So I’ve Been Playing The Witcher 2 A Bit…


It’s quite fancy. (Click for full size.)

Will probably post some thoughts on it tomorrow.

78 Comments

  1. Vandelay says:

    Oh Jim! You tease!

  2. Andy says:

    Well, I have it pre-ordered from GoG…
    I’m really looking forward to it but the first one remains a guilty stain on my ‘loved it but never quite got around to finishing it’ list. A list that is currently growing out of control!

    • Zanchito says:

      Please do finish it, it gets more and more intense as it evolves.

    • fionny says:

      FYI! Its much cheaper on Amazon.co.uk then on GOG, I had a big long email chat with one of the guys in GOG and he admitted defeat and that they were locked into the price despite being a partner.

      Also the preorder on GOG is not binding (i preordered there too thinking it would be cheapest)

      As for finishing it! I just managed to finish it after all these years… was good! Really looking forward to the second given the supposed changes!

  3. Navagon says:

    So is the game stretched or letterboxed on 16:10 monitors? I’ve yet to see anything sane and rational on this issue. I’ve played too many stretched games to care about that anymore, but I don’t want to develop a squint.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      It seems to support 16:9 only in this preview build, but it’s worth stressing that it is an early and incomplete build of the game. I am hoping they will expose a few more graphics options in the final thing because currently it is… sparse.

    • Navagon says:

      For a PC-only game I’d be surprised if they only supported an aspect ratio common only on consoles (according to statistics gathered by Valve on what PC gamers are using).

      So I take it the image will be stretched for the rest of us then? If the final game is letterboxed I think I’ll have to pass unfortunately. At least until it’s cheap.

    • goatmonkey says:

      I would be interested in hearing how it runs at the moment even though it’s an unfinished build

    • VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      Navagon, go look at the Steam hardware survey results again. The most common primary monitor resolution, with a 19.39% share, is 1920×1080, which is 16:9. And all the 16:9 resolutions listed add up to somewhere between 30% and 40% I think (on a mobile device now, making it hard for me to easily add up the numbers or even check the ratios). So a very significant proportion.

    • Highstorm says:

      I haven’t gone shopping for a monitor in some time, but a friend was recently telling me that most all monitors are 16:9 native now. Is that true? It rather sucked the wind out of my day hearing that. 16:9 just feels so… squat.

    • Navagon says:

      @ VelvetFistIronGlove
      No those are the same numbers, but perhaps my wording unintentionally downplayed the prevalence of 16:9. Essentially what I’m saying is that 30% isn’t 100% or anything like it. It’s a fraction, not the entirety or even close. So not including other options makes me wonder why they decided to make this a PC game at all.

      @ Highstorm
      It does, doesn’t it? At the same stated size as a 16:10 (or better yet – in this regard – a 4:3) you’re getting a drastically reduced viewing area. Which means you need to buy a ‘larger’ screen to get what is actually the same size.

      So the main reason for companies to ditch 16:10 is simply because they can produce 16:9 monitors far more cheaply and still brand them as being the same size.

    • Bhazor says:

      “If the final game is letterboxed I think I’ll have to pass unfortunately. At least until it’s cheap.”
      A PC gamer saying they’ll boycott a game for a percieved slight? Why I never.

    • Andy`` says:

      I tried buying monitors recently (I wanted two), and I found that generally there aren’t very many 24″ 16:10 monitors around – pretty much all of them are marketed at business customers in some way (90 tilt, or using different types of panels that give a different picture quality but slower response time), and are a bit expensive. Smaller ones (eg: 22″) are a bit more common, but there’s still not alot of choice. Furthermore, plenty of shopping websites lie about it – they’ll have a monitor marked as 16:10 when it’s actually 16:9. It could well be a small mistake, but it makes searching a bit of a minefield.

      In the end, I had to settle for two 24″ 16:9’s, because the same amount of money would get me one 24″ 16:10. Still, I noticed a few things. Thought I’d share.

      I don’t think there’s much difference in screen material between the two aspect ratios (remember, the inch measurement is corner to corner, so with two monitors of the same size you lose a bit of width and gain a bit of height, the difference will be small if there is any), but I suspect they’re moving towards 16:9’s because standardisation means they only have to shove one panel size and one case size through factories per size bracket (which makes them cheaper), and it means they can market all their panels as “full HD” or “true HD”, to the less informed customers (eg: console or tv buyers that might be buying their first monitor). BenQ is a harsh example of this, where they have shit like this on their product pages:

      16:9 perfectly displays Full HD.
      16:10 stretches or distorts images to meet Full HD signal.
      16:9 allows you to enjoy the entire image.
      16:10 creates visual interference with the black bars.

      Yeah…

      When TVs are pretty much all 16:9 anyway, it makes sense. And it could be some people are just using their PCs through their TVs. Which means more 16:9 in use.

      There seems to be a bit of complaining about black bars on 16:10 when playing certain games or watching movies (pretty much every time I tried to find out more info on where I could find some, or reviews, I’d see one or more mentions of this). Black bars don’t make a huge difference, and it probably seems petty, but that seems to be lost screen property to some people. When the monitors being bought now are being used for a pc, tv and a console at the same time, and more for entertainment than work, I don’t really blame anyone for caring.

      And of course, the way widescreen’s scaled in games, on 16:10 monitors you essentially lose a small amount of viewing area (since height tends to be fixed and fov adjusted for width). It’s hardly anything between the two, but it’s enough to influence buying decisions.

      In short, we’re screwed.

      Screwed because of marketing.

    • finnith says:

      What exactly are the benefits of 16:10? I have only recently been promoted from Console Plebeian and use a 24″ 1920 x 1080 monitor.

    • drewski says:

      @ finnith – you get a little more vertical visual information (roughly 11% more) in software/media which support it.

      For media which is native to 16:9, that means that the image will either be vertically stretched to fill the extra pixels; or letterboxed (black bands on top and bottom of the picture) to maintain the original aspect ratio. For media which is native to 16:10, you will see everything, whereas someone with a 16:9 monitor will have the top and bottom cut, or the image squashed to fit the smaller amount of pixels.

      I’d rather have media letterboxed than squashed or cut, so I’m a big fan of native 16:9. Of course, with videogames, there’s not really any reason they can’t support both except that it’s a bit more work.

    • Shubb9 says:

      Can’t recommend my Samsung Syncmaster 2433 highly enough if anyone is in the market for a 24″ 16:10 monitor. Good contrast & good response times. I remember reading an article I’m trying to track down that said we are seeing more 16:9 ratio monitors because the panels, when fabricated, are then cut down to get the maximum number of screens per panel and you get more 16:9 screens out of one of these large panels than 16:10. So its just economics rather than consumer preference.

    • Kadayi says:

      @finnith
      More screen real estate effectively. Useful if you do a lot of graphical/DTP work on top of gaming as you can have a full page magazine spread open in Indesign for example. If anyone is looking for a decent 16:10 I heartily recommend the Dell 2410 24″ Ultrasharp. It’s not cheap, but the picture quality is extremely rich and it’s robust.

    • Navagon says:

      @ Bhazor

      I never once mentioned the word boycott. I also never said anything about feeling insulted by this. The very fact that I said I was going to buy it anyway – and that it’s only a matter of what time and at what price – should have proven that.

      I would not want to associate myself with the fucktards who claim to boycott things and if you are going to insult people then it’s best to at least base those insults on fact or else you wind up looking like a fucktard yourself.

  4. Duffin says:

    You lucky bitch!

  5. Premium User Badge

    colinmarc says:

    jerkface!

  6. Premium User Badge

    Andy_Panthro says:

    Looks quite a bit better than the first, and that was quite pretty itself.

    Pre-ordered from GOG.com, because I like my DRM free goodness, but am tempted by GamersGates blue coins… decisions, decisions!

    On a vaguely related note, are RPS going to be covering GOG’s presentation tomorrow? The buzz on the forums is that EA are on there way… (although earlier, everyone was POSITIVE it was Lucasarts, so we’ll have to wait and see)

    • Dominic White says:

      The hints that they’ve been dropping could point equally to Lucasarts or EA. It’s likely to be one or the other.

      If the planets align and karma reigns supreme, it’ll be both though. Whatever it is, they apparently considered announcing it on April 1st, but according to them, ‘nobody would believe them’.

    • Vinraith says:

      Both would be the best thing ever, and there really are valid indications for each. That said, if it’s one or the other, I hope it’s EA. There’s simply a greater breadth and depth of games I want from that end of things.

    • Bhazor says:

      Well yesterdays hint was “What game sent you underground”. To me that sounds like either The Dig (lucas), or Ultima Underworld (formerly Origin now EA).

      Todays hint is “What game made you afraid of the dark?”. Alone in the Dark (Atari) seems too obvious so I’m not sure but I’d suggest Thief (Squaresoft).

      So yeah I have no idea which publisher it’s going to be. But that’s if it is a publisher my personal hope is they’ll announce some XBox/PS2 era console ports. An upgraded version of say Panzer Dragoon Orta or Kingdom Under Fire you could play on a laptop would be incredible.

      Eitherway I’m skipping the presentation to avoid getting too much exposure to Witcher 2. So I’ll probably end up waiting for the RPS write up.

  7. Derpington Hurrrrrrr says:

    POST THOUGHTS NOW!

    • Rinox says:

      WE’RE PAYING YOU TO WORK THROUGHT THE NIGHT JIM!!

      Oh wait, we’re not. :-( Well, maybe if subscribing counts as paying.

    • nimnio says:

      @Rinox: It does, actually. You’re technically Jim’s boss.

  8. Kaira- says:

    Pre-ordered from Amazon, can’t be arsed to fork out 40€ for a digital download, not even for a DRM-free. But eh, from what I’ve understood the physical copies will also be DRM-free, so I feel good.

    • Sunjumper says:

      I pre-order from play. Because I want a nice physical copy of my game. Because I am poor and sometimes the online deals are to good to say no to I still can’t see how a digital version of a game could ever replace a physical one. Especialy if it is a special edition that comes with maps and book and stuff.
      In a perfect world I would own a physical copy of every game I have using the digital download as a convinient bonus option.

    • The Colonel says:

      But GOG are the good guys! If massive outlets swallow all the money what hope have the few swimming against the tide of faceless capitalism?

    • Jake says:

      Eww, physical copies! A shelf of mismatched cardboard boxes can’t compare to a lovely screen full of uniformly sized Steam icons. Having to insert DVDs is just one step up from having to play a game that comes on 15 floppy disks, My DVD drive is rusted shut. And I hear they still print manuals on paper! Actual paper – what is this the Middle Ages?

      The sooner I can exist entirely in digital form the better.

    • Vinraith says:

      I was under the impression that only GOG copies would be DRM free. I’d love some clarification on that point. If physical copies are DRM-free I’ll certainly get one of those, if not I’ll order from GOG.

    • Wulf says:

      @Vin

      link to gog.com

      The FAQ there states that it’ll be completely DRM free, sooo… there you go!

    • Kaira- says:

      @Vinraith

      If this is anything to go by, retail versions are also DRM-free, but as it is not a direct quote and the forums have all kinds of speculations, I’m not 100% sure. Of course on retail-version much depends on the distributor, but I have my hopes. And a simple CD-key check has never hurt me, so I’m okay with something small like that, though of course I would prefer to just pop DVD in and start playing.

      @The Colonel
      I’ve spent way too much money on GOG already, I guess I should play some of these games one day.

      @Jake
      Oh boy, you don’t even know how much I fancy physical copies (especially if they contain something bonus), I bought Alan Wake’s collector edition just because it came with a BOOK. And I bought Oblivion about a month ago as physical copy because it had a map. Damn, I’m a sucker for all kinds of neat physical extras.

      Edit://
      @Wulf
      That only covers the GOG-premium edition, not the physical copies, or else I seriously need new reading glasses.

    • Vinraith says:

      @Wulf

      That refers only to the GOG version, which I already knew was going to be DRM-free. I’m curious about the physical retail copies.

      @Kaira

      Thanks for the link. This line from a press release:

      “Good Old Games’ version of highly-anticipated RPG will not contain DRM as all other downloadable versions will”

      makes it sound like non-GOG digital copies will have DRM, but not retail copies. Those two together are enough to make me at least wait and see before buying straight off GOG, I do like having actual plastic and paper in my hands. I agree with you, as well, that something minor like a cd key is not a significant problem.

    • Sunjumper says:

      @tThe Colonel
      Don’t you worry I still go and buy games from GOG so that I can play them on my new machine without exploding in a puff of frustration fueled rage when I try to configure DOS Box.

      Also for some reason I did not install my 5.25″ srive into my newest computer, no idea why. I always liked the look on the faces of people seeing it and it is close to a miracle that it still works on modern hardware.
      On a ridiculous note it is often faster to download an old game than to install it from its floppy.

  9. Jharakn says:

    wooooo, I’m really looking forward to this game. Trying to be calm and sane about it because anticipation always leads to disappointment but it really looks good doesn’t it!

  10. kikito says:

    I’ve been thinking a great comment.
    It’s quite fancy.
    Will probably post it tomorrow.

    • MarloBrandon says:

      @kikito
      That was pretty funny! I’ll probably laugh tomorrow.

  11. SilverSilence says:

    Two full posts on Fable 3 and and a tiny post about The Witcher? Sorry I thought this was a PC gaming site.

  12. TheSaddestSort says:

    Looking forward to hearing your impressions.

  13. Jimbo says:

    Nice jerkin.

  14. Danarchist says:

    My hairdresser stands exactly like that

  15. Silver says:

    should I change my nickname to Ertai ?

    OT:

    Jim u fuckard!! tho I’d do the same: ) really counting reading a post tomorrow when I wake up (midday that is)

    I hope it isn’t buggy as some other recent games :)

  16. Ricc says:

    I really like the detail on that character model. Looks like he has a book and some scrolls on him. Wonder what that is about.

  17. matrices says:

    Am I the only one disappointed by these graphics? They really don’t look any better than in the first game – all the foliage and detail looks very static. Doesn’t look like there’s godrays, dynamic lighting, shadows, or realistic foliage.

    I know the early screens I saw – the ones probably still on their website – looked amazing. But this screen and some other leaked ones don’t match up at all. Pretty disappointing if those early shots were cooked.

    • Ricc says:

      The Witcher was already a bit ugly in 2007, especially faces. There were practically no facial expressions, which made conversations stiff and awkward. Imo The Witcher 2 looks like a game from 2011 and a good one at that.

    • Cinek says:

      “They really don’t look any better than in the first game” – ROTFL! What?! You don’t have the first game or you haven’t seen anything from second? There’s IMMERSE difference between one and another!

  18. TariqOne says:

    Never could get into The Witcher. Bugs and polish aside, I found the atmosphere so dour and charmless, and Geralt himself so unlikeable, that after only short bursts of play even the yucky real world seemed like a comparatively much better place to be.

    • Cinek says:

      Well, I also did not like the original game much. Even though I play original version (Polish) which is said to be much better than English one. But…. in The Witcher 2 they essentially removed every crap that annoyed me and improved all the stuff I wanted to be improved so… I pre-ordered it already :) Looks like this can be THE RPG of 2011, especially after miserable failure of DA2.

    • Big Murray says:

      Hold your horses, Cinek. Deus Ex 3 comes out this year …

  19. paterah says:

    One month till Geralt.
    New face looks good too.

  20. Big Murray says:

    The Witcher is one of those things I just can’t understand. The first game was possibly the worst RPG I’ve ever played. It made me cringe.

    • Taargus says:

      I thought the same thing, but after giving it another shot I realized that for me anyway, it was just the intro and a little of the beginning that initially turned me off. As soon as you make it into Vizima proper, it gets a lot better. I’m actually too addicted to the pokerdice to continue the story.

    • kazooka says:

      There was a pretty massive difference in the original release and the “Director’s Cut.” The original release was pretty much the definition of a dodgy East European import. The translations were goofy, the character models were stiff and emotionless and it was just generally unpleasant. I played the demo and that was enough to convince me that I wasn’t going to appreciate whatever the appeal of the rest of the game.

      However, the Director’s Cut was spectacular. I’m a little surprised that it went as unremarked as it did. Instead of just clearing up some of the more egregious mistranslations, they appear to have re-tooled the whole thing. They hired someone who was actually fluent in English to retranslate everything, revoiced everything and even changed the shot direction, so that cutscenes weren’t just static 3/4 shots of expresionless peasants. It was an amazing remake, and it completely changed the nature of the game.

      I suspect that’s why you see a lot of completely opposing opinons out there, as if people had played two different games. In this case, they may actually have.

    • Big Murray says:

      I’d mention that I played the Enhanced Edition from the off, and my opinion was still as above.

  21. Bhazor says:

    So did the RPS hive mind ever come to a consensus about this game? I remember one of them gave a pretty critical review back in the day.

  22. Spider Jerusalem says:

    Some gameplay videos:

    link to youtube.com
    link to youtube.com

    • Valvarexart says:

      ohmigawd, got any more? plsplsplspls?

    • Spider Jerusalem says:

      There’s one more short one:

    • Pemptus says:

      Gotta say, I’m not a fan of the loooong instakill executions. Witchers are supposed to kill swiftly and effectively, the flashiness is just a byproduct. Plus, it ruins the flow somewhat.

      (I’m just moaning because I want this to be awesome <3)

  23. Ba5 says:

    Please tell us if combat is actually fun this time, or if it’s still just waiting for your mouse cursor to get lit up and then click.

    • Inarborat says:

      It’s been completely redone. Each mouse button is light or heavy attack, blocking, rolling, etc… They’ve been namedropping Batman: Arkham Asylum and Demon’s Souls as influences. Almost all previews have praised the combat. Also, the side weapons like daggers and axes will actually be useful this time if you select the appropriate skill when leveling up.

      May 17th needs to hurry up.

  24. Avenger says:

    Tease? Or TORTURE!?

  25. shady2020 says:

    On an unrelated note DA2 1.02 Patch just got released :D!

  26. Dominic White says:

    I actually hope that there’s a default gamepad control setup. It sounds pretty much ideal to play with one, as you’ve basically got Light, Heavy, Block, Dodge and Magic buttons, and that’s about it.

  27. Pinky G says:

    Please guys can you not do posts like this. I like this site because of its quality control but since getting signed its been getting more frustrating trying to keep up with the volume of posts and ‘filler stories’. You are overwhelming me, and the whole point of coming to a site like this is to get the filtered important bits of info. Its a convenience service basically. Im spending more and more time reading about games than playing them atm!

    • Rii says:

      “Im spending more and more time reading about games than playing them atm!”

      This has been me for the last, oh, five years at least.

  28. eightbitrobot says:

    Must finish the first game first, must finish the first game first, must finish the first game first..