Polish game developer CD Projekt RED this week released the long-awaited follow-up to The Witcher, called The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings. There are a couple of interesting things about the game, but most of all, it happens to be a PC-only offering, and an RPG at that. On game consoles, single-player RPGs are not uncommon, but they certainly are on the PC. Even rarer? Good ones.
Assassins of Kings is a bit different, as it’s clear that the developers care about delivering the best possible experience on day one. While the game is ambitious in design like a Fallout or Oblivion, the game didn’t seem to launch with boatloads of bugs which has become all-to-common in recent years. There has been the usual mass of performance-related complaints, but those are a given and hard to blame on the developer.
The fact that the game launched with so few bugs is impressive, because when the somewhat similar-in-design Fallout: New Vegas came out last fall, it had so many bugs that the game was parodied and laughed at for weeks. Had there been no bugs, it simply would have become an instant masterpiece (perhaps it still accomplished that).
As the title of this post suggests, we need more developers like CD Projekt RED, who instead of rushing titles, refine and make them as good as they can be. There’s no greater bummer than picking up the latest release and playing it only to discover bug after bug or issue after issue. Since its release, our RPG-loving editor Jamie Fletcher has been playing the game for more hours than I am sure he’d like to admit, and so far has only noted minor bugs (cursor update issues, and some other non-significant glitches).
That aside, CD Projekt RED’s producers must be gamers themselves, because they seem to “get it” when it comes to draconian DRM. One of the big selling-points of the game prior to launch was that there was no DRM when sold through sister site GOG.com – none. No serial code, no online authentication, no requirements for blood samples – nothing. That, right there, is faith in the valued consumer.
Past that, people who purchased Witcher 2 didn’t only get the game, but also a bunch of extras on the side including a game guide, avatars, a soundtrack, artbook, wallpapers and so forth. Those who handed over $50 for this game sure are getting their money’s worth, that’s for certain.
Prior to the game’s release, I admit I didn’t have a ton of interest in playing it, but by seeing how the company conducts itself, I can’t help but feel inspired to now. It should be noted that companies like Valve could be summed up in a similar manner. Both it, and CD Projekt RED, are big departures from the monolithic money-grubbing publishers that will go unnamed – and it’s quite refreshing.
The second installment in the RPG saga about the Witcher, Geralt of Rivia. A new, modern game engine, responsible both for beautiful visuals and sophisticated game mechanics puts players in the most lively and believable world ever created in an RPG game. A captivating story, dynamic combat system, beautiful graphics, and everything else that made the original Witcher such a great game are now executed in a much more advanced and sophisticated way.