The release of The Witcher 2: Enhanced Edition will improve The Witcher 2 in a number of ways, with brand new cinematics, quests and characters. Perhaps the best news is that owners of the original Witcher 2 will receive this update for free. In contrast, the Enhanced Editon will cost $10 more than The Witcher 2 currently costs.
The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings is a beautiful role-playing experience that is currently unparalleled. The protagonist, Geralt of Rivia, has incredible depth, shown through his witty dialogue, diverse cast of friends and the abundance of romance options available to him. This attention to detail doesn’t stop with Geralt: every character he meets along his journey has a unique story to tell.
The game’s quests are exciting and bring new twists and turns to the typical grind, giving thieves, warlocks and other sorts of villains an extraordinary amount of personality. The combat is fast and fluid, allowing the player to control Geralt as he or she sees fit. This makes for a difficult yet particularly rewarding combat system. Setting traps, parrying blades, using magecraft and creating potions are just a few of the options available to Geralt.
The developers of this game, CDProjekt RED, have created an innovative style of RPG with well-thought-out characters, an engaging combat system and beautiful graphics. This Polish video game developer has more going for it than just The Witcher 2: their business practices and strategies have enabled them to revolutionize game copy protection and post-release content, whereas software giants such as Ubisoft and EA have taken a money-first approach to things like DRM and DLC.
CDProjekt RED CEO Marcin Iwinski spoke out against big developers (such as EA & Ubisoft), publicly stating that any future games “will never use DRM.” For the initial release of The Witcher 2, there was both a DRM-free version marketed by Good Old Games and a DRM version marketed by Steam. Instead of the DRM-free version being posted online by torrent sites, the DRM version was instead the one that wound up being cracked and pirated, showing that DRM in games protects no one, and only frustrates consumers who want to pay. All DRM was removed in the first patch released by CDProjekt RED, which according to the developer was causing large amounts of frame-rate slowdown in the game.
Adam Badowski, a CD Projekt RED development director, believes that DRM schemes “create obstacles for users of legally bought copies.” This is in an era in which constant internet connectivity is required for single player content, such as the Assassin’s Creed series, or the DLC that was recently released for Mass Effect 3. Badowski emphasized, “The quality of the users’ gameplay experience is absolutely our number one priority!”
Big-budget producers such as EA and Activision cannot say the same thing, as the bottom line has become a greater issue than quality. Take, for example, Rockstar Games’ release of Grand Theft Auto 4. If purchased through Steam, the game requires three different passwords in order to play: first the Steam password, followed by the Rockstar Social Club password, and finally a Games for Windows LIVE password. If Games for Windows requires an update, the player must restart and repeat that process all over again. If the player is unable to log in to Games for Windows, then save files are inaccessible. It’s an overbearing redundant security measure that is simply unnecessary.
Also unnecessary is the amount of paid DLC being released by game developers today. Take, for instance, games such as Gotham City Imposters, which was released with hundreds of day-one DLC options and was not even free-to-play. Instead, the mantra was “pay $15, and then pay more money to get extra premium goodies.” Street Fighter X Tekken had a similar issue, where the DLC fighters were actually on the disc and could be accessed through glitches.
With the release of The Witcher 2’s first patch, which also removed any trace of the DRM, The Witcher 2 also had its first DLC, a quest titled “Troll Trouble.” Neither the patch nor the DLC cost any extra. Badowski clarified that “all DLC for the PC version is and will remain free.” This has included a number of quests, and with Update 2.0, an entirely new difficulty setting with new items.
CDProjekt RED has a unique devotion to their customers, virtually absent in the era of big-name releases. Witcher 2 has received the patches and bug fixes that it has needed, while CDProjekt RED has not charged another dime for the content. And that is just the beginning. With the release of The Witcher 2: Enhanced Edition, CDProjekt RED is aiming to blow consumers’ minds.
There is no company that has supported its product quite as well as CDProjekt RED has supported The Witcher 2. CDProjekt RED has set out to make gamers happy and create a product that doesn’t disappoint. It’s plain and simple, and gamers have spoken with their wallets, with The Witcher 2 selling nearly a million copies. With their stance on DRM and DLC, CDProjekt RED is listening to their consumers.
If you buy the The Witcher 2 today, not only will you get a free upgrade to the Enhanced Edition, but you will also be supporting a company that is looking out for its customers. Below you’ll find a trailer and a link to buy from Steam — use them and begin your adventure as Geralt of Rivia.
The Witcher 2 is available for $40 on Steam here. It will automatically upgrade to The Witcher 2: Enhanced Edition upon its release April 17.