CD Projekt is to release a re-done version of RPG The Witcher, the company confirmed today, designed to address a string of complaints gamers have levelled at the current game.
"The leading idea during the development of The Witcher Enhanced Edition is to create a game that is devoid of all of the major criticisms levied at the original release," said company boss Michał Kiciński. "The Witcher was received very warmly by both players and the media, but we are well aware that it is not a product without its faults. There was just not enough time to perfect certain elements, while we learned that some things needed to be changed from the players themselves. Now we have the opportunity to introduce changes that will allow The Witcher to provide even more enjoyment. I hope that, as a result, the game will come even closer to the ideal RPG."
Updates include a lot of the text being stripped out of the English version and re-recordings of VOs in the German release. The Witcher Enhanced Edition releases in late spring. The full press release is after the link, which details a lot of the changes being made.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Witcher Enhanced Edition Announced
New, Improved and Enhanced Version of 2007 PC RPG of the Year Coming in Late Spring
Warsaw - February 18, 2008. CD Projekt RED is pleased to announce that in May of this year, a new and improved version of The Witcher will appear in stores, a game already considered by many players and media to be the best PC RPG of 2007!
Michał Kiciński, CEO of CD Projekt described the idea behind The Witcher Enhanced Edition: "The leading idea during the development of The Witcher Enhanced Edition is to create a game that is devoid of all of the major criticisms levied at the original release. The Witcher was received very warmly by both players and the media, but we are well aware that it is not a product without its faults. There was just not enough time to perfect certain elements, while we learned that some things needed to be changed from the players themselves. Now we have the opportunity to introduce changes that will allow The Witcher to provide even more enjoyment. I hope that, as a result, the game will come even closer to the ideal RPG."
Maciej Szcześnik, Project Manager at CD Projekt RED, spoke about the content provided in the new edition: "The Witcher Enhanced Edition will be a completely polished product, something rarely found on the PC market. Of course, it would have been best if the original edition could look that way. There were a few ways the original game didn’t quite live up to our high expectations, but now we're trying to make up for it. Work is being done on two levels: one concerns the removal of technical obstacles that hinder the player from properly using the game and thus gaining enjoyment from it. Some of those elements include the loading times, which will be reduced by 80%, the stability of the game on different PC configurations, as well as an array of smaller fixes that will increase interactivity and precision in combat. The other level consists of very important changes that are not usually found in patches. First and foremost, the English-language version will, for the most part, be completely re-done. The amount of text in that version was reduced compared to other language versions and that was said to cause a significant decrease in immersion and atmosphere. Now the English version will be as polished and atmospheric as the other language versions. Speaking of other language versions, most of them will be improved in some way. Significant changes will also be made in the German version, where we are planning to re-record the voices for many of the characters. The most important improvements concern those elements of the game that players criticized the most. For example, over 50 new supporting character models will be added, so that the player won't run into the same person too often. The inventory panel will be re-designed and improved, and some elements of the main game screen will be polished. However, one of the biggest changes that will greatly increase the player's immersion in the game world will be improvements concerning dialogue scenes. Both Geralt and non-player characters will get over 100 new animated gestures which will make their body language during conversations much more natural. Additionally, the facial animation and lip-sync system will be re-created, making the faces of the speakers now even more natural, as well. Of course, I've mentioned only the most important changes, and that's still a lot. There will be many smaller changes that will make the game more fun. I'm convinced that, thanks to those changes, The Witcher will almost be the ideal game for fans of PC role-playing."
Adam Kiciński, head of CD Projekt RED spoke about publishing and the availability of The Witcher Enhanced Edition in different parts of the world: "Our goal is to make the Enhanced Edition available to all players all over the world. We are currently negotiating with our publishing partners to confirm availability dates. Our release date in Eastern Europe is May 16, and thanks to the great support from fans, we’re confident that we will be able to bring the game to stores around the world on that date, as well. The retail release will be quite important for us, as we’re not just improving the game itself, but want to improve how the title is packaged. For example, aside from the game DVD, we are planning to include a DVD with the D'jinii Mod Editor, as well as two additional adventures, a video DVD with extended material detailing the making of the game, a music CD with 29 tracks from the game, a music CD with 15 tracks of music inspired by the game, an 80-page instruction booklet, a 112-page official guide written by the game’s developers, and a 50-page short story written by Andrzej Sapkowski. There will also be a map of the game world. As you can see it is quite an elaborate release and it is important to us that fans all over the world be able to buy this version of the game. Especially considering it will not be more expensive than the standard edition of the game! Fans that have already bought the game need not worry, however, because the new content and improvements will be available to them in the form of a downloadable update."
The Witcher Enhanced Edition not only means changes in the game's mechanics or better graphics, however. There's also an included mod editor called D'jinni that allows players to create or modify their own adventures in the world of The Witcher, as well as two completely new adventures created by CD Projekt RED. The first adventure, entitled “The Price of Neutrality,” tells the story of Geralt coming back to Kaer Morhen and finding a mysterious camp near the stronghold (3 new quests), while the second one focuses on Geralt’s close friend, Dandelion, and his troubles in Vizima City (5 quests).
The Witcher is an RPG about the adventures of Geralt, a professional monster slayer, and was developed by Warsaw, Poland-based CD Projekt RED. The game is based on a new version of the BioWare Aurora Engine, titled Aurora 2007. The story is set in a world created in the books of Andrzej Sapkowski and sold all over the world. The game has already managed to garner worldwide success, having sold over 600,000 copies. It has received more than 45 awards and distinctions, including the prestigious "Best PC RPG of 2007" from IGN.com, Gamespy.com and PC Gamer (see the entire list of awards: http://www.thewitcher.com/community/pl/awards/). The game has also received very high ratings from players from all over the world, which is reflected in the average player-review scores at such sites as Metacritic (9.4/10), GameTrailers (9.1/10) and Gamespot (8.8/10).