PS3 Previews: The Witcher: Rise of the White Wolf Preview

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The Witcher: Rise of the White Wolf Preview

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Scheduled release date:

Q3 2009




CD Projekt Red

Number Of Players:

1 Player



When Atari unveiled their software lineup for 2009, we were quite happy to see titles like The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena and Ghostbusters: The Video Game, but perhaps we’re most intrigued by The Witcher: Rise of the White Wolf. We love our RPGs, and although we had a few great ones on the PlayStation 3 towards the end of 2008 (Eternal Sonata and Valkyria Chronicles), we could always use a few more. For many, next year is all about White Knight Chronicles, but perhaps this console iteration of a solid PC title could be a definite gem for fans of the genre. The good news? The days are gone where the PC version of a game is always superior, especially when the console version comes later. Developer CD Projekt Red have already said the version that shows up for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 later in 2009 will be the best available, and that alone is enough to keep us excited.

But hey, we can’t make an entire preview based solely on that one piece of information, so onwards we go. Rise of the White Wolf will use new technology, which makes it more of a remake than a port, so gamers can expect better implementation of certain game mechanics, like control and combat. Of course, the issue for this platform leap is always the same: due to the vast number of possibilities for the mouse/keyboard combo, it can be difficult to assign the same number of options and commands to a gamepad. But according to GameSpot, CD Project says they won’t losing anything in the transition, and they’re also featuring a new a context-sensitive system that “allows different moves according to your character’s situation.” This is good news, although we’ve already had multiple examples of PC RPGs that enjoyed the jump to consoles without losing any of the depth or dynamic style. Remember, because the days of the turn-based RPG are over – and Western developers never really adopted that type of combat, anyway – we’ll need everything right at our fingertips at all times.

If you’re not familiar with The Witcher, you play as the silver-haired Geralt, who embodies the title of the game: a “Witcher” is a certain breed of humans that have gone through several mutations, which allows them to have better speed and stamina, and can even add supernatural powers. For example, Geralt is not only a supremely competent fighter in the field due to his enhanced physical abilities, but he can also regenerate. This may not sound like anything too original, but bear in mind that while Witchers don’t typically maintain the standard set of human emotions during the transformation, Geralt somehow did. This means you’ll have to continually make moral decisions throughout the course of your adventure, and this will result in one of three possible endings in Rise of the White Wolf. However, although you may instantly start recalling games like Knights of the Old Republic and Jade Empire, Good and Evil aren’t always black and white in this dark, sweeping epic. We’re not entirely sure how complex and involved the plot will be, but we’re counting on a script and a plot progression that makes us think. Otherwise, all this talk about moral decisions isn’t so encouraging.

As for the combat, you’re looking at a straight-up action system that has you attacking, guarding, and casting spells in real-time. Geralt can not only launch a series of magical spells at an enemy from a certain distance, he can even lop off limbs with an ultra-effective slash of his sword. We’ve also heard about combination attacks and large amounts of blood and gore, which seems almost out of place in a RPG. Then again, it shouldn’t be out of place, considering the massive amount of battle that commonly takes place in role-playing titles, but we’re just used to seeing super-bloody encounters in the action genre. Toss in the up-close-and-personal camera angles, though, and The Witcher is shaping up to be one of the most graphic titles of the new generation, so all you gore aficionados should apply…if only for the in-your-face brutality. These days, genre categorization is becoming increasingly difficult; the lines between the genres are becoming blurred, so it’s not surprising to see action elements in RPGs and vice versa.

Thing is, many are going to call this game more of a “Action/RPG” due to its fast, intense and bloody combat, although you won’t be able to ignore the plot and storyline that is customary to a standard role-playing title. Furthermore, Geralt increases his skill as time goes on, so it’s not just about hacking ‘n slashing. Lastly, we’ve heard that CD Projekt is supposedly planning exclusive content for both the PS3 and 360 versions, so as soon as they reveal the good stuff, we’ll let you know about it. For now, we take solace in the fact that Rise of the White Wolf should be better in just about every way in comparison to the original PC version, and we look forward to seeing how the developers have streamlined the action for consoles. We also have high hopes for the moral decisions we’ll be forced to make; freedom is always a bonus! Stay tuned for more; we’ll keep an eye on this one next year.

Oh, and check out the new debut trailer, too

12/8/2008 Ben Dutka

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New Comment System

Legacy Comment System (11 posts)

Monday, December 08, 2008 @ 11:06:06 PM

I have eagerly waited for some news on this game, and now I will get a chance to see if it is any good. But I have to wait until the end of next year to do so. :(

Last edited by Reccaman18 on 12/8/2008 11:08:15 PM

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Banky A
Monday, December 08, 2008 @ 11:25:37 PM

It sounds cool.
I hope it doesn't end up like 'Legendary' (though I didn't buy it, just looked at reviews). I just can't trust multi-platform games if it's not a sequel to a praised franchise (Call of Duty: World at War) with Eternal Sonata being an exception.

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Tuesday, December 09, 2008 @ 12:20:49 AM

This is a ways off, so I'll wait for reviews. I am thinking Demon's Souls will probably outdo it though.

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Tuesday, December 09, 2008 @ 12:53:50 AM

i didnt really enjoy the pc version of this game. seemed a bit like diablo.

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Tuesday, December 09, 2008 @ 10:53:39 AM

my dad has this on pc and claims it to be one of his favourite games. i watched the 30min intro, and it did look impressive.

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Tuesday, December 09, 2008 @ 3:17:38 PM

Diablo? It's nothing like Diablo. You guys who aren't regular PC gamers aren't in for a treat. This game is a total throwback to the old golden age days of the WRPG, except with a probably better story than some of those games. I don't know exactly how much they're changing but if it's anything like the PC version I hope it's met with a warm welcome, this game is something special and if not for the technical difficulties, IMO, should have been nominated for game of the year in 2007 easily.

Just out of curiousity, have you played hte PC version Ben?

Last edited by superjew on 12/9/2008 3:18:51 PM

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Tuesday, December 09, 2008 @ 6:11:25 PM

"aren't" ?!?

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, December 09, 2008 @ 7:00:09 PM

No, I don't play games on my PC. But I heard it was good, so I'll be interested to see how Rise of the White Wolf comes out.

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Tuesday, December 09, 2008 @ 3:35:44 PM

It really is a great game. And like superjew said, if the game is like it's PC equivalent, then in no way will it be a flop, like Legendary. Plus the game is for more mature audiences, which is what I like about it.

Last edited by Daedusian on 12/9/2008 3:36:26 PM

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karneli lll
Tuesday, December 09, 2008 @ 6:08:43 PM

30 min intro??? u're kidding right?

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008 @ 7:22:37 AM

yeah, you really get into it. its like watching a short film!

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