The Magic Number… Witcher Mega-Hint

By Alec Meer on March 23rd, 2010 at 12:07 am.


EDIT: Now with trailer, below.

There’s a big number ’2′ on the front page of TheWitcher.com. I think it might mean something. But what? I’m pretty sure it’s related to the number of eggs the CEO of CD Projekt RED likes in his ham and mushroom omlettes, but then I’ve been know to be wrong before. I mean, some people think could be something to do with there being a sequel to quietly huge RPG The Witcher, but c’mon, who makes sequels to videogames these days?

The site forbids any interaction at the moment, but I suspect it’ll relax that very, very soon. (Now, in fact.)

, .

109 Comments »

  1. Rinox says:

    The Witcher was one of my favourite games of the past few years. Very much looking forward to the second installment.

    • The Diddler says:

      Yeah, I really like dating/banging sims as(s) well.

    • Rinox says:

      You’ll find that there’s quite a lot to the game outside of the ‘banging sim’ part which nobody forces you to indulge in.

  2. Lewis says:

    Wasn’t The Witcher 2 announced ages ago? I’m sure I’ve even watched a video with dev commentary…

    • Rinox says:

      Yup. Wasn’t an official announcement though, but a leak of an internal development presentation video. Whatever the difference between those is in these days of viral marketing. :-)

  3. Jimbo says:

    Have we collectively decided to pretend that video leak never happened? That would make this a lot more fun I think.

  4. JuJuCam says:

    I really should get around to finishing The Witcher at least once. I was half way through before I got Dragon Age: Origins. Then I was half way through DA:O before I decided I should finish Mass Effect 1 before the second one came out. I did manage to accomplish that at least but I still haven’t gotten ME2 and I get a feeling a significant portion of my gaming hours in the upcoming month will be occupied by Just Cause 2 and then Mount and Blade Warband.

    *Sigh* It’s a hard time to be a PC gamer.

    • TheTingler says:

      Took me ages to finish The Witcher. Had a crashing problem after the boss in the Swamp section. Lowered all the graphics settings just to get past it and then ramped them up again, ran fine. One of the best games I’ve ever played, I’m glad I finished it and I’m very much looking forward to the sequel… as long as it answers a few questions about that ending!!

    • Eternal_newbie says:

      @JuJuCam
      Agreed still have a stack of games from xmas sale that are untouched. Must finish atleast one game this year

  5. Vinraith says:

    I really do need to play through the first one, finally. I keep getting distracted by RPG’s that afford me more freedom, be it in character creation or non-linear gameplay (or ideally both).

  6. Mario Figueiredo says:

    Witcher 2? Now, there’s a game I will buy!

    I just hope they get their act together for the release date and don’t repeat the funny. Not that it affected me personally since I usually only buy games 1 or 2 months after release. But I feel for my fellow gamers.

    In any case Witcher was one great piece of storytelling on top of a very interesting gameplay. The chicks part, I could pass. Didn’t add anything to the game and felt more like something thrown into the game as an afterthought for the younger audience. But still my favorite RPG in years.

    • mlaskus says:

      Actually, ‘the chick thing’ is just being true to the book series the game is based on. Sapkowski, the author of the Witcher series, makes 9/10 women incredibly beautiful, the protagonist wants to score with all of them and does so with most. :)

    • Bart says:

      Mlascus, you are flattening Sapkowski’s writing a bunch.

      Geralt, being a killing machine, not-exactly-human-but-almost, stranger with peculiar looks (white hair, cat’s eyes) and, what is mentioned in novels, sterile – was quite popular with ladies of that world. Being a bit of an outcast shunned by regular folk, he also tended to bond with female magic users (Triss Merigold, Yennefer, Fringilla Vigo and others). So yes, Geralt is popular with ladies, but let’s not make him a sex-maniac in the likes Hank Moody.

    • mlaskus says:

      Ofcourse I do, I wasn’t reviewing his writing as a whole.
      I like his stories, but in most of his novels the protagonists almost exclusively meet beautiful women with which they later have sex. That’s probably why his novels are so beloved by the teenage boy audience.

    • Bart says:

      Well, stories of protagonists having sex with ugly women would not gain applause with general public, I think. Geralt’s sexual life was somewhat probable in the context of that particular fantasy world is all I wanted to point out.

  7. Amqz says:

    Perhaps they’re trying to say that the original game sold ”too” poorly, and are not going to make a sequel.

  8. HexagonalBolts says:

    Good RPG, game destroying load times.

    • TheTingler says:

      Fixed in the official patches and cut down even more in the (free) Special Edition mega-patch. Try it again now.

      The first version had a load of problems, but the version available now has had most of those problems removed, leaving a superb, classic game.

  9. qx says:

    Please be PC-exclusive.

    • invisiblejesus says:

      Not gonna happen, they’ve already said in interviews that it’ll be on PC and 360. Still, I’m optimistic about this one. The first Witcher is really good stuff.

    • Psychopomp says:

      There’s no reason Witcher as-is won’t work on a controller.

    • Ybfelix says:

      Actually the cancelled xbox port of Witcher 1 promised a better combat system, I was looking forward to it, but, um, yeah, cancelled.

    • Premium User Badge

      Okami says:

      From what I’ve heard The Witcher plays reasonably well on PC with a Xbox360 gamepad – and that’s without the game even supporting it. So a console version of the Witcher 2 seems to be easy enough to pull off without the PC version having to suffer for it.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      Witcher 2 being cross-platform is supposed to generate enough money for them to finish Rise of the White Wolf for 360. There’s no problem with continuity since the plot of both games is completely unconnected.

      FYI, cross-platform release != shoddy console port, and cross-platform releases do generally mean good graphics without requiring overly expensive hardware. There’s nothing indicating that the game is going to be dumbed down compared to the first game.

    • Premium User Badge

      Vandelay says:

      My copy of the Enhanced Edition actually has black marker pen ink over the top of where it should say support for 360 pad, although the image of the pad is still shown above. Wonder if it was original intended to be fully implemented, but they didn’t quite finish it. Or maybe it is just the default specification box used for Games for Windows, which they don’t bother changing for individual games.

    • Wulf says:

      @Alexander Norris

      I agree, completely in fact. The thing is–and no disrespect to the country meant by this–we’re talking about Europe, not America.

      The difference between the two is that with the both samples, if a cross-platform release occurs then with American releases the code starts out intended for consoles, and then ported to the humble personal computer, and this approach can have problems (and many of those problems are often rounded up into the umbrella term of ‘shitty port’). However, European games tend to be developed for the PC first and then ported to the consoles, every instance of a cross-platform release in Europe thus far seems to be a precedent for that.

      Like Metro 2033, Risen, and so on. Which means it’s very likely that CD Projekt RED are possibly going to have the same approach to development, ensuring that the PC version is finished first and then porting that to a console. This is because in the case of European releases it seems like console releases aren’t the focus, but–as you say–a way of bringing in extra revenue. Whereas with American AAA it’s the reverse, the consoles are the focus and the PC is just a way of bringing in a little extra revenue.

      Of course, this does mean that some of those European releases have been called shitty PC ports on the consoles, but I don’t give a damn about that. :p Sorry console toy owners.

    • snv says:

      Games suffer from beeing cross platform not just by ways of a bad port. Even when designed for both platforms from the beginning the whole game has to consider different control schemes and memory limits and so on.

  10. DSX says:

    Now even Witchier! The first was brill save for the terolagorific loading between interior/exteriors, witch™ was fixed in a (much) later patch I believe. If you haven’t played it, the most recent version with some extra content was even MOAR brill I am told. Probably worth a replay should there be some character importing awesomeness.

    • MacD says:

      The loading was fixed in the first patch, which came out less than a month after release (not after US release, but euro release, mind you, so the US had to wait even less time). And the devs mentioned from the get go that the patch was coming.

      Great RPG. Less boring than DA:O (which I have just wiped from my system and stored the savegames with it’s dvd after doing everything except getting the dwarves onboard and whatever follows … DA:O just made me say “meh” in the end. Although I do consider the money well spent on 30+ hours of gameplay) and better looking, too.

    • Saul says:

      I had the exact same experience with DA:O. Not sure I’ll ever go back to it. Have always intended to try the Witcher.

    • Langman says:

      @MacD

      Aye, it does seem to be a common position for a lot of people who found Dragon Age to be too much hard work: “Got to Orzammar and decided enough was enough”.

      I did eventually return to the game after a couple of months and complete it but boy there’s so much boredom in that game you haver to trawl through to experience the good bits.

    • Wulf says:

      I really didn’t like the story of Dragon Age: Origins, but I absolutely adored The Witcher, and to this day I still can’t figure out exactly why. But I’m definitely looking forward to more Witcher!

      My best guess: It might have been down to the perception issues with the choices for me, because no matter what I did in Dragon Age I always felt like a bastard, and like my character wasn’t really paying attention to what I’d decided to do, why I made that choice, and what I wanted to do to move forward. However, in The Witcher there were a few brilliant moments of choice where Geralt and I were completely on the same wavelength, and Geralt–the character–really understood why I chose what I chose.

      That drew me into The Witcher so much more, because by the merit of my guiding presence Geralt was far less of a bastard, to the contrary he was actually a really nice guy, just a bit rough around the edges. So even though I couldn’t make a character that looked as I wanted, I actually felt like I had a lot more control over the character and his destiny, which is something I really enjoy. My character in Dragon Age might have had a customised look, but he was always in the driving seat, he was playing me, and compared to The Witcher, Fallout 3, and Mass Effect 2 I felt like the decisions I made had no impact. I felt helpless, I was watching more than I was playing.

      So that’s my reason for liking The Witcher and not Dragon Age, I really can’t think of anything else. :/ I mean, there are lots of little things I could pick on but I could probably similar things to pick on about The Witcher, too.

  11. Nick says:

    I hope the voice acting is better this time.

    • Gritz says:

      The voice acting in the Extended Edition Director’s Cut is really, really good.

    • Premium User Badge

      Vandelay says:

      I just played the game in its original Polish with English subtitles. A nice feature, which made the voice acting perfectly fine, or at least the foreign tongue hid it.

    • BooleanBob says:

      Vandelay: Neat. I was hoping you could do that after hearing about the VO problems. But! How is the quality of the subtitles? Could be just as much of a deal-breaker IMO.

    • Wulf says:

      I have to concur with Gritz, they really cleaned up the voice acting in the megapatch, they realised it wasn’t good enough and went back and redid large parts of it. Having played the Enhanced Edition, I can say it sounds a lot better to my ears.

  12. 12kill4 says:

    The site isn’t actually non-interactive, the load-time is just really long… the ’2′ is actually refering to ’2%’.

    • 12kill4 says:

      This leads me to believe that the Witcher series is actually just a game you can play while the REAL game is loading… this game will be a HD-3D prequel to Pong which details the paddle’s seedy journey to the top, including various ‘grey-area’ choices which the paddle had to make and details of its attempts at seducing women in order to trap them inside of cards.

    • RedFred says:

      I would buy that.

  13. jti says:

    After seeing some of the videos about the new coming I’m hopefull. Haven’t played the first one through yet as the combat system got to my nerves (and wrists) too much. Still, it is one of the best written RPGs around.

  14. Bret says:

    2. 2.

    Hmm. Second. Red means blood, usually, and blood means war. So, World War II.

    Now, if we’re thinking world war II in gaming combined with the supernatural?

    Thule Society. Which means…

    Or, right. Witcher 2.

    Portal left me a little over-analyze-y.

  15. Ricc says:

    Finally! I was waiting to hear more about Witcher 2. Just hoping that this one doesn’t need an “Enhanced Edition”, which was really just them finishing the game with a little bit of added value on top of it.

    • Wulf says:

      It must be noted that all the content of the so-called Enhanced Edition was freely and legally available from them as downloads. That includes: the book, the commentaries, the new content, and the fixes.

      So basically, ‘Enhanced Edition’ was just a glorified name for a megapatch, which olde world developers used to love doing to show their support for their community. Frankly I’m hoping Witcher 2 will have a megapatch as well, to add in new content and fun little extra bits for free. I mean, why not?

  16. geldonyetich says:

    I could be a sequel, but I’m holding out for it representing the chapter most people were unable to reach in the original.

  17. Heliosicle says:

    Yes please!

    The leaked video looked pretty awesome.

  18. Vague-rant says:

    Game trailer have just put up a… well, trailer. Looks good, but the first annoyed me with a couple of scenes being triggered before they were actually meant to, so the narrative jumped around a bit.

  19. Dominus says:

    wtf what happened to Gerald’s face and voice?

    • Heliocentric says:

      Witchers go through puberty every 5 years, too many mutagens.

  20. Theoban says:

    I’ve had the Witcher for ages and not got much past the tutorial. I don’t knwo what it is that’s putting me off, I’m usually first in line for RPGs. One day I’ll plough through it. Probably.

    • Pemptus says:

      Stick with it. Agreeably the tutorial section and, to most people, the lengthy pre-city village section are quite boring and do not make a good first impression.

  21. TheApologist says:

    I totally saw boobies.

  22. Premium User Badge

    Sagan says:

    :D
    Can’t help but grin at “Mature storytelling.”

    Somehow I am doubtful…

    • MadMatty says:

      yeah “Mature Storytelling” usually means its teenage dross, with the odd snippet of half a boob and “naughty” words.

  23. Freudian Trip says:

    What kind of RPG is The Witcher? It’s always been on the perimeter of my awareness. My guess was that it’s Oblivion but more East Europeany. Am I correct in anyway?

    • DMcCool says:

      More like Neverwinter Nights but more Eastern Europeany. Or Dragon Age. The biggest difference from any of these games being that you don’t make your character but have to play as this gentleman who looks like the lead singer from from scandanavian metal band.

    • Pemptus says:

      Not all that much. The tone is much darker, and it’s not nearly as open-ended as Oblivion. The combat is more tactical, especially on higher difficulties. I’ll just go on ahead and say that they’re two completely different games. Hell, see some youtube let’s plays.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      More like Baldur’s Gate but more East-European-y; that is to say, it’s good, unlike Oblivion, NWN or Dragon Age.

      It’s linear and its primary purpose is to tell an interesting story. The characters are sometimes a little underdeveloped but mostly interesting. The plot is refreshingly free of “ohno pesent messier u must saev teh wurld” and is instead about a competent person trying to find out how and why they were left for dead. Unfortunately, it uses amnesia as a plot device, but at least it’s “I remember everything except the NPCs they wanted to introduce” amnesia, so it’s not too bad, I guess. It does player choice impacting the plot far better than any of the aforementioned titles. The stuff surrounding the combat system (alchemy) is interesting; the actual combat, not so much, since it involves clicking repeatedly in rhythm. The setting is really quite neat and refreshingly different from the usual Western fantasy. All in all, it’s definitely the best CRPG of these last few years, but then it’s not like we’ve exactly been spoiled for choice.

      Oh, but it sometimes has naked women in it (because the title character is a womaniser), so it’s obviously not mature, right?

  24. Collic says:

    Oh yes. The original was fantastic. I always thought too much ws made out of the playing cards. Like most brilliant games it was flawed, but its plus points far out weighed what it got wrong. No other game I’ve played has done the ‘gray’ of right and wrong better. You truly felt like scum at points if you’d made a wrong choice, and there was never a crystal clear ‘right’ one.

    I urge any RPG fan to play it

  25. Freudian Trip says:

    My youtube search says that I’m bang on. But thats not why I’m back here. Oh no. I decided to have a look at the comments section. “It’s kinda boring once you’ve found everything.” Youtube at its most profound.

  26. Mouse says:

    More mature than Dragon Age, for certain. :P

  27. RogB says:

    playing the original right now, its fantastic. and its the special uber extended version with all the patches and improvements so all the comments above make me glad I waited and didnt buy it at release.

    the best thing about the directors cut? the polish language with english subs. it suits the game and seems far better than the (supposedly improved) english dub.

    • Bart says:

      Mega-kuos to you for playing Polish version with English subs!

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      Especially because the polish voice acting seemed a whole lot better.

      Actually, can’t quite recall but didn’t they patched that too? As I said before I didn’t buy the game on release. Just a few months later. But I seem to recall it being said the English voice acting was terrible and they eventually patched it.

  28. RogB says:

    regarding the mature storytelling, if you ignore the ‘BEWBSlol’ and sexcards that people seem to latch onto, I was impressed that there was a load of dark themes in the witcher that I hadnt really seen much of in other games.
    In the first act alone there was paedophilia, cannibalism, rape, racism, terrorism, drug use, and probably lots more general nastiness that I cant recall (and the rampant shagging of course). It was refreshing to play a game that was different to the usual standard twee fantasy and not scared to offend.

  29. Pemptus says:

    Oh, for the Witcher veterans out there who are looking for an excuse to play the game again AND feel that the combat was a bit too easy – get Flash Mod: http://ifrit.pl/creative.group/?page_id=234&lang=en or Full Combat Rebalance: http://ifrit.pl/creative.group/?page_id=239&lang=en . I’m not sure about the Full Combat Rebalance, as I only tried FM, but it’s supposed to have the stuff from FM as well as many new tweaks. It makes combat much harder and more demanding, basically forcing you to use alchemy, oils and all that so it’s finally a fun challenge.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      Going to install this. I was a little way into Act 4 when I lost my save and I’m dreading having to replay the oh-so-boring village and swamp sections, so maybe this’ll make it more fun. Thanks.

  30. Subject 706 says:

    Yippie!
    The Witcher was a great, great game! (Especially after the soul-destroying load times were fixed).
    IMHO it featured some of the most atmospheric levels in any videogame. Especially chapter 4, with the wheat fields and beaches.

  31. Lukasz says:

    oho. disappearing clothes. instant buy :)

    but there were other reasons why i loved the number one game so i will surely buy the sequel.

  32. Langman says:

    Excellent – really looking forward to this.

    As a long-time CRPG fan, The Witcher was probably my favourite RPG since Baldurs Gate 2. I certainly enjoyed it a lot more than Dragon Age.

    It’s a shame some people got caught up on a couple of early niggles with the game and couldn’t see past them. It truly is a brilliant game.

  33. eot says:

    Kinda cute trailer, you can so tell that it’s not from the west :d

  34. Carra says:

    With both Dragon Age & Mass Effect finished I can now go and play the Witcher, weee!

  35. Plinglebob says:

    I enjoyed The Witcher but I got distracted from playing it around 1/2 way through Act 4 and ended up forgetting what I was supposed to be doing. Will restart and complete it before the sequal comes out though as really enjoyed it.

  36. Sidorovich says:

    Discarded it when I got to the bits with the Swamp and the man-eating plants. Ridiculous difficulty spikes, coupled with a clumsy inventory system, and an underwhelming story means I have no desire to return to it. I understand it gets a lot of love around here, but I can’t fathom why.

    • Rinox says:

      Underwhelming story? I don’t think that was The Witcher you were playing. ;-)

      To be fair, the first part of the game is rather tedious. After that it’s just glorious though, and with the enhanced edition I would even say close to being the best RPG in a decade.

    • Devan says:

      I stopped playing at the same spot as Sidorovich, and I have to agree that the story was one of the main reasons. I’m part way through collecting these ten magic thingamajigs before I can progress to the next dungeon (even though they don’t say how or where to get them), and I suspect their only real purpose is to ensure I walk everywhere and do everything before I’m allowed to continue. I was already tired of that swamp/city and the quests in it and just wanted to move on.
      I may try to pick it up again after finishing up DA:O + expansion and ME2, though.

  37. Bart says:

    The Witcher II is coming and the publisher (at least in Poland) is going to be Agora SA, media behemoth that stemmed from a semi-dissident newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza founded by Adam Michnik right before the Polish election in ’89 that resulted in Poland’s transformation from “real socialism” to regular democratic capitalism.

  38. yabonn_fr says:

    One of these agmes that should have made a bigger bang.

    I hope there’s more of the Noonwraith kind in the nr 2.

  39. beloid says:

    correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t CDP perfectly capable of publishing their games alone (at lest in Poland) just like they did with the first game.

  40. suibhne says:

    Release date plz.

    Next week plz.

  41. DaveyJones says:

    Here’s to hoping European developers take over the PC market completely… the level of quality in gameplay and storytelling is just wonderful.

  42. Premium User Badge

    Vandelay says:

    This is exciting. I loved the original game, which created one of the best worlds I’ve seen in any game.

    There were some problems though, most notably the lack of being able to really craft a unique character. I would much rather see a sequel that used skill trees, so that you could create your own personal Garret. I didn’t have a problem with the combat system, particularly when it started relying heavily on you needing to use the oils, potions, etc., but the abilities were fairly unhelpful. I stuck with the push one and the fire one, which worked well against certain enemies, but for the most part I could just hack at them.

    Obligatory mention of the sexcards, I really hope they don’t bother with them this time. As Garret is meant to be a womaniser, being able to have sex with the majority of women you encounter is fine, but then giving you a “reward” for doing it is stepping over the line. Of course, the usual response of “they aren’t compulsory” is completely true and means there is no reason to get completely hung up on them, but doesn’t mean the inclusion of them isn’t verging on sexist.

    Looking forward to this one. Hope it is this year.

  43. Rohit says:

    Can’t wait for this.

  44. jackflash says:

    But are there still QTEs in it?

  45. Bhazor says:

    Just hope they don’t have such a ludricous final villain.
    I swear the bastard may as well have just screamed “IT’S A LIVEEE!!!”

    But I do hope they do more in the Garret the drunken dead beat dad vein. Staggering home steaming drunk, waking up the kid, calling the missus a cow then falling asleep on the sofa. Brilliant.

  46. Jad says:

    Question for those who’ve played Witcher 1: does the story get better after the tutorial? I liked the opening cinematic and opening scenes, but I’ve played maybe an hour or so and the story seems very generic and boring so far. I got distracted by other games and I’m wondering if I should return to it.

    • elyscape says:

      Much, much better. The Witcher is the only game I have ever played that made me think, “oh shit, that was my fault!” Which is even more impressive when you consider that the event in question happens no matter what you do.

  47. Taillefer says:

    I hadn’t read the books, so I was a little sad reading some of the comments about Geralt. I interpreted the sex in the game as an inclusion to contrast with the family life it shows. How poorly suited a monster-slaying, sterile, adventurer who would never be at home is to a family life and raising kids. He seems cursed with the love of every woman and no way to return it in a meaningful way. How should he act in that situation, remain abstinent forever or indulge a little. (Although, the cards do undermine that a bit).

    But, apparently, the books just make it more about titilation? Ah well.

    • Newblade says:

      I do not know where you got that from but no, not at all.

    • Taillefer says:

      My impression of the books? Only from these comments. I admit complete ignorance to the content otherwise.

      Or, where do I get my naïve impression of the World from?

    • Bart says:

      Please refer to my comment above (Ctrl-F, “Bart”), it is the other way round – it is much more psychological in books, much more of a titillation in game.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      Like Bart pointed out, Geralt’s womanising ways are part of what makes a Witcher a freak, in the books. In the game it’s just about collecting postcards with nekkid wimminz on them.

  48. Spinoza says:

    Garret ? I thought his name is Geralt ..

  49. HairCute says:

    @Diddler:

    Wow. That was a really stupid thing for you to say!