First Look: Witcher 3

Witcher 3 Tavern

Late Monday night digital subscribers to Game Informer started receiving their issues, and what a treat it had within its programmed pages! GI is known for its exclusive reveals, and February is no different with the confirmation and first official details regarding CDProjekt Red’s next story in their acclaimed Witcher saga. I have previously gone over my love for this franchise and I had no doubt a third was being worked on, but some of the changes are quite surprising and equally exciting.

The Witcher 2 was an incredibly ambitious project for such a small and still relatively unknown studio to take on, but CDProjekt proved they were more than capable. Now with the Witcher 3 the team looks to be aiming even higher, with hopes of blowing the previous entry out of the water once more. Although the Witcher 2 is one of the best looking PC titles around, the talented folks at CDProjekt weren’t content with resting on their laurels. The team has put time aside in between their projects and have come up with the next iteration of their acclaimed RED engine. Titled REDengine 3 this new technology allows the developers to create vast seamless worlds with incredible detail, and it will provide the base for both the Witcher 3 and their sci-fi title, Cyberpunk 2077.

Witcher 3 Boat

Witcher 3 snow

For the first time in the series, the Witcher 3 will be an entirely open and seamless world, one that is over 30 times larger then the last in fact. This means the game world will actually be bigger than that of Skyrim, and will actually take players over 30-40 minutes to cross on horseback. Oh yeah, Geralt can now ride horses! In the Witcher 3 Geralt may still have a larger goal, but he has returned to his roots, traveling the countryside and taking on monster slaying quests where he can. Some missions may involve actual tracking and the solving of mysteries, while others will be far simpler to complete. The team are devoted to providing over a hundred hours worth of quests as well as staying true to their cinematic and well written past.

Witcher 3 horse

Witcher 3 Fight

There is no doubt this project is large in scope, but even the tiniest details are ones that this Polish studio hopes to get right. Natural dynamic storms will keep the player on their toes and realistic physics driven boat sailing will be another method of travel. Each region will not only look distinct but also have its own larger story arcs to complete and Geralts combat animations have been ratcheted up from 20 to an incredible 96. The world can be traveled without load times and the wilderness will hold both docile and dangerous animals to contend with.

I stated in my review for the Witcher 2 that CDProjekt Red are one of my favorite developers out there, and this reveal only makes my respect for them grow. This is a team always striving for perfection. The original Witcher was a Diablo style action rpg, the Witcher 2 was an incredible over the shoulder story focused one, and now the Witcher 3 is evolving to take on the king of open world role playing games, the Elder Scrolls. CDProjekt have already put Bioware in their place, and I am very excited to see if they can do the same to Bethesda when the Witcher 3 arrives on next gen systems and PC sometime in 2014.

Witcher 3 town

Witcher 3 Field

5 thoughts on “First Look: Witcher 3

  1. I’m still suffering from a lack of motivation with The Witcher 2. Everyone says that it’s amazing, but it doesn’t appeal to me anywhere near as much as the first game for some reason. I just don’t seem to feel the same connection with the game world, characters, anything.

    However, I am glad to hear about some of the changes they’re making, especially the open world thing. The Witcher can feel very boxed in at times. My only concern is that this could all be a bit overambitious – especially in regards to performance on the PC. The Witcher 2 had horrible optimisation in my experience, with constant frame stuttering even on medium settings. This sounds considerably more demanding. I hope they put effort into making sure it runs okay, not just on consoles, but on PC as well! It does look damn gorgeous though.

    1. I’m surprised that the Witcher 2 ran so poorly for you, myself and some friends never had issues with it, but that’s one of the issues with PC games sometimes, just so many variables.
      How far did you make it in the Witcher 2?

      1. Yeah – optimisation is the problem I think. Every other game I play is just fine.

        I made it as far as the first town after the prologue, looking into the Scoia’tael in order to find out more about that guy who’s randomly killing monarchs. Admittedly that’s not very far, but for some reason I keep running out of steam!

  2. I really disliked the first Witcher, so I have ignored the second one entirely. However, I won’t be able to ignore and open world, fantasy adventure!

    Especially with horses! 😀


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