The Tough Business of Witchering Gets Cinematic


A lengthy new pre-release trailer for The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings proves once and for all that witcherin’ ain’t easy.

Despite being the “hero” of The Witcher RPG games, Geralt and his fellow witchers aren’t exactly popular guys. They’re tolerated because they’re handy at what they do but their powers, the secrecy of their order and the fact that “what they do” pretty much boils down to murder for hire tends to keep them off most Citizen of the Year shortlists. Fans of the first game, or the original novels by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski, will be familiar with the concept but gamers coming into it cold on the Xbox 360 might find it a little odd.

Witchers are bad dudes by any measure but what makes them uniquely powerful is a combination of forced mutations inflicted on them during childhood, such as the “Trial of the Grasses” mentioned by Geralt in the trailer [which, by the way, is said to kill six out of every ten candidates] and the potions they brew and drink before going into battle, giving them a range of abilities like heightened reflexes or night vision. And it’s not mere theatrics; entering combat unprepared in The Witcher games is a sure recipe for trouble.

The video isn’t actually part of The Witcher 2 storyline but it is rendered with the REDengine, the same technology used to create the game, and sets the tone of the game world very nicely. The Northern Kingdoms, as we’ve said before, are not a nice place; they’re dirty, violent, racist and unpleasant in just about every way imaginable. Oh, and there are monsters.

The long-awaited Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings comes to the Xbox 360 on April 17.

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