If you’re a regular bit-tech reader then you’ll probably already know that we’ve had a fair old bit of bug-related controversy as of late – though if you aren’t a regular reader then you don’t have to take our word for it. You can just check out our S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky review and see the furore first hand.
When The Witcher was first released last year we were in a similar situation to the one we were with Clear Sky. That is to say; we liked The Witcher, but it had issues and those issues affected the overall score.
The problems with The Witcher weren’t crippling of course, as our 7 out of 10 score proved, but they were there and they were enough to make us grind our teeth occasionally. We aren’t talking blue screens of death and system crashes here though – the original Witcher was more about shoddy translation, long load times and a lore so dense you could hammer nails with it.
As was so often mentioned in the arguments surrounding S.T.A.L.K.E.R. though, just because that was the case then, doesn’t mean that it is the case now. Like most PC exclusive games (especially those from smaller, eastern studios) The Witcher began to be patched and updated until the issues were ironed out. Then CD Projekt Red decided that in order to really make the game it wanted, it would need re-releasing.
Thus, we now have The Witcher: Enhanced Edition – a re-released, optimised, patched and altogether better version of The Witcher.
Naturally though, if you’ve already bought a copy of the game back from when it was first released then you might be feeling a little indignant. You did already pay for the game, right? Why should you have to buy it again? The answer, of course, is that you don’t. You just need to register with CD Projekt Red and download all the patches, extras and bonuses. You can do it all at the official site.
And, let us tell you, the extras and bonuses are worth it as, when you buy The Witcher: Enhanced Edition you get a whole load of stuff. You get the original game, obviously, but you also get a double-pack of extra missions that can be played independently from the full game as a standalone adventure.
Then, if game's content isn’t enough to satisfy you, you also get the official soundtrack to the game as well as an ‘Inspired By’ soundtrack. The albums are massively different to each other – with the OST being beautiful, calming and orchestral and the ‘Inspired by’ being dreary, Polish and heavier. There’s also a cool behind the scenes DVD that comes packaged with the game that gives some insight into how the game was made, though we reckon only the smallest number of gamers will actually find it all that interesting.
Rounding out the selection of extra content is a trio of books and a copy of the Djinni adventure maker which players can use to…well, make adventures. The books are pretty good – there’s a really detailed game manual, a strategy guide and finally there’s short story that helped serve as the basis for the game. We read this on the train over the last week or so and have got to say that it’s actually a thoroughly decent read, more than suitable for filling a Sunday afternoon if the power happens to go out.
Oh – and there’s a full colour map of the game world too. There really is a lot of stuff in this new Enhanced Edition.
The only thing that remains now then is to see if the actual game itself has been improved, or if Atari and CD Projekt Red have just gone and released a colourful new box with the same, mildly sprained game in it.