voice recording?

I'm not sure how useful one hour's play is but here's a snip:

The second issue is the writing. Now, it’s not bad, bad. It’s just sub-average and amateurishly converted. Characters use anachronisms unconvincingly - for example, the Sorceress being referred to as a “Babe” a lot by the boss Witcher . The problem isn’t of course him using a diminutive (though there’s a particularly funny bit where he tells another Witcher to treat her with a bit more respect, before going back to calling her babe) but… “Babe”. Avoiding cod epic fantasy is one thing. This is another. [...]

But it’s worth remembering there’s a difference between writing and story. Most posturing writers will have probably read Robert McKee’s STORY and remember a section where he describes working as a script reader, noting that he recommended rejecting many stories which were beautifully written but fundamentally dull but never, ever wrote a rejection review for a story which was emotionally brilliant but apparently written by a Neanderthal in his own faeces… because if he did, he’d have been sacked. The name on the door is story department.

And in the story department, The Witcher actually interested me. I liked the world. I wasn’t so sure about the characters, but I wanted to know what happened to them. I was even interested in what the agreeably sado-mascohistically clad magicians were up to (especially because one of the bad guys was called The Professor, which ties into an RPS running joke we’ll tell you about another time). I wanted to know what happened next. Which, for the first hour of an RPG, no matter what failings it has, has to be counted as something of a success.

The Witcher - Review @ Gamers with Jobs

by Magerette, 16:38

Gamers with Jobs has posted their review of CDProjekt's new cRPG, The Witcher, listing a few faults such as long load times but positively oriented overall:

The Witcher brings a lot to the table that we've seen before, but the end result is something unique. It's good, real good.

Based on a series of popular Polish fantasy novels, The Witcher follows Geralt, a sardonic wanderer whose past is long and bloody. You don’t customize anything about him before you start the game, the scars on his face and his penchant for swords and magic are all set in stone. The man has walked many paths, but conveniently for those of us who haven’t kept up with popular Polish literature, he can’t remember any of it. Rescued at the brink of death by his fellow Witchers, Geralt remembers the basics of sword fighting and sarcasm but little else....

 ...After all this there’s still a lot to say about the game. The story is well realized for the most part. Some warts will pop up here and there with a poor turn of phrase or a small plot point that could have been more clear, but not often enough to detract. The promised “lesser of two evils” decisions are in full force throughout the game, I’ve already been surprised many times by twists and turns in the story based on my past actions. No matter what happens, Geralt always has something to say about it and he’s rarely apologetic about the decisions he makes. I’ve regretted a few, but even looking back I’m not always sure I would have handled some things differently.

The Witcher is a good game. It's not always perfect, but it positively oozes with interesting moments and details well worth exploring. It's not likely to change any minds uninterested in story-laden RPG's, but for the rest of us it's a godsend in the current PC landscape. On any platform, the amount of control the player has over the shaping of the story is unprecedented in modern times. It's not an "Action RPG!" nor is it a "Which of my 200 spells do I want RPG." It's The Witcher, and it's about damn time PC roleplayers had something to crow about.

Source: Shack News

Saturday - November 03, 2007

The Witcher - Reviews & News @ Various Sites

by Magerette, 18:34

 In the latest batch of Witcher news,  Jolt.co.uk  has posted their review of CDProjekt's cRPG, scoring it high on all elements(8.2/10) and calling it an "rpg of rare quality":

Fans of the old Baldur's Gate games will feel right at home straight away. As with Neverwinter Nights 2, you can play the game from an old-school top down perspective, giving you a wide view of the environments that you are travelling through. A quick mouse click will have you travelling where you need to go in a pretty precise fashion. But for us, it's far more impressive to play with the third-person up close and personal viewpoint. It gets you in the thick of the action and uses a set up instantly familiar to anyone who has played any kind of 3D action game. WSAD does the job of moving you around, while the mouse takes care of the interaction and combat. And believe me, there's no shortage of the latter.

...The world in which all this action takes place is an interesting one. It's a sort of a dark, perverted version of the real world, only pushed back through time. There's disease rampant everywhere, and corrupt politicians abuse the populace for their own means while religion is causing wars and hatred everywhere, which admittedly doesn't sound too far fetched to us. It's almost like the writers are trying to make you aware of the real world's problems through a game. The actions you take, decisions you make and the morals you display will all affect the gameplay, but nothing is black and white. Whatever you choose to do, the results will be a voyage of discovery.

Next, Vault Dweller at  rpg codex  posts a link and some comments on this review at GameDaily, which is an exception to most of the reviews we've been seeing, scoring it 6/10 and making some rather harsh criticisms:

Like many things that come from another country, much of The Witcher gets lost in translation. Non-player characters spout random bits of dialogue that make no sense, come out unintentionally funny or said with the wrong tone of voice. When speaking with characters, players will feel like they missed something from previous conversations or a cut scene, since they'll make obscure references to people and events the player should know about. It doesn't help that the voice acting ranges from OK to downright awful. Geralt himself comes off as monotonously glum.

Gameplay only marginally surpasses that of a hack'n-slash role-playing game....

...The Witcher also has a day and night cycle, with the worst monsters coming out in the evening. Although there's nothing wrong with this, areas to rest and further the clock are spread out, and nothing is quite as annoying as waiting for some NPC to wake up, or for the sun to set so that some monsters can finally rise out of the water, but all of these issues build up to a larger one. It's hard to care about the story or any of the characters....

Finally, on a happier and saner note Gamebanshee winds up their Witcher week with a final article but promises more content to come:

The fourth and final day of our festivities for The Witcher includes the formulae for all of the game's bombs, oils, and potions, artwork for all seventy-two loading screens and sixty "flashback" images, and dozens of new art renders from the European Collector's Edition artbook. A spoiler warning is probably in order again today, since the "flashback" images are used exclusively to tell the game's story.

While our week-long feature has come to a close, you should be able to check back next week for some more Witcher content. There are a few other features I'm currently working on that just need some more time to finish up. Stay tuned.
 

Friday - November 02, 2007

The Witcher - Review @ GameBanshee

by Dhruin, 09:46

GameBanshee continues their celebration of The Witcher release week with Day 2 and Day 3 special coverage.  There's lots of media and information on the skills but their review is the centrepiece.  The score is 9/10 and here's a snip:

And so, after over four years of waiting, The Witcher has finally stormed retail shelves. Given the fact that I just recently posted an extensive hands-on preview, I'm not going to talk a whole lot about the game's mechanics again. What I will do is give an update on my experiences with the game in the dozens of hours I've played since that article was written. The Witcher is quite long and broad in scope (even by RPG standards), so I wanted to make sure I was able to tell you exactly what type of game you should expect. Therefore, I've been spending almost all of my free time with it, having just finished the game this morning after clocking in well over 60 hours.

Thursday - November 01, 2007

The Witcher - Review @ AtomicGamer

by Dhruin, 21:05

88% is the score for The Witcher at AtomicGamer, with their review praising the story and dialogue but lamenting memory leaks:

You'll realize quickly that the most compelling part of The Witcher is that the dialog is what pulls you into the world. The game engine is based on old Neverwinter Nights code, but has been tweaked and improved over the years to deliver not-quite-Oblivion levels of visual detail. The voice acting is passable, but the sheer volume of it means that some is better than others. But it's the actual dialog, the words that match the voice acting, on your screen that will make the difference. The story, based on a series of Polish fantasy novels, unfolds in an interesting way with plenty of unique twists and major happenings going on. This is a good thing, because while there are side quests, most of your sixty-plus hours with The Witcher will be spent furthering the main quest.

Source: Bluesnews

The Witcher - Impressions @ DLA

by Dhruin, 20:59

Steel_Wind from the NWN/2 content group DLA has posted some lengthy impressions of The Witcher from around the halfwat point.  To say they are impressed would be an understatement:

The spin in the gaming media is that The Witcher has been developed “in a style very similar to BioWare’s games and that if you like one, you’ll like the other”. While I don’t disagree with the overall sentiment, I think it’s only fair to clarify something we are perhaps a little better positioned than BioWare to comment upon: BioWare itself has never created a PC game as polished out of the gate as The Witcheralready is. The Witcher isn’t merely as good as a BioWare PC RPG; rather, based upon everything I have seen to date when playing this game and looking under the hood as to how it’s been developed, The Witcher is better than any BioWare PC RPG I’ve ever played. And I’ve played and kicked the tires of all of them folks. (To be clear, KotOR, which I consider to be primarily an Xbox title, still wins the overall best CRPG of all time, imo.)

So what makes The Witcher such a treat? Simply put: everything. It’s graphically leading edge and the art direction on the game is just awesome. The texture artists and environmental designers at CD Projekt have seriously raised the bar with the environmental artwork in this game. The authentic medieval feel to the buildings in The Witcheris, in a word, perfect. The look of The Witcher is like our own Tir Na n’Og design style used in Wyvern Crown of Cormyr, except on steroids; we absolutely love it.

The Witcher - Review @ IGN Australia

by Magerette, 17:40

The editors at IGN's Aussie branch have posted their own review of CDProjekt's The Witcher, seeming to share the main site's positive impressions of the game with a score of 8.3/10:

Welcome to a medieval game done right....The Witcher drops you into a turbulent medieval world, rife with disease and conflicts between different races. It's a world where things aren't black and white, where Elven freedom fighters use intimidation and violence to combat discrimination against 'nonhumans'.

but focusing quite a bit on their take on weak areas as well:

 We should also mention that while the world itself is populated by interesting characters, conflicts and decisions, The Witcher is lacking a final level of storytelling polish. You'll occasionally find that there's a bit of a leap of faith from scene to scene, when a short cutscene would have sufficed to link the two. Some of the dialogue seems a little disjointed too, like two completely separate conversations have been spliced together. And as is the way with sprawling RPGs, not every quest on offer is interesting, and you'll occasionally feel like a hamster in a wheel, being forced to complete quests that are there for the sake of padding in order to advance the plot.

 

Source: GameBanshee

Wednesday - October 31, 2007

The Witcher - Reviews Galore

by Dhruin, 21:47

A bunch of NA and UK reviews for The Witcher have hit the 'net - hopefully we won't double up on any of our previous lists.

GameInformer scores 8/10 and offers a scant couple of paragraphs that don't really support the score:

The Witcher’s traditional structure is a bit of a weak spot, but it falters more in its overwrought attempts to convince you that you’re in an unconventional fantasy world. You are supposed to feel that Geralt is burdened with decisions that are morally ambiguous, like whether to defend his employer’s medicine crates or let elves take them to treat their ill. It’s nice to get away from the standard good versus evil mechanic, but The Witcher’s method often forces you to select the lesser of two evils; it feels like nothing you choose matters since you can’t effect any kind of desirable outcome. Players should be rewarded in some way for their choices, not given a lesson on the inevitability of failure.

Bit-tech is conflicted and awards a score of 7/10:

This is a bit of a personal conflict, because I’m a massive RPG fan and The Witcher is exactly the type of game I love. There’s an adult theme, a complicated but scalable set of mechanics to master and an epic and inventively delivered narrative – just what gamers like I lust for. There are problems too though. Poor lip syncing, graphics which border on schizophrenic and frequent crashes and viewpoint problems – these are noticeable enough to dissuade the majority from playing the game.

The Witcher isn’t a bad game though, just an unpolished one which could have done with a little bit more thought and design work. The bugs and crashes will hopefully be eliminated in the future, but for the moment they are a semi-serious problem for the game.

Hooked Gamers says 8/10:

The Witcher is a fantastic example of what a creative team can do with a deep universe such as the world created by Andrzej Sapkowski. Give this team a powerful engine and a lot of freedom to interpret the source materials, and the result is a simply fabulous Next-Gen game that oozes style and ambiance. The beauty of it all is that it really doesn’t matter whether or not you have read the books.

Games Radar is effusive about the story and goes for 9/10:

The story focuses on you, Witcher "White Wolf" Geralt, one of a roving band of mercenary monster hunters. The crumbling fortress of their once revered clan has been attacked and the secrets behind your mutation abilities are stolen. It's your job to find a way to recover the secrets before they are put to nefarious use, all while finding out about your past and that of your dwindling clan. It's perhaps not the most exciting premise, but the presentation and pacing of the story is excellent throughout, from the lengthy opening cinematic even to the hand-drawn screens that guard the transitions as new areas load into memory. Most noteworthy are the cutscenes, which have been storyboarded and edited with real cinematic flair and, together with the voiceovers and script, make The Witcher one of the best examples of interactive fiction we've enjoyed.

Thanks, MikeZZ for these links. 

Russian site CRPG.ru also wrote in to say they have posted their review.  Although the article is only in Russian, they sent over a translation of the conclusion, and noted a score of 9/10 together with an award:

Despite all the technical and the "omg, it's loading again" issues The Witcher is an awesome and in many aspects a fresh gaming experience. A thrilling story is complemented with a fascinating combat system that doesn't turn boring througout the game and remains challenging till the very end. Mature world background and the necessity to make real moral choices without all that candy-fantasy stuff is simply refreshing. We have great characters an extremely charismatic main hero and a captivating storyline here. What else can one desire? Nice graphics? Visuals defintely please one's eyes. Great soundtrack? Here you have it, Adam Skorupa and Pawej Blaszczak created a real masterpiece, the music is simply awesome. October 2007 is sure a blessed by the RPG "god" time. It's amusing how a regulary "buried" genre can revive within two projects in a month. First, the Mask of Betrayer, than the Witcher. We just hope that the positive trend continues.

The Witcher - Latest Review Summary @ Official Site

by Magerette, 18:47

The Witcher official website has listed a slew of reviews for CDProjekt's new RPG, focusing on sites from the UK, Germany, Norway and the Czech Republic. For the full round-up, head here.

Here are some snips from reviews not previously covered by the Watch:

Yougamers,com:

Morality choices are de rigeur in games today but they're never more than "pick option 1: holier-than-a-Saint or option 2: cow-molesting-dwarf-eating-evil", which actually removes any real choice from you. The writers behind The Witcher should be congratulated for making a serious effort at disguising this lack of freedom as much as possible; many of the choices you'll make fall into very grey areas and the consequences of your actions rarely make themselves immediately obvious. Such complexity does mean that, at times, it can be quite difficult to keep track of just what the heck is going on, but then again, this isn't a game for kiddies.

GamesExtreme.net: (This one runs six pages and is a fairly spoilerless, detailed examination of the game.)

The Witcher deserves to be on the shelf of any PC RPG fan. It's a brilliantly executed take on Sapkowski's books and there is a reason that Bioware recommended it. The game is truly top notch and other PC RPG's should aim to top this as their benchmark...

...The lands of the Witcher are full of monsters but there are no greater monsters than humans, humans are capable of the most terrifying deeds of all. The game takes the motifs of Sapkowski's world and translates them into a satisfying and enthralling experience that has kept me entertained since the official release on Friday. Normally I'd wait for a review copy to appear from Atari but not in the case of the Witcher, this is too good to wait.

 

 

The Witcher - Now Available in NA

by Dhruin, 07:39

I think we all know this but just in case...

- Atari Announces the Launch of CD Projekt's Role-Playing Masterpiece, Available Now at North American Retailers -

NEW YORK, Oct. 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Atari, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATAR - News), one of the world's most recognized brands and a third-party video game publisher announced today the North American launch of The Witcher®, the first game from Polish development studio CD Projekt RED and a distinctive PC role-playing game which delivers a thrilling story in a unique fantasy universe alongside stunning tactical combat. The Witcher is a Games for Windows title, rated M for Mature and available at the suggested retail price of $49.95.

In The Witcher players take the role of Geralt of Rivia, a professional monster slayer, who exists on the fringes of a complex society troubled by the kind of problems more commonly found on the front pages of newspapers than in a fantasy universe. Taken as a child, mutated, and trained in the arcane ways of the witchers, Geralt is a reluctant hero, who nonetheless finds himself all too frequently in the heat of battles that are not his own. His is a path he might not choose to walk, but walk it he must, guided by his head, heart, and only faithful companion - his sword.

"The Witcher is an unbelievably robust and exciting role-playing game that offers an intense world, unbelievable graphics, and an incredible story-line," said Lawrence Liberty, Producer, Atari, Inc. "Atari is eager to deliver with CD Projekt RED this outstanding game that strives to set new standards within the genre."

Based on the fictional world created by best-selling Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski, The Witcher is set in a unique fantasy universe where real-life issues dominate a troubled society. In this world there is no right or wrong, only decisions and consequences - consequences with which the protagonist Geralt must live.

For more information about The Witcher visit www.thewitcher.com and for more details about Atari's entire product line up visit www.atari.com.

The Witcher - Review @ GameDaily & Kotaku

by Dhruin, 07:29

After a short run of positive reviews for The Witcher comes GameDaily, who don't sound like they enjoyed anything about it.  The score is 6/10 and here's an except from the end:

The Witcher also has a day and night cycle, with the worst monsters coming out in the evening. Although there's nothing wrong with this, areas to rest and further the clock are spread out, and nothing is quite as annoying as waiting for some NPC to wake up, or for the sun to set so that some monsters can finally rise out of the water, but all of these issues build up to a larger one. It's hard to care about the story or any of the characters. Even though the game graphics generate some pretty good looking characters, they all lack facial expressions, and most don't even use hand gestures. With that said, characters rattle off lines while staring blankly into space, like statues with moving mouths. This game even has the silly role-playing convention where players can walk into any house and poke through the cupboards, cabinets and chests to take anything they please without repercussions. Then toss in the side story about non-human races like Dwarves and Elves forming guerilla squads against humans, and the narrative becomes almost impossible to take seriously, especially since the humans nicknamed these groups "squirrels."

...Kotaku's article isn't a full review but rather some impressions - and much more positive despite issues with the loading times:

Since I saw CD Projekt's PC action RPG The Witcher in action at the Atari room during E3 this year, I've been eager to get my hands on the title. Based on a series of short stories and novels by Poland's premier fantasy author Andrzej Sapkowski, the title promised a rich, atmospheric world, statless leveling, an interesting, combo-driven combat system, and decision system that blurs the lines between good and evil. Happily the final title delivers, albeit with a few minor flaws and one relatively major one. If not for the absolutely staggering loading times, The Witcher would have easily been one of my top PC RPGs of all time.

Tuesday - October 30, 2007

The Witcher - Review @ Shacknews

by Dhruin, 23:11

Shacknews' review of The Witcher is glowing in its praise, despite noting some minor problems.  There's no score but here's a snip:

 As you may have gathered from my recent preview--which I recommend to those looking for a general overview of the game--I was quite surprised by The Witcher, due to both its shock value and its polish. This is a European RPG that actually lives up to its own hype, delivering on its promises of mature content, massive amounts of dialogue, and impressive presentation. No one element of the game stands out more than the other, which is a testament to how well-rounded an experience it is. As you trod through the Gothic, rain-soaked landscapes, you don't find graphical eyesores that pull you out of the scenery, but instead a coherent, logical portrait. There is no overblown musical score that draws your attention, but rather an atmospheric soundtrack which slowly lulls you into the world. The dialogue may be hammy at times, but it almost adds to the charm in a quirky sort of way. Everything just fits, allowing your mind to concentrate on the quests at hand and become embroiled in the day-to-day concerns of the witching.

Thanks, MikeZZ.

The Witcher - Online Options

by Dhruin, 22:21

Justin writes that The Witcher is now available at GamersGate for those in the US (and with 3.7Gb of bandwidth to burn).  For those on the other side of the Atlantic, Metaboli also offers the game.

The Witcher - Review @ IGN

by Dhruin, 11:31

The first review from the US gaming web triumvirate is up at IGN. It's a fairly balanced article with a score of 8.5/10, despite noting some technical hitches. Here's an excerpt:

Geralt as the deciding factor in events is one of the reasons The Witcher works as a narrative and a game. The first couple of chapters of the adventure will offer up some moral decisions that may seem a little more cut and dry but when chapter three rolls around, the choices offered up are many shades of gray and it's hard to ever know that what you're doing is "right" by the video gaming standard of black and white right and wrong. Are you helping elves fighting for freedom and equality or terrorists that have just as much hatred of humans as humans have of them? Do the ends of preserving and protecting humanity really justify the potentially horrific means? Do I love Triss or Shani or just view them as toys for my amusement? These ideological, political, and personal decisions make the story and the game more engrossing as you sit there and wonder "what did I just do?".

As a footnote, we've opened a new forum for The Witcher if you'd like to discuss the game. 

The Witcher - Review @ TVG

by Dhruin, 11:14

TVG has reviewed The Witcher in a fairly short article with a score of 8/10:

Split across six different chapters, The Witcher is an overwhelmingly large adventure to play through. Embracing the moralistic dilemmas Geralt faces, many of the missions require a careful degree of thought, such as tracking down the guilty murderer through investigation and an autopsy. So large is the scope and substance of The Witcher that it can begin to get a little daunting, even for hardened RPG veterans. Admittedly the Track Quest option helps significantly, but it does reduce the game to little more than fed-ex'ing between checkpoints in a run-of-the-mill manner. 

Thanks, MikeZZ! 

 

The Witcher - Interview, Media & Attributes @ GameBanshee

by Dhruin, 10:48

GameBanshee kicks off a week-long celebration of The Witcher bunch of media and details of the skill tree for the main attributes, as well as a nice interview with chief designer, Michal Madej. The interview includes the frank admission they would have liked more freedom in the world exploration, as well as clear hints they have more plans for this franchise.  Here's an early snip:

GB: Which games would you say influenced and/or inspired you the most during development of The Witcher?

Michal: We were inspired by all classical RPGs with great stories, like Fallout, Baldur’s Gate, Planescape: Torment, KotOR and the quite underestimated Vampire: Bloodlines. We were greatly influenced by the Gothic series, especially the feeling of a living world, freedom of choice and the realistic fantasy theme. But as it comes to combat, we realized we are much closer to console action-adventure games like God of War with exciting, spectacular and fast-paced battles, rather than turn-based combat or mindless clicking. Finally we always wanted to achieve user-friendliness and intuitiveness of great Blizzard titles like Diablo. We also were tracking some mistakes made in other games, just to be sure we will avoid them.

Monday - October 29, 2007

The Witcher - International Review Roundup

by Dhruin, 21:42

CD Projekt's official Witcher site has a list of international reviews, which we'll rip for simplicity:

Imperium Gier (Poland)  – 9.3/10

Meristation (Spain) – 8.5/10

Rewired Mind(UK) – 4/5

Gamona.de(Germany) – 85%

Gamepark.cz (Czech Republic) – 92%

Gamereactor.se (Sweden) – 8/10

Yougamers.com(UK) – 87/100

Insidegamer.nl(Benelux) – 8/10

In addition, Giiizmo sent in a link to French site JeuxVideo, with a score of 16/20.  Here's part of the translated summary on storytelling:

The world of the Witcher, despite being full of fantasy clichés (dwarves, elves, etc) manages to set itself apart the usual fare by plunging the player in a much darker version of traditional fantasy worlds; the world is ravaged by the plague, racism towards non-humans runs rampant and bigotry towards Witchers is very well felt. The non-linear story is also well written which is a relief considering the source material.

...And here's a snip from the above UK review at Rewired Mind:

The game does have a lot to offer a player, and I’m still enjoying it. Although I’ve slated various elements, the visuals do look very nice. Day and night transitions are smooth and very subtle, and all in all the game is quite rich. Later in the game you find that your decisions impact upon your gaming experience quite critically, and you will often stumble upon repercussions of earlier choices. I like this element because it separates the game further from a simple hack ‘n’ slash title, and actually makes you think. I’m rather tired of mindlessly wandering across land, grinding monsters for some idiot who can’t be bothered to do it himself. So the fact that The Witcher takes decision-making one step deeper is all-in-all quite refreshing.

The Witcher - Videos @ Gamespot & Official Site

by Magerette, 21:41

There are  a couple of new Witcher videos up, one at the Gamespot Witcher Page  listed as Witcher Official Movie #9, and featuring a series of gameplay shots and developer commentary on the storyline and the stress laid on choice and consequences.

The other is a video complete with musical background showing some scenes from the Polish Premier of the Witcher, from the official site.

The Witcher - Trailer @ IGN

by Dhruin, 21:22

IGN has a new nine minute video of The Witcher showing a full quest string.

Sunday - October 28, 2007

The Witcher - Which sort of RPG is it? @ Rock, Paper, Scissors

by Dhruin, 21:45

Respected journalist Kieron Gillen wades in on the "what is an RPG" debate by critiquing and discussing the opening in Dan Whitehead's recent Eurogamer review of The Witcher, where Dan contends it is only "half an RPG".  It's an interesting piece, even if a topic we've discussed a thousand times:

And that’s you, The Witcher. No matter what you want - like, say, looking like someone who isn’t a incy-wincy bit derived from top Albino Eternal Champion and general glorious self-obsessed fuck-wit Elric - that’s still you. This threw Dan Whitehead over at Eurogamer in his review, where he argues - pretty much - if you can’t create your own character, it’s not a role-playing game. Which was such a debatable claim, it (er) immediately provoked a debate. In fact, I initiated it, because upon reading the review’s intro, I mumbled “Christ, Dan, you’re going to get slaughtered for that, mate”, so I thought by getting it rolling in a relatively pleasant way, it’ll save the inevitable Final-Fantasy fan arriving throwing a stroppy trantrum in the manner of a final Fantasy character.

But still, it is a perennial question (i.e. It gets argued on forums only slightly less often than Whether Games Or Art) and I thought I’d try and do relatively brief take on it. Feel free to provide yours, as one of the main reasons to lob this stuff in public is so people can pick it to pieces, so I can rethink gaping flaws.

The Witcher - New v1.1a Patch

by Dhruin, 01:17

A slightly updated 1.1a patch has been released for The Witcher:

We have just released a new patch version 1.1a. The new patch replaces patch 1.1 and corrects a possible blocker bug that might occur in Act5.

"We've tried to fix as many problems as possible and provide a more stable version for the game as quickly as we could, hence the oversight. I'd like to ask everyone who hasn't yet installed the patch or has installed the 1.1 patch to update to version 1.1a." - said Jacek Brzezinski, Project Lead for The Witcher.

Installing the 1.1a patch will not cause any problems with existing saved games.

CD Projekt RED crew

 

The Witcher - Review @ YouGamers

by Dhruin, 00:55

YouGamers has a review of The Witcher, with a score of 87/100. The text is positive, although the author essentially admits he rushed through and the article is full of strange analogies:

However, try to think of The Witcher as being like Winona Ryder: oh-so pretty, very talented but somewhat of a shop-lifting, flawed gem. This is what makes it so good: the pros completely outweigh the cons, even after the teeth-grindingly awful start. It has plenty of length to it, perhaps not to Oblivion or Baldur's Gate levels, but certainly enough; it questions morality by forcing you to make decisions that often have no "right" answer. The levels of difficulty change the gameplay enough to warrant multiple replays too. Underneath its gutter-level exterior, there lies a remarkably thoughtful game.

Source: Bluesnews

Saturday - October 27, 2007

The Witcher - Pre-Ship View @ RPG Vault

by Dhruin, 01:31

RPG Vault has one of their very, very short Pre-Ship Views of The Witcher, with some comments after 20 hours play:

The game seems appears to capture the distinctively moody nature of the protagonist and the flavor of the world he lives in, where very little is clearly good or evil. The story incorporates interesting moral decisions with choices that are neither right nor wrong, and with consequences that aren't always immediate. This should boost replayability, as should the character advancement scheme, which doesn't allow mastering everything. Combat is fairly fast-paced but not inaccessibly so, and the system is a bit different without feeling strange or imposing a tough learning curve. Quests are both plentiful and varied, and there are even optional mini-games. The art direction is of a high standard, and the visual quality is competitive, albeit not leading edge.

Friday - October 26, 2007

The Witcher - Countdown #1 & 2 @ IGN

by Dhruin, 14:29

IGN has two diary type articles in series written by CD Projekt called Countdown to The Witcher.  The first looks at a handful of locations in the game and the second explores combat. 

The Witcher - Review @ Eurogamer

by Dhruin, 14:13

The first major English review for The Witcher is out with Eurogamer awarding 7/10 in a fairly positive two-page article that supplies a critique without really giving much detail into the gameplay.  Here's part of the intro:

So, by my reckoning, The Witcher is only half an RPG. The role you play is non-negotiable - you're Geralt, a white-haired growly-voiced amnesiac anti-hero. Nor can you choose his profession. It is, after all, rather set in stone by the verb-slaughtering title of the game. He's a witcher, a professional slayer of the supernatural, wandering from town to town ridding the countryside of foul beasts using swords, magic and a little bit of alchemy. You'll be using the same swords for pretty much the whole game (though you can augment them), your armour options are limited and you've got a fairly rigid vengeance-fuelled goal in mind. If you're looking for one of those games where you can craft your own jewel-encrusted golden armour, and spend months tinkering with optional side-quests, then move along. This one isn't for you.

If, however, you're a fan of compellingly realised environments, commendably realistic social interactions and full-blooded fantasy storytelling then pull up a pew, since The Witcher has a lot to offer.

Thursday - October 25, 2007

The Witcher - v1.1 Patch Released

by Dhruin, 23:21

The 0-day patch for The Witcher is available at Gamer's Hell.  Weighing in at 113Mb, there are a large number of fixes but, disappointingly for those with the game already, some them require restarts.  Here's the log:

Gameplay & text bugs fixed:

- Fixed character development issues with some abilities and skills.
- Fixes for some storyline related progression breaks.
- Fixes for druids' day-night cycle in Act 5.
- Fixes for sex scene with nurses in Act 5.
- Signet fixes (some signets were received twice).
- Fixed story incoherency regarding Erkyn in Act 3.
- Experience gain indication localization fixes.
- Mutagen potion - new fixes for showing up a message.
- Fixed items used in eating animations.
- Geralt's allies fixed to always react properly to all mosnters.
- Bounty Hunter is Agent Smith no more (he doesn't replicate). Mr. Geralt, we missed you...
- Echinopses and Archespores now use their own spikes instead of arrows.
- Fixes for alchemical ingredients extracted from some monsters.
- Raven Crypt - few fixes for geometry and placeables.
- Fixed few places where player was supposed to meditate, but couldn't.
- Fixed story incoherence in Berengar quest.
- Soldier practicing on training dummy won't penetrate... it.
- Berengar won't disappear on sight when sparing him.
- A whole lot of localization fixes (some of them won't work with old savegames!).

Code bugs fixed:

- Fixed all diagnosed stability issues and crashes.
- Fixed few gameplay issues with WSAD and mousedrive controls.
- Alt-Tab related issues fixed (random crashes, hang-ups, cursor blocking).
- Cat potion estimated time display - fixed.
- Dropping items from the inventory fixes for better spread.
- Weapon visual FXes fixed during dialogues.
- Confirmation box shown when player uses Quick Load.
- Tooltip fixes for lower resolutions (for example 800x600).
- All read books now have the appropriate note in description.
- Sitting animation fixes for few characters that sat beside the chair.
- Alt-Tab fixes for dialogue lines and gameplay options.
- Savegame option blocked around Aard throwing time.
- Audio: rat squealing sound fixes for minimized mode.
- Movies and cutscenes fixes for Alt-Tabbing.
- AI: fixed NPCs chasing enemies that were no more.
- AI: few poker fixes.
- Fixed problems with items appearing back in storages.
- Fixed blizzard problems with cutscenes and dialogues.
- Fixed toxicity effect for Alt-Tabbing.
- Finishers fixes - animation sometimes did not play.
- When taking out an unknown item of the storage, the user can no longer see the name of the potion. Good one...
- Fixed saving in tight places (player got teleported after load... sometimes).

Art & sound bugs fixed:

- Vizim's Temple Quarter: ~30 physics fixes; corrected barrels; ~10 decoration fixes.
- Kaer Morhen: Wild animals fixes.
- Sewers: commoners sleeping fxes; ~5 item properties fixes; ~10 skeleton placement fixes.
- Vizim's Temple Quarter/Burning Vizim:The banner on the tower is no longer black.
- Old Manor: Koschey boss movement fixes.
- Mutants fixes for decapitation. That means no decapitation now.
- Werewolf physics fixes.
- Chainmail stand placeable now has collision surface (player/npc can't pass through it).
- Celina brightness fixes for interiors.
- Order knights lighting fixes.
- Bread item fixes for eating animation.
- More detailed model of Horse+Wagon for opening cutscenes.
- Journal entry for crypts fixed now.
- A child in epilogue cutscene doesn't look like badly sewn young Frankenstein.
- Old lady and dwarves - idle animation fixes.

6. Known Issues:
 
1) The Witcher may exhaust virtual address space when running on 32-bit Windows Vista. Microsoft has released a hotfix that addresses this problem. Please download the hotfix from the following location when playing the game on 32-bit Windows Vista: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/940105
2) The following video cards are not currently supported: S3 Colt, S3 S27, S3 S8
3) The following processors are out of range: AMD Duron Series, AMD Athlon XP 2400+ through 3200+, AMD Sempron 2400+ through 2800+, and the INTEL Celeron Series.
4) Some bugfixes mentioned above will work only if a game is restarted from scratch, for some others a corresponding act needs to be restarted.

The Witcher - "Making of" Day 3 & First Reviews

by Dhruin, 00:32

Day 3 of The Witcher's "Making of" series of videos is up at GameTrailers:

Explore the art of The Witcher in today’s “Making of” video at GameTrailes. Developers speak on the game graphics engine and the process of main character creation. You’ll also see how the game world looks and how it was designed. Find out about the idea behind the artistic concept and how it was transferred into a 3D environment.

...and the official site has posted news of the first European reviews:

European games magazines and websites begin to publish first reviews of The Witcher, and so far reviewers reactions are nothing short of delightful. Two largest and very strict in their opinions French magazines – PC JEUX and Joystick gave The Witcher 90% and 9/10 as well as awards. The biggest norwegian game website X6 rated The Witcher even higher - for maximum 6/6. It is basically the beginning, and we believe it will be even better!

* Joystick review 9/10 + Megastar award
“Forget everything you know about RPG’s. Intense and deep…The Witcher is the new reference for RPG’s”

* PC Jeux review 90% ‘Hit PC Jeux’ award

 * X6 (x6.no) 6/6
“The Witcher sets a new standard and is a fresh wind in a genre that has been still for many years when it comes to development.”

Thanks MikeZZ, who also sent this in.

Wednesday - October 24, 2007

The Witcher - In House Preview @ Voodoo Extreme

by Magerette, 16:48

Voodoo Extreme has posted a lengthy preview of CdProjekt's rpg, The Witcher, covering it feature by feature in a multimedia format:

With European and North American builds installed we delved into the world of The Witcher for an exclusive hands-on preview that includes twelve High Definition gameplay movies, 80 odd screenshots, impressions, and two 'making of' movies.

This is a hands on preview, so expect some SPOILERS

You can view the preview here.

 

Thanks to leth for pointing this out in the forums.

Tuesday - October 23, 2007

The Witcher - Launch Day Patch & Bonus Content

by Magerette, 18:46

In another nugget of pre-release info on CDProjekt's The Witcher, Voodoo Extreme has posted a link to the registration page, which details the benefits to registered users, including downloadable content. A patch is also planned for October 26, to coincide with the European release.

You can read their summary here.

 

Source: Voodoo Extreme

The Witcher - "The Making of " Trailer @ GamersHell, GameTrailers & Forum Update

by Magerette, 17:43

Gamers Hell has posted a 3.52 minute trailer for CDProjekt's upcoming rpg on The Making of The Witcher featuring some nice shots of Warsaw and the CDProjekt offices, along with developer commentary and some in game footage and ciniematics. You can stream or download it here.

The official site also states there will be a Witcher Week happening at Game Trailers, where you can also find this same video:

It’s been a while since we hosted last Witcher Week. Those of you, who follow the development of the game for a longer time, will probably remember, that last TWW ended with a premiere of our first game teaser at GT. This time situation changes a little and exclusive Witcher Week at GT will finish with the premiere of the game :). Everyday for next four days, a new Witcher video will be published at GT. Enjoy!

as well as the news that they've updated the forums:

We have just launched the new game forum. We decided to make it more clear, smart and intuitive, simply - more user friendly than the previous one. Everyone that will register The Witcher will receive an extra status on the forum - “Game owner”. We are waiting for your opinions !

Saturday - October 20, 2007

The Witcher - Preview @ GameZone

by Dhruin, 23:52

A general overview preview of The Witcher is up at GameZone, aimed at newcomers to the title:

During the course of the game, you will undertake the main story thread, which will lead you into side quests as well. After the prologue, which serves mostly as a tutorial (though you will run up against some challenging foes), you enter Chapter One. This takes place in a small village, one that you get very acquainted with as you run fetch quests and kill quests. These are important as they allow you to level up and increase your skills. The interface will allow you to track the quests, using the mini map to help guide you in the right direction.

The Witcher - Videos @ IGN

by Dhruin, 12:03

IGN has a batch of Witcher gameplay videos from their time with the preview version.  Thanks, Tom! 

Friday - October 19, 2007

The Witcher - Previews @ GameBanshee, Shacknews

by Dhruin, 23:33

Two new previews of The Witcher are out.  Let's take serious quote from GameBanshee who are unashamedly fans:

Before going any further, let me first just say that I have no idea why the game was ever coined as an "action RPG." Sure, the combat requires some (carefully timed) mouse clicking, but the team was clearly aiming for a classic role-playing experience. This is a story-driven game with a significant amount of dialogue, a multitude of quests, a surprisingly thorough and intricate journal system, and a vast assortment of character development options. You have to put a considerable amount of thought into many of the choices you make in the game, so hopefully nobody out there is expecting a Diablo clone or something similar from The Witcher. If so, scratch the game off your list and save yourself some cash and the subsequent disappointment. If a classic single-player CRPG experience is exactly what you're looking for, then you're in luck.

...and a bit on courting the ladies from Shacknews:

After saving one woman from a band of would-be rapists, I'm hit with a quest to run her back across town to her house, protecting her from roving helldogs in the process. All the way, she's teasing me with promises: "Hustlers always get rewarded, hee hee." Yeah.

"I live with my grandma. I'd rather not shock her," she says on arrival. Typical. At this point I figure the jig is up--Game Over--which is just when my sly character suggests meeting the next day, at a secluded mill down the road. At this point I'm talking to the screen: "Geralt, you cheeky bastard."

"You bring the wine, I'll bring the food," she replies, prompting a quest to find a bottle of wine in time for the rendezvous. Which I do, for science, and inevitably all of this triggers a cutscene.

"Something haunts the old mill tonight," says one nearby guard.
"We should engage a witcher or some other magician to look into it," replies his friend.
"Never around when they're needed, they are."

Thanks, MikeZZ.

The Witcher - Gone Gold!

by Dhruin, 05:29

No, really - this time it actually has:

NEW YORK, Oct. 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Atari, Inc. , one of the world's most recognized brands and a third-party video game publisher, announced today that The Witcher has gone gold and is scheduled to ship to retailers in North America on October 30. Developed by CD Projekt, The Witcher is a Games for Windows title and will be available exclusively for the PC.

The Witcher transcends traditional fantasy role-playing by throwing players into a unique fantasy world rife with modern social issues such as terrorism, political intrigue and racism where the lines between good and evil are blurred. Based on a fictional world created by best-selling Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski, The Witcher casts players as Geralt, a legendary monster slayer and master swordfighter with supernatural abilities and reflexes.

"Not only does The Witcher shine with its stellar action gameplay, its thought provoking storyline riddled with mature social issues is sure to get gamers talking," said Larry Liberty, Senior Producer, Atari, Inc. "We're confident that The Witcher will prove to be one of the most acclaimed RPG titles this Fall."

"Creating The Witcher was a huge challenge, but also an adventure. Our task was to create a game with an incredibly involving story and a credible world -- a role-playing game that we ourselves would like to play," said Michal Kicinski, CD Projekt Joint CEO. "We approached this task with no compromises. Thanks to that The Witcher is not just another RPG. It's a piece of work that in many respects changes and extends the typical canon of such games. It's quite a brave approach, however I believe that thanks to that attitude The Witcher will bring much freshness into the genre and, of course, will give the players all around the world lots of joy and positive emotions. And we couldn't have asked for a better publishing partner than Atari. We're very happy that The Witcher will join Atari's stable of fantastic role-playing games."

The Witcher presents a fresh approach to traditional role-playing, blending an expansive, twisting plotline -- in which the impact of individual decisions can drastically alter the outcome of the game -- and fast-paced combat against a wide variety of foes. With highly detailed graphics, countless motion-capture animations and spectacular visual effects, The Witcher delivers brutal action, deep role-playing options and an intriguing story which will enthrall any player who dares to take on the formidable role of Geralt.

For more information about The Witcher visit www.thewitcher.com and for more details about Atari's entire product line up visit www.atari.com.

Thursday - October 18, 2007

The Witcher - Hands-On Preview, Trailer

by Dhruin, 12:28

IGN has a new hands-on preview for The Witcher:

The reality of consequence only helps build on an illusion of a world that could end up being pretty special not only in this game but into the future. So far, the areas we've journeyed through have been vibrant in their hopelessness. This includes the outskirts of the central city Vizima filled with peasants, farmers, toughs, and travelers, the poor sector of Vizima itself which is filled with citizens roaming the streets and going about their daily tasks (whether that's gossiping or whoring), and the swamps only a short boat ride from the city that are full of monsters, druids, and a mysterious tower. Each of the areas have a distinct feel but remain settled in the art style and vibe of the game including a day/night cycle that affects how dangerous an area is. We're often fans of games going beyond the realm of "realistic" and into "stylistic" but so far the The Witcher seems to be served well by CDProjekt's focus on creating environments that are more identifiably real.

...and GameSpot has a new 4 min trailer titled "Gameplay - combat and tactics".

Thanks MikeZZ and zc82! 

Wednesday - October 17, 2007

The Witcher - Trailer @ GameVideos

by Dhruin, 11:04

Thanks to Tom and MikeZZ for pointing out a new Witcher video at GameVideos. Running in at 7:00 minutes, the clip is titled "meditate/combat".

Tuesday - October 16, 2007

The Witcher - Previews @ GameSpot, Worthplaying

by Dhruin, 14:41

A pair of new Witcher previews are on offer today - let's kick off with GameSpot, who got to play a "near final" version:

When you put it all together, combat in The Witcher is pretty tactical for an RPG. There's a fair amount of depth there, as well as a fast pace that will keep you busy. There's also plenty of room to grow as you level up. When you reach a new experience level, you can distribute points across your character but figuring out what to specialize in is going to be tough. You can boost basic attributes, such as strength and intelligence. You can improve your abilities in either the fast, strong, or group combat styles, and because witchers have two swords (a silver one for monsters; a steel one for humans), there are two sets of combat styles that you can upgrade. You can also add talents, which are like little bonus skills or abilities, such as "buzz," which lets Geralt inflict 25 percent more damage when drunk; however, his ability to parry and dodge will take a 50 percent hit. So, yes, The Witcher does feature drunken fighting.

...while Worthplaying saw a presentation:

So instead of telling an epic story of good versus evil as per usual, The Witcher is a more morally ambiguous game that emphasizes making difficult choices and seeing the results play out over a long period of time. Likewise, the setting has an unusually realistic look for a fantasy RPG, with towns and architecture closely resembling their real-world medieval counterparts. There’s a dirty, gritty look to the designs, and the presence of crushing poverty and social injustice is never far away when traveling through urban areas.

Thanks, zc82! 

Monday - October 15, 2007

The Witcher - Screenshot Update @ Official Site

by Magerette, 18:06

The official site for The Witcher, CDProjekt's upcoming RPG, has updated their screenshot collection with some pics originally designed for GC2007 and press releases from that time. Some may have been viewed before, but here they are all collected in one place. Here's what the site has to say:

During the last two months we have prepared an enormous amount of screenshots for the Games Convention fairs and accompanying articles in press and internet. Today we have updated our site with dozen of screens from that period, pictures that we find most eye-catching and interesting for gamers. Some of you probably might saw few of them on IGN or GameSpot, but not everyone is searching the web that intensively as The Witcher most hard core fans :).

Saturday - October 13, 2007

The Witcher - Vizima Trailer @ IGN

by Dhruin, 15:20

IGN has a Witcher video that shows Vizima through Geralt's eyes.  Thanks, Zima98!

Friday - October 12, 2007

The Witcher - European Limited Edition Details @ Official Site

by Magerette, 22:01

The official website for CDProjekt's The Witcher has the news that Atari has announced the details on just exactly what will be in the LE for Europe. No surprises, but now it's official :

The full contents of the European Limited Edition box are as follows:

  • The Witcher game;
  • Official Soundtrack CD including 29 tracks from the game;
  • Double-sided full-colour world map poster;
  • High-quality 204 page art book featuring production sketches, artwork and more;
  • ‘Making Of’ documentary feature DVD with exclusive developer interviews and footage.

 

Tuesday - October 09, 2007

The Witcher - German Rating Changed to "18"

by Gorath, 11:20

A few weeks ago we´ve posted, based on infos by CD Projekt, that The Witcher had been rated "16" by the German USK. As it turned out the news was a bit premature. The USK changed their mind and decided to give The Witcher an "18".

The good news: The game will be uncut and multilingual! 

Monday - October 08, 2007

The Witcher - Gone Gold? [update]

by Dhruin, 14:45

German site PC Games.de has a newsbit claiming The Witcher has gone Gold, which is not surprising news given the planned October 26th release date in some territories.

We'll update with the official press release or statement when we get it.

Update: Atari clarified that The Witcher is not gold yet. It´s in the final testing phase and on track for the release later this month.

Friday - October 05, 2007

RPGWatch Feature: Inside The Witcher, Part 2

by Dhruin, 23:41

We wrap up our in-depth hands-on Witcher preview with a look at the character system, combat and more:

Sooner or later in any action/RPG, you’re going to get into a fight. The Witcher uses a hybrid system that strings attacks together into long combos, with the right timing. A single click starts the first attack and as it winds to a close, another click at the right time seamlessly strings a second attack after the first to form a combo and so on. Get the timing wrong and the next stroke is aborted, giving the enemy an opening. The result is a combination of Geralt’s skills and the player’s timing.

Read it here.

Thursday - October 04, 2007

The Witcher - Locations Trailer

by Dhruin, 22:18

CD Projekt has released a 4 min clip of different locations in The Witcher:

Gametrailers have just posted the new gameplay video from The Witcher, titled "Gameplay Locations". The video is a short 4 minute trip across game's wonderful and unique locations, that you will explore by yourself at the end of the month. What you will see in this gameplay is a sword skill practice on the courtyard of witchers fortress Kaer Morhen, streets of Vizime, and a swamp location habited by monsters. Narrator of the video is Tom Gop - Assistant Producer of The Witcher.

Enjoy!

Wednesday - October 03, 2007

RPGWatch Feature: Inside The Witcher, Part 1

by Dhruin, 14:12

So, you've read every preview and watched the trailers. Now we have the definitive hands-on preview of The Witcher after 20 hours of play on our own system. In Part 1, we take a look at the setting, exploration, dialogue, quests and the localisation.

Minor spoilers apply, but we've limited them to the scenarios already revealed by CD Projekt at E3. Here's a snip:

In the roughly 20 hours we’ve played so far, we’ve seen a mountain fortress, a small village, crypts, sewers, a swamp and the trade quarter of the city of Vizima - the range of environments looks to be diverse. Physically, The Witcher gameworld is divided into some 45 or so locations (see the nearby screenshot of a local map for an example), which each offer a moderately sized chunk to explore. Internal locations – buildings, caves, sewers – all require loading. The loading times can be annoying but hopefully further optimisation before shipping will see improvements – and at least the stylish, painted loading screens are nice. Given the convincing environments you’ll get to explore, it’s sometimes frustrating to be constrained by a low fence or uneven terrain that requires Geralt stick to the path.

Read it here.

Sunday - September 30, 2007

The Witcher - Preview & Media @ GamesRadar

by Magerette, 16:24

GamesRadar has posted a pre-release look at CDProjeckt's soon to be released RPG, The Witcher. The preview summarizes a lot of the material that we've heard before, focusing on the choices and consequences aspect:

All this knowledge is gleaned in retrospect, nearly ten hours after your seemingly innocuous choice on the riverbank. Whether or not you made the right or wrong move earlier is besides the point. By shrouding the consequences of each decision you'll make over the course of the game, and creating an elaborate web of actions and reactions, CD Projekt hopes to bypass the tendency to "test the designer's vision" and have you playing that role, steering yourself to one of the game's multiple endings.

There's also a hands on description of the chaining of combination moves in combat:

When we got our hands on The Witcher to feel out its combat system, we found a rather unique play mechanic hiding beneath its third-person hack 'n slash skin. It's all about timing. After you left-click to start your first attack, you'll need to watch Geralt's swing animations carefully and feel the flow of his moves. If you follow up your first strike with a well-timed click, you'll create a chain combo which - if kept up long enough - can result in some crazy kills and brutal blows.

It takes a bit of getting used to, and we found ourselves flailing wildly before we got the hang of it. But once we did, Geralt was soon slicing his way through demon dogs, mercenaries, and monsters like butter. In one instance, we saw him toss his blade into the air. Grabbing on to the sword's tip, Geralt proceeded to swing his backwards blade like a heavy axe, piercing an enemy's throat with the hilt.

 There's also a media page here, with some new screenshots and the previously covered ten minute quest trailer that's going the rounds.

Source: GameBanshee

Friday - September 28, 2007

The Witcher - New Screenshots @ ActionTrip

by Magerette, 19:56

 ActionTrip has posted some screenshots from Atari and CD Projekt showing some  combat and action images for their soon to be released title The Witcher. There's also a link in the post to ActionTrip's GC 2007 hands-on look at the game for those who might have missed it.

Wednesday - September 26, 2007

The Witcher - Final Systems Reqs

by Dhruin, 00:37

CD Projekt has posted the final system requirements for The Witcher:

Minimum requirements:

Microsoft® Windows® XP Service Pack 2, Vista (Operating System must be up to date with the latest fixes)

Intel Pentium 4 2.4GHz or AMD Athlon 64 +2800

1 GB RAM for Microsoft® Windows® XP / 1536 MB for Microsoft® Windows® Vista

128 MB Video RAM or greater with DirectX9 Vertex Shader/ Pixel Shader 2.0 support (NVIDIA GeForce 6600 or ATI Radeon 9800 or better)

8.5 GB available hard drive space

DirectX 9.0c compliant soundcard, plus speakers or headphones

DVD-Rom

 

Recommended requirements:

Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2, Vista (Operating System must be up to date with the latest fixes)

Intel Core 2 Duo 2.13 GHz or AMD X2 5600+

2 GB RAM

NVIDIA GeForce 7900 GTX or ATI Radeon X1950 PRO

8.5 GB available hard drive space

DirectX 9.0c compliant soundcard, plus speakers or headphones

DVD-Rom

Sunday - September 23, 2007

The Witcher - Preview @ GameShark

by Dhruin, 00:08

The Witcher has been previewed at GameShark, with article particularly looking at character development and alchemy:

Along with physical hits, weapons inflict special damage via oils. Using the game's alchemy system, it's possible to create all manner of oils and potions to augment your arsenal and natural abilities. Dousing a blade in “Necrophage” oil, for example, enables you to poison enemies. Potions temporarily boost your powers, although at a risk of being poisoned. Unlike the carefree punch-drunk potion drinking binges of typical role-playing games, the concoctions drain your health if imbibed in excess.

Source: Bluesnews

Saturday - September 22, 2007

The Witcher - Interview & Trailer @ GameSpot

by Dhruin, 09:56

The promised 10min Witcher video is up at GameSpot, accompanying a new interview.  I haven't watched the video to comment but here is a sample from the interview:

GameSpot: We're familiar with the story behind the game's unusual protagonist, Geralt, but tell us about how he develops as a character in the game. How can you develop his skills in battle, for instance? What kind of weapons can he use, and how does he eventually become a more powerful warrior?

Michal Madej: As you mentioned, we have a rather unusual protagonist--Geralt the witcher, a professional monster slayer. Because he is essentially a new character class unlike anything you've seen in typical RPGs, we had to create an innovative character-development system, which takes advantage of this "unusualness." On one hand, it's a traditional level-based system, where you kill monsters and--much more importantly--complete quests to earn experience points and gain levels. [But this is] where the similarity to typical RPGs ends. We don't use any numerical traits, as we consider them simply a dull way to describe your hero. What does it mean to have 12 dexterity points, and how much better is 13? We decided to replace numbers with ability trees, where each of the abilities has significant influence on gameplay and its usefulness is instantly understood. Altogether, we have about 250 abilities, grouped in 15 "trait trees": four attributes, five magical signs, and six combat styles. [...]

Thanks, Acleacius. 

Thursday - September 20, 2007

The Witcher - Trailer Excerpt

by Dhruin, 23:21

Apparently GameSpot will debut a new 10min Witcher trailer in a few days but the official site has kicked up an excerpt (direct link - .zip) in advance with this detailed description:

Here is what Tom Gop, Assistant Producer of the game and the narrator of this gameplay movie, says about its features:
"The video shows a small piece of the game, where Geralt is taking care of some everyday issues in one of the districts of Vizim. Sometimes you have to smash someone's face, sometimes perform a little alchemy, and sometimes just swing a witcher sword as an argument. Typical witcher stuff.

We wanted to show some important game features in this video, such as interaction with NPCs, shops, meditation, alchemy and the fist-fight mini-game. But most of all we want you to see the advanced use of sword-fighting styles with the addition of witcher signs, that will hopefully help to sway even the biggest RPG sceptics. Even I had little problem with seeing what is going on with all those tricks that Marek Ziemak (Designer, guy that recorded the video) used.

All those of you with an astute artistic sense should also appreciate the skills of our graphics team. Cloister Vizim looks completely different during the night than during the day and all characters look and act like real people."

The Witcher - Music Collaboration Details @Game Zone

by Magerette, 09:51

Gamezone covers a press release from Atari Europe and CD Projeckt that goes into a little more detail on the musical contributions of the bands Vader and Nightwish to The Witcher soundtrack and a promotional CD:

Vader have recorded a track entitled ‘Sword of The Witcher’ which will feature on their forthcoming new album and DVD. The track will also form part of CD Projekt’s “Inspired by The Witcher” promotional album which features English language compositions by a host of Polish acts, from rock and folk all the way to electro, all inspired by The Witcher...

...Next into the limelight is symphonic metal phenomenon Nightwish, Finland’s most internationally successful rock band. With a massive following all over the world, they bring their force to bear on The Witcher in Germany with the inclusion of the video for their latest single “Amaranth” with the game when it launches in October.

Monday - September 17, 2007

The Witcher - GameStat Rankings @ Official Site

by Magerette, 15:26

The official website for The Witcher brings us the news that they are  No. 7 in the rankings of current PC games and have an overall score of 80.5 in popularity. GameStats is a site founded by IGN that keeps track of game popularity by overall number of page hits and online review/preview scores. 

Sunday - September 16, 2007

The Witcher - Races @ IGN

by Magerette, 04:17

Ign gives us an in-depth look at some of the races in CD Projeckt's upcoming RPG The Witcher, including some nice screenshots and concept art. The usual races common to the fantasy genre are covered: humans, elves, dwarves and gnomes, but they also give a mention to some of the creatures unique to Sapkowski's tales:

Sapkowski's fantasy world is also inhabited by many other sentient or intelligent races - the red eyed vrana reptiles, the bobolaks, the goat-legged sylvans, and dragons, among others. Gossip also has it that the deeper lakes and seas have been made into the nests of the mysterious fish people, with whom no one has been able to make contact yet. One of the rarest of races - the dopplers, or known otherwise as vexlings, mimics, or doublers — are able to take the form and shape - as long as body weight is similar - of other creatures, along with their attire, equipment, character and behaviour. Just because of this, the more superstitious and wary individuals regard them as monsters and try to hire Witchers to slay this sentient race.

Saturday - September 15, 2007

The Witcher - Recommended by BioWare

by Dhruin, 00:48

BioWare is trying to help The Witcher hype, with a front page message saying they "highly recommend" the game and linking to this special "BioWare Recommends..." entry page for the official site.  An unusual PR move but they obviously figure BioWare's name alone carries clout.

Wednesday - September 12, 2007

The Witcher - First Release Candidate

by Dhruin, 00:14

News from The Witcher community site that they have the first release candidate:

First off, good news. Yesterday at 6:00 sharp we’ve finished the so called “master candidate” of the game. If, for whatever reason, you still require some help with the term, let us explain that “The Witcher” is in the absolute final phase of production and that we’ve now officially left the betas behind. The release date is just around the corner so we’re counting on your support in the final run up to the finish line!

Friday - September 07, 2007

The Witcher - Rated "Mature"

by Dhruin, 00:26

So, CD Projekt has announced The Witcher has been through two ratings boards - German players in particular will be pleased:

CD Projekt RED informs that The Witcher has been rated by ESRB and USK.

ESRB (USA):

Rating: Mature

Descriptors: 

 

  • Blood and Gore
  • Partial Nudity
  • Strong Language
  • Strong Sexual Content
  • Violence


USK (Niemcy):

Rating 16+

So, great news for the German gamers, you will be playing the full and uncensored version of The Witcher. No green blood this time!

European PEGI rating is still in pending.

Thursday - September 06, 2007

The Witcher - Sword of the Witcher Music Video

by Magerette, 08:53

The Witcher's official website  has posted news that a music video clip from the band VADER which combines some trailer footage with performance video and music composed by the band has been released, along with a link to a streaming video at Wirtualna Polska 

This is how VADER’s frontman – Peter – recalls work done on the clip: “A couple of months ago, CD Projekt RED approached us and asked whether we’d be interested in recording a music track relating to the RPG game “The Witcher”. The game itself, its “feel” and atmosphere, as well as the rather atypical challenge were enough to give it a go. We recorded the “Sword of the Witcher” track in May, and on the 10th of July, with the help of Inbornmedia from Wrocław, shot some videos in the castle in Bolków. To help us in the undertaking we received some music samples from the game’s soundtrack.

Monday - September 03, 2007

The Witcher - Preview @ Boomtown

by Magerette, 18:15

Boomtown has a solid preview up based on their GC 07 viewing of The Witcher:

 An important part of the “monster hunter” game is bound to be the fights. But also here The Witcher distinguishes itself. In more traditional role-playing games (without turn-based combat) the fights often consists of “click-your-opponent-and-wait – repeat-until-he-is-dead”. But in The Witcher, besides the tactical elements such as steel versus silver weapons, use of magic/alchemy and the option to chose between fast (but weak) or slow (but strong) attacks, you have the ability to combine attacks (or more accurately strengthen them) by clicking the mouse at certain times. This should prevent fights from being one big mess of clicking. At the same time, a very extensive skill-tree makes it possible to make many different versions of Geralt, with emphasis on the person you like to play.

Source: Bluesnews

Saturday - September 01, 2007

The Witcher - Peek #16 @ RPG Vault

by Dhruin, 12:27

Peek #16 for The Witcher at RPG Vault has popped up with a look at the protagonist Geralt:

Geralt is no human. He is a witcher, a genetically enhanced mutant created and trained to slay monsters for a living. Transformed by magic and alchemy as a child, he gained superhuman abilities - lightning-fast reflexes, immunity to poisons and disease, and cat-like eyes that allow him to see in the dark. Through grueling training at the fortress of Kaer Morhen, he became a master of the sword, skilled in the use of magical signs, and privy to the mysteries of alchemy.

Friday - August 31, 2007

The Witcher - GC 2007 Game Trailer

by Magerette, 09:30

ActionTrip has posted a streaming clip  of the Witcher gameplay trailer shown at the recent Games Convention in Leipzig.

CD Projekt finally releases the gameplay footage from The Witcher that they showed at the GC 2007. This RPG is looking great. Check it out for yourselves.

Thursday - August 30, 2007

The Witcher - Preview @ Joystiq

by Dhruin, 00:18

Joystiq has a second item of interest today - a short preview of The Witcher from PAX:

The Witcher is suppose to have a massive 120 hours of gameplay (counting sidequests and optional content) and will feature a storyline that continues to change and adapt as you play through as well as multiple different endings. It's kind of a sleeper title and coming out during this holiday season won't make things any easier on it, but if action RPGs with a satisfying combat system and a mature storyline are your thing, The Witcher is going to be your ultimate Christmas present.

Source: Bluesnews

Monday - August 27, 2007

The Witcher - Preview @ GameZone

by Dhruin, 13:53

GameZone serves up a general preview of The Witcher based on a PAX viewing:

The combat is timing based, but it is not a button masher by any means. You can swing too fast and not trigger the combos. There are three basic stances in the game and two sword types, which lead to six unique animation sets. Players will make choices that will result not only armor and weapons you can gain, but the NPC that may join you in the journey. As players level, there are points gained that can be applied to trees that cover 15 areas. There is a possible 250 nodes on the trees, but players will only fill something like 170 of the nodes, meaning that customization is important and replay value kicks in by choosing different skill traits.

Source: Bluesnews

Saturday - August 25, 2007

The Witcher - Preview @ ActionTrip

by Dhruin, 13:59

The Witcher has been previewed at ActionTrip based on a GC viewing:

As soon as the combat began, the Witcher started to use a diverse set of combos and abilities against oncoming creatures. One of the cool things about this game is that it really gives you a lot of choices on how you want to fight your enemies. When fighting multiple opponents you need to activate a specific fighting style in order to cause simultaneous damage to each foe. Spells are also available at any time. We've seen the Witcher cast a powerful spell in order to knock down a monster and then perform an awesome finishing move.

Source: Bluesnews

Friday - August 24, 2007

The Witcher - Preview @ Games32

by Dhruin, 23:56

Fresh Witcher coverage can be found at a site called Games32, with a GC preview on offer:

The combat mode is influenced by the silver and steel blades that Geralt always carries at him. If you meet human enemies you have to use the steel blade otherwise the silver one. The combat mode was from the beginning developed to be fun instead of being extremely complex.  Being a point'n'click mode, the developers decided to exploit new possibilities of interaction. The new gig here is that you have to coordinate every hitting action. You cannot click your mouse like a machine gun like you do in all the other rpg games. Guide by different forms and colors of the cursor you have to push the action button in a determined sequence.  If you fail at a point to follow the sequence Geralt  will miss hitting the opponent.  Depending on how you have evolved your character, and on how much can control the sequence of actions, Geralt can perform more and more combo moves with an increased damage power. The combos are really spectacular to see and are based on almost 300 fighting movements.

Source: Bluesnews

The Witcher - GC Footage

by Dhruin, 23:53

Dark Savant sent in this link at NL Team for some (apparently exclusive) cam footage of The Witcher being demonstrated at GC

The Witcher - Screens @ VE3D

by Dhruin, 14:16

Head over to VoodooExtreme for a nice batch of new Witcher screens

The Witcher - GC Preview @ Gamers with Jobs

by Dhruin, 01:31

As is often the case, Gamers with Jobs comes through with a stellar preview of The Witcher from Leipzig.  Here are two separate quotes to get the comments going:

Good interactions and story are nice, but what really makes The Witcher stand out are the choices you can make throughout the game and watching the results play out hours later in the story. Instead of showing me the genesis of one of these fateful decisions, the developer jumped straight to the outcome. Ten hours earlier in the game, he decided to treat some Elves in a forest as freedom fighters rather than terrorists after hearing what they were about. With this in mind, he let the Elves take some stolen weapons and put them to use for their cause. Later in the game, an NPC vital to a quest was dead, killed by the same Elves he choose to help. At this moment, the game loaded a voiceover narrative explaining how the earlier choice lead to the death of the NPC. He wasn’t out of luck on the quest, but he was forced to deal with some morally repugnant individuals to move forward.

Claiming over ten large decisions to make throughout the game and plenty of small ones within individual quests, CD Projekt has clearly made choice and repercussions a focal point of the game. [...]

Unfortunately, with so much focus on sword fighting comes fewer choices for the player. In order to focus on getting the sword combat right, CD Projekt sacrificed weapon and skill variety along the way. Two players will ultimately have a similar character by the time the game is done. All this despite 250 different skills to choose from that only tweak Geralt and his base proficiencies. It could be a downer for players who want to focus more on their favored RPG style of play, but there’s a clear upside to doing a few things well rather than trying to offer every weapon and skill combination imaginable.

Thursday - August 23, 2007

The Witcher - Preview @ Shacknews

by Dhruin, 00:07

Shacknews has a Witcher preview from GenCon Indy:

"Most role playing games, if you give more money for one option and less money for another one, people won't think about what is actually right and wrong, they just go for bigger rewards," explained lead designer Michal Madej. "In normal life, if you have to make a decision, you have to think about the consequences of that decision. In a game, you can save the game just before making a choice, and then see what's happening, load your game, and see what will happen with [the] different options. So actually, it's not making a decision, it's more like testing what is best for your character.

"We realized that this saving-loading possibility in role playing games just destroys the idea of making a choice, so we separated your choice and the results of your choice with a quite long time."

Tuesday - August 21, 2007

The Witcher - Preview @ GameSpy

by Dhruin, 14:03

Also from Gencon and GameSpy comes this preview of The Witcher.  They seem to be using the demo from E3, so much of the territory has been previously covered.  With that in mind, here's a bit on potions:

The game has a rather interesting take on potions. Players have alchemy abilities and can mix their own potions and create new ones by mixing ingredients found in the game. Some potions will give great benefits, in Madjei's demonstration he put together a night vision potion that makes certain situations in the game much easier to navigate. Some potions, however, will have unpredictable or even dangerous effects, so down the hatch and hope for the best. As the Witcher drinks potions, he also develops a level of toxicity that rises the more potions consumed. That provides some strategic choices in deciding just when to use potions. 

Thursday - August 09, 2007

The Witcher - Screens @ Official Site

by Dhruin, 23:39

A pair of new screens can be found at The Witcher site.  Here is the accompanying blurb:

Time for the next portion of game screenshots. Today we present two such screenshots with Geralt engaging in combat with monsters. In both cases, the Witcher uses Signs to gain an advantage over his adversaries. The koshchey gets stunned by the Aard sign, thus becoming prone to attack, while the graveir gets fried in the deadly flame of the Igni Sign.

Friday - August 03, 2007

The Witcher - The Engine @ IGN Blog

by Dhruin, 00:01

CD Projekt has updated their IGN blog for The Witcher, writing about the technical aspects of the engine.  Here is a bit on the AI:

Hundreds of AI-controlled characters with their own needs and goals populate living cities. Advanced combat AI makes battles challenging yet fun. NPCs have dynamic behaviors that change based on analysis of the surroundings, i.e. NPCs react to other NPCs, weather effects, players actions, etc. In addition, combat AI is visually very attractive thanks to hundreds of motion-captured combat animations and special effects.

Tuesday - July 17, 2007

The Witcher - Updated Impressions @ Games Radar

by Dhruin, 13:39

Updated impressions of The Witcher can be found at Games Radar:

The problem is, the styling of fantasy so often takes precedence over the point of fantasy. RPG gamers and game developers are both guilty of looking for the orcs and elves first. Got goblins? Get in. That’s the wrong approach.

Fantasy is at its best when it acts as allegory, when it uses the mystical to illustrate the real. Frankenstein isn’t a book about a zombie with a headache: it’s about man over-reaching himself at the dawn of the industrial age. Games, it seems, can find this difficult to grasp.

That’s why The Witcher has every chance of working. In this strange world, elven terrorists stand up for the rights of oppressed peoples by committing very bloody massacres. Vampiric bounty hunters named Witchers roam the landscape, dealing with supernatural threats. It’s a thankless job. They’re hated for their work. Hated for what they represent. And the human populace is downtrodden and scared, terrified of things that go bump in the night.

Monday - July 16, 2007

The Witcher - Delayed to Oct 26th

by Txa1265, 19:10

According to the official site (in Polish) The Witcher has been delayed until late October, stating "Ultimate date has been established on 26 october 2007.

Source: Bluesnews

Friday - July 13, 2007

The Witcher - E3 Previews @ GameZone, IGN

by Dhruin, 12:44

We've got a pair of new Witcher previews courtesy of GameZone and IGN. Here's a sample from GameZone's introductory article:

If I were to tell you that The Witcher was an RPG that features action-oriented gameplay, you'd instantly think, "Oh, it's an action/RPG." Ninety-nine percent of the time you would be right. But this is not your average RPG, your average action game, or average in any other way that a game can be. Designed as a structured (but open-ended) adventure, the player controls a dark, potentially villainous character that can do pretty much anything he wants. The interesting twist is that, rather than have his actions cause a positive or a negative effect on the main character, his choices determine what will happen to those around him.

...and then IGN has a bit more detail from the demo:

The spell effects from these powers are only one aspect of the game's impressive visuals. It's really amazing that they began working with the Aurora Engine that powered the first Neverwinter Nights so long ago. They've obviously made quite a few changes to it. The game is filled with some terrific lighting and some excellent texture work. The game has an overall darker feel than most fantasy worlds than we've seen and what's there seems very cohesive. That includes the character design, monster design, and environments. The town that Geralt was running around in was particularly impressive and had a much more lived in feel than most set pieces like this.

Thursday - July 12, 2007

The Witcher - Preview @ CVG

by Dhruin, 11:53

PC Gamer UK is the actual previewer of The Witcher in this article hosted at CVG.  Here's the conclusion:

This seems like a smarter game than I expected. The only worry is the effect of translation - whether the gritty stories and dark world can survive conversion from Polish to English, via over-performing voice actors, and whether this promise of long-term consequence can be carried through. These are all massive challenges, a huge undertaking for a novice studio.

Nevertheless, for its ambition and style, The Witcher has become my most wanted RPG of 2007.

Sunday - July 08, 2007

The Witcher - Previews @ GameSpy, 1up

by Dhruin, 01:04

CD Projekt's pre-E3 presentation of The Witcher has generated two new previews - GameSpy and 1Up.  Let's take a bit from GameSpy:

To avoid combat degenerating into a mere button-masher, Geralt's fighting skills are based on combos triggered by pressing the button at the proper time. Depending on the difficulty the player selects, this timing can be indicated by the cursor flashing, an audio cue or nothing at all. Improper timing will break the combo and afford the enemy a chance to strike at Geralt. The right mouse button will trigger a magic spell. This also breaks a combo chain but will often be necessary to stun opponents or maneuver into a better fighting position.

In playing around with the combat system, I found myself impressed at the level of skill that will be required to master it. CD Projekt could easily have changed a button-mashing system to one that merely required decent timing. As it turns out, each segment of a combo sequence is actually a different length. That means that even at lower difficulty levels, players will need to pay attention to the flashing cursor and at higher levels they'll actually need to have mastered each and every combo sequence.

1Up's article is short and generic but I like this intro:

The Witcher's lead designer Michal Madej has a theory regarding RPG development from around the world -- he feels that Japanese RPGs tend to be about bright-eyed fantasy, while American RPGs are partially inspired by historical myths, and European RPGs stick closer to history and are more realistic. In other words, Japanese RPGs have flying castles, American RPGs have gleaming castles, and European RPGs have muddy castles crammed with peasants.

Saturday - July 07, 2007

The Witcher - Comic Book Preview

by Dhruin, 01:16

The Witcher's community site has a preview of two pages from the upcoming comic book conversion:

Today we unveil two pages of the greatly awaited comic book about "The Witcher". As many of you probably already know, Przemek "Trust" Truściński and Maciej Parowski are the ones responsible for its creation, with the former being the conceptual artist for Geralt, and the latter being responsible for adapting Sapkowski's literary works to comic book style script. The pages we're showing you today are a fragment from an album showing events from the first novel of the Witcher saga: "The Last Wish".
The comic strips presented to you today are only black and white sketches.
The final version of the comic book will be in colour. As we always appreciate and value your comments, fire away!

The Witcher - Preview @ Games Radar

by Dhruin, 00:55

Featuring a number of quotes from designer Michal Madej, Games Radar has a new preview of The Witcher:

With so many MMOs vying for our attention, it's easy to forget that role-playing games aren't just about leveling up and collecting loot. They're also about the story, the setting, and most importantly, the choices you make when you step into character to play that role.

These choices are an important aspect of the storytelling process, but according to Madej, the ability to save and reload your game makes it difficult to create situations where your decisions feel like they matter. "Eventually it can destroy any moral problems you have in the game... If there is any situation that needs a decision, they would save the game just before. They will see what is happening with different choices, and probably, they will choose the one that is the most effective. That's why I think that people who're playing role-playing games aren't actually making real choices. Instead, they're testing the designer's vision of what [the] best choice is." continues Madej.

Thursday - July 05, 2007

The Witcher - Preview & Interview @ IGN

by Dhruin, 23:59

IGN has some pre-E3 Witcher coverage, starting with a hands-on preview. The article has some excellent details on combat:

As you power up Geralt more sets of moves become available, but from the outset it seems like you'll be able to chain together at least a few attacks. The game has three levels of difficulty, which affect how you identify when you need to press the left mouse button (LMB) to successfully transition into the next attack sequence. When playing in the easier modes, you'll see the attack icon change into a special flame symbol. On the hardest setting there'll be an audio cue, but you'll rely mostly on visually identifying when a sequence has reached an end and another can begin. Missing the transition window by hitting LMB too early or late breaks the combo, giving your enemies an opportunity to attack. Blasting out magic with the right mouse button (RMB) also breaks the attack chain, but it's useful in many cases to temporarily disable other enemies in the area advancing on your position.

They also have an interview with designer Michal Madej, speaking to him before playing the game.  The conversation starts with Oblivion:

IGN: I didn't like the main story in Oblivion very much.

Michal Madej:
I didn't like Oblivion at all. [CD Projekt] had to play the game, we had to find what was, why the game was so popular.

IGN: What elements of that have you brought into The Witcher?

Michal Madej: Graphics. We believe Oblivion was so popular because, first of all, it was very well known brand. Second thing it was very popular because it has really great visuals. And also my opinion is games like Oblivion are dying because people who want to play open-ended games, they're playing online games. Playing Oblivion was like playing World of Warcraft without any other players. For me it was boring.

Thanks, kencube.

 

Tuesday - July 03, 2007

The Witcher - Combat & Story Impressions @ GameSpot

by Dhruin, 06:18

GameSpot has a new hands-on preview of The Witcher, including discussion of some of the choices.  Spoilers might apply here:

The consequences of your choice won't become clear until much later, as much as 10 or 12 hours in gameplay time. If you decide to let the elves and dwarves have the weapons, you'll eventually discover that they are using them against innocent civilians in their insurgency. Even worse, they kill an important non-player character, and his death removes a plotline and quests from the game. However, if you decide to kill the elves and dwarves, you'll eventually discover that their deaths sparked an investigation by the authorities. It turns out that you inadvertently are the cause of the insurgency's downfall, as the authorities identify the remaining rebel members and ringleaders, including another important NPC. His removal from the game denies you his plotline and quests. Note that there's no "good" option here; in either case, someone important to you is going to die. And the outcomes aren't something that you could have predicted, either. Over the course of the game, the consequences of your choices begin to cascade, and the state of the world can change wildly depending on your decisions.

Tuesday - June 19, 2007

The Witcher - Voice Samples

by Dhruin, 13:58

The new Witcher site (thanks to those who set me straight about a html version of the new site) has three voice samples on offer from the English recordings:

We know that many of you have been waiting to hear Geralt speaking English. Today is the day. We are very interested in your opinion about our witcher speaking the language of Shakespeare. The samples can be found here 1, 2, 3.

 

Monday - June 18, 2007

The Witcher - Site Relaunch

by Dhruin, 22:22

Atari and CD Projekt have re-launched the site for The Witcher with a Flash-y site that took over a minute to load for me:

New Website Launch For 'The Witcher'

Feature-Packed Site Launches in Advance of Worldwide Launch of Highly Anticipated PC Role-Playing Game

LYON, FRANCE – 18 June 2007 – Atari Europe and CD Projekt Sp. z.o.o. today announced the launch of a brand-new website for CD Projekt’s upcoming fantasy role-playing game, The Witcher. The site at www.thewitcher.com is packed full of news, videos, game info and exclusive content, making the site the first stop for any fan of The Witcher.

The new site comprises two separate areas: a product site featuring a wealth of information about the game itself, and an area dedicated to the community with a completely new message board (all accounts and topics from the previous site will remain active). The product site is localized in eight languages – English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Polish, Russian and Czech – while the community site is available in English and Polish. Expect the unexpected with lots of surprises and changes in store for fans over the coming months.

Designed to give visitors a unique insight into the The Witcher, the website reflects the universe created by celebrated Polish fantasy author Andrej Sapkowski on which the game is based and draws visitors in to the morally ambiguous world inhabited by Geralt of Rivia, the game’s protagonist. Fans can learn about the impact of the decisions they will make throughout the story, the fearsome array of foes Geralt will meet along his chosen path, and the innovative combat system that drives his many blood-curdling encounters.

The Witcher represents the pinnacle of storytelling in role-playing games, shattering the line between good and evil with a world where moral ambiguity reigns. In a beautiful, rich game universe created by artists first, technology second, the player becomes his own hero in an epic, action-packed narrative uniquely defined by his actions. Returning to the roots of the role-playing genre with a fresh and modern approach, The Witcher emphasizes story and character development in a vibrant world, while incorporating tactically-deep real-time combat like no game before it.

Created to provide entertainment for both fans of role-playing games and those seeking fast-paced action, The Witcher brings together epic storytelling and dynamic, visually stunning, and tactically deep action.

For more information about The Witcher visit www.thewitcher.com and for more details about Atari’s entire product line up visit www.atari.com.

Tom Ohle sends word that the new site offers "news, screens, videos and loads of new info about CD Projekt and Atari’s upcoming role-playing game. Visitors will also find a brand new community-focused website that provides easy access to news, more game info and revamped message boards."

Apparently new Witcher material will be released this week, so stay tuned.

Friday - June 08, 2007

The Witcher - Limited Edition Poll

by Dhruin, 11:51

Taking a cue from other games that have used people power to promote their Limited Editions comes CD Projekt asking for input on what goody to include with the fancy edition of The Witcher.  Head to the official site to vote and please choose "T-shirt" for me.

Thursday - June 07, 2007

The Witcher - Interview @ GameShark

by Dhruin, 23:53

CD Projekt's Michal Madej has popped up again in an interview at GameShark about The Witcher.  This topic created a bit of discussion recently so here's another explanation:

Secondly, a large proportion of games tend to – simply through their construction – severely restrict their own ability to create the build-up before dramatic decisions are to be made. Moreover, and probably more significantly, players can save their progress before making the choice, verify whether its outcome is beneficial enough to pursue, and only then make the actual decision, depending on what proves most advantageous. Now tell me, where is the fun in that? We addressed the problem by introducing a certain time delay before the consequences of any decision become apparent. Only after a couple of hours of gameplay will the player have to confront the outcomes of his choices. As a result, the gamer will truly have to follow his own consciousness, as he increasingly empathizes with Geralt and his predicaments. Even more significantly, however, whatever choices are made, all are equally valid, as all make the plot progress. Moral dilemmas, therefore, need to be treated as a price to be paid for the attainment of results. The consequences of these choices will steadily keep building up throughout the plot. A point I would like to add is that players will always be made fully aware why they are where they are in the story, as special cut-scene “flashbacks” will be employed.

Source: Bluesnews

Monday - June 04, 2007

The Witcher - Preview @ CVG

by Dhruin, 23:48

Saying CD Projekt's RPG has the potential to be one of the surprises of 2007, CVG has a hands-on preview of The Witcher:

Here's a good example: one particular scene we were shown found Geralt protecting crates of goods from monsters on behalf on an NPC. Sounds boring, right? Well, monsters dispatched, the hero was suddenly approached by an elf demanding to trade for the goods. Instead, Geralt attacked and kills the elf - and the elf's cohorts. It turns out, originally unbeknownst to Geralt, that the death of the elf was actually the NPC's ultimate goal.

Madej then took us further into the game to explain how Geralt's actions have affected the storyline - they've resulted in the execution of a potential ally. And just to reveal how things would have been different had Geralt traded with the elf, we're then shown what's essentially a terrorist group attacking an inn and killing occupants with the goods - which were weapons, it turns out - from the crates.

On a related note, you'll find five hopefully new Witcher screens at Worthplaying.

Friday - June 01, 2007

The Witcher - Interview @ GameSpot

by Dhruin, 23:21

Revealing that The Witcher is "essentially" in beta, GameSpot has a new interview with CD Projekt's Michal Madej:

GS: Just how flexible is the story? Are there still the multiple endings? How much replayability is there? Can you have dramatically different experiences if you play through the game and make different choices?

MM: The Witcher has three separate endings, and the ending you see will be tied to the choices made in the game. Differences between the alternate endings are huge and concern many aspects of the gameworld. The player will have to make a lot of tough choices that will put the lives of friends and foes in danger; and in the end, the player's allegiances and decisions will determine more than just Geralt's destiny.

In a single play-through, it's only possible to learn about 60 percent of Geralt's available skills, giving players the opportunity to enjoy the game in a different way in subsequent adventures. The differences in character "builds"--the different ways you can customize your character--are very visible. But this is just an additional feature. Replayability, above all else, is based on the possibility of making different choices each time.

Thanks to Melvil and our resident tiger Sammy.

Sunday - May 27, 2007

The Witcher - Interview @ GamingHeaven

by Dhruin, 01:40

CD Projekt's Michal Madej has been interviewed at GamingHeaven about The Witcher.  It's a general introductory article but it does have some interesting snippets.  Here's a bit on consequences and flashbacks:

GH: How much freedom will the gamer have in relationship to the story development? Is it totally linear, or are there areas where the gamer can do some side quests?>

Michal: “The Witcher”, as every self-respecting RPG, provides the player with a great deal of freedom when it comes to decision making. In this case, we put emphasis on shaping the plot through gamer choices. The game has three completely different endings, depending on decisions made by the player throughout the whole adventure, from beginning to end. While it seems that this is already a certain expected standard, established by games like BioWare’s, “The Witcher” is different in this respect when it comes to the nature of the actual choices. Firstly, all the decisions the player will face are mature and ethically difficult, forcing the gamer to make the choice between two evils. Secondly, the effects of these choices will not be immediately apparent, as they are time delayed, preventing the player to revert to the “save/load” technique to determine, which decision is more advantageous. Thirdly, when the effects of his actions will become clear, the player will be reminded of his choices which led to this outcome through flashback or feedback cut scenes. Naturally, there will also be a multitude of side quests awaiting completion, most of which will be commissions for the slaying of monsters.

Saturday - May 26, 2007

The Witcher - Blog Update @ IGN

by Dhruin, 00:44

CD Projekt has wrapped up their Some things end, some things begin history of the development of The Witcher.  This sixth part settles into briefly discussing the main development after all the dramas of starting the project:

 Despite the fact that, so far, each of our game presentations has been greeted rather enthusiastically, the trickiest part of the whole endeavor was still ahead of us – namely, bringing all the elements together into one coherent whole.

One of the biggest difficulties we had at that point was actually the plot itself. The issue was twofold: first, naturally, we had to come up with a good script if we wanted the game to reflect the readability of the actual Sapkowski novels. Second, we were greatly concerned with the practical application of the script to the structure of a game. Hence the decision to recruit Artur Ganszyniec (known for “Wolsung”) and Marcin Blacha (co-author of “Monastyr” and “Neuroshima”) – practiced experts in the field of classical pen-and-paper RPGs. The former is currently the main force behind the creation of the plot for “The Witcher.”

Thanks, Tom!

Thursday - May 17, 2007

The Witcher - Blog Update @ IGN

by Dhruin, 22:13

CD Projekt's blog for The Witcher at IGN continues their history of the development, with Project Lead Jacek Brzezinski taking over from CEO Michal with writing duties:

 Once we managed to get our itchy fingers on Aurora, our first priority was to dispose of the unnecessary elements of the “Neverwinter Nights” engine that would otherwise clutter up the processing power in “The Witcher.” Among other things, we had to replace the d20 turn-based mechanism with our own real-time fighting system. Additionally, we experimented with a less isometric camera view, aiming to render the game experience radically more cinematic. Cut scenes were also embedded into the game, in an attempt to circumvent any technical issues we had with the then still relatively raw and unpolished engine.

Monday - May 14, 2007

The Witcher - Screens @ CRPG.ru

by Dhruin, 21:57

CRPG.ru let us know they have four new screens from The Witcher, including an interface shot.  As always, the art direction is spectacular.

On a related topic, GameBanshee has four desktop wallpapers based on concept art images.

Wednesday - May 09, 2007

The Witcher - Screens @ VoodooExtreme

by Dhruin, 01:59

VoodoExtreme has five new screens for The Witcher on offer.

Sunday - May 06, 2007

The Witcher - Preview @ 1Up

by Dhruin, 00:23

1Up has kicked up a preview of The Witcher from a trip to Warsaw - possibly a late entrant to the press feature from several weeks back:

One area where that expertise shows through is The Witcher's combat system. Sitting down to a play session guided by Michal Iwanicki, a 3D programmer on the team, I get the basic idea. "We wanted to avoid this typical Diablo-style clicking," Iwanicki says. He taps violently on the table. "Here, you click on the enemy, and Geralt starts his first attack. During that period, you shouldn't be clicking, because you will simply interrupt his attack. You have to wait for the proper moment." I quickly get a feel for The Witcher's timing-based style as Geralt gracefully slashes through hordes of some kind of swamp creature. It's a simple mechanic, but mixed with the various skills, magic, and weapons at your disposal, it adds some much-needed depth to the old formula.

Wednesday - May 02, 2007

The Witcher - Cinematic Trailer Released

by Dhruin, 23:33

CD Projekt Red has released a cinematic trailer for The Witcher made by Academy Award nominated Tomek Baginski.  While it's all CGI, as you'd expect for this team it features some nice moody visuals.

Watch it at GameTrailers.

Tuesday - May 01, 2007

The Witcher - New Trailer

by Dhruin, 23:32

CD Projekt has released a new trailer for The Witcher - here's the blurb from 3D Gamers:

Yet another new movie trailer for The Witcher is now online, again continuing the series of "Making Of" movies for this third-person fantasy action role-playing game being crafted at CD Projekt RED. This high-resolution trailer concentrates on the battle system while focusing on combat animations in nearly two minutes of in game footage.

Friday - April 20, 2007

The Witcher - Screens @ Official Site

by Dhruin, 13:41

The Witcher site has some rather nice new screens on offer.

Thursday - April 12, 2007

The Witcher - Blog Update @ IGN

by Dhruin, 22:47

CD Projekt Red's Joint CEO Michal Kicinski continues the tale of The Witcher's development with Part 4 of Something Ends, Something Else Begins at the official blog:

 In September 2003, when we had decided on our new game concept (a role-playing game rather than an action RPG) we thought we knew what we wanted to achieve. Time showed we knew less than we thought. One of the main initial tasks was to find a team. And so in October several people joined the team, including some key players, like as Jacek Brzezinski, who is now the Project Manager on The Witcher.

Wednesday - April 04, 2007

The Witcher - Hands-On @ Games Radar

by Dhruin, 23:05

Games Radar has one of their typical, short, image-heavy previews after spending some hands-on time with The Witcher.  While it doesn't reveal anything new, there are a couple of worthwhile notes about the actual gameplay.  Here's the intro:

We find ourselves with The Witcher on-screen before us and almost immediately the withering vines of hope have begun to flourish. We instantly think of Oblivion, but also of the immediacy of Guild Wars (there’s no multiplayer, before you ask) - even the multitudinous flavors of White Wolf’s World of Darkness universe, in the sense that you’re plunged into a fantasy world that at once seems familiar, yet also not quite right.

There are quaint cottages and rolling hills, but nothing is quite as fragrantly colorful as the lands that Warcraft occupies. Behind the bushes there’s a kind of seething animosity rather than any kind of overt forest-of-doom hellishness that you might come across in other beardy games. Walking through a village you almost get the feeling that the NPCs are watching you from behind their curtains, turning only occasionally to beat their children.

Sunday - April 01, 2007

The Witcher - Release Date Announced

by Corwin, 02:57

The Official Site for The Witcher   has announced the release date for this keenly anticipated game. Here's the blurb:

Atari and CD Projekt proudly announce that “The Witcher” premiere is scheduled on September 2007

Many fans have been waiting for the official confirmation of this date for a really long time. So, we are even more happy that we can give it to you officially. From now on, the speculations are ended, the time has come to present facts. We can say it straightforwardly that, unless the sky falls down on our heads - you'll play "The Witcher" after summer break! We hope this info will cut all the discussions concerning the prolonged production of our game short. September, as the release date, will apply to all the world markets where "The Witcher" shall appear. We will reveal the day of the premiere in the following months.
 

 

Friday - March 23, 2007

The Witcher - German Movies

by Dhruin, 21:11

The Witcher site is pointing out three videos at German site PC Games.de made during the press event in Warsaw a few weeks ago. The main narration is in German but The Witcher's strong visuals may still be worth a look.

Thursday - March 15, 2007

The Witcher - Preview @ CVG

by Dhruin, 20:17

The Witcher has been previewed at CVG, probably from the GDC demo based on some of the examples given.  Here's the introduction to set the scene on Sapkowski's world:

The elves are terrorists. The dwarfs are persecuted in ghettos. The biggest threat to the kingdom of men? That'll be another kingdom of men just down the road. The purest, noblest, greatest defenders of the land... well, there's not a lot of them, so the job of stopping random monsters from eating everyone is picked up by genetically twisted mutants. They're called Witchers, and you're one of them.

Tuesday - March 13, 2007

The Witcher - Screens @ 3D Gamers

by Dhruin, 22:17

3D Gamers has some Witcher screens that are dated today, although I have a feeling I've seen them before.  Still, the art in this game is so superb it's worth a second look.

Saturday - March 10, 2007

The Witcher - Movie @ Inside Gamer.nl

by Dhruin, 08:37

Thanks to Tek on our forums for pointing out a movie from CD Projekt's recent Warsaw press event for The Witcher.  The presenter is Dutch but the rather spectacular footage from the game is still worth a look (7m:42s).

Friday - March 09, 2007

The Witcher - Contest & Blog Update

by Dhruin, 13:07

The official Witcher blog at IGN has been updated with an art contest to create a banner for an upcoming revamped website and a blog entry on the recent press event that saw several journalists travelling to Warsaw for a presentation on the game:

 What did we show? A lot, since we had to keep the people occupied for an hour. We started the presentation in the game’s prologue, during which the player got to learn the basics of playing and engaged in the first combat sequences. Then they had an opportunity to visit the suburbs of Vizyme, talk to people and perform some tasks for the local peddler. The quests could be completed in many ways. Once the journalists had gotten the hang of quests, we threw them into the eye of the cyclone; that is The Cemetary in Vyzime, full of ghouls and graveirs. Here, apart from the aforementioned scavengers, they had a chance to meet Elves and rescue some poor souls trapped in a crypt. The presentation ended where it started, in the prologue, where the guests had the chance to fight a boss or two.

Saturday - March 03, 2007

The Witcher - Preview @ GameSpot

by Dhruin, 07:53

Next on The Witcher's preview trail is GameSpot, whose article provides a nice example of how a seemingly simple quest in CD Projekt's game opens up to more choices:

All the game's quests are tracked in a journal, which keeps you informed about those you are on, and where you'll need to go next to continue. For the specific mission we were on, we needed to pay a visit to a riverside shack, where the leader of a local bandit group was residing. We'd previously learned that he had information on our quarry, but first, we'd need to gain his trust. So, a simple trip further down the river to dispatch some monsters that had been causing his trade business some issues was in order.

Read on to find out what happened.

Friday - March 02, 2007

The Witcher - Previews @ Games Radar, RPG Vault

by Dhruin, 09:43

The previously mentioned avalanche of previews for The Witcher appears ready to strike with articles appearing at Games Radar and RPG Vault and no doubt plenty more to come.  Here's the intro from the first:

Let's face it: fantasy RPGs have been in a rut. We get it, already: Elves are slender and noble, Dwarves are boozed-up walking beards, and Good must triumph against the forces of Evil. Enter the works of Andrzej Sapkowski, author of the best-selling Polish stories The Witcher is based upon. Though largely unknown to Western audiences, Sapkowski takes Tolkien's seminal fantasy archetypes, and amps up their relevance by injecting potent modern themes like terrorism, racism, substance abuse, and grey area morality.

...and a snip from RPG Vault: 

Given this type of environment, it seems appropriate that the story, another central element of the game, will have three possible endings, and that they branch apart quite far before they occur, roughly two-thirds of the way along the critical path. While details weren't forthcoming so as not to spoil the narrative, Geralt's personal quest to find his identity will interweave with happenings on a greater scale involving the machinations and struggles among various factions seeking supremacy in the world. During the course of play, he will reportedly encounter friendship and deceit, love and hate, an ancient prophecy, a deadly pestilence, lots of twists and turns, and, of course, an abundance of formidable monsters and other enemies.

Thursday - March 01, 2007

The Witcher - Previews @ Eurogamer, IGN.UK

by Dhruin, 20:27

The Witcher site is promoting a recent press event where they invited 40 journalists from NA and Europe to get some hands-on time playing three locations from the game. CD Projekt has some photos of the event and obviously a flood of previews will come along in due course, with Eurogamer the first cab off the rank:

Combat is also a key focus for the development team, who have created a system they believe is a natural successor to mouse clicking frenzies and turn-based attacks. It's a fairly simple system, requiring timed attacks initiated by observing the change in the cursor when hovered over an opponent. Time it right and Geralt strings combos together, showing off some of the extensive motion capture work done by CD Projekt, as enemies are despatched in spurts of blood or stunned for a further beating. Time it wrong and expect a pasting from your enemy. With the player able to switch between fast, strong and group attacks, and different swords more suitable against certain opponents, there's a tactical element for players to get to grips with. Right-click magic attacks also come into play, with standard fireball, protection, telekinetic push, enchantment and a ground-based trap on hand to compliment the melee blows, all of which can be upgraded as the game progresses.

...followed immediately by IGN.UK (thanks nessosin):

The demo also gives an idea of some of what you'll be doing in the game. After the combat tutorial, the action skips forward to a later part of the game to show how NPC interaction will work (and to see how the NPCs behave realistically, running inside to take cover from the rain and so on), which leads into the first quest: seeing off a bunch of aquatic undead. These are easily dispatched with a combination of telekinesis and swordplay, but the consequences of the battle depend on how you react to the elves that turn up afterwards - the game's much-vaunted moral ambiguity in action.

Friday - February 23, 2007

The Witcher - Screens @ Official Site

by Dhruin, 20:24

The Witcher site has two new screens on offer and here's their accompanying blurb:

For today’s News of the Week we bring you two latest in-game screenshots. They show the main hero – Geralt and one of the NPC characters, during the conversation mode. When player begins a dialogue with NPC, the in-game view gets narrowed (as you can see on the screenshots) and camera automatically switches between main hero and his interlocutors.

Thursday - February 15, 2007

The Witcher - Card Games Announced

by Dhruin, 20:31

CD Projekt has announced two card games for The Witcher, although they are currently only destined for Poland.  Here's the blurb:

Today CD Projekt RED has chosen Kuźnia Gier Publishing House to create two card games that will accompany the premiere of The Witcher PC RPG.The first card game will be created for promotional purposes, the second one will be released for a retail. Both games will precede the premiere of The Witcher PC RPG. Card games will be published in Poland, although CD Projekt does not exclude a release also in other countries.

The game requires two decks, and concentrates on challenge between two players. During the gameplay players will wander across the world of The Witcher and defeat numerous beasts. Game features adventure and strategic elements combining a typical computer game character development with a tactical approach known from the board games. The decks will include 55 and 110 cards respectively, and both games will vary in general rules, challenge time and gameplay. Both card games rules are being designed under the supervision of CD Projekt RED.

Thursday - February 08, 2007

The Witcher - Blog Update @ IGN

by Dhruin, 20:41

CD Projekt's Michal Kicinski has penned the third part of their "Making of..." blog entry for The Witcher at IGN.  In this installment, the decision to license BioWare's Aurora engine has just been made...

After E3 2003 we chose engines we were potentially interested in. Apart from Aurora we tested engines for Unreal, Far Cry and another one, slightly less known. After the first tests it was obvious Aurora offered the most modest graphic potential. Additionally, it had never been licensed before (and no other company apart from CD Projekt RED has licenced it so far). Its adaptation by third parties wasn’t that well prepared. The engines of Epic and CryTech were beautifully prepared for licensing (especially the former, work on the latter was in progress) and they dazzled with graphic potential and state-of-the-art gadgetry. It may seem strange why we chose Aurora. One very simple thing prevailed. Aurora was the only complete system for creating role-play games whereas the other engines were universal but they did not take into account the specificity of this type of games where a complicated structure of the game is a real challenge for creators. As for the graphic side, we reached a decision that the renderer would be created from scratch, bearing the latest technologies in mind. The replacement of the renderer was the first serious change in the Aurora’s subsystem, but as it turned out later, not the only one. As the work progressed, our programmers gradually added more and more elements, including the replacement of the whole NWN toolset with a state-of-the-art tool functioning in real-time (an afore-mentioned D’jini). But this is not the topic of this episode…

Monday - February 05, 2007

The Witcher - Atari Signs up for NA

by Dhruin, 22:26

Atari and CD Projekt have signed a distribution deal for The Witcher in NA with the release due in the Fall:

NEW YORK, February 5, 2007 – Atari, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATAR), one of the world’s most recognized brands and a third-party video game publisher, and game developer CD Projekt Sp. z.o.o. today announced that the companies have entered into a publishing agreement for The Witcher, whereby Atari will market and distribute CD Projekt’s upcoming fantasy role-playing game (RPG) throughout North America. The Witcher is scheduled for release on Games for Windows, the new brand optimized for Windows XP and Windows Vista, in North America in Fall 2007.

The Witcher transcends traditional fantasy role-playing by throwing players into a unique world rife with political intrigue, in which the lines between good and evil are blurred. Based on the world created by best-selling Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski’s novels, The Witcher casts players as Geralt, a legendary monster slayer and master swordfighter with supernatural abilities and reflexes. The Witcher presents a fresh approach to traditional role-playing, blending an expansive, twisting plotline – in which the impact of individual decisions can drastically alter the outcome of the game – and fast-paced combat against a wide variety of foes. Using advanced graphics and physics systems, The Witcher delivers brutal action, multi-faceted RPG options and an intriguing story to engulf all players who dare.

“The Witcher is a tremendous game that has been on everyone’s radar since CD Projekt began development,” said Jeremiah Cohn, Product Manager, Atari, Inc. “With this publishing deal, Atari continues its quest to bring highly impressive titles to North America and we have our sights set on making The Witcher one of the most anticipated RPGs of the year.”

“We are delighted to begin a mutually beneficial relationship with Atari, a publishing partner that shares our commitment to delivering a top-quality role-playing game,” said Michal Kicinski, Joint CEO of CD Projekt. “We are very much looking forward to working with Atari to bring this distinctive fantasy world that we love to a broad audience.”

For more information about The Witcher visit www.thewitcher.com and for more details about Atari’s entire product line up visit www.atari.com.

Thursday - February 01, 2007

The Witcher - Render @ Official Site

by Dhruin, 20:33

This week's update at The Witcher site is a decidedly adult wireframe and render of a Bruxa:

This week’s update brings a wireframe and low poly model of Bruxa – a vampire monster appearing in The Witcher game. Bruxa is a greater vampire and one of the most dangerous characters you will have a chance to fight with, during your adventures. That’s because of her superhuman speed and agility and very good attack skills. When planning a hunting for Bruxa , you can gain an advantage by preparing well combined mixtures, especially the ones protecting from her special feats.

Thursday - January 25, 2007

The Witcher - Goes Mobile

by Dhruin, 22:17

CD Projekt has licensed a mobile version of The Witcher:

Breakpoint, a rapidly growing developer and publisher of entertainment software for wireless devices, is going to bring the Witcher to mobile phones as the result of a licensing agreement with CD Projekt, a leading Eastern European publisher of PC games. The PC RPG to be released by CD Projekt this spring is going to be accompanied by the mobile game developed by Breakpoint. The latter is a 2D side-scrolling platform fighting game with RPG elements. Both games put a lot of emphasis on an innovative combat system.

Wednesday - January 24, 2007

The Witcher - Q&A @ Sector Online

by Kalia, 03:01

The Witcher is the subject of a Q&A session between CD Projekt PR Manager Lukasz Mach and the editors of Sector Online Entertainment.

In Leipzig you presented a unique feature - branching storyline. Can you elaborate how will this feature affect the actual gameplay, and what it gives to the player overall?

Well, we decided not to divide player’s choices between good and evil, and leave the moral aspect to the player. You saw the presentation, so you know the general idea and it’s examples. Player’s choice is not only important for further quest results, but also is an effect of player’s actual feelings about the things that happen. That’s very engaging, when every decision is subjective and brings a different solution with following consequences. Also, the most important choices have their effect much further in the gameplay, just to avoid loading the game to check the alternative way out. You’ll also notice a butterfly effect sometimes, when banal situations can cause quite important consequences in the story. We’re on the opinion that thanks to those features we got very close to the atmosphere of the book, which we hope players also will feel.

Any clue, how many hours will the player take to finish the main quest?

It will take approximately 40 hours to complete the main plotline.

It certainly appears promising.

 

Source: Shack News

Friday - January 19, 2007

The Witcher - Concept Art @ Official Site

by Dhruin, 23:08

The Witcher site is offering two pieces of concept art (the original B&W and a colour version) that will be used for a future magazine cover.

Friday - January 12, 2007

The Witcher - First View @ RPG Vault

by Dhruin, 21:07

RPG Vault has kicked up one of their very short, introductory First View pieces for The Witcher:

The game incorporates some highly attractive elements. One is the hero, who is extremely proficient at his craft, but also quite vulnerable in some situations; for instance, he's not likely to win many fistfights. The world in which he lives has a distinctively sinister ambience. At the same time, it feels familiar enough not to seem strange. The team is implementing a potentially very interesting morality layer in which the player's decisions can have both positive and negative consequences, not just one or the other. This could significantly enhance replayabilty. It appears that combat will be fairly fast-paced, with the option to emphasize speed, strength or effectiveness against multiple foes. The graphics can be eye-catching.

Wednesday - January 10, 2007

The Witcher - Preview @ ActionTrip

by Dhruin, 12:24

CD Projekt's The Witcher has been previewed at ActionTrip, presumably from CES 07.  There are some nice details on combat and here's a grab:

The meat of the game definitely lies in combat and facing groups of rather determined enemies. From what we've seen, the AI is shaping up quite well, making your foes think carefully before stepping into combat with the main character. For instance, if a ranged opponent, like an archer, sees you approaching, he'll swiftly seek out higher ground and attempt to pierce you with arrows from a distance. But being a witcher, you should be more than adept at handling such situations. It was pointed out that witchers are mutants and therefore a lot more agile than ordinary humans. They are gifted at combat and posses many skills that make them formidable warriors. Geralt can master the mighty useful skill of deflecting enemy arrows with his sword (which sort of pays homage to Star Wars in medieval fashion - in a way, it's similar to deflecting lasers with a lightsaber). It sets off a unique ambiance, very different from what we're used to seeing in today's action-RPGs. Next to his cool sword-swaying deflection skill, Geralt can also emit a magical sphere around him to stop oncoming arrows. Since we broached the subject of magic, you should know that the game features five magical powers, called signs: Aard (telekinetic blast), Igni (flame strike), Quen (the abovementioned protective shield), Yrden (magical trap) and Axii (mind influence). What's more to the point, defying miscellaneous creatures requires you to perform a particular strike and apply specific swordfighting styles depending on the enemy's origin and its basic characteristics. Silver and steel fighting styles represent sub-styles in combat. If, by chance, you come across a werewolf or similar entities, using the silver style will, understandably, induce greater damage than resorting to the typical steel technique. Every once in a while, it's possible to use magically enhanced ruins and upgrade weapons. In order to do so, of course, you're gonna have to pay a visit to the local smithy.

Friday - January 05, 2007

The Witcher - Kultura 2.0 Blog

by Dhruin, 21:18

The Witcher site is pointing out the blog of one Henry Jenkins -- director of the Comparative Media Studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology -- who has blogged about a conference held in Warsaw called Kultura 2.0 that included author Andrzej Sapkowski and The Witcher.  The article doesn't introduce anything new about the game but does talk about Sapkowski's background as an author and may be of interest to fans.  Here's a sample:

The Witcher universe was first introduced in a series of short stories primarily published in Nowa Fantastyka. As Sapkowski explained during the public conversation, Polish publishers were, at that time, reprinting fantasy works from England, including the works of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, which were tremendously popular in Poland, but had been resistant to the idea of original fantasy fiction by Polish authors, convinced that it would not interest their readers. Sapowski's work helped to break open the market for Polish produced fantasy and horror fiction. The short stories led to a series of five novels which are known casually as The Witcher series and officially as Blood of the Elves. These stories and novels were, in turn, adopted and expanded into a comic book series (1993-1995), a feature film (2001) and a 13 episode television serial (2002).

Thursday - January 04, 2007

The Witcher - Single Screen @ Gamespot

by Kalia, 20:00

Gamespot has one new screenshot from The Witcher. You can view it at the provided link.  

Source: GameSpot

Thursday - December 21, 2006

The Witcher - Blog Update @ IGN

by Dhruin, 21:03

A new entry to the official Witcher blog at IGN tells the second part of the tale of starting the development.  Things didn't go easily at first:

We planned several stages of conquering the world. First, we wanted to create a technological demo of the game. Then we planned asking professional fantasy authors to write the full screenplay (greetings to Jacek Komuda and Maciej Jurewicz!). After a year’s work these tasks were completed. In February 2003 we had a complete technological demo based on the engine we wanted to use in the conversion of BG: DA, a hefty design.doc and the first version of the screenplay. Armed in the above we set out on a tour to western publishers. Convinced we were in possession of an unpolished diamond we held exactly 12 meetings with the biggest companies. We had no idea what to expect. We came back to Warsaw waiting for their response. We waited and waited. And out of those 12 companies only 2 or 3 contacted us… to thank us for the presentations. That’s all.

Wednesday - December 20, 2006

The Witcher - Screens @ Boomtown

by Kalia, 13:17

Boomtown has a set of six screenshots from The Witcher. Good looking things over there and well worth the look.

Saturday - December 09, 2006

The Witcher - Blog Update @ IGN

by Dhruin, 11:05

After a short hiatus there's a new updated at IGN's Witcher Blog.  This time, CD Projekt Red Joint CEO Michal Kicinski writes about the formation and history of the company leading up to making this game:

 Everything began in 1994. That was when CD Projekt was created. It is worth remembering from this period that the company was founded by two game fans who became so interested in the subject that playing was not enough for them:) And so for the next several years we introduced many novelties which seemed for us fresh and positive. Cd Projekt became unquestionable leader on the polish game publishing market. The company developed further and further. One day we thought that we were ready for the next step. We wanted to create a game… devoid of shortcomings of other productions and such that we would like to play it ourselves.

Tuesday - November 28, 2006

The Witcher - Heading to Russia

by Dhruin, 22:30

The Witcher site has news of a deal to bring CD Projekt's RPG to Russia and more:

CD Projekt and Noviy Disk announce a licensing and distribution deal for the release of The Witcher in Russia, CIS and Baltic countries (read more). The game will be completely localized into Russian language and is planned to be released in Russia in Spring 2007, on the date of its European release.

Friday - November 24, 2006

The Witcher - Sapkowski Visits CD Projekt Red

by Dhruin, 22:47

The Witcher site has news that author Andrzej Sapkowski -- on whose works The Witcher is based -- recently visited CD Projekt Red to view the progress.  They have some screens and a short movie of the visit and Sapkowski signed some books and posters for future competition prizes.

Saturday - November 18, 2006

The Witcher - Free Christmas Card

by Dhruin, 22:23

CF Projekt Red sent us a note to say they are doing their Christmas Card mailout for The Witcher again this year:

The Witcher Free Christmas CardTraditionally, on the occasion of upcoming Christmas and the New Year, CD Projekt RED prepared new, unique Witcher Christmas card for game fans all over the world. This is a great collector’s item, that’s being sent every year since 2004. It’s designed by The Witcher Senior Concept Artist - Damian Bajowski, whose artwork was chosen for latest “Into the Pixel” Exhibition.Everyone who would like to receive the card, should use an online sign up service that has just been launched at www.thewitcher.com.

Service is available until end of November.

Saturday - October 21, 2006

The Witcher - Witcher Week Day 5 Updates

by Dhruin, 13:15

Day 5 of The Witcher Week sees new screens, a wallpaper featuring Geralt and a roundup of previous goodies.

Thursday - October 19, 2006

The Witcher - Witcher Week Day 4 Updates

by Dhruin, 23:27

Moving on to Day 4 of Witcher Week, you can download the actual cinematic trailer that has been the main focus of this week at 3D Gamers , Worthplaying and Gamer's Hell

There's also a new blog entry at IGN written by Platige Image Studio, who created the trailer.

The Witcher - Witcher Week Day 3 Updates

by Dhruin, 00:13

Day 3 of Witcher Week offers a test animatic (apparently part of a cinematic animation development) from the actual game intro and new screens of the Cloister Vizim location.

Wednesday - October 18, 2006

The Witcher - Witcher Week Day 2 Updates

by Dhruin, 02:40

Day 2 of The Witcher Week sees some in-game sketches, renders and other art, along with updates from the previous day - including renders of the final main character, Geralt. Head to The Witcher site to browse through them all.

Monday - October 16, 2006

The Witcher - Witcher Week

by Dhruin, 23:29

A new Witcher Week has kicked off with all sorts of features planned - CD Projekt sent the following announcement over about it:

OFFICIAL WITCHER WEEK STARTS OCTOBER 16

- Official Website Plays Host to Five Days of Brand New Exclusive Content -

Following the successful appearance of The Witcher at Games Convention 2006 in Germany, the team behind the most impressive role-playing game coming in 2007are once again launching an official week of exclusive content, news and updates on www.thewitcher.com.

For five days starting Monday 16th October visitors to the site will be treated to everything fans of The Witcher could hope for with new content uploaded each day. Alongside new game details and many brand new in-game screenshots, visitors will also be able to watch the amazing teaser movie for The Witcher created by Academy Award nominated studio Platige Image, plus bonus behind the scenes footage. The final version of the movie will form the six minute introduction to the game itself.

Last but not least, visitors will have the rare opportunity to witness hero of The Witcher, the noble white-haired Witcher Geralt, engaged in an act not normally becoming a Witcher… namely dancing. Don’t miss it. For more information visit www.thewitcher.com.

Friday - September 29, 2006

The Witcher: Blog Update @ IGN

by Dhruin, 09:51
The official Witcher dev blog at IGN has been updated with another piece on music, this time written by Pawel Blaszczak. Thanks, Kwish.

Wednesday - September 20, 2006

The Witcher: Blog Update @ IGN

by Dhruin, 00:13
A new <a href="http://blogs.ign.com/The_Witcher/" target="_blank">dev blog entry for The Witcher</a> that we missed last Friday sees Adam Skorupa discussing the soundtrack:<blockquote><em>In order to be fully entitled to call yourself a man (and a composer at that), there are three essential things in life that you need to do: build a house, plant a tree anda ¦ write up a blog. And a  as Ia "!ve been kindly informed by the PR department, who jumped me in one of the company corridors, brass knuckles and metal pipes in hand a  ita "!s high time that I meet my fate. Amenable to such convincing arguments, I swapped my beloved audio equipment for a computer keyboard.</em></blockquote>

Tuesday - September 19, 2006

The Witcher Screens @ Gamespy

by Kalia, 03:33
Gamespy has twenty-six screens with today's date on them from the upcoming release of The Witcher. Head on over.

Source: Gamespy

Wednesday - September 06, 2006

The Witcher Video Preview @ IGN

by Kalia, 04:47
IGN has a downloadable video preview of The Witcher, taken while a reporter was in Germany for the Leipzig Games Convention. You can read a bit about it at the link above and/or download the video from IGN's servers here.

Source: IGN

Tuesday - September 05, 2006

The Witcher: Screens @ Tiscali

by Dhruin, 22:32
Tiscali has added what appears to be two new screens to their Witcher gallery.

Source: Blue's

Friday - September 01, 2006

The Witcher: Blog Update @ IGN

by Dhruin, 22:50
The Witcher <a href="http://blogs.ign.com/The_Witcher/2006/08/31/" target="_blank">blog</a> has been updated with a conversation on their time at the Leipzig GC. No game news but lots of pumping the flesh:<blockquote><em>Intro: Ita "!s been a few weeks since the last update. Youa "!re probably thinking, a Show long does it take to write up an article?a ? or a Swherea "!s my damn graphics tablet!a ? But hey, at least wea "!ve been productive; we spent last week at Games Convention in Leipzig, Germany, showing off The Witcher to hordes of media from around the world. For the uninitiated, Leipzig seems like an odd spot to hold the worlda "!s largest video game convention. Youa "!d think metropolitan destinations like Munich, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Cologne, Stuttgart, Brea  well, leta "!s just say Leipzig wasna "!t the first city we would have considered. However, the convention center (Leipziger Messe) is massive and hotels plentiful (with overflow in neighboring Halle, a half-hour drive away); and soon it becomes evident that Leipzig might be the only place in Germany where you could host more than 180,000 gamers. Media coverage is trickling in, but now ita "!s back to business. On with the blog. This week it's Lukasz and Tom Ohle of evolve pr... he's the North American PR guy. </em></blockquote>

Thursday - August 31, 2006

Atari does Witcher in Europe and Asia

by Garrett, 14:40
Atari has signed a publishing agreement with CD Projekt and will release The Witcher in Europe and Asia in Spring 2007! Yeah! <br><br>Here's the full <a href="http://www.thewitcher.com/article.asp?id=220" target="_blank">announcement</a> from The Witcher site:<blockquote><em><b>Highly Anticipated PC Role Playing Game Confirmed for Spring 2007 European Release -</b> <br><br>WARSAW, POLANDa  31 August 2006 a  Atari Europe and CD Projekt Sp. z.o.o. today announced that the companies have entered into a publishing agreement for The Witcher, whereby Atari will market and distribute CD Projekta "!s upcoming fantasy role-playing game throughout Europe and Asia in Spring 2007. <br><br>The Witcher transcends traditional fantasy role-playing by throwing players into a unique world rife with political intrigue, in which the lines between good and evil are blurred, with players taking the role of Geralt, a legendary monster slayer and master swordfighter with supernatural abilities and reflexes. The Witcher presents a fresh approach to traditional role-playing, blending an expansive, twisting plotline a  in which the impact of individual decisions can drastically alter the outcome of the game a  and fast-paced combat against a wide variety of foes. <br><br>a SThe talented and passionate development team at CD Projekt has invested an enormous amount of time and love into The Witcher, resulting in a tremendous game that blends stunning graphics and engaging combat with an extraordinary traditional role-playing experience,a ? said Cyril Voiron, Marketing Director, Atari Europe. a SWe are excited to reinforce our commitment to delivering the best role-playing games in the world by bringing this highly impressive title to gamers in Europe and Asia and wea "!re working towards The Witcher becoming the RPG of 2007.a ? <br><br>a SWe are delighted to begin a long and mutually beneficial relationship with Atari, a publishing partner that shares our commitment to delivering a top-quality role-playing game,a ? said Michal Kicinski, Joint CEO of CD Projekt. a SWe are very much looking forward to working with Atari to bring this distinctive fantasy world that we love to a broad audience.a ?</em></blockquote>

Source: Gamestar

The Witcher: GC Preview @ GameSpot

by Dhruin, 01:50
GameSpot has whipped up a preview of The Witcher based on a GC viewing. The demo apparently bore a close resemblance to the E3 showing but they note clear "progress":
Next up was a tech demo of sorts, in which we got to watch Geralt walking around a picturesque environment while a member of the development team sped up the day and night cycle and triggered weather effects on command. The transition from day to night--complete with clouds moving across the sky and a beautiful sunset--was quite impressive, as was the sunshine giving way to gray skies, drizzle, torrential rain, and ultimately a thunderstorm. We were told that many of the monsters in the game will come out only at certain times of day or when the weather conditions suit them, which promises to make traveling through the same areas a different experience each time you do it.

Wednesday - August 30, 2006

The Witcher: Screens @ Worthplaying

by Dhruin, 23:48
Head to Worthplaying for five new screens from The Witcher.

Friday - August 25, 2006

The Witcher: Updates @ Official Site

by Dhruin, 00:18
The Witcher site has a couple of GC-related updates, with a travelogue from Dziadu, a GC gallery and the opportunity to ask the team questions in their forum while they attend the convention.

In addition, they have a new Work in Progress, showing the art progress of a Wyvern from concept to fully textured 3D model.

Thursday - August 17, 2006

The Witcher: Location Art @ Official Site

by Dhruin, 23:24
This week's update at The Witcher site is a collection of concept art, 3D renders and so on used to visualise and develop locations within the game.

Friday - August 11, 2006

The Witcher Blog Update @ IGN

by Kalia, 22:10
<a href="http://blogs.ign.com/The_Witcher/" target="_blank">The Witcher Blog space</a> has been updated with an interview with artist Adam Badowski. <blockquote><em><b>Lukas & Michal: Naturally, the creation of such a detailed and rich virtual world requires quite a considerable amount of talent and imagination. Thanks to the numerous visual assets youa "!ve posted, ita "!s more than clear that the CD Projekt RED graphics team doesna "!t lack any of the two. Could you describe your team and how it works in some detail?</b><br><br>Adam: Our core graphics team is composed of 10 people, which isna "!t all that many if you think about how huge a project like The Witcher actually is. The team is subdivided into five departments: locations, characters, animation, technical art and concept art. To be honest, I am really proud of the people I work with; ita "!s not everyday that you manage to create such a coordinated, functional and productive team from scratch. Ita "!s really important to have a cohesive team, as graphics is more often than not regarded as one of the most direct and obvious ways of impressing and attracting potential players. Our department is here to make sure that The Witcher will at least catch the eye. </em></blockquote>

Source: IGN

Wednesday - August 02, 2006

The Witcher: Screens @ Official Site

by Dhruin, 12:31
The Witcher site has two screens showing "Geralt at rustical country side".

Friday - July 28, 2006

The Witcher Official Blog Announced

by Kalia, 19:03
Tom Ohle, public relations point man for The Witcher, announced the official blog spot for the game. <blockquote><em>Just wanted to give you a quick heads-up that wea "!ve launched the official The Witcher blog at http://blogs.ign.com/The_Witcher. Over the next few months, the fine dev team, PR folks, executives, etc. from CD Projekt RED will be updating the blog with info, images, and insight into the development of The Witcher, IGNa "!s 2006 Best PC RPG of E3.</em></blockquote>You can bookmark the blog right <a href="http://blogs.ign.com/The_Witcher" target="_blank">here</a>. Thanks, Tom!

Monday - July 24, 2006

The Witcher Interview @ Gaming Nexus

by Kalia, 15:09
<a href="http://www.gamingnexus.com/Default.aspx?Section=Article&I=1122">Gaming Nexus</a> has posted an interview with Micha&#322; Madej, CD Projekt Red chief designer. The interview covers the connection to the books, the graphics engine, character development, questing, magic and more. Here's a piece: <blockquote><em><b>GamingNexus: I know the release of the game is still a way off but has there been any thought to releasing any content packs once the game has been released?</b><br> <br>Micha&#322; Madej: At the very moment we are not intending to release any content packs after the gamea "!s release. However, having the right toolset and fans in mind, we reckon there will be quite a lot of additional content for the game. The Da "!jinni toolset enables the user to easily create additions and modifications for the game. The creative response from the fans will be animated through a community web site specially designed for this purpose. Perhaps, apart from the things created by fans, there will also be some additions of our creation but this remains to be decided at a later stage. <br>Finally, I wish to thank you for interesting questions and invite gamers to our gamea "!s web site. There, you will find all the information about The Witcher.</em></blockquote>

Source: Shack News

Thursday - July 20, 2006

The Witcher: Music & Interview @ Official Site

by Dhruin, 22:53
The Witcher site has a new piece of music from the game called <a href="http://www.thewitcher.com/music.asp" target="_blank">Ominous Place</a>, as well as the last part their huge <a href="http://www.thewitcher.com/article.asp?id=194&s=18" target="_blank">interview</a> with project lead Michal Madej:<blockquote><em><b>Since The Witcher is a monster slayer, perhaps you could share with us some information about the non-human enemies? I believe fans are counting on being able to face creatures so well described in Sapkowskia "!s works.</b><br><br>And they will have a chance to meet a number of monsters The Witcher faced in the novel. Additionally wea "!ve decided to introduce a number of monsters suggested by a certain key introduced into the literary original. Monsters born as a result of Plane Conjunction a  abominations like ghouls, graveirs or vampires. Ones being result of gruesome curses and those led by the curses to leave their graves and avenge horrible crimes of the past. Add to that mutants and there you have it, quite a number. Various categories are characterized by certain common features, still they differ in combat style and tactics a  both used and required to defeat them. We have always wanted to make combat as interesting as possible, not just a mindless killing frenzy. That is again where wea "!re trying to stick close to the books. While fighting Sthriga Geralt took advantage of his agility and strength, but also wisdom and general skill. He knew his enemya "!s strengths and weaknesses, typical behaviors. The very knowledge of monstersa "! behaviors, gradual getting to know it and the ability to use that knowledge will often play a prevailing role in the game. Take w vampire for example: you may of course kill it with a silver sword (though it might be quite tiresome a task), but why bother when you have garlic, a wooden stake and holy water a  these will allow players to make everything quick and painless. Each of the monsters may be fought by means of brutal force, but only clever use of knowledge and tactics will make the fight really easy.</em></blockquote>Thanks Kwish!

Thursday - July 13, 2006

The Witcher: Feature of the Week @ Official Site

by Dhruin, 23:10
The Witcher site has a look at the results of their Create your own NPC contest, with five fan-created NPCs briefly outlined.

Friday - July 07, 2006

The Witcher: Concept Art & Interview @ Official Site

by Dhruin, 14:24
d, moral issues and the main character":<blockquote><em><b>The word has it, you showed charactera "!s morality during E3 and the influence some of the choices had on the plotline.</b><br><br>It is quite obvious that with Andrzej Sapkowskia "!s prose as basis and with our willingness not to lose the most interesting aspects of the world we could not simply aim at producing a black and white set of cliché morals and behaviors so painfully characteristic of most RPG games. In Sapkowskia "!s prose there is no clear distinction between good and evil. Everything is presented in the shades of gray and even choices made with best intentions can turn out to be difficult, tragic or bad. This is an element that distinguishes our gamea "!s quality, storyline and a general approach to the world, from all other RPGs taking place in majority of known fantasy realms. We believe this is the approach that has a greatest chance of getting through to contemporary players. We must take into account the fact, that players are no longer 12-13-year-olds. These days an average age of a gamer oscillates around 30, in Poland a  twenty something. Thus, kids are not necessarily main target for The Witcher. The gamea "!s addressed to more mature players, ones having their own fixed idea of the world. They might be puzzled by a formulaic, fairy-tale-like approach to the idea of good and evil. What wea "!re trying to show them is a much more complex world with real, and thus more believable, interesting choices. In majority of computer games the players realise but too well that only playing a good character pays off. That is, unfortunately, how most of the screenplays are constructed. Playing a bad character usually requires much more effort and sacrifices. Not to mention that all a Umorala "! choices (I used inverted commas, since an obvious decision may not be considered a moral one, whenever an arbitrary system of good and evil exists) in the game are predictable. If, while making a choice, onea "!s able to, by simply saving/loading the game, check whether it results in gaining experience points or perhaps a powerful magic sword a  entire importance of such decision is virtually irrelevant. If one choice of a dialogue line results in acquiring a UThe Sword of Lighta "! while the other a  a UThe Sword of Darknessa "! both enhanced with various qualities and powers a  the player knows which one to chose beforehand. Hea "!s not actually interested in the essence of the choice, in morals that stand behind it a  Hea "!s led simply by willingness of achieving that which suits him best.</em></blockquote>Thanks Kwish and Eddard Stark.

Monday - July 03, 2006

The Witcher: Concept Art & Interview @ Official Site

by Dhruin, 01:23
CD Projekt added their regular Feature of the Week last Thursday with some new <a href="http://thewitcher.com/gallery.asp?id=arts" target="_blank">concept art</a> of "Geralt, his medallion and few in-game locations" as well as another informative <a href="http://thewitcher.com/article.asp?id=194&s=12" target="_blank">interview</a> part with project lead Michal Madej on the character system and equipment:<blockquote><em><b>The Witcher is an RPG game. Do you, therefore, plan any character development system? The main character is Geralt a  a swordmaster, a legend. It is hard to imagine he could be any more powerful than in the books.</b><br><br>Yes, there will be a character development system implemented for Geralt. It stems from certain story-based assumptions that we made and that Ia "!ll try to talk about a little later. As far as the mechanics go, we decided to give up the number and digit-based system. It might sound a bit controversial, but stays faithful to what recent RPG game have brought into the world of computer gaming. Whether the charactera "!s strength equals 5 or six it to a player an abstract piece of information. It is hard to imagine ita "!s actual influence on the game. What really matters in games it a choice of unique skills and abilities defining the protagonist, not increasing numbers and statistics. What I am talking about here was a  in my opinion a  the strength of games like Fallout a  where the players were able to choose between perks, or systems based on Dungeons&Dragons a  in the form of feats. Acquiring the ability to use two-handed weapons defines a character far more than gaining 2 abstract points of strength. That is why we decided to base the character development in The Witcher on such abilities. For example, when it comes to combat styles, one can a Ubuya "! another blow in a sequence, or a chance that the hit is enhanced by a 50% possibility of stun. Now, these are quite visible effects, arena "!t they? The other thing we believe will work great is diversity. There will be over 250 skills to acquire a  all grouped in a tree-like systems connected to a certain base skill. Some of them concentrate on magic, some on combat, etc.</em></blockquote>Thanks Kwish!

Thursday - June 22, 2006

The Witcher First Look @ Hooked Gamers

by Kalia, 19:13
Hooked Gamers has posted their 'first look' at the upcoming single player RPG, The Witcher. Agreeing with most other industry watchers, Hooked Gamers said:
Definitely. From all that we've seen and read thus far, The Witcher is could well be one of the best action RPGs coming out in a long time. Moreover, it is a very easy to learn single-player RPG, the kind of which are becoming a rarity in today's market. The only downside may be that this will probably suck the players in for days if not weeks and not release them until the game is over. But if that is the only complaint we'll have about this game when it comes out, we're in for a treat.
Read the rest and see some screens here.

Source: Hooked Gamers

Monday - June 19, 2006

The Witcher: Preview @ Games Radar

by Dhruin, 10:47
The Witcher has been previewed at Games Radar. Here's a short clip:
Meticulous motion capture makes The Witcher's action-RPG combat fluid and hypnotic. Your enemies don't simply slump over and die -instead, Geralt viciously decapitates foes as they vomit a helical spray of blood, or runs them through with his giant, two-handed claymore.

Friday - June 16, 2006

The Witcher: New movie and interview @ Official Site

by Sem, 17:24
At the closure of another The Witcher Week CD Project releases another movie. It's the second part of the combat system and motion capture session movie. The movie comes with a dev diary about combat and the third part of the interview with chief designer Michał Madej. Head over to the official site to see it all.

Wednesday - June 14, 2006

The Witcher - E3 Movie @ Official Site

by Kalia, 02:04
The Witcher's week of site updates continues today with another movie from E3 focusing on the storyline. You can download and view it here.

Source: Blue's News

Monday - June 12, 2006

The Witcher - New Movie and Screenshots @ Official Site

by Kalia, 21:00
Lukasz Mach, Community Coordinator for The Witcher, sent word that there are some new goodies on the official site. Included are an E3 Gameplay movie and screenshots here and here. Good stuff! Thanks, Lukasz!

Source: Official Site

Saturday - June 10, 2006

The Witcher: Concept Art @ Official Site

by Dhruin, 07:33
Witcher Week is now underway and we brought you the first screenshot yesterday via IGN and here's the second release - a piece of (rather adult) concept art. This won't sneak through with a 'T' rating. ;)

Friday - June 09, 2006

The Witcher: Screenshot @ IGN

by Dhruin, 08:31
A new "Witcher Week" is due to kick off soon but IGN seem to be just a little ahead of the official site with a new screen already available.

Thursday - June 08, 2006

The Witcher Preview @ Atomic Gamer

by Kalia, 03:57
Atomic Gamer has a nice preview of The Witcher tonight based on their E3 viewing of the demo. It is VERY short. <blockquote><em>While this game has been built on the years-old Aurora engine created by Bioware for the original Neverwinter Nights, the developers have taken the engine to its limits and beyond with a new up-to-date graphics system. Ita "!s now almost on par with many PC titles nowadays, and further enhancements could easily bring it up to the forefront of RPG visuals.</em></blockquote>See it <a href="http://atomicgamer.com/article.php?id=48" target="_blank">here</a>.

Source: Blue's News

Tuesday - June 06, 2006

The Witcher - E3 Movie Pt. 3 @ Blue Alien

by Kalia, 21:19
Blue Alien has posted the last in their three part series of cinematic interviews taken during E3. You can visit the link above to download and view it.

Source: Blue's News

Friday - June 02, 2006

The Witcher - E3 Movie Pt. 2 @ Blue Alien

by Kalia, 16:33
Ksandr Warfire sends word that the second installment of their video preview is available for download at Blue Alien.
This is the second in the three part E3 Witcher Interview series. This podcast focuses on the dynamics of the choices you make through the game and how it will effect your character later in the game. Watch for Part 3 in this series coming soon!
Thanks, Ksandr!

Source: Witcher.net.ru

Tuesday - May 30, 2006

The Witcher: Preview @ GamingExcellence

by Dhruin, 07:12
GamingExcellence has a preview of The Witcher from E3 covering standard territory:
When I first heard that I would be checking out a game called The Witcher by CD Projekt, I wasn't all that excited. Sure, it was a role-playing game, but that market has been saturated for years and few new games in it excite me these days. Which is why I was completely shocked and happily surprised when I left CD Projekt's booth after another long day at the convention center. Not only did this game have a deep and dark storyline, great action-RPG gameplay and impressive graphics, but it also seemed like it would exceed my expectations for any PC game being released this year.

Source: Blue's

Monday - May 29, 2006

The Witcher - E3 Movie Pt. 1 @ RPGArea.ru

by Kalia, 16:32
This just in from Ksandr Warfire:
Hello,
Here is Part 1 of a three part video podcast series with the creators of Witcher. This segment focuses on the games' combat dynamics: http://www.bluealien.org/files/Witcher_Interview_Part1.mov (42.44 MB)
The video was taken at E3 and is in English.

Source: RPGArea.ru

Information about

The Witcher

Developer: CD Projekt RED

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: RPG
Combat: Pausable Real-time
Play-time: Over 60 hours
Voice-acting: Full

Regions & platforms
World
· Homepage
· Platform: PC
· Released at 2007-10-26
· Publisher: Atari

World
· Enhanced Edition
· Platform: PC
· Released at 2008-09-19
· Publisher: Atari

Poland
· Platform: PC
· Released at 2007-10-26
· Publisher: CD Projekt

Poland
· Enhanced Edition
· Platform: PC
· Released at 2008-09-19
· Publisher: CD Projekt