Open World Witchy business
CD Projekt Red have just announced the third (and supposedly final) entry into the Witcher franchise. With a release date of ‘2014’ and platforms TBA we’ve still got a long wait ahead of us, but after the stellar Witcher 2 and the spectacular ports on home consoles I don’t think it’s too early to start pondering what the game will be like, and what platforms we can expect to see it on.
First of all lets deal with what we know, the press release claims the decisions making of the first game (which actually felt mature and wortwhile unlike some other games that have attempted similar feats) in an open world larger than any other modern RPG (I’m guessing they’re trying to avoid comparisons to the staggering size of Daggerfall). This claim puts it bigger than at least Skyrim, it’ll be interesting to see what the real playable real estate ends up being. We’ve been treated to some colossal worlds with Just Cause 2 and the Fallout games this generation, and with MMOs we’ve been positively spoilt. One of my few reservations about the Witcher 2 was the lack of real open-world space. There was an elaborate map and political ties to be sure, but you couldn’t access much more than a few narrow corridors within the game world. The developers are hoping to rectify that and all the more power to them.
One other interesting snippet from the release is that there will be no quick-time events. It’s a sad state of affairs that this is now a unique selling point for an action-RPG but I’m hoping they won’t just be replacing them with hands-off cinematics. Hopefully we’ll be able to be involved with giant takedowns in a manner more similar to Shadow of the colossus rather than Darksiders-Here let me do all the best bits for you- 2.
Now onto the speculation, chiefly what platforms will this appear on. I can’t see this being a PC exclusive after the success and critical acclaim in the console ports of Witcher 2 recieved. My bet is that the TBA means ‘We can’t talk about those platforms yet’ as it will be a next-gen title. The thought of being able to play as Geralt on next-gen hardware is getting me excited already, this may be CD Projekt RED’s final title in the franchise, but let’s go out with a bang.
As an aside, the previous games are on sale on Steam right now, go have a look!
The full press release:
CD Projekt RED Announces The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt
Designed to be the crowning achievement from the renowned RPG developers; for the first time will combine mature, nonlinear story with a vast, fully open world.
CD Projekt RED has officially announced the title of their next upcoming game: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
. Further, they’ve announced that this, the ultimate game in the series, will also be the final Witcher game from the studio. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt combines CD Projekt RED’s trademark decision-based storytelling flair with a living open world larger than any other in modern RPG history.
“The captivating and non-linear story of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt takes place in a rich, truly open-world environment. A world which is thrilling to explore, full of daring adventures, momentous quests, memorable characters, and unique monsters. Players will freely travel through woods, lakes, mountains, cities and villages. Each region is inhabited by distinct populations with their own customs, legends and problems. The world of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is 30 times bigger than The Witcher 2,” said Adam Badowski, head of the studio.
“Imagine playing a dark fantasy game with the same great non-linear story as in the previous Witcher titles, but now told in a world you can explore freely with no artificial boundaries. The war-ravaged world is so huge that to reach farther places you will need to ride a horse or sail a boat to get there. A world where your choices have truly epic consequences. From the development side, this goal is extremely demanding. Our team had to make significant design changes and our tech had to be rebuilt. But we believe that this will lead to a completely new level of non-linearity and a whole new, richer gaming experience. As a gamer, I would love to play this kind of RPG, and I think this is what many players are waiting for. This is our dream come true at CD Projekt RED, and we hope it will be the same for you!” adds Badowski.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is the final episode of the award-winning RPG series and the last part of the legend of Geralt of Rivia. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is the most robust and breathtaking game ever created by CD Projekt RED. Open-world, free-roaming exploration is an adventure in itself as the player will gallop through war-ravaged lands, sail misty waters and track down dangerous beasts for money. An improved combat system will allow players to feel like a real monster-hunter, a witcher who uses his superior senses and fighting skills to survive in a dark fantasy world–while he embarks on a quest to save his loved ones. The new core mechanics of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt immerse the player in the experience completely, with no Quick Time Events, only intuitive RPG gameplay.
Badowski continued, “People may ask if this is really going to be the last Witcher game. Yes, it is. Why? Because we believe that we should end the series on a high note. Technology has progressed to where we can finally tell the story the way we want, with the visuals we want, in the world we imagined. This will be the ultimate fantasy RPG experience, and while we’re hardly out of stories to tell, we believe it’s time for us to look to new worlds and new horizons to keep pushing the boundaries of what we can create.”
For all of those who have never experienced the adventures of Geralt before, this will be their last chance. The game will be accessible all players–those who are fans of the series and those who just love RPGs–thanks to availability on all major high-end platforms and an introduction designed to smoothly introduce all those who visit the world of the Witcher for the first time.”
The game will be released in 2014 simultaneously on all high-end platforms. Making use of the same remarkable art direction from The Witcher 2 combined with the support of in-house technology–the recently-announced RPG-oriented REDengine 3–The Witcher 3 will take full advantage of the technical capabilities of modern hardware and will set a new standard for RPG visuals.
CD Projekt RED has added a whole new section to their website. If you want to find more information, please go to www.thewitcher.com.
For more details check out the latest issue of Game Informer
, available for online subscribers starting from today. There you will find exclusive materials in a 14-page cover story, including early screenshots and concept artwork.
To celebrate this momentous announcement, the developers of the award-winning Witcher franchise are putting The Witcher: Enhanced Edition Director’s Cut and The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Enhanced Edition on a 50% off sale on GOG.com
for the next 72 hours. And for console gamers, the price of The Witcher 2: Enhanced Edition on Microsoft’s Xbox 360 is permanently decreased to only USD/EUR 29.99 USD/EUR or GBP 19,99.
To be informed about the start of official CD Projekt RED pre-orders for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and to receive the latest Witcher news please subscribe here: thewitcher.com/preorder
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