TWEE

You know that, when people are ranting on and on what they hate about certain game releases (sadly it’s often justified) and what would need to be completely different, so they would buy more games? This is it. This “Enhanced Edition” of “The Witcher” is basically the manifestation of these (last) wishes.
Great package, several “books” (manual, strategy guide, short story from Andrzej Sapkowski), a bunch of DVDs and CDs, containing additional (new) adventures, soundtrack and (inspired by) music (didn’t listen to it yet), a making of, a large, nicely on both sides printed map… The only thing that needs to be added later, is this patch. Don’t be fooled by the “EAX hotfix” title. It contains another small fix [1]. They weren’t even greedy and allow all previous buyers to download the changes for free.

witcher005

The game was good before and is better now. But don’t expect miracles either. One big minus were character models, looking as if there was a huge clone conspiracy going on. The extended edition introduced new models, but it doesn’t mean everyone looks individual now. The first barkeeper, Olaf, still has twins everywhere, so does Coleman and they aren’t even that well spread. The son of the blacksmith and the potential archer-sidekick (in Act IV) are maybe 30 sec apart from each other. No difference whatsoever. After reading that they had worked on that quite hard, I was really surprised to learn, that it’s only a minor change (texts still weren’t “spell-checked”, there’s still the hard to overlook “you already read this” and so on). Carmen is one of the few quest characters that got a more unique look (notice that I’m not even talking about bystanders). And by that I mean clothes in different color and another set of hair. So no ground breaking difference [2] there (the overall improvements to this game are still massive and worthy of recognition).
Conspicuous changes are challenging dice poker [3], more options for the inventory, like extra satchel for ingredients with filter option for different kinds (yes!) and visible health bars for all monsters. While I’m not trying to dismiss all the small details, that people might overlook easily [4].
What especially inspired enthusiasm in me, was that all 8 (?) supported languages (audio and subtitle) are on disk and can be installed in all variations. I could simply choose to hear polish audio and see english subtitles. And if I know I’ll never use a certain language, I can save the necessary disk space. Should be such a normal possibility by now, but really isn’t. The same is available for the 2 new adventures Side Effects and The Price of Neutrality. After 10 years of DVD movies, it should be default to be able to choose languages. I’m really whining for years, to see this in games more often.

[1]

1) EAX technology problems – this patch resolves problems related to EAX technology, which did not operate properly in conjunction with the game, generating critical errors when activated in the Game Options panel.
2) The patch also eliminates the blur (deriving from “glow” effect augmentation) remaining after cut scenes and dialogue sequences.

[2]

6) Character differentiation system
– Greater NPC variety due to color/ tonal differentiation on clothing. Greater skin color variety among monsters

[3]

10) Enhanced dice poker AI
– Skilled opponents no longer make basic errors (e.g. dismantling winning hands between rolls)
– Improved matching of opponent skill level to player skills

[4]

9) Eye-tracking system
– NPCs not engaged in specific tasks take an interest in Geralt and track him with their sight
– Chance of NPCs noticing Geralt increases the longer he remains in their line of sight
– NPCs concentrating on specific tasks do not track Geralt
– NPCs positioned at acute angles to Geralt do not twist their heads unnaturally

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