Witcher 2 Devs On “Adult” Games, Extending Endings

By Nathan Grayson on April 17th, 2012 at 8:04 pm.

Hello, kind sir. Please help me. I seem to have come aflame.

Witcher 2, you seem different somehow. Did you get a haircut? Have you been working out? Are you pregnant with a future barbershop owner who will also be a professional body-builder? No? Well then, color me stumped. Unless… no way. Is today the launch of your Enhanced Edition, which has been heralded incessantly by a procession of myths, prophecies, and, like, a million trailers? Truly astounding. I jest, however, because I love, and I certainly can’t complain about gobs of free fixes and content. But what about an altered ending (yes, just like that one thing) and general acceptance of “mature” content in the gaming industry? Are these things worthy of my trusty torchfork, the latest in pitchfork, torch, and duct tape technology? I spoke with CD Projekt Red managing director Adam Badowski to find out.

“There are few games like The Witcher 2, and we are not afraid to say, ‘Hey, we are not a game for everyone. We won’t treat you as a child – at any level,’” began Badowski. “The gaming community is growing, and every demographic has something for themselves. Diversifying and finding your target is important. We’ve chosen ours – adults who want ambitious games. And we will stick to that.”

But what, nowadays, does that even mean? Years ago, it was fairly cut-and-dry. Did a game have blood, cursing, and a brooding anti-hero lead? Well then, it got slapped with the appropriate age rating and greeted with an elementary-school-like chorus of “ooooooooos.” Now, though, things are a bit more complicated. Dear Esther, for instance, spilled nary a drop of blood nor bounty of bosoms, yet it even frightened away many adults. And what of PlayStation 3 indie darling Journey? Its sand-caked, candy-coated graphics seem to suggest a world of childlike whimsy, yet its overall experience requires thoughtfulness and contemplation. Are these games “adult”? And, among them, where does Witcher’s seemingly juvenile love of blood spilling and male gazing fit in?

“Our game is targeted to a grown-up audience,” Badowski elaborated. “Watching the opposite sex naked is quite pleasant, but real adults don’t get excited over a nipple. They are a part of our world and their appearance in other media doesn’t shock anyone. The nudity in our game serves the story, it’s a form of artistic expression – they are a part of the game world.”

“But also the subjects we touch in the storyline and the type of moral choices the player faces require a certain level of world awareness that only adults have. We often have the player make morally controversial decisions, which force them to really think about their actions. This layer of maturity is very important in our game, and it provides really ambitious entertainment. I dare say that the nuances and controversies define our game as mature even more than sex and violence. Those aspects provide great entertainment, but they have to be put in the game with taste.”

And ultimately, no matter the weightiness of the message, that’s what this is: entertainment. So what happens when a certain aspect of your game doesn’t have players enviously eyeing every furniture store they pass just because they want a new seat to move to the edge of? Well, you fix it, of course. And with 102 fixes in the pipeline, I’m thinking CD Projekt might just be on board with that idea. Granted, it’s one thing to litter the game with “assorted animals” (which sounds like something that should come in a small, heart-shaped box), but what of heavier hitters like – stop me if you’ve heard this one before – “extended” endings that provide players with more tangible consequences for their actions while remaining true to the original ending’s vision?

“What we did doesn’t compromise our artistic integrity,” Badowski said. “We didn’t change the ending, but extended the outro. The story of The Witcher 2 is complete, and we didn’t change the writing. By extending the outro we mean adding new cinematics to it. We are really proud of what our story team did, so there was no point in changing that. What we added is a short cutscene and a series of final-boards. These short scenes will change depending on the player’s choices in the game. They show how your decisions influenced individual characters, locations and kingdoms. Our game was always about choice, and this is a neat way to show players how they really had control over the story.”

null

“When it comes to criticism, it wasn’t the ending that fans found bad, but that the final chapter was too short and left some loose ends. That’s why the additional quests take place in the final part of the game. They are added not to leave some questions unanswered and make the game experience complete. There was no strong accent at the end. The game just stopped. That’s why we added the final boards and the outro. Now there’s a real POW at the end. This was both made for our own satisfaction and for the fans.”

The parallel between CD Projekt and BioWare’s respective attitudes, approaches, and solutions to a similar problem, then, is well worth a momentary donning of your flowing costume beard for a chin stroke or two. Admittedly, the tremendous “fan” pressure that prompted BioWare’s reaction is the key piece in this puzzle, but both ending up-endings paint a picture of game stories as malleable. This isn’t intrinsically good or bad, as it all depends on what developers and gamers come to expect from it. So far, both Mass Effect and Witcher have arrived at – at least, on paper – eerily similar conclusions as to where this winding trail of blood, sweat, and tears should lead. What the future brings is anyone’s guess, but for now, this hardly sounds like the end of the world.

We still haven’t, however, answered the most important question of all. So then, have they fixed the goddamn doors?

“We didn’t change the doors, because we didn’t consider them an issue at all,” admitted Badowski.

Then all hope is lost.

 

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136 Comments »

  1. ZIGS says:

    The Witcher 2: Door Warfare

  2. Sentient Waffle says:

    After the update the game crashes to desktop every time I try to load a game.

    No error message or anything.

    Anyone know how of a fix?

    • Alexander Norris says:

      You might have the pak0 corruption issue – see the edit on this post: http://en.thewitcher.com/community/entry/191

    • mAk says:

      It might be what Alexander said. If that doesn’t help reinstall/verify game cache(Steam copy).

      • Bhazor says:

        The fact people bought the Steam version still boggles my mind.

        The GOG version came with so much more stuff including a free game and a bunch more fun fluff. Not only that but it has always been cheaper than the Steam version. People are basically paying extra for DRM and less content? God I hope Ubisoft don’t find out about that.

        • db1331 says:

          Because people like Steam? If EA had sold BF3 on Steam for $120, I would have bought that over the $60 Origin one in a heartbeat.

        • Sentient Waffle says:

          Hadn’t bought anything on GOG before at that time, so wasn’t entirely trusting of them when I bought the game, and I like Steam a lot.

          Besides, I’ve been given a free GOG backup.

        • HothMonster says:

          I highly doubt the steam version requires steam to be running.

        • El_Spartin says:

          I got it on a steam sale for $24. I don’t care about that other stuff (the soundtrack, game guide etc) and I doubt GoG would ever put it on sale for that low. In addition, the steam version is also the Enhanced edition I use steam for more than just games (it’s a nice way of having long distance private communication since some of my friends have moved to other states) so the DRM part of steam doesn’t affect me.

          So please, don’t use the steamworks DRM argument for steam without considering that people actually use enough of steam to make it negligible.

          • PredOborG says:

            I always wondered why so less Americans use Skype, MSN, TeamSpeak or Ventrillo? They are so much better for communiction.

          • El_Spartin says:

            I personally don’t use MSN becasue I CBA to install it and none of my friends use it so there isn’t much point, voice communication would be an option if my internet weren’t so awful.

        • Lemming says:

          Steam version comes with Steamworks. It’s handy having my games tie-in to Steam if it’s an option.

        • Brun says:

          Was it even released on GOG at the same time as on Steam? I was under the impression that the Steam version was out first, and then GOG came along later, thus many of the people (like myself) who bought it on Steam did so because we were Day-1 purchases.

          • Ignorant Texan says:

            The game was first available for preorder through GOG(Which is owned by CDProjekt). If you preordered through GOG, you received your choice of a game(Gothic, Divine Divinity, and a few others). And, because they used Steam pricing( {something to do with the NamcoBandai distribution deal}dollar=pound=Euro), you received store credit for the amount of the difference. If you must buy through Steam, then get your back-up copy and/or goodies from GOG.

            And to the person who asked about GOG’s reliably, they are rock solid, although because of how their payments are routed, some US banks refuse to allow the charge(mine, for example, is one). I’m glad that PayPal is an option.

        • jorgemalgom says:

          Steamwork? cloud saves? achievments? track play time? integratde with rest of your library?

        • Timthos says:

          In the end the Steam version also gets the GoG version, so who’s laughing now!?

          • Bhazor says:

            Well not CD Projeckt because they just lost ~$15 because you bought the game from Steam instead of them.

          • Lemming says:

            @Bhazor: I’m sure they don’t mind given that they are on Steam to expose themselves to hundreds of thousands of customers.

        • buzzmong says:

          I would have bought the GoG version, except when I went to buy it, Steam had one of it’s megasales on.

          If I really enjoy it, like I did the first, I may rebuy off GoG.

        • Jigokunoinu says:

          Why buy through Steam and not GOG? Because with my ISP unmetering content downloaded through specific Steam content servers, I could get the game without having 10GB+ counted against my monthly quota.

        • thebigJ_A says:

          The Steam version came with all the extra stuff. I’ve got a stonking folder full of soundtracks, game guides, maps (FINALLY in English rather than that made-up writing from the last version) etc. And I didn’t care about any of the free games, or already owned them, so why wouldn’t I buy it from Steam, again?

        • oceanclub says:

          Don’t forget some people bought it retail which means you then have it on Steam. Doesn’t necessarily mean you bought it thru Steam.

          P.

          • Lemming says:

            @oceanclub: Actually it’s my understanding that the retail version doesn’t have Steamworks, just like the GOG version. Only the Steam version has Steam integration.

        • yougurt87 says:

          I don’t get your argument, because from what I can see, not only are they the same price, but they come with the exact same things. Yes GoG has DRM free, but Steams DRM isn’t obtrusive. Plus I would much rather have cloud syncing to prevent loss of game saves any day.

        • DrGonzo says:

          I think it’s mad that anyone bought the GOG version when it was more expensive and came with so much less stuff than the retail copy…

      • Sentient Waffle says:

        Didn’t do the trick, so now I’m re-installing, thanks for the tip though.

  3. lurkalisk says:

    “Watching the opposite sex naked is quite pleasant, but real adults don’t get excited over a nipple. They are a part of our world and their appearance in other media doesn’t shock anyone.”

    …That sentence doesn’t make any sense. Nudity tends to sexually excite people with any sexual inclination, that’s just arousal, nothing childish. And if so, how then is it pleasant? Moreover, exciting is not synonymous with “shocking”.

    Sorry, I found it an objectionable statement. I feed on expressing unwanted opinions.

    • Walter Heisenberg says:

      Sounds like he is either being naive or sarcastic it’s really hard to figure out which.

      • Antar Bolaeisk says:

        Maybe he has just seen a lot of nipples in his time (that or they practice a really casual casual Friday at CD Projekt RED).

      • alms says:

        My impression was what he really wants is to lead the non-adult public to buy the game on the premise this is a game for real men^H^H^H^H^Hgrown-ups.

    • noodlecake says:

      wrong place! Deleted.

    • MisterT says:

      Sounds more like a comment on (mainly american) media where a lady’s nipple on broadcast TV or in a videogame stirs up a shitstorm, whereas their Polish culture is much more laid back about nudity.

      • Bhazor says:

        American censorship is so wierd. Apparently the sight a female nipple is more damaging to young children than pictures of someone being lynched. The most shocking example of that was probably the pictures of Osama’s execution which was paraded about in a really quite disturbing way.

        And here it is as reported on Good Morning America

      • Zanchito says:

        Indeed, you can see bare breasts everywhere here (on pharmacies for skin creams, for example), and guess what? It’s allright!!!

      • KenTWOu says:

        MisterT, please, check my reply here.

    • Casimir Effect says:

      I think what he’s getting at is that putting a nude scene or two isn’t enough for most adults to suddenly take a trip to palmsville, although they may find looking at it enjoyable. As such, the fact games stay away from any nudity out of fear of media backlash or anything like that is just silly – the film industry doesn’t care if its adult films (rated 18+, I don’t mean pornos) contain a sex scene every 15mins.

      Think of the Bioware sex scenes (post ME1) and how weird they end up looking as everyone is clothed throughout.

      • Ragnar says:

        Yeah, that was a massive step backwards for games. I thought the sex scene in ME1 was the best sex scene I had come across in a video game. The scenes in Dragon Age and ME2 are juvenile and embarrassing.

        Thanks Fox News, no longer will children be tempted to play 30 hours of RPG to get a glimpse of side-boob, instead of just searching for it on Google as god intended. The children are now safe!

      • thenagus says:

        I suspect he was also trying to say that they’re not trying to use sex to sell the game: it’s not porn. Rather, the sex is just a part of adult story telling. And he’s right, a nipple’s not that exciting.

    • TheIronSky says:

      I actually have to agree with what he’s saying though. When you waste your hard-earned cash in this game on, say, a ‘lady of the night,’ you don’t spend your time fantasizing about her afterwards – they’re all fictitious characters in a game world that are placed with purpose. 3D prostitutes from the middle ages aren’t intended to get you aroused, and in the context of the game, the only parts of these prostitutes and/or Triss Merigold that you see that could even be construed as ‘exciting’ would be their nipples, and in my honest opinion, their nipples are neither shocking nor exciting.

      Real life opinions on nudity do not apply to fictional, 3D-rendered game worlds.

      • lurkalisk says:

        Hmm. I guess when I read it, the first part sounded more like a broad statement about nudity in general. But yes, in the context of W2 (or any videogame), it does make more sense.

    • QualityJeverage says:

      I think he’s simply picked the wrong word with “excited.” I feel like I understand what he means.

    • Kent says:

      There’s a reason that Mass Effect, Dragon Age and the Witcher games have sexualized content. Sex sells. Many people will defend that there’s something adult in having those things in games. Sure, but sex always sells, even if it’s awkward sex.

      • WickedBaggins says:

        Yeah, the Witcher series has mature elements! But the sex elements do not necessarily and always coincide with them.

        • Caiman says:

          Yeah. When I see video games being defended as adult entertainment because they have nipples, nudity or sex in them, I’m reminded that this is still a juvenile industry. I’d rather see mature themes being explored, the darker side of the human psyche, not the kind of stuff that titillates kids. No adult is going to be turned on by what effectively looks like two Barbie dolls with their clothing removed.

          • MasterDex says:

            That’s what The Witcher 2 does. It shows us the ugly side of people. The sex is just there, a part of the overall experience, and I don’t believe that it was put there for sales reasons but rather because sex is a reality of adult life – and a part of The Witcher saga.

    • woodsey says:

      I thought it was pretty obvious what he meant: you can’t purely rely on sex and violence because, as much as adults still enjoy those things, they’re not going to get a raging erection from them that’s going to preoccupy their minds for the whole game. So you need to do them maturely and also have other nuances to your story.

      • lurkalisk says:

        I get the gist of what he’s saying, it was just that particular statement that seemed odd.

        Yes, I’m being pedantic.

    • 9of9 says:

      I don’t think he really meant sexual excitement, just the sort of juvenile, “Oooh, OMG! Look, it’s a NIPPLE! There’s a NIPPLE IN THIS GAME! This game… this game must therefore be PORN!” that I’ve seriously seen some people get into (and not only with games, even, sadly). On the other hand, watching the opposite sex doesn’t have to be arousing to be pleasant, nude bodies are just aesthetically nice, which is partly why we have such vast swathes of art dedicated to them.

      The point being made, I think, is just that the ‘mature’ mindset doesn’t just look at nudity in a medium as titillation, but places it in context.

    • SoggySilicon says:

      I am quite sure that Mr. Badowski meant what he said, but to frame my own position on this statement… as a mid thirties something, father, who has delivered his own children into the world… I will assure you, that “seeing a nipple” is not particularly here or there (for me).

      As far as “real adult”, (shrug) I would probably just say that he is insinuating (as advertisement?) that “if you consider yourself (customer) a “real adult”, you play The Witcher (2) without titillation being the primary focus of your experience”.

      Certainly I see where your coming from and I “kind of” thought the same way.

      Though, considering that this image…

      http://static.stickam.com/media/image/converted/original/1730/6825/6/911432b7-d5ce-11da-b56e-a5e0b4db6c8c.jpg

      Visually communicates something “about” the character without having to “say” anything about the character, maybe that is what he is getting at when using the characters in the buff to communicate information without having to narrate that information… just saying…

      Clearly the Pokemon sex cards of the first game were a meta game that DID arguably make “sex” a functional theme but hardly monocle and mustache “adult”.

      Ultimately… PR tosser?

      • JackShandy says:

        The sex cards were hardly a minigame. Instead of a sex scene, they gave you a 2D illustration – a good idea, seeing as otherwise they would of ended up with the stilted bioware style model-bumping.

        Unfortunately they framed them as cards, and so tapped into the gamer idea that cards must be collected, etc.

        • SoggySilicon says:

          Heyyyyyyyy!!!! Haaaayyyyyy!!!! So much straw flying around here I almost missed the point of this…

          The OP (whom I was replying to) didn’t mention Bioware games, and by this token one must assume that one (you) are speaking of Mass Effect 1 and setting a similarity between that and the Witcher 1, to only attack the Mass Effect 1 sexual encounters as if doing so defeated anything I had said about Witcher 1. Clearly the attack was one of “technical delivery”, and not “thematic delivery”. Witcher 1 uses a greasy Aurora toolset, as such, the only “technical comparison” would be between IT and Neverwinter Nights 1.

          Nice Job.

          Clearly I said it was a “meta game”… in fact I said : “sex cards of the first game were a meta game that DID arguably make “sex” a functional theme”…

          From good old Wiki:

          Metagaming is a broad term usually used to define any strategy, action or method used in a game which transcends a prescribed ruleset, uses external factors to affect the game, or goes beyond the supposed limits or environment set by the game. Another definition refers to the game universe outside of the game itself.

          Did you get all the cards? (?) Did the game care? No… It’s a METAGAME that utilizes sexual conquest and escapades to collect the cards. It is “EXTERNAL” from the game in that the “PLAYER” makes the choice to collect them or ignore them.

          Perhaps it is subjective to say that it “lacks maturity”. But to spite that, IT IS IN THE GAME. If you want all the cards you will bed “townsfolk”, “prostitutes”, “love interest”, “old love interest”, “fetch quest for prostitutes”, “more prostitutes”… so on and so forth. Further I never mentioned it’s maturity level or technical delivery.

          A minigame (also spelled mini-game or mini game and sometimes called a subgame) is a short video game often contained within another video game. A minigame is always smaller or more simplistic than the game in which it is contained. Minigames are sometimes also offered separately for free to promote the main game. For instance, the Pokémon Stadium minigames involve merely pressing a few buttons at specific intervals, with little complexity.

          Where the cards advertised as being in the game? Was it a part of the advertisement of the game? Was it separate from release? Yes, Yes, No (but was added later in the US)… plausible it IS a mini game, and in the states SEPARATE from the original content of the game.

          Clearly, the sex card collection “meta game” is emergent within the context of the Witcher 1 in and of itself. It is NOT a mini game as it does nothing in the context of the game mechanic. No level up, no additional powers, but maybe some different dialog choices? (I forget).

          Plausible it IS a mini game as it was CLEARLY implemented as part of the promotion of the game. Added later in different regions, and was used as part of the marketing.

          Let’s explore Theme:

          HOWEVER, as it was DEBATE-ABLY used as part of the promotional material of the first game, it does equivocate it to the Mass Effect “sex” scenes. Which are “unavoidable” in the narrative exposition of that game. YOU (Player-Shepard) WILL be having sex with the squid or Ashley. It cannot be avoided and still progress the story. Shit is “ON RAILS”.

          Ergo, it is “possible” by definition, to say that the “sex cards” are a mini game for promotional purposes. WHICH IS CONTRARY to Mr. Badowski’s “artistic integrity” gambit.

          HOWEVER, he is clearly talking about Witcher 2, and not Witcher 1. Clearly.

          Shepard WILL have sex in ME 1. It is unavoidable. Geralt may or may not (player agency) pursue the sex cards in Witcher 1. In Witcher 2, sexual encounters are part and parcel of the narrative exposition of the game, within the context of the game mechanic. THIS IS THE SAME as MASS EFFECT Thematically.

          So he IS making a distinction between sexuality nonsense to sell a product, and sex in narrative exposition. He is “distancing the new product from the older product”, and Role Reversing “artistic integrity” by discussing the act three flesh out. Again a PR Gambit to say “we are updating OUR ENDING, BECAUSE it is the correct thing to do, in the CONTEXT, of our story.”

          That is public relations diatribe. However, they have NOT been above it in the past, they are mildly above it in the present, who knows what they will do in the future.

          Further, Clearly, the “adult nature” of the Witcher and Witcher 2 are marketing selling points of the product in and of itself. In the context of what the OP was saying, my response, which I will support, is that The Witcher 2; Stands on the fact it is an “adult themed” title. That he is Insinuating that “adults” play their products, and that “so-called, would-be, true or not ADULTS” were too play their products they will enjoy an experience “themed” towards adults.

          What is not true about that? The game is CLEARLY this way. The advertising supports this claim. The game supports the claim. BUT it is a slight of hand from a PR standpoint to separate their product from other products, including their own, by taking “the higher road” with the public relations.

          That is why it is called “Public Relations”.

          The OP appears to have been pointing out a linguistic “shift” in the tone. Which was very adroit of him.

          Concluding… why all the straw champ? What did you prove?

          Sex Cards Mini Game: Unsubstantiated, but I fixed that for you, go me.
          Technical delivery: Unsubstantiated, but I fixed that for you to, go me.
          They are cards: “Gamer idea”… what does that even mean? What if I collect football cards and don’t play games? Collecting “things” is a META activity, I have explained that, go me.

          Here’s a fun one, why don’t you go ask your mom, if it’s “cool” to collect mementos from your sexual conquest for the sole purpose of collecting mementos. CLEARLY in the context of the game, it is a fantasy utilized to fulfill “some purpose” in the participants life, that opportunity to INDULGE in an activity was certainly “A Selling Point” of the original game.

    • aepervius says:

      More probably, as an european producer they are used to see nipple/breast on the beach every summer. Where I used to go in France, before moving eastward to germany, in bretagne, you had women in bikini, women half naked with only the bottom clothed, and fully naked women all mixed in the same beach. That is not even counting the strip tease show which was on prime time TV at 19h (TF1 I think “Cocoboy” stefan collaro show). Frankly, there are good reason why on this side of the pond we could not understand the furror at the nipplegate with Janet Jackson.

      Bottom line : he is right.

  4. Arglebargle says:

    Next time, release a game complete with an invertable mouse, and support for common monitor resolutions.

    I moved on to other games, and will pick up Witcher 2….sometime.

    Have to give them credit though: In Witcher 1, I know that at one point I put the game on hold and paced for an hour over a decision that had to be made. If it wasn’t compelling, it wouldn’t have mattered.

    • Gnoupi says:

      Hmm.. In my Witcher 2, you can invert mouse, and it supports all resolutions. Some will have letterbox bars, but the most common ratio (that I also use) is full screen. Can’t speak really for others, I haven’t tried. But the most common ratio doesn’t have any issues. So I don’t really see your point.

    • Hug_dealer says:

      you are truely missing out on without a doubt one of the best games to ever grace any gaming platform. I’m afraid to know what games you do buy, because i know they are probably throw away games in comparison.

    • Arglebargle says:

      Gnoupi, at release, neither of those things were true. They were patched in later. Now I’ve spent decades building up my reflexes for inverted mouse movement. Switching back and forth in different games is a continuous irritation. Until some reputable programmer tells me that it is really difficult to code it in, I consider it dumb to deliver a game without such a basic, important feature. No matter how ‘adult’ it may be. That’s my adult opinion about the importance of comfortable, configurable UI in today’s games. As always, others mileage may vary….

      Witcher 2 is, doubtless, a great game. I loved Witcher 1. But I’m playing other great games right now, which happily occupy my gaming time. A simple UI set up lead from a Week 1 buy to a ‘sometime later’, far less profitable ending for the developers.

      • Gnoupi says:

        So you don’t want to play the game even if it answers your gripes now, because of the state it was when it was released? That seems logical.

        Also, about inverted mouse, it’s not about difficulty of adding, it’s just that it’s far from being the majority. To be honest, besides one or two angry comments about it when a game dares to release without that, I would have forgotten people still use that. It has become the norm that you use the mouse to look around, and it follows the direction you go. Inverted mouse look is incoherent in itself, since it opposed left/right, in which you look where the mouse goes, and up/down, where you do the opposite (more akin to a plane control).

        Of course it’s better when it includes the option. Of course it’s nothing to add it. But you can’t really blame them for not thinking about something which is far from representative.

        • chackosan says:

          I started using the mouse for a flight game which had aiming inverted by default, and I’ve used it since – except for games like Freelancer where the reticule functions more like a cursor in ‘free look’ mode. Every game I’ve played which uses aiming has supported inverted aiming (except Beyond Good and Evil which had the feature in the menu but toggling it didn’t do anything in the game – weird). I’m curious – do you have any figures supporting how few people use inverted aiming, or is it all just anecdotal? Because if it’s the latter, I do happen to know a few people who are more comfortable with that setup.

        • Llewyn says:

          Cool, you don’t use it. But just because you’ve forgotten about it you shouldn’t assume that you’re in the majority.

          And in games like this it has nothing to do with resembling flight controls, and is not counter-intuitive as you suggest. It resembles head movement. You tilt your head back to look up, but still turn it right to look right.

    • thebigJ_A says:

      What are you talking about, you CAN invert the mouse. Hell, you can even invert the X axis, too, if you’re weird.

      And judging by the size of the drop-down, it supports a hell of a lot of resolutions, including all the common ones.

      There, you can play it now, you’re welcome.

      Edit to answer reply: Why switch back and forth at all? Just get used to what has been for years the standard, and go with it. Life’s too short to get hung up on the little things, especially little things you put in your own way.

      If there was ever a time to play it, it’s now. What with the EE, it’s like a whole new release.

  5. Paul says:

    Jesus F Christ stop complaining about the fucking doors already (I know it was mostly in jest, but still). They serve as a loading points. And they are infinitely better than Skyrim’s loading screens.

    Also, CDP is the best company in the biz.

    • Blackcompany says:

      You beat me to it. Thanks for saying this. At least the loading transition in Witcher 2 is quicker and more seamless than in Skyrim (about which no one complains, mysteriously.)

  6. noodlecake says:

    Awesomesauce.

    I really enjoyed the game as it was. It did feel like they ran out of time to fill out the last chapter but the end product was still head and shoulders above any story driven choice based PC Game. It’s very good of them to give extra content but without it the game had me more emotionally invested in it’s world and characters than any other PC game has ever made me feel.

    Favourite game ever, at least on the PC

  7. Lemming says:

    “What we did doesn’t compromise our artistic integrity,” Badowski said. “We didn’t change the ending, but extended the outro. The story of The Witcher 2 is complete, and we didn’t change the writing. By extending the outro we mean adding new cinematics to it. We are really proud of what our story team did, so there was no point in changing that. What we added is a short cutscene and a series of final-boards. These short scenes will change depending on the player’s choices in the game. They show how your decisions influenced individual characters, locations and kingdoms. Our game was always about choice, and this is a neat way to show players how they really had control over the story.”

    Is it me or is this a big ME3 dig? :D

  8. PleasingFungus says:

    Journey was great, but let’s be honest: it did not have a deep, intricate story that required contemplation and study to understand. It told a simple story well, with respect for its players. That doesn’t make it “adult”: a 10-year-old could play it and understand it. It just makes Journey a good game.

    • Nathan Grayson says:

      I agree that a ten-year-old could play Journey, but I think they’d find it slow-moving and take away something entirely different from the experience than an adult. That’s more what I was getting at. It’s a different kind of game for adults. Especially from an emotional standpoint, it’s an experience where player interpretation and appreciation of the little things it does are just as key to enjoyment as the actual in-game world, characters, and plots the developer created. So it’s not *necessarily* an adult game, but it has a very mature component to it — far more so than blood, guts, and nipples.

    • woodsey says:

      In all honesty, I found Journey completely inane. It is visually stunning, but my emotional-engagement was non-existent, and I thought it was actually fairly unimaginative; especially with regards to the main theme, which always feels like THE theme that people fall back on when they’re looking to do something ‘artsy’. And I have no problem with people wanting to be artsy, but made the entirety of Journey feel, in a way (and quite ironically), like an incredibly impersonal experience; like they’d looked for a theme to do something around as opposed to it being something they were already really interested in doing.

    • Tokamak says:

      The overreaching themes are not too complex in Journey, sure, but I think they did a nice job in holistically aligning their art/music design with said themes (ie, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fx3imhYJBic&feature=g-user-u). The main appeal of its beauty is in not so much of the content of its message more as its execution, I feel.

  9. Solskin says:

    I haven’t played Wither 1 or 2, with this update and the current sale on Steam, should I then get it?

    Please, someone tell me what to do!

    • Ignorant Texan says:

      Yes to buying Witcher 1 & 2, no to buying on Steam. GOG has the Witcher 1 for $4.99, and they are charging the same $42.99 for the Witcher 2 that Steam is, along with a bunch of goodies, and no DRM. An additional perk is that you may feel virtuous as all your money goes to the developer, CDProjekt Red.

    • nibbling_totoros says:

      I wholly recommend buying this game from any digital distributor, it’s really a “solid food” game. It doesn’t pussy foot around and try to cater to kids- it’s a mature game designed for adults. The combat is great, the graphics are absolutely fantastic, and the themes/stories are quite good.

      Plus you will be supporting one of the best PC developers in the market! They just constantly give free stuff to people.

    • Zanchito says:

      I do recommend them, and I recommend getting them on GOG.com. Lots of freebies, great support, no issues at all. I also like Steam a lot, but GOG is doing great things and they deserve the support.

      For Witcher 1, please note the game really picks up AFTER act 1. It’s a little bit slow showing you its greatness, but by the end of the game, it was throwing awesome at you like Muhammad Ali would throw 920 pound punches.

      • eclipse mattaru says:

        Interesting. I actually loved all the complexity of the RPGing and whatnot, but I found the story to be pretty dumb and uninteresting, which was kind of perplexing, after so much talk about the maturity and such. And the fact that the quests are so mind-numbingly boring didn’t help either.

        All that said, I dropped the game exactly after the first act was over (that would be after the boss fight in that tower thing in the swamp, if I remember right); so are you saying the game was just about to unleash the goodness right there and then? Should I go back to it?

        By contrast, TW2 did a much better job at sucking me into the story from the get go, what with all the politics and intrigues, and then that awesome assassination scene.

    • GH Moose says:

      IMO – yes, you should get them, but I agree with the Gog.com boosters here – Gog, for me, has faster downloads, it has no DRM, and has extra goodies. I’m of the opinion that all of the above should be encouraged.

      That being said, depending on how much time you’ve got, you might want to consider holding off on The Witcher 2 for a bit. For one, I’d see if you like the first game’s “theme” – the gameplay in the 2nd is significantly different but the “tone” is the same. Also, I’d guess 2 will probably have a better sale in the next 2 or 3 months so holding off may be easier on your wallet, assuming you can make yourself put it off until a sale :P

      For the record, I loved both games. A lot. Adult themed RPG goodness.

  10. Archonsod says:

    “The parallel between CD Projekt and BioWare’s respective attitudes, approaches, and solutions to a similar problem, then, is well worth a momentary donning of your flowing costume beard for a chin stroke or two”

    Bioware cops a lot of flak for having a bad ending. CDP has a bad ending, avoids flak by taking it for having game breaking bugs which prevented people reaching the ending in the first place.

    I’m thinking there’s possibly some superior third way here …

    • GH Moose says:

      Honestly, I think some of the reason The Witcher 2 dodged flak for a questionable ending was because it wasn’t an END as much as Mass Effect 3 was. The Witcher 2 clearly has story remaining to be told and wasn’t meant to end the whole plot thread, the greater plot is still ongoing. Mass Effect 3 was supposed to be the end to a thread.

      Basically, I generally don’t criticize Act 2 of a 3 act play horribly for having a weak end, but if Act 3 sputters out I’m going to be angry/disappointed.

    • Chromie192 says:

      You can’t be serious? What gamebreaking bugs are you talking about? And the ending wasn’t bad it was just abrupt and the difference is CDProjekt actually decided to you know do something about it while Bioware with all their cash only plan to add some dialogue/cinematics.

    • evilviper says:

      And what exactly was wrong with TW2′s ending? I mean, it’s not like this was the final conclusion, there is still a lot of story to be covered. A lot of people complain about how short it was (and it is) but it’s not as if it doesn’t make sense. I mean after all, you are finally at the gathering of all the chess pieces so what do you expect? Geralt to just go wandering around the ruins for a few days wasting time when literally all the pieces of the puzzle are laying there right in front of him waiting to be put together? I really had no issue with the pacing and thought it went quite well for the last act.

      The difference in ME3 adding to their ending and TW2 add to it’s ending is totally different (because honestly I assume the few things left unmentioned in TW2 will be explained in the next game, not that much of those things weren’t already hinted at anyways).

  11. Ondrej says:

    Just wanted to say that those image alt-texts are amongst many things that make me come back to RPS daily.

    You rock!

  12. snibbling says:

    what is wrong with the doors? i dont notice anything..

    • Paul says:

      Nothing, really.

    • BatmanBaggins says:

      I think the main complaint was that if an NPC opens one, you have to wait for them to move through it and close it before you can open it and walk through yourself. Can’t just go through the open door with them.

      Only sort of annoying when you’re following someone.

      • snibbling says:

        aha, that must be it. Now I do remember that, it was kind of annoying.

        • Brun says:

          When you open a door it takes control away from your character and you do a fixed animation of opening the door, walking through it, and then having it close behind you.

          Contrary to what others are saying you can go through some doors behind NPCs without waiting for them to close first. But you still slow down from your normal run speed and do the canned “walk_through_the_door.mov” animation. That decrease in speed when running through an open doorway is what’s most jarring about it, IMO.

          I understand the technical reason behind it. But it’s still noticeable.

          • noodlecake says:

            I didn’t notice. If I did I instantly forgave and forgot. I don’t really see how this could be an issue to anyone at all.

  13. Hug_dealer says:

    Dont even compare me3 and witcher 2. One is a masterpiece, the other is almost a masterpiece ruined entirely by an ending that made no sense and pretty much ruined the series by throwing in a character that we had no idea existed or hinted at, It was one of those twists like waking up from a dream. Lets not forget the fact that is the citidel AI was already in control of the citidel, why didnt it simply activate the mass effect drive, instead of having sovereign attempt to do it. Hell why not put a indoctrination thing in the citidel, then they would have covertly.

    CDP left some things hanging, but atleast the story made alot of sense, and it gave room for an expansion or witcher 3 to wrap things up. The fact they are adding more is fantastic. ME3 was the conclusion and was suppose to wrap everything up. But actually did nothing, and no consequences were dealt out.

    I didnt even buy ME3 til a month after it was out, i avoided all the raging on the internet until i got a chance to play it, i was figuring that it was just internet rage, until i teleported aboard the citidel at the end and experienced what can only be described as one of the worst moments in gaming. The rest of the game, i would declare a must play. Then the ruined ending along with the fact that the ending also screws up the plots of the first 2 games. I dont care that it wasnt happy, i like unhappy endings tbh. The ending just flat out sucked, didnt explain anything. Like why would the collecters who were working for the reapers build the human reaper in the first place, why not help with the invasion. Or the fact that a huge fact that the last character you meet in the game is someone you never knew existed and could never have known. Keeping secrets is great, but you gotta give hints. You dont do a murder/mystery movie and then at the end introduce a homeless guy at the end who was never featured as the murderer. Thats exactly what ME3 did.

    Also, why did the plans for the crucible always survive, but what it actually did never make it? Kinda odd. Hell, why did the crucible even need to be built in the first place. WHy not blow the citidel up instead, boom problem solved. Whoever created the crucible to begin with all those cycles ago, could have simply said blow up the citadel. See how terrible the writing for ME3 is. The entire series loses any credibility with the huge plot holes and things that make no sense once the jig is up at the end of the game.

    atleast the witchers answers questions left from the first game. Such as how you came back. Then it poses new ones, and leaves a few unanswered that can be picked up for the next game. But delivers a full story that reacted to your actions, every step of the way.

    Cause you know, i dont know what i would do if the Geth werent at earth……………………………. oh wait.

    Once again, the 2 are not comparable even in the slightest.

  14. WMain00 says:

    Long may CD Projekt’s expedition into creating games that are for adults continue. One of the things that I found praiseworthy for the Witcher 2 was that it didn’t shy away from the topic of sex, nor did it attempt to shoe-horn it in as some sort of interactive reward. It presented the relationship between Geralt and Triss as matter-of-fact and showed no fear in doing so. Other developers seem too bogged down in avoiding the topic of sex or nudity altogether, either because they simply don’t know how to handle it or because they’re worried about media reputation. It’s high time the industry – and I think it’s plainly obvious who I’m talking about within said industry – grew up and accepted that sex is a natural act, rather than some sort of hammy terribly written interactive love story with an end result of peeping-tom camera usage.

  15. Deviija says:

    “Are these games “adult”? And, among them, where does Witcher’s seemingly juvenile love of blood spilling and male gazing fit in?”

    I think you answered your own question within that question. Boobs, blood, and cursing is still boobs, blood, and cursing. Juvenile is juvenile. Geralt never removed his pants the entire game, regardless of his partner’s undress or the sexual situation.

    Also, I love how all this chatter and emphasis goes on about “artistic integrity” when it is only WOMEN being objectified and sexualized in these games. Or how discussions/arguments about ‘mature’ games with ‘mature’ themes including nudity in their games (for realism/artistic expression) only when it comes to women specifically. Throw in a naked man, or peen, and suddenly it turns into a whole different tone of discussion with a whole different crop of reasons for excluding such from the medium. The double-standard alone shows that it is nothing mature at all, nor does it have anything to do with ‘artistic integrity,’ so much as it does have to do with titillation and juvenile handling of content.

    I am definitely for mature themes, mature handling of characters and plotlines, and I am quite fine with nudity being preset within our gaming medium. However, when it turns into a song and dance number that revolves solely around only ONE gender the vast majority of time, then it isn’t mature handling and artistic expression. It turns into exploitation.

  16. Cryo says:

    “mature”

  17. Tusque D'Ivoire says:

    Still, all things considered, this is the first game patch ever that wants me to restart my PC… ridiculous.
    But i guess it reflects on the wholesome nature of the “Enhanced Edition”, as “full” games do that to me a lot.

  18. SoggySilicon says:

    If you live in the states Witcher 2 is 19.99 at Target… just saying… at that money… there is simply nothing better on the market.

  19. fupjack says:

    Hm, yeah, it is a better deal in terms of ‘stuff’ on gog.com, and I’d like to see the comic.

    Hey, there’s other games here… Star Control 1 + 2? Welp, there’s my productivity ruined for a while now.

  20. Iliya Moroumetz says:

    Just because a game has sex, or the implications thereof, doesn’t make it ‘mature’ or ‘adult’.

    Honestly, some of the choices you had to make in the first Witcher seemed far more mature because they were not simple at all because all sides involved were not as simple as heroes and villains.

    Just sayin’.

    • LTK says:

      To me, you’re exactly describing the sort of choices made in the Witcher 2. Can you name one character in the game who’s wholly virtuous?

      • noodlecake says:

        Agreed. The fact that nothing in the game was morally black or white was one of the major things that made it work so well. I tried to go back and play the first Witcher after completing the second one but I found the combat too bizarre. Also Geralt looks silly in the first game. I’m sure I’ll give it another crack one day.

  21. KenTWOu says:

    Fallout Classic Revisited (51 min 32 sec)

    This is Q&A part of Tim Cain’s GDC speech about Fallout. Tim talked about ESRB, mature rating, level of violence and child killing. It’s interesting, he also mentioned that Europe doesn’t care about frontal nudity but high level of violence disappoints them.

    P.S: woah, reply fail : (

  22. jrodman says:

    I’m somewhat intrigued by this game, but from what I’ve read, the action combat would be intensely frustrating. Can someone talk me past that? Does it have an ez mode?

    • Eukatheude says:

      It’s not *that* frustrating, and the new tutorial should give you a decent understanding of it before you get into the game. And yes there’s ez mode, you can toggle it whenever you want. On my first playthrough i used it to get past the most frustrating sections, and you can switch back to normal instantly.

  23. nootpingu86 says:

    I don’t think Mass Effect and Witcher are comparable in any way. Witcher 2 was already a well-written, interesting, and diverse game before they decided to revise the ending. Mass Effect had potential because of the compelling setting and a few interesting characters, little more than that however.

    Post-2007 Bioware shows little to no forethought regarding their recent titles’ stories. Thematically, Bioware’s writing is sophomoric at best. The retcons and post-hoc logical leaps between 1 and 2 should’ve tipped people off that they were making the story up as they went along, consistency be damned.

    Bioware’s stalwart devotion to gameplay ‘accessibility’ essentially means removing all variety and tactical choice. The gameplay in Mass Effect is hilariously shallow as a result. All of the combat amounts to little more than a corridor cover-shooting gallery. The environments show some rather imaginative art design …relegated to the backgrounds of geometric corridors with small walls to take cover behind. Generous health, restoratives, and shield regen means the only way to actually die in combat is impatience (often brought on by its bland and rote nature for me). Class-specific combat abilities only serve to make the combat even more simplistic ironically enough. All of the items in the command menu are effectively optional if you play a combat-oriented class. The squadmates spam their abilities automatically and their deaths are easily remedied with a tap of the medigel key. It’s design by lobotomy, more or less.

    Witcher 2 offers more variety in play style from the first 30 minutes of combat. You have to make tactical choices on the fly because it utilizes melee combat from 3D action games in environments that aren’t nearly as contrived as ME. There are tradeoffs and committing to a particular approach is necessary. People knocked it for the lack of spoon-fed advice about how to play, probably due to years of pandering and hand-holding from Bioware and similar devs. The game added a tutorial to explain how the game works at length so there are no more excuses to make :).

    • noodlecake says:

      I disagree completely. I’ve played 3 classes in Mass Effect 3. With the infiltrator I would stay very far back and pick off 3 or four enemies at a time with my semi automatic sniper rifle with the Max Payne style bullet time power. With the adept I would focus on biotic powers and generally just play the games casually trying to kill enemies by chucking them around the areas using flashy powers. With the… Vanguard (The melee one one anyway) I woud get up close and personal ad use a lot more melee attacks and shotguns. That was the only option that I tried that was genuinely difficult.

      In The Witcher 2 I just kept my forcefield power on constantly and hacked enemies with the appropriate sword. It was game breakingly easy. never needed to use potions, never needed to think. Just roll around like a bafoon with a forcefield on slashing things with the appropriate sword. I’m not saying it wasn’t enjoyable but it definitely wasn’t well balanced or thought out.

      The Witcher 2 still has a far superior narrative which makes it the better game really because both games are more or less interactive stories broken up by combat and exploration unlike most games which are combat and exploration broken up by (generally awful) narrative.

      • nootpingu86 says:

        A single play style determined by your character class is a pretty bad system. Ideally Bioware could have multiple play styles inside one class, like, say a skill tree instead of just linear progression. A game with so few variables like ME3 (linear corridor shooting, 5 basic weapons) can’t really be broken in the same way a game like Witcher 2 could because it has fewer ways to play. Usually singleplayer games have some kind of balance problem, but you really do have to try to make ME3 challenging at all.

        My main point was that ME3 was devoid of challenge, depth AND options. I played Vanguard in ME3, hoping against hope that it wouldn’t be as bad as ME2 — yet charge and nova pretty much sucked, so I stuck to ammo powers. Shotguns were still weak, so I just stuck back and plinked away. Having various distances to engage enemies from isn’t really that interesting. ME3 becomes too easy regardless of how you choose to play imo.

        One thing to consider – Witcher 2 has specific options that make the game too easy, if I’m understanding you correctly. The thing is, CDprojekt seems to make a lot of changes to the gameplay each patch to make sure it isn’t super-exploitable once something like that is discovered. I’m going to start an EE playthrough here real soon anyways. That patch release was a real nightmare until I found the fix for it. Grr.

  24. Kadayi says:

    What would be nice is to see CDProjekts coders pull their finger out and fix the windows 142 crash bug that was introduced with the 2.1 patch months ago and still hasn’t been addressed even by the EE update.

  25. deadly.by.design says:

    I’m still hesitant to believe that the dev who awarded nudie cards for sex acts (in The Witcher) can ever do anything appropriately labeled as “adult.”

    They’ve got the whole “stuck in the moral quagmire” thing down right, but I really don’t care to see sex scenes in any of my games. If I play TW2, I might try to keep Geralt chaste… just for fun.

    • Tael says:

      Then you didn’t seem to have paid that much attention to the story stuff, characterisation and morals. And to have taken the little joke of the sex cards far too seriously.

      • deadly.by.design says:

        I mentioned the way that they handled morality, etc, and I appreciated it. That’s exactly why the sex cards stood out like a sore knob. Trust me, I endured crappy loading times and pre-directors-edition flaws to find a refreshingly entertaining RPG. I just thought the sex parts of the relationships were really, really stupid.

        And as far as Witcher 2 relationships go, I certainly hope there’s an alternative to Triss for those who want to. She was more trouble than she was worth in the first game.

        • Tael says:

          Well, yes, the cards were pretty ridiculous, but I don’t see what is the big issue. They’re a joke on the character of Geralt, on heroes and the chastity of medieval women. They are not an outrageous invention, but a little satirical element and entertainment. Sex is rampant in this type of fantasy (and other forms of fiction) and it doesn’t immediately render an author immature, even the gratuitous type (Tyrion).

          “She was more trouble than she was worth in the first game.”

          There was an alternative to her in the first game, and how was she more trouble than she was worth? Didn’t you like her personality? Well, she is a character and is allowed to have her own personality and demands or problems. That strikes me as a strange and unobjective reaction. She is the established lover of Geralt, but yes, like in the first game, you have choices.

  26. Tael says:

    The funny thing about that title image is that the fight is just as unfair as it looks, and that’s not even taking into account that the thing can call upon heavy artillery support and turn itself into a fiery tornado.

    Edit: Alright, I forgot I still had some skills left, but that would still have needed some luck (as the first time I defeated him), but then I found it’s easy to get behind the shield with the Aard sign. There are also other tactics, but it was a long time since I played it. It’s easy to forget the variety that’s possible in the game.

  27. ITSSEXYTIME says:

    I think game developer’s having the power to add on, expand or edit their narrative post-release is only a positive thing. It’s not any different than an “extended cut”, and it’s usually beneficial. In some cases it just adds a little bit extra to the experience and bridges the gaps, and in others it can significantly change a movie. For example, Kingdom of Heaven’s theatrical version is vastly inferior to the director’s cut release.

    You could argue that a situation like Mass Effect 3 where a developer is doing so based on fan feedback is a bit thing for a creative medium, but I’d retort that if fans of the series thought your ending was shit maybe you should humble yourself a bit and reflect on your “creative vision”. There’s a difference between an ending that upsets expectations (Battlestar Galactica is a good example) and an unsatisfying deus ex machina which offers no consideration for any of your choices in the trilogy nor what you choose in the final moments; although the colour does change depending on whether you chose left, right or middle. (Mass Effect 3) The former is an example of a creative vision, the latter is an example of incompetence.

  28. RegisteredUser says:

    That’s odd, I thought their target demographic was people they could sue with pay up or else letters.

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