Dead is Dead Forever in The Witcher 2

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Dead is Dead Forever in The Witcher 2

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CD Projekt Red has something special in store for seriously hardcore RPG fans: an "insane" difficulty level in The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings that will destroy your saved games if you die.

So you think you're bad. You're a tough guy. You're hardcore. Let's see you try this, then: play a sprawling, unforgiving, combat-heavy RPG at the hardest difficulty level possible, and if you die, you die - permanently. No reloads, no do-overs; if you die in the final battle, you start over again from square one. That, in a nutshell, is the "insane" mode of The Witcher 2.

"You can save the game, but when you die the saves are disabled," Witcher 2 Lead Gameplay Designer Mateusz Kanik told Eurogamer. "Of course we plan to have a resurrection scroll, maybe DLC or something. You'll see."

The insane setting was apparently inspired by the notoriously difficult Demon's Souls, which the studio reportedly "admires greatly," and along with permanent death it will also feature a few changes to enemy behavior that will make an untimely demise much more difficult to avoid.

"It won't be easy to not fight the monsters. We fixed that by giving all opponents special abilities which allow them to catch the Witcher," Kanik said. "Undead can dig into the ground and get up near the player. So when you run he will dig up in front of you and grab you. It will be harder to just run and avoid the fight."

And what's the big payoff for struggling through an ultra-hard, no-death Witcher 2? "There will be an achievement for that, for sure," Kanik added.

Likely to be of greater interest to the not-quite-so-self-flagellating Witcher fan demographic will be the ability to import saves from the original game, which will have an impact on certain story details and allow Geralt to bring along some of his equipment as well.

"We want to import information about your decisions in The Witcher 1, and to make consequences of those decisions in The Witcher 2 so it will impact the storyline. Of course, not a new story, totally. Only little differences," Kanik explained. "We want to give the possibility to import some items from your inventory. Of course, not all because it impacts the game balance. Money, for example, we can't give, because the game economy will be ruined. But for sure there will be an option to import some weapons and armor."

For players who don't have a copy of their Witcher saved games lying around (come on, it's only three years old), the studio is also considering a "PS3 Mass Effect 2-style story generator" which will allow them to shape the game world in a similar fashion.

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings comes out on May 17, 2011, only for the PC.

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Some people really get into their "role playing". And this mode really is Insane.

I would take the sane route, myself. Assuming I had a PC that could run the damn thing.

Eh, I don't see it working. What keeps you from reloading a save the moment you are down to 1 hp? Difficulty settings like these are only possible if the player enforces them for himself.

Hard difficulty: awesome, i like a little bit of challenge
Losing everything when you die: no way D:

LTK_70:
Eh, I don't see it working. What keeps you from reloading a save the moment you are down to 1 hp? Difficulty settings like these are only possible if the player enforces them for himself.

Dead on.

But there could be one powerful blow that knocks you dead. And then you are SoL.

What's stopping you from backing up the saves on a flash drive or something, though?

I see this feature shakily trying to balance between Difficult and Bullshit.

So basically what Egosoft did with their Dead is Dead mode in X3 Terran Conflict? And that game actually made you pay for it, a month's work building up a galactic empire and universe conquering fleet, only to make one bad tactical choice and oops, you just lost everything.

Would definitely make things interesting, but it'll be a fine line between hard and absolute dick move.

I hope there's an option for the tactical combat without the stupid "hardcore ppl don't reload" meme bullshit.

If that's Trish, she looks horrible in that image.

Anyway, I'll be giving this difficulty a go.

while I can see how permadeath runs can be a good challenge, they are just not for me at all.

This will only work if the game has intense challenges and absolutely no instant death scenarios dropped on the player without any warning. I'm not entirely confident The Witcher can deliver on that front so colour me pessimistic. I do hope they pull it off though.

What sort of masochist would actually do that?

At least it doesn't have Super Insane Mode, where if your character dies in the game it formats your hard drive, insults all your friends on Facebook, signs you up for extra junk mail, and maxes out your credit cards to post a hit on you in the secret forums of the Russian mafia.

News? Diablo did this 10 years ago.

Dorian6:
What sort of masochist would actually do that?

Just think. One fuck up. One mistake. You're low on health with few potions so you run.... Only to have the fucker pop up in front of you... You'er about to kill the last boss and he scores a cheap shot on you...

Fucked up for sure

Cool, might pick it up now that I'm interested in it

i foresee smashed keyboards, mass nerd rage an entire army of the angry german kid.

but yeah i suppose that's kinda cool but i would just see myself running like a bitch and leaving the peeps to die at any sign of real danger, which when your playing an rpg you shouldn't do.

unless your a rogue (oh yeah i went there people, i fucking went there.)

Nice. An achievement, preventing certain completionists like me to get all of them. Granted, I care less and less for achievements, I just look up to them fast to see if there is a fun mechanism to be abused or something.

This is beyond stupid, leave it to these guys to take things completely the wrong way.

Man Diablo 2 has this, and that was 10 years ago. Hardcore mode online. You die you loose your char and all your loot. At least witcher wont have TPPK and other triggers.

I really hope that also put in a system to track how many people finish the game with that difficulty. Just to make sure they TRULY realize how useless this 'feature' is.

Andy Chalk:
Likely to be of greater interest to the not-quite-so-self-flagellating Witcher fan demographic will be the ability to import saves from the original game, which will have an impact on certain story details and allow Geralt to bring along some of his equipment as well.

"We want to import information about your decisions in The Witcher 1, and to make consequences of those decisions in The Witcher 2 so it will impact the storyline. Of course, not a new story, totally. Only little differences," Kanik explained. "We want to give the possibility to import some items from your inventory. Of course, not all because it impacts the game balance. Money, for example, we can't give, because the game economy will be ruined. But for sure there will be an option to import some weapons and armor."

*hugs his Witcher saves*

these swords are mine i tell you! all mine! muhahahahha!

:D

Such a difficulty option is awesome! I'm not saying I'll try it, but I do appreciate the option.

Right now I'm thinking I won't get Witcher 2 though. The first game wasn't exactly what I expected: too streamlined and I'd so very much prefer to make my own character in a RPG.

ah fuck that, i already have a tough time when 5 motherfuckers sneak up on me with one of them being an archer, then i end up losing a half hours playtime from forgetting to save at keymoments, so its nice that its there, but fuck insane mode

(goes back to play the witcher ironically at this moment)

Please put the Interactive Comic thing pwease

Nice to see another game have the "Dead is Dead" option in there game other than X3 (that i can think of off hand)

Do we need a News everytime some game include Hardcore mode?

Now, see, this is going even farther than Demon's Souls. Sure you would die a lot, but you could always keep throwing yourself at a challenge no matter how many times you kicked the bucket. If The Witcher 2 is anywhere NEAR as long as the first one, only the most stupid hardcore fans would want to do this if the only stated reward at this point is an achievement. The possibility of losing 50+ hours of work at the drop of a hat is utter insanity.

I paraphrase Yahtzee in his Demon's Souls review: trying to break a concrete wall down with your forehead is definitely a challenge, and succeeding in doing so would definitely make you feel successful. Of course, that would be the ONLY thing you feel at that point.

I've played Nethack. This is NOTHING new.

Onyx Oblivion:

LTK_70:
Eh, I don't see it working. What keeps you from reloading a save the moment you are down to 1 hp? Difficulty settings like these are only possible if the player enforces them for himself.

Dead on.

But there could be one powerful blow that knocks you dead. And then you are SoL.

What's stopping you from backing up the saves on a flash drive or something, though?

the game blocks you from saving the game while on insane mode

I find it amusing that this is now considered a new and exciting thing. We've gotten so used to saves that a game actually taking away all you progress upon death is unheard of, even though it used to be commonplace.

Well I guess there's no harm in it since it's optional. You know it's really frustrating anytime I play Dwarf Fortress adventure mode and suddenly find my newbie adventurer is getting eaten by cave crocodiles. In a game with an actual narrative to follow, I imagine losing a character over bullshit like that is far worse.

arbane:
I've played Nethack. This is NOTHING new.

It most certainly is not new, but I don't think any of the people adding it to their games are suggesting that it is. It's just that you so rarely see a mainstream game with a "feature" like this nowadays that it surprises people.

As long as it's not mandatory, I say kudos for putting in a challenge that doesn't center around achievement grinding.

As long as it's a difficulty setting that's not mandatory then i think that's a brilliant idea!

Sounds great I will try it first, I am liking the "Hardcore" mode a lot in New Vegas. Reminds me of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. sometimes now with how unforgiving it can be. This type of difficulty is exactly what I like to shake off the "Made for Console" feel of most games today. With all the hand holding and care to not frustrate a demographic of easily frustrated gamers.

Musiclly enhanced:

Onyx Oblivion:

LTK_70:
Eh, I don't see it working. What keeps you from reloading a save the moment you are down to 1 hp? Difficulty settings like these are only possible if the player enforces them for himself.

Dead on.

But there could be one powerful blow that knocks you dead. And then you are SoL.

What's stopping you from backing up the saves on a flash drive or something, though?

the game blocks you from saving the game while on insane mode

Only if you die.

While I don't mind having such a feature in the game (afterall, it is optional), I do have to say that it's lame that all you get for it is an achievement. If the reward was something like exclusive content (like an unlockable extra level or something), I might have been tempted to even try. But I could care less about difficulty for the sake of difficulty.

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