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The Witcher 2 'it's about pushing the limit again and again'

Lead level artist Marek Ziemak on creating the epic RPG

The Witcher 2 will be out before you know it, making its debut on console on April 17 and releasing a brand new enhanced version, featuring a ton of bonus content free to existing PC users on the very same day. Be sure to check out our Witcher 2 review to see what thought of it, but John and Tamoor are already tipping this as the next big post-Skyrim RPG.

In the build up to the game, we managed to catch an extensive interview with CD Projekt's extremely affable Lead Level Artist Marek Ziemak to discuss both the game itself and the much acclaimed developer's wider plans. In this exclusive interview Ziemak reveals why they make unashamedly mature games, the challenges of creating huge non-linear gaming experiences and what he's most looking forward to personally from the next generation of consoles. It's a good read, so without further ado, we'll let you crack on.

Zoom

For people who've never encountered the Witcher before, what's the appeal of the game universe and the character?

I believe it's very interesting for all newcomers because we're creating a totally unique game. We have this great dark fantasy world, the new for western players. I would say it's totally different from the high fantasy written by Tolkien or stuff like that.

And it also has many elements of Polish and Slavic culture. So we believe it's something that's really new and really interesting. Yeah, for the player, so if you haven't played the previous game, you haven't seen those elements yet and I'm sure you'll be surprised and happy.

But this isn't just a straight port of the PC game, this is a truly enhanced version of the game?

In the enhanced version we decided not only to improve the game in many aspects, like iron out some technical glitches and stuff as well as move and adapt the game to a new platform. But we also focused on delivering once again a lot of new content. So first of all there's this new great opening CGI scene, there's an outro movie, and there are a lot of new cut scenes within the game and stuff like that that actually immerse you into the game world to show you the consequences of your decisions even more.

There are transitional movies between acts which are some of my favourites and they look really impressive and give you a feeling of accomplishing something and you know like starting a new adventure.

So yeah, the enhanced edition was not only about improving the things we already did, but also about delivering new content and adapting the game to a new platform - a huge task.

Zoom

But you haven't ignored PC guys either - you're looking after your core fans as well?

Of course, because our philosophy is that we want to be fair first of all with all the players, when we decided to upgrade the game to add some extra content we knew right away that it will be available for everyone who bought the game or who will buy the game and that means also obviously the PC players. If you already have the game, you'll be able to download all those updates for free. If you haven't you can buy the game and download them for free - that's our philosophy.

What's been the biggest challenge in bringing the game to Xbox 360? Do you feel you've had to compromise with anything or do you see it more as an opportunity?

Sure it was a great opportunity for us, it's also a very important experience, it's our first console game and since the beginning we knew we could make no compromises with it because we wanted to deliver the exact same experience to console players.

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