Witcher 2 Combat Overhauled But Not "Dumbed Down"

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Witcher 2 Combat Overhauled But Not "Dumbed Down"

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Tomasz Gop of CD Projekt Red recently showed off the overhauled combat system in the upcoming Witcher 2, saying that while it's dramatically different than the first game it hasn't been "dumbed down" in any way.

The combat system in The Witcher was unusual to say the least, relying on a mix of styles, weapons and combos, backed up by potions and magical powers. Its hallmark was the rhythmic mouse clicking needed to build combos; good timing would turn you into an unstoppable dervish, whereas with bad timing you were more likely to just poke yourself in the eye.

That system is gone but the "fast" and "heavy" attack styles remain, this time mapped to the left and right mouse buttons to allow for switching between styles on the fly. Geralt will also rely more heavily on signs, the rudimentary system of magic used by Witchers, and will be able charge and aim his magical attacks. Unlike the first game, weapons other than the steel and silver Witcher swords will actually have a use and Geralt will be able to focus his training on weapons other than that traditional pair.

"The combat has absolutely not been dumbed down," Gop said. "Nor has the game been consolized."

Poker dice and fist fighting for money will remain in the new game, although they've been tweaked to feature quick-time events and physics, and a new arm-wrestling mini-game has been added. Geralt will again have to contend with "romantic entanglements," and at least one other character - the bard Dandelion - will be playable for part of the game as well. Gop estimated that the game will weigh in at around 40 hours and will have 16 "states" in which the game can end, ten based on major plot points - the death of a companion or the destruction of a nation - and six based on relatively minor details.

Whether The Witcher 2 will make its way to consoles remains an open question, as Gop would say only that CD Projekt would "like to see it happen." The new game will support controllers, however, so from an interface standpoint it doesn't appear to be out of the question, but for now it remains a PC exclusive. The Witcher 2 comes out on May 17.

Source: VG247

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Very nice :)

On Dandelion though...that guy always felt a little out of place. Just the way he spoke made him come off as some bizarre walking anachronism. I did like him though :3

The Witcher 2 will be GOTY if people have any sense and aren't bewildered by Battlefield 3. At least it should win best RPG and with Dragon Age out of the picture, there isn't really much competition, and certainly not from Mass Effect 3 (a game made in under 2 years will never be that great, as evidenced by DA2).

I think all their design decisions are a great compromise or the best decision possible. The combat is different, not worse, with more emphasis on RPG elements (you can even get better with weapons other than the silver and steel sword, like daggers and even an oar at some point), the interface is fine for the most part (inventory might be annoying but depends on implementation) and fist fighting looks awesome and loads better than the original (yes it's mostly QTE's, but the first game's hand to hand combat was terrible so this is a welcome change).

This game will ROCK.

Also, new Geralt face is win. :)

With DA2's disappointing world, I still have this to look forward to. I've already pre-ordered it.

"Consolizing" a PC-exclusive, lol. No one ever admits to dumbing down games, but it happens often. That being said, I can't wait for the Witcher 2. It looks hawt.

I just cannot wait for the 'OMG, QTE'S in a minigame, the game sucks' comments :P

But seriously, looking at the gameplay trailer, the combat looks fast and fluent, which is good. I'll probably need to spend some time to adjust to the left-right stance switch, but it looks promising.

Also, I read in a Polish gaming magazine about some of the sidequests and their progression, and it looks like even them will be branched at least a few times, to the point where developers included option to check out the online diaries of other Witcher 2 players to see how different result they could get. I won't use it, because I want to see it myself, but it's a neat idea :P

And, since I believe that they can deliver an interesting story, and I'm 99% sure they can deliver those '16 states of ending', my hype train officially broke the sound barrier. I think that ME3 and Skyrim will have a serious enemy in The Witcher II in the 'RPG of the year' race.

Astalano:
certainly not from Mass Effect 3 (a game made in less than a year will never be that great, as evidenced by DA2).

Mass effect 2 came out January 2010. I'm betting that development of Mass Effect 3 started at most a week after 2 was released, and possibly even before it was released. meaning it's had a development time of almost two years. Which is still not enough for a major franchise game though.

The Witcher 2 is the first game that I have ever pre-ordered and I know it will be my GOTY, but for me the combat have been change for the worse.
I dislike the word Dumbed Down, but I do believe that the changes have been made to satisfy people that don't have the patiences to learn a slow and rewarding combat.

perpetualburn:
"Consolizing" a PC-exclusive, lol. No one ever admits to dumbing down games, but it happens often. That being said, I can't wait for the Witcher 2. It looks hawt.

Assuming it stays PC exclusive, that is. I don't know why he would be trying to convince us that it isn't consolized if it wasn't coming to consoles.

OT: Sounds good. Unless they're just blowing smoke like Crytek was with Crysis 2.

Will it have hundreds of bandits appearing out of NOWHERE like in Dragon Age 2? ;)

I bet not. This game is sounding more awesome the more I hear.

perpetualburn:
"Consolizing" a PC-exclusive, lol.

Battle.net 2.0, lol. It does happen. :P

CD Projekt is one of the few developers I still have any sort of trust for, but the fact that the article begins with him saying straight up that the game's not dumbed down is sort of suspicious... However, the first one didn't have the best combat ever, so as long as it's executed well, I guess it can't be a definite turn for the worst no matter what way you slice it.

Anyone else get a bad feeling about him saying "not been consolized" or "dumbed down"???

It's like Crytek promising the PC version of Crysis 2 will be AWESOME. Uhh DX9 isn't awesome.

Anway I do hope for the best. The Witcher was pretty fun and I'd like to try their second effort at it.

Oh, and can "rythmic clicking" really be "dumbed down"? Is that possible? =P

GothmogII:
Very nice :)

On Dandelion though...that guy always felt a little out of place. Just the way he spoke made him come off as some bizarre walking anachronism. I did like him though :3

Probably because he was out of place in the books... I think his character was conveyed pretty well in the game.

OT: Good they got rid of the "group" style, it was a real gamebreaker on higher levels. Increased role of signs sounds good, although I still remember how Aard was mostly used as an excuse to show off the physics engine...
All in all, it seems TW2 will be a great game. If they manage to get rid of some quirks in the morality system, that is.

monnes:

Astalano:
certainly not from Mass Effect 3 (a game made in less than a year will never be that great, as evidenced by DA2).

Mass effect 2 came out January 2010. I'm betting that development of Mass Effect 3 started at most a week after 2 was released, and possibly even before it was released. meaning it's had a development time of almost two years. Which is still not enough for a major franchise game though.

It depends. They could have been making them parallel to each other, knowing they wanted to finish the trilogy. They probably weren't waiting for any sales figures to decide.

Er... As far as I remember, combat in The Witcher was based around clicking at a steady pace. I can't picture them "dumbing it down."

I fail to see how you could "dumb down" rhythmic clicking. But whatever, saw a video of the combat during the GoG live Q&A. And it looked great.

I want this game. So damn hard.

plikis1:

perpetualburn:
"Consolizing" a PC-exclusive, lol.

Battle.net 2.0, lol. It does happen. :P

CD Projekt is one of the few developers I still have any sort of trust for, but the fact that the article begins with him saying straight up that the game's not dumbed down is sort of suspicious... However, the first one didn't have the best combat ever, so as long as it's executed well, I guess it can't be a definite turn for the worst no matter what way you slice it.

Probably just trying to catch a few sales with that statement. What with "dumbed down" being thrown around everywhere.

Wolfram01:
Anyone else get a bad feeling about him saying "not been consolized" or "dumbed down"???

It's like Crytek promising the PC version of Crysis 2 will be AWESOME. Uhh DX9 isn't awesome.

Anway I do hope for the best. The Witcher was pretty fun and I'd like to try their second effort at it.

Oh, and can "rythmic clicking" really be "dumbed down"? Is that possible? =P

I think it's funny how highly people regard CD Project RED, especially considering that this is only their second game. He says that it's not consolized because he's very down to earth and straight with the game's fans, not as an excuse.

Kinda hard to dumb down a combat system consisting only of timed mouse clicks.

I actually enjoyed the combat of the first game. Oh well, as long as they don't change it too much.

Astalano:

Wolfram01:
Anyone else get a bad feeling about him saying "not been consolized" or "dumbed down"???

It's like Crytek promising the PC version of Crysis 2 will be AWESOME. Uhh DX9 isn't awesome.

Anway I do hope for the best. The Witcher was pretty fun and I'd like to try their second effort at it.

Oh, and can "rythmic clicking" really be "dumbed down"? Is that possible? =P

I think it's funny how highly people regard CD Project RED, especially considering that this is only their second game. He says that it's not consolized because he's very down to earth and straight with the game's fans, not as an excuse.

That recognition is probably mostly GOG at this point, even though they're sister companies.

i didnt mind the witcher 1 combat but i think that this change is good. with witcher 1 i would get tunnel vision and all i would notice is the mouse pointer. so combat just turned into a clicking game. i think this change will make it more like combat and not a clicking minigame.

Xzi:

perpetualburn:
"Consolizing" a PC-exclusive, lol. No one ever admits to dumbing down games, but it happens often. That being said, I can't wait for the Witcher 2. It looks hawt.

Assuming it stays PC exclusive, that is. I don't know why he would be trying to convince us that it isn't consolized if it wasn't coming to consoles.

OT: Sounds good. Unless they're just blowing smoke like Crytek was with Crysis 2.

The Witcher 2 was supposed to come out on 360 if I'm not mistaken. They've since put that on hold until further notice.

I never thought CD Projekt would dumb down, or "consolize" The Witcher 2. And this sounds just perfect for someone who enjoys a brilliant story and a chance to affect it. Too bad that gameplay plays a lot bigger part for me. As well as something like creating your own character in an RPG is always much better; which is one of the reasons I felt out of place when running through the narrow maps of The Witcher (Enhanced Edition), as Geralt.

But it's good they've done major changes to the combat system, because that didn't work too well in the previous game. The (forced) crafting was also a bit confusing, but I really liked the atmosphere and many other aspects of the game. I wanted to like the game, but it just didn't quite cut it for me personally.

It will be interesting to see what will become of this game. I wish a healthy dose of success for the people on CD Projekt, for I'm sure they've worked really hard for this game to see the day of light.

Weird that this story should come out when it did: I bought the first game a few hours ago as it's currently going cheap on Steam, it's just finished downloading.

I got The Witcher for Christmas and still haven't tried it yet, but if the combat in it blows, I probably still won't get this. In Dragon Age 2 they were constantly going on about how they redid the combat system, and it was exactly the same, just sped up a bit...

Astalano:
The Witcher 2 will be GOTY if people have any sense and aren't bewildered by Battlefield 3. At least it should win best RPG and with Dragon Age out of the picture, there isn't really much competition, and certainly not from Mass Effect 3 (a game made in under 2 years will never be that great, as evidenced by DA2).

You're forgetting Skyrim.

A week ago I didn't care about this game. Then I picked up the Extended Edition of the first game on a steam sale.

Color me impressed. It's one of the first new RPGs in a long time that doesn't feel like it's trying to be another game (i.e. it's not trying to be Elder Scroll, or Fable, or Gothic). It also handles the adult themes in a very mature way (sex cards excluded, of course).

It is THE first game I've played that actually succeeded in being a "dark fantasy." The tone, art direction, writing, and sounds all work really well together. It also is one of the only games that makes walking around at night feel legitimately unnerving. I think that has a lot to do with the contrast from night and day, something a lot of games neglect.

Anyway, good game, and I'm interested to see how the second one turns out.

At this point in time, I wished I spent my money on this instead of DA2. Though I should finish the first game, at some point :s Got bored of hearing dwarves say 'Fuck' everytime they had the chance, dwarves in this game were not cute at all. > . >

I thought The Witcher was pretty awesome.. and I am very much looking forward to The Witcher 2...

...but I find them needing to clarify that the combat has not been "dumbed down" to be kinda funny... I mean seriously.. the combat in the first wasn't exactly complicated.

*Choose style - Click once - Click twice - Click thrice*

Why does a dev *specifically* mentioning that their game has not been "dumbed down" always raise a red flag with me? xD
Anyway i'm really looking forward to it after the disappointment that was DA2.

Also anyone finding it a little funny that a game that is supposed to be about sex and violence *doesn't* advertise with it, but rather with beautiful landscapes and RP-possibilities while others that barely contain either of those (or rather violence in a comical way) can't stop talking about how something awesome happens all the time? xD

Astalano:
The Witcher 2 will be GOTY if people have any sense and aren't bewildered by Battlefield 3. At least it should win best RPG and with Dragon Age out of the picture, there isn't really much competition, and certainly not from Mass Effect 3 (a game made in under 2 years will never be that great, as evidenced by DA2).

You're forgetting Skyrim, the new Elder Scrolls game, I heard it has a bunch of rabid fanboys :P

rsvp42:

monnes:

Astalano:
certainly not from Mass Effect 3 (a game made in less than a year will never be that great, as evidenced by DA2).

Mass effect 2 came out January 2010. I'm betting that development of Mass Effect 3 started at most a week after 2 was released, and possibly even before it was released. meaning it's had a development time of almost two years. Which is still not enough for a major franchise game though.

It depends. They could have been making them parallel to each other, knowing they wanted to finish the trilogy. They probably weren't waiting for any sales figures to decide.

Don't forget that the Old Republic has been in development all this time, and it's practically done. How long was Dragon Age Origins in development? That certainly coincided with a lot of Mass Effect 2 dev time.

The combat, among other things, in the first was utterly terrible, I'm glad to hear they overhauled it.

I just don't think they overhauled enough of the bloated monstrosity that was The Witcher to make a playable followup.

Zer_:

Xzi:

perpetualburn:
"Consolizing" a PC-exclusive, lol. No one ever admits to dumbing down games, but it happens often. That being said, I can't wait for the Witcher 2. It looks hawt.

Assuming it stays PC exclusive, that is. I don't know why he would be trying to convince us that it isn't consolized if it wasn't coming to consoles.

OT: Sounds good. Unless they're just blowing smoke like Crytek was with Crysis 2.

The Witcher 2 was supposed to come out on 360 if I'm not mistaken. They've since put that on hold until further notice.

They're just focusing 100% on the PC version right now, and then will turn their attention to consoles. Rather than develop them all at the same time, and have every version suffer for it.

Dexter111:
Why does a dev *specifically* mentioning that their game has not been "dumbed down" always raise a red flag with me? xD
Anyway i'm really looking forward to it after the disappointment that was DA2.

Also anyone finding it a little funny that a game that is supposed to be about sex and violence *doesn't* advertise with it, but rather with beautiful landscapes and RP-possibilities while others that barely contain either of those (or rather violence in a comical way) can't stop talking about how something awesome happens all the time? xD

Astalano:
The Witcher 2 will be GOTY if people have any sense and aren't bewildered by Battlefield 3. At least it should win best RPG and with Dragon Age out of the picture, there isn't really much competition, and certainly not from Mass Effect 3 (a game made in under 2 years will never be that great, as evidenced by DA2).

You're forgetting Skyrim, the new Elder Scrolls game, I heard it has a bunch of rabid fanboys :P

DO WANT!

Nao!!!!1111111one~~~~~

Seriously, that looks so good.

I quite enjoyed the combat in the first Witcher too. I thought it was a nice change from the usual "click like mad" bullshit, and I also really enjoyed how you pretty much had to incorporate potions into your repertoire if you wanted to do well.

The Witcher 2/Dragon Age 2 comments are pretty funny too. The Witcher was everything Dragon Age: Origins billed itself to be and then failed to live up to: a gritty, hardscrabble world, virulently racist against all non-humans. I won't be too surprised if the same thing happens again this year.

Andy Chalk:
I quite enjoyed the combat in the first Witcher too. I thought it was a nice change from the usual "click like mad" bullshit, and I also really enjoyed how you pretty much had to incorporate potions into your repertoire if you wanted to do well.

The Witcher 2/Dragon Age 2 comments are pretty funny too. The Witcher was everything Dragon Age: Origins billed itself to be and then failed to live up to: a gritty, hardscrabble world, virulently racist against all non-humans. I won't be too surprised if the same thing happens again this year.

What really irked me about DA2 was that it totally botched the whole thing. DA:O had amazing potential. I found the world interesting, the characters fun to talk to, and the combat was honestly okay; not amazing, but okay.

The Witcher is much the same way really. So far, this sequel looks to be nothing short of an improvement on all fronts. The video that Dexter111 posted flies in the face of DA2's failures in every way by showing us some gorgeous environments, showing us some interesting combat mechanics, and the depth that this title will have (the diverse mini-games).

There's still work to be done, and that's obvious. For one, I'd really like the blank expressions on the NPC's faces when arm wrestling to be worked on.

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