In just a few short days, The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings will finally arrive on Xbox 360. The wonderful team at CD Projekt Red were at PAX East, and they were more than eager to show off the build.
While the original Witcher game featured a stunningly engaging world centered around a masterfully-crafted protagonist, the game’s unique mechanics made it hard for many people to get into. The Witcher 2 features a smoother, more responsive combat system that very much lends itself to the controller. It remains important to carefully chose between your heavy, light, block, and dodge maneuvers, but it all feels much more natural.
The Witcher is a game that features a vast inventory, information, and menu system, and its sequel is no exception. From the little bit of the game I played on the show floor, it looks like the system has been designed with the controller in mind. Menus weren’t overly difficult to navigate. Yet the segment I experienced was from the game’s prologue; it’ll be interesting to see how everything holds up as the stores of items and information fills out in the later-game.
The game has a heavy focus on storytelling and cinema-style interactions. Choices you make as you progress through the game aren’t often black-and-white, and the consequences for those actions may not become evident until hours after you’ve made your decision. CD Projekt confirmed that the original flash-back sequences are still in game, allowing you to see exactly what lead to a particular outcome.
When the game hits next week, it will include 4 hours of bonus content which will also be made available — for free — for those who have purchased the game on PC.
I loved the first game but lack the PC hardware to have played the second. Thus, I’ve been waiting with a mixture of excitement and dread (how will a game like this play on console?) since the game hit for PC last year. After my time with it at PAX East, I just can’t wait to pick up my copy.
The game also provides a great opportunity for those who missed out on the first installment to jump right in to the series. Look for it on store shelves on April 17th for Xbox. A PC special edition which includes the bonus content will be released on the same date.Posted in Previews by Steve R Gibson on April 10, 2012