The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Interview

Eurogamer managed to siphon some details about how "hardcore difficulty" will function in The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings from lead gameplay designer Mateusz Kanik.
"You can save the game, but when you die the saves are disabled," explained lead gameplay designer Mateusz Kanik to Eurogamer.

"Of course we plan to have a resurrection scroll, maybe DLC or something. You'll see."
The Witcher 2's insane mode hopes to emulate FromSoftware's rock hard cult hit Demon's Souls - a game Polish developer CD Projekt admires greatly. And expect speed runs will be virtually impossible because monsters will be harder to avoid than they were in the original.

"It won't be easy to not fight the monsters. We fixed that by giving all opponents special abilities which allow them to catch the Witcher," Kanik said.

"Undead can dig into the ground and get up near the player. So when you run he will dig up in front of you and grab you. It will be harder to just run and avoid the fight."
It will have an achievement attached to it, which makes the hints of providing a workaround in a DLC (if it's paid) pretty disconcerting. Kanik also comments on importing The Witcher save games:
"In The Witcher 1 the story was non-linear, like in The Witcher 2. We want to import information about your decisions in The Witcher 1, and to make consequences of those decisions in The Witcher 2 so it will impact the storyline. Of course, not a new story, totally. Only little differences.

"We want to give the possibility to import some items from your inventory. Of course, not all because it impacts the game balance. Money, for example, we can't give, because the game economy will be ruined. But for sure there will be an option to import some weapons and armour."