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The Witcher 2 Preview and Gameplay Videos
Preview - posted by Jaesun on Thu 14 April 2011, 18:03:47Tags: CD Projekt; Witcher, The
Rock Paper Shotgun got their hands on a Press Build of The Witcher 2 and wrote a preview:
The prologue is, thankfully, elegantly delivered. Told in flashback form, it sees Geralt explaining the events that led up to the current time. Needless to say, he’s a in a bit of a predicament. This pre-story story takes place in the midst of a huge castle siege, which makes for a spectacular backdrop, and at least as spectacular as the Ostagar portions of Dragon Age: Origins.
It’s Chapter One where you begin to see the game open up a bit. Having followed a ruthlessly linear story for the few hours, you are then given access to a village and the surrounding forest. There’s quite a lot to explore, and a decent area to roam about in. There are, of course, multiple sidequests, and these are fun, interesting and convincing. Nothing has so far struck me as too ridiculous, in the way that game quests so often do. There’s also scope for foraging for herbs, and even collecting other general crafting crap to be carted back to the village and turned into stuff – assuming you have the formula for doing so. All very much the familiar fantasy ways of doing things, but pleasing to play with. Geralt’s inventory is going to become a management game all on its own.
Combat, then. Yes, it’s better than the original. It also took me longer to grasp than the original. I was a little surprised that there was nothing more than a tooltip at start of the game to explain what is actually a fairly sophisticated melee system. It feels pleasingly organic, once you have the hang of it, however. Essentially you have a basic ability to do a quick light blow, or a slower heavy blow. You can also hit E to block. These basics allow you to take on any opponent, although selection of that opponent is frankly a bit wobbly. I’ll probably get used to it.
A dude with a sword and shield might always be able to block your hits, but as soon as he takes a swing, he’s open to a quick attack. You’ll soon become comfortable with that, and start timing your blows accordingly. It’s not always possible to block blows, either – a dude with a big old polearm will beat you to the ground whether you have your sword raised or not. That means you do have to think about positioning. You can roll about with the spacebar to your heart’s content, and you will be rolling, too, because the AI, while not perfect, does work hard to flank you, and attacks from behind do significantly more damage. Being flanked by two competent enemies is death. There’s also situations where there are bads on all sides, and that can basically be impossible to get out of. (Skills also unlock some other abilities in combat, such as being able to parry in all directions.)
What isn’t clear from this preview build, is just how flexible core quests are going to be in terms of what you can choose to do. So far I haven’t seen much deviation from the linear path, despite chapter one’s general openness. While I made radically different choices during one key scene, the outcome was always essentially the same. I am hoping that later chapters will be far more forked and give us genuine choice and consequence. But I guess we’ll see.
Destrustoid also had the same Press Build and wrote up a preview here:
Instead of having a tiresome chain of events explained to you, the game expects you to figure out what exactly is going on by just dealing with present events and by paying attention to key characters that shed light on the situation at hand. It's a refreshing take on the old narrative structure we've grown accustomed to in RPGs, for sure.
And finally, Gamespot has also acquired a number of gameplay videos. Head over here to see more of them.
EDIT: For those of you that wish to (or already have) pre-order the DRM FREE Version of The Witcher 2 on GOG, they have announced you will be able to pre-download for it on May 10th:
Speaking of The Witcher franchise, starting from 10th of May all GOG.com users who want to buy the highly anticipated sequel to Geralt’s adventures, will have the opportunity to pre-purchase the game and pre-download almost all of it, so on May 17 when the game is released, they can play it almost instantly! Thanks to the brand new GOG.com downloader the pre-download will go fast and easy.
Pro Tip: The Witcher 2 preorder offer on GOG.com ends on the 16th of May at 5:59 p.m. EDT, so anyone who wants to take advantage of the incredible preorder offer should make a point to visit the pre-order page before then and snag their copy of the game. Also note that if you’ve preordered The Witcher 2 from GOG.com, you will have until the end of May to purchase the game and receive all of the preorder goodies, so don’t forget!