Witcher 3 - Preview Roundup #6
It's time for round six of previews for The Witcher 3. By now we probably have read everything about the game, but it never hurts to have more.
Siliconera - "Everything Matters. Everything"
The landscape, which in this case is the Skellige islands, is a sight to behold. We’ve witnessed medieval landscapes before (see: Skyrim), but never before have they been as vibrant, teeming top to bottom with life. Every cloud in the sky, every blade of grass on the ground, is beautifully crafted and stunningly visualized.
Nothing demonstrated the technical prowess of the game more than when Geralt went to meditate on a cliff side. As time is sped up, we see the sun go up, then down, stars appearing on a clear night sky, then storm clouds gathering during the day, bringing with them stormy conditions. And it’s all about as photorealistic as you can get.
The game’s developers, CD Projekt RED, state that if you see something, you can go there, period. Granted, it will take time to scale that mountain, or swim across that large body of water, but it is possible, with absolutely no invisible barrier. Lofty promises, ones that have been uttered countless times.
Dualshockers - "How The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Is Creating The Perfect Open World"
What makes Wild Hunt‘s world bigger and better is both a matter of size and quality. Not only is the world said to be so large that it would take nearly an hour of real-time to make it from one side of the map to the other on horseback (thank goodness for the Fast Travel option when mounts aren’t available), but The Witcher 3 will also have no loading screens or artificial barriers. Be it by foot, by horse, or by boat, Geralt can explore an entire world that lives and breathes like a real world. There’s even a full day and night cycle and a full weather system, both of which can affect gameplay. Fight a werewolf on a full moon at night, and you may want to turn tail and run; take a small boat or swim during a bad storm, and Geralt is vulnerable to shipwreck or dying due to cold.
This new emphasis on particular regions and realism also extends to the new economy system. Most games have players just go to a new town and buy new items. Here, where you buy certain items affects its price. Go to a community where bears are nearby, and bearskin items will be cheaper; go to a mountainous region far from the sea, and fish will be more expensive. Players could, conceivably, set up a whole business as tradesmen, traveling to and fro to gather items and resell them to different towns. But this realism with the new economy system works in other ways as well: like, for example, killing the merchants of a particular town could potentially cripple that local economy or cut off important contacts for particular goods. This is all comes down to the heart of the The Witcher franchise: consequence.
Gamereactor - "It's perfect for open-world"
The series' shift to an open-world setting will provide a big change. Mamais outlined some of the things that will be different. "We wanted to do the same kind of deep story telling, so that side's the same. Combat's a lot different there now, and it's set in an open-world environment so you can basically just go anywhere you want to play the game, so that's a big change."
With big changes come new challenges. We asked what some of these were for the studio: "Depth of storytelling and depth of character. This is important to people and you kind of lose that when you have a huge world to populate with so much content. So what we're trying to do is push the genre forward a little bit by really focussing on story and character, and I think that's how we're going to make our difference."
Geralt's story is set to a much more personal one, where he'll be free of the political machinations that he was embroiled in the Witcher 2.
"The guy's basically just a mutant monster killer, so we wanted to get back to those basics, but at the same time there's an epic story going on," said Mamais. "So it's perfect for open-world because we've got all of these monster hunting quests that we're building into the game, along the side quests and the random encounters. Then you've got this really killer, epic main story, but it's all set against this backdrop of this Nilfgaardian attacking the north. So for us it's quite layered, and deep storytelling, and really interesting gameplay. And of course, this monster hunting thing really brings back the core values of what The Witcher is."
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