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The Witcher 2 on Xbox 360 includes new content, more coming post-launch


Following the launch of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings on PC, CD Projekt Red offered a steady stream of updates and DLC, free of charge.

The Xbox 360 version, which I saw at a preview event in San Francisco, will bundle all of that previously released content when it launches this year -- along with new material.

Gallery: The Witcher 2 Xbox 360 (1/26/2012) | 10 Photos

Initially, you can access four hours of new playable content and 30 minutes of new cutscenes and video. These new missions take you to new locations, and introduce extra characters and dialogue. But that's not the end of it, as CD Projekt Red plans not to "fire and forget."

CD Projekt Red plans to support The Witcher 2 on Xbox 360 post-launch, updating the game based on player feedback and even offering new content on top of the new stuff on-disc. "It's very hard to give players something for free on Xbox 360, so we had to come to a decision," said combat designer Maciej Szczesnik. "Do we want to give players the game earlier without the content or do we want to give them everything? We wanted the game to be richer and have all of the content from PC, and even more content."

"We're not going to stop our support of the game after launch," level artist Marek Ziemak added. "We're launching the Xbox 360 version, but we'll continue to work on both titles parallel, creating some extra stuff and trying to give some extra stuff to players. We never fire and forget; it's against our philosophy."

I played a bit of the new on-disc content -- a mission called "For Temeria!" in which I and a man named Roche sought to get to the bottom of a plot of a would-be assassin looking to kill the Temerian king. This conveyed how the game has been streamlined for the Xbox 360. While it's possible to play the game on PC with an Xbox 360 controller, the experience is changed for the better on Xbox by a cleaner, more navigable inventory system, a new targeting system and an adrenaline meter that allows players to stylishly insta-kill multiple enemies at the tap of a button.

Understandably, the one shortcoming the Xbox 360 version has against the PC original is how it looks. Szczesnik told me that the Xbox 360 version's graphics are most comparable to The Witcher 2 running on medium settings on the PC. During my time with this build, the frame rate was consistent throughout, but I noticed it took a while to load the higher-resolution textures during cutscenes at times. The game is still in development, so hopefully CD Projekt Red can address that issue before it launches.

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings is slated to launch on Xbox 360 on April 17, 2012.

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