After the release of the original Witcher game on PC, it was met with positive reviews and praise from both critics and gamers. The title has also gone to receive several awards and was even nominated as 2007’s Roleplaying Game of the Year; however, it eventually lost the seat to EA’s Mass Effect.
A year after the release of the original, The Witcher would receive an enhanced edition on PC. The edition came packed with several enhancements such as additional NPC models, improved dialogue, a redesigned inventory system, and many more.
Unfortunately, despite the recognition and popularity the first Witcher game garnered, the console market was missing out on the fun. However, months after the release of the enhanced edition, CD Projekt Red had plans to port the game to the PS3 and Xbox 360. In fact, CD Projekt Red wanted the console version to be built from the ground up, basically a remake.
The remake would have been handled by the now-bankrupt French developer Widescreen Games SARL. Most of Widescreen Games’ developed titles were generic and received horrible reviews. And of course, a developer with such a depressing record wouldn’t be capable of handling a remake of The Witcher, right? Kind of.
The Witcher remake would have been released as “The Witcher: Rise of the White Wolf” and was originally scheduled to launch back in April 2009. Yet, sadly, the development was halted due to a disagreement between CD Projekt Red and Widescreen Games. As a result, the project was canceled, and Widescreen Games was no more.
Looking at the target render video which was uploaded on YouTube, we can see that the remake would have brought several changes in comparison to the original game. As stated by senior designer Jakub Styliński, Rise of the White Wolf featured redesigned boss fights, a new interface, new soundtracks, “a smattering of new models”, and a redesigned character development system. Later on, most of these big changes were implemented in The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings.
The storyline of Rise of the White Wolf would have remained identical to the original game, with Geralt suffering from amnesia and eventually rediscovering his lost identity. Our monster hunter would meet with old friends and enemies that fully remember him but whom he does not remember. It is up to the player to redefine these relationships and choose a path for Geralt.
With the latest release of Cyberpunk 2077, we can only hope that the idea of a Witcher remake would see the light of the day. While the original Witcher game is a classic, the controls and the graphics are not up to today’s standards. The Witcher 2 is also approaching that point where it may not appeal to everybody. Luckily, The Witcher 3 still has a long time before anyone can call it outdated.
It is difficult to find any more information about the cancelation of this entry, but as time goes on, we may find out more.