The process of brewing potions, an essential part of any high-level monster hunting, is also being simplified for those who just want to get on with the action, while players who like to experiment will still be able to do so. "We've made alchemy be a mini-game. You can manually influence the process of brewing a potion in order to get something unique," he explained. "But then, again, you don't have to - the default alchemy is much simpler than in The Witcher."
The Witcher 2 will take place a few months after the conclusion of the first game, with an opening based on the "immediate consequences" of the events that took place during the big finish. The new game is being written by the same team that handled the original and will probably be a bit shorter, which shouldn't be too much of a problem, since The Witcher clocked in at an estimated 80 hours. "We wanted to reduce the parts of the game where you'd run multiple times between multiple places and it took lots of time," Gop said. "In terms of quest count it should be pretty much the same. And in terms of story branching and endings, I'm sure there will be even more than in The Witcher."
Know what else there'll be more of in The Witcher 2? Women. Unlike certain other highly-trained, magically-enhanced, monster hunting RPG characters, Geralt has no trouble with the ladies and he likes to get around. Gop said the Rivian freak machine will keep on rolling but added that the sex won't seem quite so perfunctory this time around or, well, juvenile.
"'Mature' not only means naked - it's also about the story. We have redesigned the way we present sex in the game, so that it's more bound to the storyline and the player feels like each woman Geralt gets close to actually has her own story. Finding out what that story is isn't just intended to get you in bed with her - it's actually fun and intriguing to play," he said. Referring to the notoriously chaste American market (the North American release of the first game was edited to cover up unclothed images of Geralt's many conquests), he added, "We'll do all we can to make it onto U.S. shelves uncut, except for losing consistency with the world of The Witcher - that would in no way be forgotten by our fans."
And how about those boob cards? "No more collectible cards," he said. "A cinematic approach is where we're headed this time."
A pity, but we can't have everything, I suppose. The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings is expected to come out in early 2011.
In his mind, Andy Chalk is already waiting in line to buy this game. In Europe.