Soon after officially announcing The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, developer CD Projekt RED has begun to discuss how the game continues and changes the budding franchise. While The Witcher 2 continues the storyline of the original Witcher and maintains the series' focus on a mature storyline and branching plot paths, there will be significant changes to the game's systems as well.
The Witcher 2 will have three major plotlines upon which the player can embark, depending on choices made during the game. There will be multiple endings as well as several smaller branching plotlines available during the game. The developers state that The Witcher 2 will not be as long as The Witcher 1, but will be "more intense and packed with events." Geralt, the titular monster-fighting Witcher, will be travelling with companions this time, and will have more complex conversational options, including conversations with several NPCs at one time. The Witcher's famous (or perhaps infamous) erotic adventures promise to be more realistic and mature, as the collectible cards are gone, and have been replaced by greater character interaction and cinematic cutscenes.
While the initial Witcher used a modified version of BioWare's Aurora engine, The Witcher 2's game engine has been designed from scratch by CD Projekt RED. The quality of the graphics has been increased, and the combat system has received a major overhaul. Geralt will no longer need to choose between fast, strong, or group sword styles. Instead, combat will be more dynamic and depend on the player stringing together different sword strikes, alchemical signs, blocks, and dodges. Character movement has also been given a Y axis, so Geralt can jump (both in and out of combat) and climb over obstacles.
Players will have many more options for equipment in The Witcher 2 than they did in the original, with an extensive equipment crafting system, more pieces and types of armor to equip, and a large number of available swords. Skills will be customizable as well, thorough a system that allows players to manipulate the mutagens that give Witchers their inhuman abilities.
The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings is scheduled to release for the PC at the beginning of 2011. Thedeveloper has stated that console versions of the game are possible, but have not yet been officially confirmed.