There was much rejoicing and fanfare earlier today among Linux gamers eagerly awaiting the Linux release of The Witcher 2 - Assassins of Kings, which has landed on Steam For Linux.
However, some of the rejoicing was short-lived. It didn't take long for Linux users to dig deeper into the downloaded game files and find out the true nature of the Linux port. In this Steam Community forum thread for the game, users quickly complained that the port is in fact the Windows version of the game with a wrapper, not unlike some of the "WINE-wrapped" games that the Linux platform has seen before.
However, in this case the game isn't using WINE but is the result of a porting effort by a company known as Virtual Programming, who use their own developed technology known as "eON" to port Windows games to Mac and Linux. The Mac version of The Witcher 2 was ported using the same technology by Virtual Programming also.
Common complaints by Linux gamers thus far appear to be regarding crash to desktops (CTDs), visual glitches and general instability, but most of all, poor performance. Of particular interest is claims by some that the regular Windows version of The Witcher 2 in WINE actually runs better than this port.
The game has only just been released on Steam and is 80% off the regular sale price for a limited time. If you're willing to take a chance it is a relatively small price to pay, as it is likely fixes and (hopefully) performance improvements arrive soon for the Linux version of the game.
Still, CD Projekt RED, developer and publisher of the The Witcher video game series, will likely face a fair amount of backlash from angry Linux gamers, as Virtual Programming may as well for their porting effort but at the end of the day, Linux has gained another popular game title to it's ranks.
It will be interesting to see what happens from here and how much the port of the game can be improved, so stay tuned on The Linux Rain for any updates plus potentially a game review.
Have you tried the Linux version of The Witcher 2 - Assassins of Kings? How does it run for you?