Witcher 3 - Preview Roundup #7
Well here we are with round seven of previews for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. To start I also have a new interview video from E3 2013.
With technology catching up to the studio's vision, it seems a shame that the Geralt’s trilogy finishes here. “This is the last part of Geralt's adventures – we want to close his story here,” confirms Tomaszkiewicz. “And I can say that we have the best storyline so far. I’m very proud of it, and it will close every plot we opened from the first part, and plot that was opened in the Sapkowski’s books.”
That meanswill feature something like 36 different endings. But what about a game set in the same universe featuring a different protagonist? “Yes, maybe, says Tomaszkiewicz. "I hope we are not resigning from this franchise because the world of the Witcher is very rich – there are many characters and many stories to tell. I hope that we do.”
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was hands-down one of the highlights of this year’s E3. With such a vibrant, believable game world and rich, diverse gameplay it is hard to believe this is a product from a relatively small studio. The uniquely European flavour to the story, characters and game mechanics is a breath of fresh air that understandably has whipped journalists into a frenzy of enthusiasm. We cannot wait for more time with the game and hope to bring you more information and opinion from GamesCom later this year. With a release date of 2014 there is still a long time to wait, but it already feels like it will be worth it. Expect to be sat down and immersed on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC sometime next year.
E3 aimed to build on this promise of the next generation with a few killer titles and some impressive new consoles. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt gave many titles a run for their money by truly feeling like a game that is only possible on the next generation. Further proof? During the demo, the game was played on an NVIDIA Titan card. Only a few minutes into the demo it crashed. A few minutes later, after being booted up again, the computer playing the game crashed. This was in no way a bad thing. If anything, it made the game seem that much more incredible. 2014 can’t come quick enough for what is sure to be the definitive open world RPG experience.
The Witcher 3, game director Konrad Tomaszkiewicz tells me, will feature a much gentler prologue with a standalone story that introduces you to the character of Geralt of Rivia as well as the game systems. It's clearly intended to ease newcomers into both the gameplay and the lore - but perhaps not just newcomers, because The Witcher 3 is in several ways a clean slate for the series.
It's open-world, for one thing, clearly gunning for Skyrim (with a dash of Zelda: The Wind Waker) in its expansive world map which you must cross on foot, horseback and in your own boat before opening up fast-travel options. This change comes with the usual suite of rehearsed superlatives and feature soundbites: it's a "living open world", 35 times bigger than The Witcher 2, containing 100 hours of gameplay, the biggest RPG world ever created for a single-player; "if you can see it, you can go there" (that old chestnut). It has dynamic weather and time of day, characters that migrate from place to place and a trading economy that will, for example, adjust the price of fish according to how close you are to a shoreline.
The storyline is also a fresh start, discarding the tangled political machinations in which Geralt played a rather reluctant part during the first two games. Those warring kingdoms are crumbling, while Geralt is pursuing the mysterious, supernatural raiders called the Wild Hunt for his own reasons.
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