Geralt's New Mission


The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings strives to not only continue the story of the monster-killer Geralt, but with the help of its brand new engine, give the overall world and controls an overhaul.

The Witcher 2 takes place soon after the events of the first game, and after being thrust in the middle of political intrigue in the previous game, Geralt continues his quest to protect the King and squelch the last few rebellions in the land. His quest also includes hunting down the Witcher assassin from the previous game, but that will have to wait until after he stamps out the seceding Baroness La Valette.

We were shown two parts of the new story at this year’s show. The first involved Geralt’s party wandering into a town where several of their friends were about to be hung. This event showed us how the game handled the decisions you make while in conversations. While trying to get our friends freed, we had the option to either incite a fight with the man in charge, or talk to him. While he couldn’t be talked out of the hanging, the loud discussion made the surrounding peasants look on us in a better light. As a result, we had other means to stopping the hanging, and are able to get side quests from them later in the game.

After asking around the village some, once the hanging-issue was resolved, we started to learn that there was a monster tormenting the village, and while most of Act I of The Witcher 2 leads up to this fight and involves learning what you need to do in order to beat it, the demo team jumped ahead and showed us the fight.

During the battle with a massive, green, acid-spitting octopus-creature, we got to use some of the new fighting mechanics and we got an explanation of the game’s balanced leveling system. While there isn’t a strict ability tree, what the game does offer is a more fluid flow between the three character types: fighter, thief and magic user. If played right, you can end up with a character that is pretty good with fighting and magical abilities at the sacrifice of stealth and other thief-like skills, or you can focus entirely on magical powers and ignore the other two gameplay styles. Apparently, the gameplay is drastically different based on how your character evolves. The demo-character was set up as a mix between fighter and magic user. As a result, the way we had to tackle the green-tentacled-thing involved using a spell to pin down its appendages and hack away at the bulbous sores until we cut off the tentacles one at a time.

While no news of a console version has been officially announced at this time, it was stated that the engine The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings uses is fully capable of moving in that direction. When asked, the demo team said that their aim was to put out a good product first, and then look into expanding into the console market. You can expect to see this down-and-dirty RPG to hit shelves early 2011, and with the license’s very adult themes, you shouldn’t be surprised at an M ESRB rating on the cover either.

The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings