The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Q&A - Early Details

Though details are scarce, project lead Adam Badowski shares some information on the upcoming sequel to the award-winning 2007 role-playing game.

2007's The Witcher was a pleasant surprise for all fans of traditional "Western" role-playing games because it was a great game in its own right, but also because it went in many new directions not previously seen in such games. The original game was based on the fantasy fiction of author Andrzej Sapkowski, whose novels star the Witcher--a cynical monster-hunter with supernatural powers making his way in a dark fantasy world where brutality and bigotry are common. Recently, a preproduction video for The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings somehow made its way onto the Internet, prompting a lot of speculation about the sequel. Though it's still a bit too early to go in-depth, CD Projekt's project lead Adam Badowski did give us some information about what we can expect.

A screen-capture from the mysteriously leaked Witcher 2 video.

GameSpot: Details of the sequel to The Witcher have finally started popping up here and there. What kind of general overview of the game can you give us?

Adam Badowski: The Witcher 2 is the sequel to our first game, The Witcher, which won lots of awards and sold more than 1.3 million copies on the PC. The leaked video, which wasn't intended for public viewing, caused a lot of confusion and generated misinformation based largely on speculation within the gaming community. The reason for speculation was very simple--the movie mostly presented the improvements we've made in [certain] aspects of the game without providing a general overview. It didn't really convey what The Witcher 2 is at its heart, which is an RPG with a strong focus on an intriguing and expanded story. It's important that we make this as clear as possible because, in our opinion, that will be one of the game's strongest points.

GS: CD Projekt RED seems to believe very strongly in improving its game products. For instance, the Enhanced Edition of the original game added numerous improvements to the base game. What are some additional areas that you're looking to improve in the upcoming sequel?

AB:We believe that we can always improve our products, bringing them closer to the best we can achieve. Even though we have released improvements like the Enhanced Edition, we will still be aiming to make The Witcher 2 as good as possible at release. That's why we've decided to use completely new technology and to redesign many of the game's features.

We cannot talk about many of the new features yet because it's still much too early, but I can say that the new technology will really stand out. We've built a brand new engine for The Witcher 2, with lots of amazing new visual effects--improved day and night cycles, a new dynamic camera, and much more--to present even more impressive graphics. We are also improving a number of gameplay elements, making combat even more exciting and helping players become even more immersed in the gameworld.

GS: What can you tell us about the story in The Witcher 2? Will Geralt still be the main character throughout the entire game or will there be other new characters taking the lead as well?

AB: Geralt will certainly be in the game, as we've all seen. I must admit we plan to build the story of The Witcher 2 around Geralt, but it's too early to reveal any more details.

GS: There were some very interesting and very adult story themes in the original game--betrayal, sexuality, and bigotry. Will these themes be expanded in the sequel? What other themes with the sequel explore?

AB: We want The Witcher 2 to be even more mature, so we'll be placing a lot of focus on the design of the story. Gamers will face a very real and brutal world. The way in which we explore sexuality will be greatly improved, and we'll be putting a lot of work into showing the erotic dimension of life in a more natural way, rather than as a sort of minigame. We'll be using cinematic means to flesh out characters, who will differ from each other as they would in real life. These differences will come through in their behavior, their attitude toward Geralt, and how they react to the world.

Once again, the game won't offer any choices between good and evil. Rather, it will force you to decide what is important to you and whom can you trust. Many times you'll be left with real doubts about the choices you've made because the consequences of your decisions will be unpredictable.

GS: Many fans enjoyed the unusual three-style combat system from The Witcher. Will this system return in the sequel? What changes and improvements will be added?

AB:We're perfectly aware of all the strengths and weaknesses of the combat system we created for [the first game]. Our goal is to eliminate all the glitches and to develop solutions that will make combat more dynamic and bloody, extending players' control over Geralt's moves in battle.

GS: We recall that in the original game, alchemy was a significant part of gameplay and Geralt could craft powerful potions, but failed potion brews could actually poison him. Will alchemy return in The Witcher 2? How will it be different and better?

AB: Our approach to alchemy will be very similar to what we aim to do with the combat system. We're intent on improving and redesigning any features that players found less "usable." In general, usability will be our main concern as we develop the alchemy system for The Witcher 2.

GS: The original Witcher was built on BioWare's Aurora engine, and you mentioned that you will not be returning to this technology for the sequel. Can you elaborate on the tech that will power The Witcher 2?

AB: The Witcher 2 will not be built on the Aurora engine. We've developed our own cutting-edge technology, designed and created specifically for RPGs. We decided to do that because we wanted to implement all our ideas without facing all the obstacles we might encounter if we built the game on an existing technology. The leaked movie merely shows some of the improvements we'll be introducing, but there'll be many more in the future. Remember, the video is six months old! The comments we've received from fans are very positive, but we still have so much to surprise you with!

GS: Finally, is there anything else you'd like to add about The Witcher 2?

AB:Given the enormous amount of feedback we got from fans and the media after the leak, we realized just how big the expectations are and how many people have been waiting for this game to be announced. We're going through and summarizing all the comments that have been posted about the video on various Web sites, and we'll be comparing them against all the ideas we have for the game. As always, we're taking our fans' opinions to heart, and I can say we already know some of them will affect the game's development. I can assure everyone that we'll be putting every effort into making this game a truly outstanding RPG experience. People can keep up on game announcements at our official Web site.

I'd like to add one more important thing: We are planning to release The Witcher 2 for consoles; however, more detailed information will become available after the game is officially announced.

GS: Interesting. Thanks, Adam.

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161 comments
Brutenuke
Brutenuke

hope the don't neglect the pc version

GT_APE
GT_APE

Awesome! Sign me up for this! That is, unless they dumb it down for consoles so so many crappy games these days (cough Supreme Commander 2 cough).

docsmiley
docsmiley

If they launch a console version I seriously doubt there will be any graphical improvements compared to the original game. After all they tried to bring the original Witcher to consoles, but failed because it was to much for them to handle... But you can't really blame them for wanting to make more money, can you?

kuroshiro99
kuroshiro99

i really hoped they make the combat even more action-centric,and add some level of platforming . the gameplay video showing the fight with the giant many-headed squid like thing actually showed how much they have improved the combat mechanics in those aspects. I just love these guys. the witcher really is one of the best RPGs i have played. the sex in witcher is THE best,though i think they should have added a cinematic intro into every one of them. hope they do so in witcher 2. they let you do everyone in witcher-sorceresses,witches,medics,princesses,barmaids,vampires,dryads,even a goddess. remember the lady of the lake? "Your ass puts others to shame" lmao. the only thing i regretted is about getting the special ingredients for the mutagenic potions. they dont give you a choice to kill the golem or the kikimore queen or the dagon,so obtaining the strength,endurance and intelligence upgrades arent optional-which i am perfectly fine with. so why did they give you a choice with the werewolf. now i am missing the mutagenic upgrade in dexterity.

Navidak
Navidak

I really enjoyed the first one.I finished it three times. and now Iam eagerly looking forward to his one. Hope it will come soon.

bladelor
bladelor

With all these technical improvements and gameplay things... I only hope they don't let down the writing... The most remarkable aspect of the first game, the one I won't forget, are those AWESOME DIALOGUES !

xuerebx
xuerebx

Considering Deus Ex and System Shock 2 (especially SS2) aren't RPGs (although they're really great games), you're now down to 3 games: TW, Ps:T and Fallout. Personally, just from those 3, it's FO>TW>Ps:T. Although I'm omitting games like Arcanum (which you should play if you haven't), Morrowind et cetera.

yogibbear
yogibbear

ZOMG!!!!! Awesome. Can't pick between Deus Ex, SS2, Fallout 2, Planescape Torment and The Witcher for no. 1 RPG ever. They're all the best. That's how good the witcher is. It ranks up with those other four games. INSANE! Go go go CD Projekt Red. You guys are awesome.

ImmortalityX
ImmortalityX

this game is sick! i just want a more interactive fighting system. the whole clicking-to-attack thing got old realllll quick... maybe they'll change things? who knows, its gotta be good though.

MarcJL31
MarcJL31

Just watched the video and HUGE improvement over an already great game. I had my doubts about The Witcher when I first heard of it but this game was so addicted. Cant wait.

texasgoldrush
texasgoldrush

GET CIRI IN THIS GAME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

rad2071
rad2071

the original was one of the best rpgs ive played.

Eyeless1232
Eyeless1232

I can't wait for this game! The video was soooo great! 6months old but still it looks soo great! I look forward to this game!

P0T
P0T

BTW, they have already said the voice for Geralt in the leaked video was just a placeholder! There is also a Directors Cut patch that adds the sex cards and stuff back in for The Witcher 1. Find it on witchervault

ntnimara
ntnimara

Woot for Eastern Europe's Video Gaming Industry

joder666
joder666

Waiting for this one out. The first one was awesome.

marshal2909
marshal2909

"That cracked me up lol, but you're right. Pretty much everywhere, there are these stupid regulations in games where gore seems to be less offensive than nudity. Despite the fact we can see nipples everywhere else in the real world thanks to girlfriends, loose women, tv and the internet." And that is why there aren't so many mature games made in US, this one is from Poland.

chrisrooR
chrisrooR

Loved the original, hope this follows suit.

jeffcenate
jeffcenate

bought the original, played it, hated it, then came the EE, i took a chance and installed it, retryed it and it turned out to be one of the best RPGS ive played. it just takes a while to get into. the first chapter is dull as hell but it picks up and heads too a very good conclusion. im happy to see they are making another one. and given the EE version they actualy DO listen to their customers opinions. all in all im looking forward to this new one and in todays game market that saying something. i aint looked forward to a game for years now.

Kentisc
Kentisc

Never played the original Witcher, but i'm surely looking forward to this one.

andyclass50
andyclass50

@Vargre666 "...its alright to douse yourself in blood and decapitations but seeing a nipple is a BIG NO-NO" That cracked me up lol, but you're right. Pretty much everywhere, there are these stupid regulations in games where gore seems to be less offensive than nudity. Despite the fact we can see nipples everywhere else in the real world thanks to girlfriends, loose women, tv and the internet.

Vargre666
Vargre666

Tell me about it Diabolical. Im in the States and we have the same BS. They can say "your mother sucks dwarf @#$#%" but we cant have nudity. Hypocrital Americans that we are, its alright to douse yourself in blood and decapitations but seeing a nipple is a BIG NO-NO. Irritating to say the least, especially when the dev's have already mentioned the maturity level in the game when theyre keeping so much secret. Must mean its going to be a major part of the game. Well, I suppose Ill have to order from the UK or wait for some brilliant hack to put out an "Adult" patch for the Witcher II. Bottom line though; Im just glad the game is being made. The Witcher was/ is an excellent game and its looking like the sequel will be just as powerful. I just pray they use Geralts VO actor from the first. He really did an amazing job with the cynical monster slayer. The VO they used in the leak sounds bloody awful. Like some cheap anime knock off.

DiabolicalX
DiabolicalX

I always get nervous when they talk about erotica in games cause I know it'll have problems getting into Australia, Internet to the rescue

codename_halo
codename_halo

great,about time too...one of the greatest RPG's i've played in recent years,great storyline as well as atmosphere and mood,combat system was great too,i hope the game's scale becomes even bigger,if you could combine oblivion's scale with Witcher's storyline and gameplay you could have the perfect Medieval RPG...

soupa_mario
soupa_mario

Wow I was just playing the original and hoping that there would be a sequel!

Samrat_Ashok
Samrat_Ashok

*drool* even more immersive storyline? This is it, I'll kill for this game....

mrklorox
mrklorox

Awesome. I had a hunch another was coming. Only played a few hours of the first one, but it looked really interesting and a breath of fresh air for CRPGs. The game should work fine on consoles as long as it used the direct control method from the first game. Consolization won't hurt this game if the devs do it right.

dun
dun

phew thats awesome :)!

GabrielOnuris
GabrielOnuris

Forget the consoles, please, I'm sure it will drastically diminish the "mature factor" of the game, and a lot of fans wouldn't like it so much.

pollob13
pollob13

"I can assure everyone that we'll be putting every effort into making this game a truly outstanding RPG experience" ... then give ur every effort for pc version .. do for console later

KayHangman
KayHangman

The first Witcher was one of the better RPGs of recent years. If CD Projekt RED can improve on that then they'll have another winner. Besides, the company really does seem to listen to its customers, at least in my experience, and that bodes well for the future.

rogerjak
rogerjak

I want this game alot! I loved the 1st one.

swalnak
swalnak

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

swalnak
swalnak

Any chance of improving the party interface? Dealing with neutral/ friendly characters near combat, escort missions. Also summons/ pets if they're in.

Balaji1212
Balaji1212

The first Witcher is one of my all time fav. RPGS ,i really liked how there was no good or bad choices everything about the game was grey like real life,along with the music,setting and the lead character of Geralt. Thus i was gonna buy the sequel anyway but after looking at the alpha version i am even more stoked about it,looks like CD Project have really amped it up one notch in all departments from the graphics to production values,hope they don't forget the two most imp. things the story and the gameplay,anyway can't wait for it.

WeWerePirates
WeWerePirates

I loved the first game and I'm really looking forward to this. I'm still disappointed about "rise of the white wolf", I would have been happy to buy the game for a third time.

shawn_mitchel
shawn_mitchel

The way he fights with the sword is awesome,....i would like to get this when it's released.

0blistik
0blistik

cant wait for it. i hope that there would be more signs and options for combact. eventhough the EE was awesome

HuSSaR83
HuSSaR83

Consoles are known to take out all atmosphere from PC RPG games. You cant possibly put all controles of fine RPG to console pad.(except fallout3 but that was mostly FPS type of game) Hopefully they will make 2 versions or they gonna have to simplify it to point its not gonna be as fun as first Wicher. Make full version for PC and after couple months rip it up and release it on consoles. Trust me they dont want to make it for consoles theres just much more money in them with PC piracy goin on when a game is not multiplayer. Im glad they sold that 1.3 milion on their first title because now they got more money to make this game even better.

dylanscott1992
dylanscott1992

i for one am happy that it will be released on consoles. shouldnt change the overall quality of the game if its only on PS3, but if they make it for 360, which they probably will, then you PC guys have something to whine about.

stantheman12345
stantheman12345

i know everyones thinkin it more sex CARDS :O yay pc fans poor console losers

_en1gma_
_en1gma_

"I'd like to add one more important thing: We are planning to release The Witcher 2 for consoles." Ew....

demi_veritaz
demi_veritaz

The first was great. Making it for consoles too? Now that makes me concerned.

_RPG_freak_
_RPG_freak_

Witcher was one of the best rpg experiences cant w8 for witcher 2 I just hope it wont have bugs like first witcher release had...

luert
luert

my opinion is yeahhh the witcher was a awesome game I have to say I had no complains at all on the game nothing of nothing wrong just all good, bit of sad story still but it is natural go for It CD Projekt RED

rolmopsis
rolmopsis

Damn i enjoyed first Witcher game - hope this will be as good or even better than first ^^

Boo111
Boo111

finally I'm waiting for it. please make it quick and without bugs.

ak47_dude_2009
ak47_dude_2009

Ya Man i also think that i just love the promo and i hope it will be gud Regards 2 All From AK47