The rise and rise of CDP has been a remarkable thing to watch. What we’re seeing is a studio spooling up to full power. The enormous ambition of The Witcher failed to really hit its mark, but the intention was clear. The even greater ambition of The Witcher 2 revealed CDP to be an RPG creator that was hitting its stride, as well as achieving its ambitions, and now the third game, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, threatens to outshine an entire industry with its technical and artistic prowess. Full power, I suspect, has been reached.
There’s every reason for scepticism at this early, hype-manufacturing stage, but what we saw at Gamescom this year suggests that The Witcher 3 could be the most important mainstream game of 2014. If nothing else the rather blunt claim of “a world thirty-five times the size of The Witcher 2″ should get our attention.
What was shown to press audience at Gamescom was a 45-minute sequence played and narrated by the developers. It was as staged as all such demos are, but there was no doubt that this was the actual game (mistakes in combat revealed that, and we’ll come back to that), running as intended.