The Witcher 2 is a fantastic game, as you'll know if you've either played it or read our review. But there were a few things about it that bothered people -- difficulty spikes, occasionally unresponsive controls and a sense of being thrown in at the deep end from the outset. Some people loved this, but others would have preferred a more gentle introduction to the game's idiosyncrasies. Others still sought a further challenge having beaten and mastered the game.
The Witcher 2 Version 2.0 aims to cater to all these people while fixing a number of minor issues to improve the game experience. The end result should be the best possible version of The Witcher 2 -- and a preview of what we can expect from the upcoming Xbox version.
The major additions to the game include a new tutorial adventure. This walks the player through a series of new minor missions before recommending a difficulty level for the main adventure based on their performance. Players will rescue a wounded knight, learn game controls and have the opportunity to get to grips with the combat and alchemy mechanics.
Alongside the tutorial adventure comes the Arena, a new gameplay mode which is separate from the main adventure. Geralt is thrust into a gladiatorial arena in an unnamed town somewhere in the Northern Kingdoms and must fight to the death in an attempt to win gold and valuable items. He'll confront a variety of foes -- including characters from the story mode -- and also be able to recruit allies -- for a fee, of course -- to assist with challenging conflicts. There's a score attack element, too, as players are able to post their achievements online to compare their skills against opponents around the world.
The final major addition is the Dark Mode difficulty which presents the most demanding gameplay challenge The Witcher 2 has ever offered. According to CD Projekt Red, each and every foe will be a significant challenge to overcome, but players are compensated for their bravery with the opportunity to acquire one of three new sets of equipment. The Blasphemer's, Oathbreaker's and Kingslayer's outfits provide big advantages to Geralt in combat, and their weapons drain vitality from foes while providing it to Geralt. Until the sets of equipment are complete, however, their curses will drain our hero of his vitality.
Combat has received a large number of improvements and corrections. The parrying system is no longer dependent on Geralt's vigor bar, though to balance things it no longer cancels all damage. Control responsiveness has been improved in general, particularly when casting Signs, parrying and attacking after evading. The target selection and lock system has been improved, giving preference to targets that have been previously attacked, or those suffering effects that make them vulnerable to finishing moves.
Outside of combat, a variety of minor issues and exploits have been corrected. All fixes from previous patches have also been implements, along with all the previously available DLC -- including former preorder bonuses.
The Witcher 2 Version 2.0 will be available from September 29. Good Old Games has permanently reduced the price of the game to $39.99, and the site will be running a 25% off promo on the new version's release date to celebrate, making it $29.99. The game is also available in physical form from retail stores, and from other digital distribution sites such as Steam.
This article originally appeared on GamePro.com as This is What's New in The Witcher 2 Version 2.0