The Witcher Enhanced
RPG of last year gets even better.
Preview by Aaron Drewniak (Email)
July 19th 2008
The original Witcher was a feast for fans of western RPGs, offering an involved and truly mature storyline, complete with unsavory characters and brutal action. Plus plenty of loot to horde, sell, and combine to make the ultimate albino killing machine. After the first patch, there weren't any sins that couldn't be forgiven. Sure, the inventory menu was a little cluttered and the alchemy screen was a bit unclear, but it's not like you can expect the developers to go out of their way to clear up these minor issues, right?
You can guess where I'm going with this. CD Projekt have listened to the gripes of their diehard fans and produced this new edition, which also happens to sport plenty of extras. In the original, there was a newcomer hunter who was clearly doomed from the start - and to my personal satisfaction, since his voice was nails across the chalkboard of my soul. That's been completely redubbed in a way that's nearly tragic, since a character I once hated now draws out my sympathy. It helps that the translation has been tweaked in many places to remove the occasional stiltedness. Speaking of awkward, characters used to stand stiff as puppets during the cut scenes, but now they've been given a slew of idle animations to keep your disbelief in check. The clone effect in unimportant NPCs has been curtailed with random colors in clothes and even hair. The same effect has been applied to the monsters that roam the world, spicing up those heated encounters.
The inventory and other screens have been pretty well revamped for clarity, allowing you to sort and combine your loot in a way that's easy to use and sell off. You no longer need to pull up this screen to clear out a corpse and go on your bloody way. Alchemy is pretty much a snap now. Load times have been cut in half. So every issue that kept you from that second play has been cured. Too add to that experience, nine spoken languages will be included in this release, with ten subtitled languages that can be selected independently. So if you ever wanted to know what the game sounded like in its original Polish but can't speak the lingo, now's your chance.
For the price tag of a regular PC release, you'll also get the game sound track, a second disc of music inspired by the game, two new independent adventures made with the recently released modding tools, a color guide, a map, and a new short story by the writer of the original Witcher series. Though what about the very fans who helped bring these changes about? Are they forced to re-buy the game just to gain the improvements they hungered for? Of course not. Along with the box release, a patch including all of the new and improved content will be released for free.
So buy it if you don't have it, and love it two times if you do.