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E3: The Witcher Bewitches
07.12.07 - 8:47 PM

Atari, the North American publisher of the CD Projekt-developed The Witcher was showing off the title at this year's E3. Based on the literature of Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski, The Witcher has made a great deal of progress since we last saw it in May of 2006.

Combat has been fleshed out a great deal since we were last introduced to the title. While combat itself is governed by a deceptively simple two-button control scheme, timing, as well as context sensitivity, provide a great deal of depth to the Aurora Engine-based title. It's not as if having one attack button and one magic button makes the game a Diablo clone. Far from it, as players are easily able to switch between stances and magic at will, allowing the timing-based combos to change, and players to shift between attacking single targets and multiple targets.

Atari also mentioned that there would be an alchemy system for creation of items in The Witcher, but the most notable new feature is the WASD-based control scheme. While it was initially slated to have mouse-driven controls, those who have played Oblivion or other such first-person RPGs will have no issue jumping right into The Witcher to slay some foes. While The Witcher has been made much more accessible since we last saw it, Atari confirmed with us that the title will still have an incredibly deep dialogue system that tracks not just good and evil, but shades of grey. Players' actions will not always have a directly obvious outcome right away, it may be hours before discovered that a somewhat neutral action earlier in the game caused something horrendous or something great to happen.

Atari is currently slated to release The Witcher during the fall, and the Atari representative at their Barker Hanger booth said that Halloween would be the perfect time to see release. While the title has yet to be rated by the ESRB, expect it to receive an M for Mature rating.


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John McCarroll





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