The Witcher 2: May 17th 2011

By Jim Rossignol on November 16th, 2010 at 3:42 pm.

Not a secret octopus
CD Projekt send word that their witching sequel is targeted for May 17, 2011, although – of course, sigh – exact release dates might vary from territory to territory, which means someone, somewhere is going to be rocking back and forth on their chair, waiting for it to unlock on Steam, while the rest of us have already tackled a hellhound and charmed our first maiden. That’s apparently a few weeks back from what they’d planned, so as to allow for more of the old elbow grease. A load more information is due to turn up in a couple of days, as CD Projekt have some kind of press conference going on for the 18th.

Anyway, just in case you’ve forgotten why we’re excited about this, I’ve posted the prison escape story video below. It shows off non-linearity, and some other stuff. I am going to play this game. Yep.


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57 Comments »

  1. dancingcrab says:

    Insert mandatory “I should really get on with finishing the first game” comment. Been meaning to for so long.

    • Unaco says:

      This is what I came to say… May 17th 2011 is now the date to finish the original by. I was actually planning on finishing it over Christmas anyway. It’s a great game (from what I’ve played so far) but, I’ve just had lack of time/been lazy.

    • Starky says:

      Ditto, got to like the 3rd city (the one where you have to pick between the 2 women) then never finished it.

      Might just load it up and cheat/trainer my backside off to get though it because the combat is dull as heck.

    • subedii says:

      A reminder to all players: Keep your savegames, because apparently you’ll be able to import them and the decisions / consequences that you made.

      That said, IIRC even if you don’t, they’re going to have a quick recap session somewhere at the start of the second game where they’ll go over this stuff and allow you to choose which decisions you made.

      Hopefully it’ll be better than Mass Effect 2 in that regard. If you didn’t import there you got a weird mish-mash of choices and were pretty much stuck with them.

    • Caleb367 says:

      Insert mandatory “I really really have to reinstall the first one and replay it all from the start to finish… for the fifth time.
      Seriously people, I’ve been gaming for more than most of you have been alive , and The Witcher’s one of the top RPG I’ve ever seen. Can’t wait for the sequel. I’m drooling right now.

  2. Kaira- says:

    Welp, time to buy new computer to run this. This is something of a messiah of cRPGs to me.

    • Ricc says:

      Yes, I agree. Leave it to good, old Eastern Europe to hold up the torch!

    • Dominic White says:

      Most fun PC RPG I’ve played in ages is by a Belgian studio that nobody can remember the name of… not even me at the moment. Europe seems to be cornering the market right now.

      Edit: I actually had to look it up -Larian.

    • dancingcrab says:

      Yah, Divinity games are pretty neat. Witcher, Divinity, Gothic, there are some pretty good titles coming from that part of the world.

    • spacesubmarine says:

      I second that – Divinity 2 is an amazing RPG and i cant believe it flew under the radar. It is really rich, deep, intriguing and occasionally totally awesome – though it has some serious design flaws (you pay for mindreading – which is a unique and fun feature! – with your exp and the exp rewards for kills and quests are scaled really questionably)

      I love Witcher really a lot because I’ve been reading the books the whole 90′s – its great to see this great fantasy world (like Tolkien’s only low, dirty, racist, corrupted and morally rotten – sometimes very erotic as well) coming as a breathtakingly beautiful game.

    • jeremypeel says:

      Has anyone played the new Divinity 2 rehash thing at all? Does it dramatically improve the game?

    • Dominic White says:

      I never played the original release, but a guy who did told me it’s a huge improvement. Graphics, balance, dungeon design, item variety/placement all redone, and it actually has an ending act instead of a big cliffhanger.

      Generally speaking, I’m loving the game. It’s just good, charming stuff and the re-release has quite quietly flown in under the radar. It’s the one I recommend out of all the current wave of euro-RPGs.

    • Stitched says:

      “Has anyone played the new Divinity 2 rehash thing at all? Does it dramatically improve the game?”

      What rehash? The one being released at the end of this year or did someone mod it so it’s better than the release?

      Curious since I haven’t played any of the Divinity games and tried the Gothic 4 demo, which I thought was terrible.

    • Dominic White says:

      Divinity 2 just got a re-release under the title ‘Divinity 2: Dragon Knight Saga’. They basically took a page from The Witchers book and put the game back in the oven for another year of development (like I said, never played the original release but heard it was a huge improvement), as well as adding a final act to the plot to address the huge cliffhanger.

      It’s really good.

  3. Premium User Badge

    TheApologist says:

    About a year ago, I was finding Dragon Age to be brilliant and The Witcher good but with problems.

    I am expecting an about face in the coming year – Dragon Age 2 looks a bit worrying, whereas this looks like it has really improved on the original.

    So, me too, Jim. I will also play this game.

  4. Linfosoma says:

    I really need to finish playing the first one. I love the game but the pacing is a bit off at times, you are either locked in a city and forced to do quest or locked in dungeons force to fight all the time. I wish it allowed me to pick what I want to do more freely.

    On a similar line, Im really enjoying Risen (got it on the weekend deal) even with it’s brokeness (Im currently on a quest for the Don’s right hand dude, which asked me to recruit his fighters to kill some templars, I cant find where I need to go and I lost my team in a dungeon and I cant find a way to get them out of there), I like that kind of freedom, oh and stealing too.

    • Premium User Badge

      Joshua says:

      Yeah. The Witcher ocassionally did too much ‘filling’. The quests are awesome though, especially in the latter half of the game.

  5. sneetch says:

    Bugger! I haven’t reinstalled the Witcher since I bought my new PC and I just realised that I probably deleted my save files during the big clear out last night. Dammit!

  6. Wizlah says:

    I need to get back to this too. I’m stil just wandering around the main city after the big dust up in the swamp. So plenty to go yet. But I needs to play it on my gaming pc – our laptop won’t cope – and I may not get to until next summer.

    Regardless, I will be setting aside the money for whatever bells and whistles special edition they come up with. I got an odd version of the original (apparently called the developers edtion), but I got it off ebay. I kinda feel I owe ‘em the money, and they are the kind of developers and publishers who will come up with a nice package.

  7. Bureaucrat says:

    I’ll probably be in wait-and-see mode on this one for a while. I played the first one until a little while after getting into the first big city and lost interest. I didn’t find the combat-as-rhythm-game to be fun or challenging, and the game was requiring a lot of it.

    The game’s reputation for strong support of player choices kept me going for a while, but ultimately, I just didn’t care about how any of my actions impacted the gameworld. I think they went a little too far into the ‘morally grey’ area by making all of the characters wholly unlikeable. (The only reason I was given to like an NPC seemed to be “she might show me her tatas.”) When everybody in a gameworld is a jackass– including the character who the player is forced into playing– the story hook becomes uninteresting (why should I care that some dude in weird glasses stole some pixie dust from some jerkstores I just met?) and the deciding between in-game factions becomes interesting only from a gamist perspective. The only really interesting mystery the game presented me was that of Geralt’s amnesia (“Why is this guy such a prick?”), and the game stubbornly doesn’t let the player go about investigating that.

    Hopefully, the sequel can improve on this– making the gameplay less of a chore and giving the player some characters who they actually might like for non-lecherous reasons. If the noises coming out of other Witcher 1 doubters are positive, I’ll give it a look.

    • dirtyallen says:

      “why should I care that some dude in weird glasses stole some pixie dust from some jerkstores I just met?”

      I disagree with just about everything you just said but this line was hilarious.

      Isn’t that the basis for most rpgs anyway?

  8. Jaimeftw says:

    Yeah you guys should really play the original I just recently replayed it and had blast!
    Just make sure to play the “Enhanced Edition” it has A LOT less load times!

  9. Butler` says:

    Bureaucrat just summed up my feelings. That and the fact that, at release, it was a buggy POS. I’ve heard good things about the EE which I understand I’m entitled to for free as an owner of the game?

    I feel like getting lost in an RPG. This, Dragon Age or BG2 from GoG? — none of which I’ve played properly. Hmm.

    • Ignorant Texan says:

      If you have a registered copy, then, yes, you are entitled to the EE. I can understand why those who attempted only the original release don’t think highly of the Witcher. The EE fixes the gratingly, yet hilariously, bad English voice acting, shortens load times, adds textures, etc… making for a much, much better experience. For those of us in puritanical US, you can also get the Director’s Cut, which allows the nudity, as well. And, it’s either in the EE, or some other patch, but you no longer have a disk-check, either.

      I guess the Witcher is either a love or loathe game. It’s one of my favorites, I think it blows anything Bioware has released since Jade Empire out of the water. Amazing what they did with the Aurora engine, I can only look forward to the engine CDProjekt has created.

  10. Silvade says:

    YES! :D

    I am totally getting this :)

  11. skyturnedred says:

    I can’t play Witcher because it’s too good. I have a ton of school work piling up, and I know the second I start up Witcher again, I will be in lockdown-mode for weeks.

  12. Inglourious Badger says:

    So, I don’t get it. Was the original good or not? I skipped it after average reviews, but it’s now dawning on me I skipped STALKER for the same reasons and that was brilliant when I finally played it. Should I buy it or just wait for this one? That video does look cool

    • scott ossington says:

      I think the moral of this story is to not put to much faith on the official reviews and only believe what your mates tell you, cause they know you best. Stoopid reviewers, unless of course its Rock, Paper, Foozeball.

    • Ignorant Texan says:

      To be fair to reviewers of the original release, it had horrible English localization, was extremely drab with only a few NPC character models, had major stability issues, and took up to a minute to load a one room area with perhaps two objects with which you could interact. The Enhanced Edition took care of most of these problems. Consequently, the reviews for the EE were much more positive.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      Where did you read an average review of Stalker? I thought that did pretty well.

      The Witcher: first four hours are terrible, even in the Enhanced Edition. Enhanced Edition fixes a lot of issues, however. The game then picks up after the prologue and gives you a pretty special RPG.

    • look out! Ninjas! says:

      I just started a second playthough, and I found completely the opposite. The prologue works well as an introduction to the gameplay, signs and sword styles and whatnot, there’s a choice between two paths in there, and you actually get to interact with characters. It’s straightforward, sure, but there’s a fair bit of meat there. Compared to the opening scenes in some of the golden era isometric RPGs it comes off very well.

    • sebmojo says:

      I think Jim’s comment is fair – the first act (after a decent tutorial/introduction) is very slow. Much running round the fantasy European countryside doing errands. It does build to a fairly excellent climax (that scene outside the cave – so cool) but the game doesn’t put its best foot forward.

    • Inglourious Badger says:

      Thanks for all the responses! Only just remembered I posted about this. Will definitely add the Witcher to the ‘buy it if it’s in a sale’ list now.

      @Jim – It’s my fault, I missed Shadow of Chernobyl through trusting Metacritic scores. My PC was broke when the first STALKER came out, and when I finally got a new gaming PC I went through all the games I’d missed on a ‘If it’s over 85% it’s probably worth playing’ basis and STALKER’s reviews were so mixed it averaged out as an 8/10 sort of game. I know, I know, who reads scores anyway? Well not me anymore! I’ve learnt my lesson.

      It’s only when I discovered your lovely website and you (especially you Jim!) wouldn’t stop going on about Call of Pripyat that I dipped my toes. Suffice to say I’m a massive fan of both games now (haven’t played clear sky yet) and am now vainly hoping GSC will incorporate my suggested quest storylines into STALKER 2.

  13. day says:

    I got The Witcher on the cheap and never went beyond the first village you come to. Is The W2 a rhythm clicky game?
    I’m enjoying Risen also, It’s a beautiful game with simple but well rounded mechanics. The lack of an Oblivion style free camera is irriatating, I’m getting sick of the back of my avatar’s slap-heed.

  14. Jharakn says:

    For those who’ve not seen it there a big 10min video describing there custom engine the game runs, its really interesting and does look super shiny (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRJL2NaE2sM), in Polish but with english subtitles.

  15. Lobotomist says:

    So crazily stoked about this game!

    Ever since the first Witcher i became raging fan. I have all the books , comics and tv series.

    Cant wait !

    • coldwave says:

      Man, what the hell, TV-series are so damn bad, why do you even remind me, now I need a brainbleach.

      Only casting was somehow good,

    • Lobotomist says:

      Yes :D

      I am that crazy about Witcher , lol

    • coldwave says:

      At least you are not reading fanfics, right?

    • Lobotomist says:

      Didnt know there was Witcher fanfics ?!

  16. Vague-rant says:

    Looking forward to this as well. I liked the first a lot and although it did drag at some points, it was worth playing on for the better moments.

    May is a long time to wait though.

  17. Premium User Badge

    Gabbo says:

    5 days before my birthday? Oh yes, it will be mine.

  18. Basilicus says:

    Dear OMG,

    OMG. OMG? OMG!!!

    Sincerely,
    OMG!

  19. Premium User Badge

    Lambchops says:

    Yeah looking more forward to this than Dragon Age 2 despite enjoying Dragon Age more than the Witcher.

    Dragon Age was good but from initial impressions the sequel is heading down a different direction. It may also be good, but I just can’t get excited about it till I see some positive reviews from trustworthy folk.

    The Witcher 2 on the other hand looks from initial impressions to have realised what made the first game oh so close to being brilliant and really focused on improving and polishing these elements to realise the universe’s potential. Again, I’ll have to wait to play it to see if this is actually the case but initial interviews and demos seem good.

  20. Nick C says:

    I am SO glad to see this game pushed back. As it was, the release was to near Dragon Age 2 for my tastes. I am a much bigger fan of the Witcher than DA, and I’d hate to see it lose ground to DA2 due to Bioware’s unstoppable marketing machine. I’ve beaten the first one twice, and will be doing a 3rd run through to import my save with soon. More polish, yes please! Take all the time you need CD Projekt, you are my new favorite developer!

  21. Lacessit says:

    Oooooh, right on my birthday! Thank you CD-Projekt, you’ve made the whole list-thing so much easier!

  22. Paul says:

    The Witcher is easily best RPG since Bloodlines, so the second game is my number 1 anticipated game right now.
    And I am just finishing last book (lady of the lake), after which I will replay the first game as well.

  23. Ravenger says:

    DO WANT!

    It’s nice to say that rather than ‘DO NOT WANT’ which is the way I feel about a lot of games these days.

    This is one of the few games I’ll pre-order rather than waiting until after release to see if there are any DRM issues or problems.

    However I’m deliberately avoiding reading anything about the game because I don’t want to spoil it.

  24. Dominic White says:

    Oh yeah – for the crowd saying that they’re planning on going back and having another look at the game, you might want to take a peek at this mod: http://www.moddb.com/mods/full-combat-rebalance1

    Basically, it makes combat a lot faster and more violent. Less focus on repeating the same combos and watching guys health go down, and more trying to get into a safe position to get off a few attacks before getting cut down yourself. Makes spell use a lot more tactical as well, as they all have their uses and weaknesses now.

    • Pemptus says:

      It also makes everything much, much harder. And you have to be more careful where you put your skill points.

  25. shady2020 says:

    Wow right on my birthday!This is gonna be awesome :D.

  26. r4 card says:

    IIRC even if you don’t, r4i
    PS3 Jailbreak
    best playstation 3

  27. Gravy says:

    Reading through this has made me reinstall the original, the sequel looks great too… Count me in.

    Anyway damn you for filling my spare time with good games, damn you and good day sirs!