We’ll have much more to say about the Witcher 2 in a short while – I’ve now also played the preview code Jim got all frothy about and can happily confirm that it’s awesome, so we’ll have a good old chinwag about it soon – but in the meantime allow me to point those pretty little eyes of yours at the latest dev diary video. It demonstrates one of the key differences between the first and second game: the fluidity, variance and satisfying crunch of the combat, as opposed to the rather unusual click-timing of the original (don’t say a bloody word, old magazine readers). Geralt’s a stone-cold killer this time around, a flurry of masterful violence pleasing to both the eyes and that mysterious link betwixt gamer’s hand and gamer’s brain.
Pretty representative of what I’ve seen so far, I’d say, and it’s even set within the same forest area in Chapter 1. Worth watching in HD if you can, as it gives some sense of just how lush and detailed the game is. The traps I’ve found to be particularly satisfying in instances where there’s time to use ’em, such as the intimidating arrival of a stampeding giant spider queen. A chain reaction of explosions and chomping metal jaws made short work of something that otherwise would take my face off almost immediately if I let it get too close.
(One thing I would disagree with the video on is the prevalence and usefulness of non-sword weapons. The blackjacks and axes and whatnot which occasionally appear are significantly less powerful than the swords in general, so unless that side of things really opens up later on such toys are more for fun than killability. This is a game of swords, and massively satisfying swords at that).
The QTE-based fist fights, by the way? Jolly good fun, and I usually despise QTEs to the very core of my being.