Fantasy/RPG fans will be happy to learn that CD Projekt RED's newest game - The Witcher 2 - has gone gold, all set to arrive on shelves on May 17th. If you are an Australian gamer, you should be extra-happy, as Namco Bandai Partners jumped through a whole bunch of hoops to make sure the game could appear on your shores.
Firstly - the game itself, The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, is the eagerly-anticipated sequel for the million-selling RPG that came out a few years ago. This time, we get an all-new storyline, complex characters, captivating political machinations and some intriguing challenges, not to mention the new combat system and the state of the art graphical technology.
Here's a brand new slide-show to show off just how shiny the new environments will be:
Geralt of Rivia, the "truly unique" protagonist is set to return, bringing his professional monster slayer skillz with him, and exploring thought-provoking, non-linear, "mature" gameplay.
...unsurprisingly, it was those "mature" themes that very nearly got Geralt and The Witcher 2 in trouble. Just like in the first game, significant gaming choices aren't necessarily good or bad, and other decisions can fork off gameplay in totally different directions. One of these decisions saw the Australian Classification Board a little upset, and the local censors actually - temporarily - labelled the game Refused Classification (effectively banned) until one small change was made to the game.
A spokesman from Namco Bandai Partners told us what went on:
The modification was a small change we requested the developer to make to one scene during one the games side quests.
In the original version your character Geralt was given the choice of accepting sex ‘as a reward’ for successfully completing this particular side quest. The Australian Classification Board originally refused classification as they deemed the inclusion of ‘sex as a reward’ as not suitable for an MA15+ classification.
The change is only minor, in that the character choice is now made automatically for him. The character and the side quest are still in the game but presented in a slightly different context. No other changes have been made and this change has no impact on gameplay, storyline or character development.
We're reassured that there's still "plenty" of sex, drugs and violence in store for Geralt - now that he's not receiving any as a reward for his actions.
The change itself (which is effectively cosmetic in nature) only applies to the Australian version of The Witcher 2, all other regions will receive the game un-cut and as the developers originally intended.
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Jimmy the Geek