Witcher set for supernatural enhancement

CD Projekt working on a new version of PC role-playing game "devoid of all of the major criticisms" of the original.

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When Polish developer CD Projekt released its PC role-playing game The Witcher, last fall, the game received generally high marks from reviewers, but with a small host of caveats. The English-language translation was stilted, load times were lengthy, and some players reported serious stability issues with the game.

Now CD Projekt wants a second chance to make that first impression, as the developer today announced that it will address lingering issues in the game with a rerelease titled The Witcher Enhanced.

"The leading idea during the development of The Witcher Enhanced Edition is to create a game that is devoid of all of the major criticisms levied at the original release," CD Projekt CEO Michal Kiciñski said in a statement.

The developer said the new version will address a host of issues, starting with an 80 percent reduction in load times and increased stability on certain system configurations. CD Projekt said its work will go beyond the scope of a normal game patch, with the English-language translation being completely redone. The world of the Witcher will also sport a little more variety, as the enhanced game will have more than 50 new non-player character models, ensuring adventurers bump into familiar faces a little less often. Other changes include a revamped inventory system and more than 100 new animations and new lip-synching for more natural dialogue scenes.

All those changes will be made available to customers of the original game, but the Witcher Enhanced package will include a number of enticements above and beyond the gameplay changes. The box will include a "making of" DVD, a soundtrack CD, an 80-page instruction booklet, a 112-page official guide, a 50-page short story, and a DVD with the D'jinii Mod Editor, allowing users to make their own adventures. The developers are even including two new adventures with eight new quests between them to start players off.

CD Projekt has given The Witcher Enhanced a May 16 release date in Eastern Europe. The studio is hoping to make that a worldwide release date and is currently in negotiations with various publishing partners.

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