The Witcher Q&A and Trailer

GameSpot hits us with a new two-page interview about The Witcher, as well as the exclusive trailer promised to us earlier in the week. Chief designer Michal Madej brings us the answers:
Q: What kind of tactics will you need to use in the game in order to be successful in battle? How much freedom will you have to customize your character's skills, and how open-ended is the skill system--how viable will it be, for instance, to have a character who relies heavily on magic, or instead relies heavily on certain weapons?

A: Tactics in The Witcher require perception, common sense, and a calm mind, so you can properly analyze situations and make the right decisions in real-time action combat. It doesn't require any hardcore game-mechanic knowledge, as everything in the game is based on real and obvious rules. You see a huge opponent coming your way, you know you will have to hit hard, as the enemy is tough--it has armor or lots of health. If you can gain an advantage in combat by stunning or knocking down an opponent, for example, you can use it to kill him immediately with a coup de grace blow. Other situations include fights with a large number of opponents, when you have to use group tactics--trying to hit more than one at a time, but also protecting yourself from strikes from behind, as enemies tend to surround you.

You can also take advantage of the superhuman abilities of the witcher. When fighting against ranged enemies, Geralt can patiently wait for a shot, deflect arrows in flight, and use the time between shots to approach the opponent. But in some cases, when overwhelmed by more-powerful enemies, players will have to escape combat--witchers are renowned for their cold logic, not recklessness--by using active defense moves, jumps, or evades.

Because witchers are very flexible fighters, they can use different fighting techniques and backup spells. So, success in combat depends on how you can adapt to a new situation and make the right choice of weapons, styles, spells, and potions. Tactics will strongly depend on which kind of sword you use--steel swords against standard opponents or silver ones against magical creatures. The second choice to make is which fighting technique to use: the strong style against tough enemies, the fast style versus agile ones, and the group style while surrounded by weaker opponents. Lastly, you will have to use correct spells and potions to counter special abilities of opponents or exploit their weaknesses, like using the yrden sign to set a trap, lure monsters into it, and then kill the weakened enemies.

Although witchers can specialize in magic, you are still primarily a warrior that uses magic to gain an advantage in melee combat. We can compare witchers to medieval Jedi Knights--even though they use the powerful Force, they are still melee fighters that rely on lightsabers, rather than ranged blasters.