When most of us think of the Witcher series, we see an intelligent, original story that throws your moral beliefs into question. There’s still good and evil in The Witcher’s world, but they’re not painted in the traditional black and white we’ve seen before. Games would be worse off if The Witcher hadn’t grown to be the staple of video game storytelling that it has. The scary thing is, The Witcher almost died from the start.
The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings
To celebrate the final week of GOG.com's fifth anniversary, CD Projekt RED are giving away one of their own games. Buy anything on the distribution site between now and October 17th, and you'll get a free copy of The Witcher: Enhanced Edition. That includes if you buy a copy of The Witcher: Enhanced Edition, so you probably don't want to do that.
Remember when buying a game didn’t feel like a guarantee of seeing the ending? There are still hard games out there, Dark Souls flying the flag most recently, but increasingly, the challenge has dripped out or at least softened, often leading to sadly wasted opportunities. What would Skyrim be like, for instance, if its ice and snow wasn’t simply cosmetic, but actually punished you for going mountain climbing in your underpants?
With a quick mod – Frostfall in this case – you’re forced to dress up warm before facing the elements, and things become much more interesting. That’s just one example, and over the next couple of pages you’ll find plenty more. These aren’t mods that just do something cheap like double your enemy’s hit-points, they’re full rebalances and total conversions. Face their challenge, and they’ll reward you with both a whole new experience and the satisfaction of going above and beyond the call of duty.
After an absurd number of free patches and updates, you would think you'd finally be able to play The Witcher 2 (Enhanced Edition (Director's Cut)) safe in the certainty that there couldn't possibly be any more changes made to the game. But while the official support may have slowed, one mod project is set to significantly overhaul the game - and it does come with a connection to CD Projekt RED. The mod, Full Combat Rebalance 2, is being developed by Andrzej Kwiatkowski, a Gameplay Designer on The Witcher 3.
The press conferences that precede E3 set the tone for the event, they determine the conversations and questions that follow. With no single unifying organisation to set up such an event, it's one of those rare occasions when the open nature of the PC can prove a detriment. The consoles have had their say, now we can't help but wonder what a similar a show for the PC would look like. Who would take the stage? What would they show? What song-and-dance numbers would we get?
Take your seat, make yourself comfortable and put those Doritos away as we welcome you to this year's purely hypothetical show, the E3 2013 conference that PC gamers deserve.
As we saw in its official E3 trailer the other day, The Witcher 3 is lookin' beautiful, thick with the same sort of tension-filled romance as meeting a former lover again. But will that former lover remember you now that you're older, wiser, and have played a thousand other games since you left it behind? That's what CD Projekt RED is aiming for, with the news that your Witcher 2 save file will carry over into The Witcher 3.
If you give PC gamers a chance, you'll see some special things happen. The deep and fascinating community that operates behind the Witcher 2 has begun to assemble and release tutorials for the REDkit mod tool set that recently entered its public beta phase.
Now that the Witcher 2 developer CD Projekt RED has opened its mod tools beta to the public, we get to see some of what was going on behind the scenes during the closed-beta phase. Moddb.com has an interview with the author of the closed beta's best mod, Philipp Weber aka Benzenzimmern.
After last week's false start, CD Projekt RED have now officially released the Witcher 2's mod maker, REDKit. It's a powerful looking suite, giving you the opportunity to design quests, build lands, create NPCs, customise combat and "plant realistic forests in just a few clicks." That last one is probably the limit of what I'd be able to achieve.
Yesterday morning, the site for the Witcher 2's official modding tools, REDKit, accidentally went live for a brief period of time. The domain was quickly put under password protection, but direct links to the files themselves were still available for some time afterward, and are currently circulating in peer-to-peer channels. CD Projekt RED has clarified that the files were not meant to be available until Monday, but those who have already downloaded them are free to start going to town.
Earlier this week, CD Projekt RED posted a gallery of closed beta creations built with its REDkit mod tools. Oh, the places we'll go! Experienced modders accepted into the beta program have already used The Witcher 2 tinkering suite to sculpt cliffs, lakes, and rivers lavished with robust forests.
It's the perfect storm: April Fools' Day and a Bank Holiday Monday. It's all but guaranteed that the only news to come out of developers or publishers today will be wrapped in japes and hijinks. Ah well, if you can't beat 'em, report 'em. That's what my nan used to say. She was a notorious snitch.
Read on for an ambitious Minecraft update, a surprising Starcraft balance patch, and the return of the most terrifying game of recent years. Everything you're about to read is a lie. Unless it isn't, and we're being meta-April fooled into thinking it is. Oh god, when will it end?
CD Projekt RED have outlined their upcoming development roadmap in a corporate report posted to their site. It's a wide-ranging list of plans, including things we already knew about (The Witcher 3 and Cyberpunk 2077's release), things we at PC Gamer highly approve of (fuller mod support and long-term Witcher 3 update plans), and things we at PC Gamer highly disapprove of (mobile games?!)
It also makes mention of two smaller games supporting one of their product lines. No further details are available, but presumably that means spin-off titles for either The Witcher 3 or Cyberpunk 2077. Amazingly, CD Projekt RED define "smaller" as around 20 hours of game time. Please, nobody tell them how long most games really are these days.
Cloud gaming service OnLive was rumored to have laid off the entirety of its staff last August, leading to speculation of the company closing up shop for good after reports surfaced of an alleged bankruptcy filing. Now, OnLive chairman Gary Lauder writes a blog post to clear up confusions over the company's future, calling upon Mark Twain's "The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated."
CD Projekt Red's devotion for the PC shines through its stance on piracy and DRM as well as its dedication to packing a powerful graphical punch in its Witcher games, but it's also devoted to taking advantage of the most power from whichever platform offers it. In a GamesIndustry interview, studio head Adam Badowski suggests the PC's dominance "might change in the future" as console hardware catches up.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt brings several new and interesting features beyond its beautifully bleak landscape. A thread on the World of Players RPG community (via OXM) collects the highlights of a pair of previews from German magazines PC Games and Gamestar, including the addition of Fallout-style location-based damage and a staggering number of quests.
After being revealed through Game Informer's latest cover story this week, first images from The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt have crept out from Game Informer's story via AllGamesBeta. I don't think anyone was actually wondering if Geralt's swan song would be pretty. But in case you were: It's very, very pretty. But don't take my word for it. Check out the scenic vistas and moody hamlets for yourself.
Yesterday's Witcher 3: Wild Hunt reveal gave us some important details: it will be open world, it's said to be bigger than Skyrim, Geralt has a new beard. Today, CD Projekt RED's official announcement provides us with more, like the fact that this will be their last game in the Witcher series. There's also a completely pointless "title reveal" trailer.
Technically, The Witcher 3 hasn't been announced yet - though thanks to a secret message in the Cyberpunk 2077 trailer and the appearance of a familiar looking sword, everyone's expecting that to change as of February 5th with a big announcement from developers CD Projekt Red.
Of course, until we hear the announcement, we won't know for sure. It might be a spin-off game rather than a sequel, possibly as a base for the long-awaited REDKit editing tools. It could even be a massive troll leading up to, say, Fluffy McMathBunny's Sunny Day Out, the happy edutainment RPG where long division is the key to victory. Still, since the most we can say about those options is "Could be interesting", we know we want to see a Witcher 3 at some point. How can this inevitable sequel play its nudie cards right and build on its predecessors? Here are a few of our hopes...
A message hidden in yesterday's Cyberpunk 2077 trailer hints at a big reveal for an unnanounced CD Projekt Red game on February 5. The text, screengrabbed and transcribed by Redditor, hotweels258, suggests that this "other project" is "much closer to being completed" than Cyberpunk, which is scheduled for a blurry date that looks like it could be 2015/2016. Like Cyberpunk 2077, this other project is a "fully open-world game with an intense story"
"You can probably guess the game we're talking about," they add. If it's not The Witcher 3 I'll eat my headset.