CD Projekt held their spring conference today, discussing various news concerning their CRPG The Witcher 2 and classic games distribution site GOG.com (Good Old Games).
The Witcher 2
The game is said to be quite scalable, with reasonable system requirements. As you've seen from screens, though, it'll definitely be taking advantage of the latest gear; multicore processors will be supported efficiently.
Those concerned about DRM: as said before, the GOG.com version will be completely DRM-free. If you purchase elsewhere, you're up against SecuROM and a one-time activation and a five machine at a time limit. CD Projekt says this is because they don't want pirates getting at it before release, so almost certainly it will be patched out some time after, as it was with The Witcher.
Registering is optional but will offer benefits like automatic updates, language packs, free (small) DLC, and more.
Don't forget the game will feature importing from TW1. If you've not yet played the game or didn't keep your save, you may be interested to know the Enhanced Director's Cut version will be available on GOG.com from May 10. From that date until May 24, it will be offered for $4.99; thereafter, it's $9.99. Tons of goodies are packed in, including many GOG exclusives ('women of The Witcher' explicit calendar, updated over the previous limited release, wallpapers, Collector's Edition artbook, and much more).
Pre-loading for TW2 is available starting May 10 after you pre-purchase, and only on GOG. Alternately, it's available via our shop -- check the game profile at top right.
North Americans may remember TW1 was censored, with the cut content later put back in with the Director's Cut version and patch. No need to worry this time; now that they know they can get away with it, there will be no censorship this time around. With the Mature rating comes blood, guts, nudity, violence, and more, but of course it's not gratuitous.
Showing off the gameplay, it looks like a blast. An on-screen menu can be pulled up quickly at any time to administer tactics, magic, etc., and familiar elements like toxicity and oils are still present. The UI looks quite different -- much more straightforward compared to the artistic and stylized UI we loved so much from TW1, but quite lovely nonetheless. The new talent tree resembles the sphere grid from Final Fantasy X; enhancements to magic are shown, one of which allows you to cast the same spell twice simultaneously. Hard difficulty is shown and looks like it's named appropriately. Finally, we see 'deathblows' -- familiar to any Dragon Age fan. The camera zooms in quickly for these.
The Witcher 2 will launch May 17 on PC; console releases are likely and are still being looked into. Be sure to check back around then for our review.
GOG, if you're still unfamiliar, updates classic titles like Baldur's Gate to work on modern operating systems and sells them on the cheap with extras. They've seen big growth from 2008 to 2010, with a 163% sales increase from 2009 to 2010.
Classic Alone in the Dark games launch today -- those who purchase the first game get the second and third free. A soundtrack is included.
Spring is here, and with that comes spring cleaning. First up is a brand new downloader written from scratch. As most GOG users know, the current downloader is buggy and not terribly efficient -- this new one is multi-threaded (handy for say, downloading The Witcher 2), supports download resuming, and has automatic error checking. Second is another highly requested item: private messaging. This is a combination of traditional methods and real-time instant messaging; configurable privacy settings will be available. It's not clear when exactly these will launch, but should be sooner than later.
Less important changes include an improved checkout system, improved coupon system, and full compatibility for the latest browsers, including Firefox 4.
At this point in the show, GOG's Managing Director hops on stage to show they've signed five of the 10 major PC publishers since launch; the others -- Microsoft, EA, Square Enix/Eidos, Take Two, and LucasArts -- are still missing. While there's no official announcement as expected, he says they will sign one of these publishers in early summer which will bring at least 25 titles, and two other publishers from the list are likely to come this autumn.
That's all for now -- do check back for all major Witcher and GOG news.