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RPGamer Feature - The Witcher 2: The Assassins of Kings - Interview
The Witcher 2: The Assassins of Kings
Platform:
Developer: CD Projekt RED
Publisher: Atari
Release Date:
05.17.2011











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The Witcher was huge hit back in back in 2007 with PC gamers. The game offered a mature protagonist with Geralt, and allowed gamers to explore an intricate world based off of the Andrzej Sapkowski novels of the same name. The sequel, The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings is set to release on May 17, 2011 worldwide, and hopes to gain the same response as its predecessor. Players reprise the role of Geralt, a man who can slay the enemy and woo women within a single bound. RPGamer was lucky enough to discuss the upcoming game with Tomasz Gop, Senior Producer at CD Projekt RED, as he gives us tons of insight into the world of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings.


For those who are unfamiliar, can you give us an overview of what the Witcher is about? What is the main story behind The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings? Besides Geralt and Triss, will RPGamers see any other familiar faces from the original Witcher?
Tomasz Gop, Senior Producer: The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings is a pure-blooded RPG. We've created a game that tells its own unique story where players can experience the adventure, and at the same time they can carve their own path through it, because it's a non-linear story. Obviously, since it's a direct sequel to The Witcher, players will recognize a lot of characters as old familiar faces not only from previous game, but also (for those who had chance to read Sapkowski) from the books.

The sorceress Yennifer is a major character in The Witcher novels, and a major love in Geralt's life. Will she make an appearance in The Witcher 2? If not, why have you decided not to include her in the games?
TG: Since she is who she is, you probably already know that sooner or later she will make it into the game either way. Please don't let me spoil the fun for all the players who actually wish it comes as a surprise. :)

We understand that you've replaced the card collecting with a cinematic approach to Geralt's love scenes. How else have you improved the maturity and appeal of Geralt's love life?
TG: Whenever players want something more than occasional sex, they will be able to experience the whole thread, the story of two people growing and being... actually told. Instead of shown by a single card.

The original Witcher used a modified version of BioWare's Aurora Engine. However, for the Witcher 2, you've decided to create an entirely new engine. What can you tell us about this new engine? What are some key features?
TG: There are dozens of tools — each created for different aspects of making a good RPG. Dialogues, cut-scenes, NPCs, storyline, combat, character development... well — we've got specified, easy-to-use, what-you-see-is-what-you-get, all-in-one, wash-and-go tools for everything a decent RPG should include. :)

What can you tell us about the changes that have been made to the combat system? How are you helping Geralt to move more fluidly during combat?
TG: You can modify your tactics on-the-fly by freeing yourself from any predefined set of combat actions that, for example, The Witcher 1 imposed on some players. In The Witcher 2 you can try fighting with sword (a lot of character development possibilities with that), or magic (separate development tree), or alchemy and potions (yet one more way to develop your character). Or, for those most hardcore guys — you could try jack-of-all-trades approach and actually mix everything with everything. All real-time and with infinite combo possibilities!

The new weapon and armor customization options sound great. We've heard that Geralt will have many possible outfits. Will players need to make tough choices about what to equip, or is it a simple matter of which piece of equipment has the best stats?
TG: Choices, choices, choices, definitely. I mean, they won't be too difficult choices, because weapons, armor and items can have stats specialized towards certain branch of development (sword, magic, alchemy) but still. With partial character customization (pants, jackets, gloves, boots), rarity system, weapon and item crafting and lots of loot players will definitely have a lot to chose from. That's good isn't it?

In the last game, the major choice was between siding with the humans, the elves, or staying neutral. What will the major faction choices be in The Witcher 2?
TG: There are more factors that branch the storyline in TW2, but obviously there will be something resembling factions as well… but that will be more of a ethical approach – politics, emotions or emotionless professional development.

How many possible endings will The Witcher 2 have, and how many will be majorly different from each other?
TG: There are 16 endings in general, but not all of them are majorly diverse. Some factors make a huge change but which are those, depending on the player might be hard to judge, so I can't say specifically whether it's gonna be 12 or 7 totally diverse endings...

With the console version of the original Witcher going away, what is the likelihood of us seeing the Witcher 2 on a console? What challenges and roadblocks might get in the way?
TG: There's a chance. After we will have done The Witcher 2 on PC, we'd definitely like to sit down and see what's possible. Fingers crossed. :)

One reason Geralt is such a great character is that he's a bad-ass with a philosophical mind. Can you give us an awesome example of how Geralt gets to display his brawn and one of how he uses his brain?
TG: Uhm... he impresses women with his intellect and satisfies them as well!


RPGamer would like to thank Tomasz Gop for taking time out of his busy schedule to discuss The Witcher 2: The Assassins of Kings with us. The game is set to release on May 15, 2011 for the PC. For more information, check out CD Projekt RED's official website.



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