Witcher 3 - Interview @ Sydney Morning Herald
The Sydney Morning Herald watched a hands-off presentation of Witcher 3, and got the chance to interview Tomasz Jarzębowski the Head of Marketing for CD Projekt RED.
CD Projekt has created a fine niche of beautifully designed games from just one property, Andrzej Sapkowski's Witcher fantasy novels. The unnamed continent that the six Witcher books (only three of which have been translated from Polish into English) are set in lends itself perfectly to their brand of RPG-making; in particular, their take on the importance of moral decisions. Jarzębowski attributes much of the series' success to this very idea. "This is how we see this world, nothing is good or evil, just different perspectives or your choices," he says. "Sometimes a human being can be a bigger monster than the actual monsters. [The protagonist]Geralt prefers, if the monster is not a direct threat to people, to not kill it."
Witcher 3 ignores much of the political machinations of its predecessor, instead focusing on Geralt of Rivia's personal mission to recover his memory and save Yennefer, an ex-lover taken by the Wild Hunt. The Hunt are the main antagonists in this game, as Geralt chases them to the bleak and frozen Northern Kingdoms, but they're like no monster he has faced before. More like a force of nature than an actual beast, they consist of huge, marauding suits of armour that pillage and kidnap their way across the world with impunity. Zipping around in intimidating flying war barges and razing villages overnight, they've become more myth than reality. But Geralt has a bone to pick with them, and he's a hard man to dissuade.
Even in our short demo (40 minutes is a short demo for a game of this size) we're given a perfect example of the complex morals at work here. During his pursuit, Geralt happens upon a village being terrorised by a monster that lives in a nearby forest. In any normal RPG this would be a simple find it and stab it mission, but this is Witcher. One group, the elders, want to appease the beast: it's been living in the forest for as long as they can remember and they don't see a reason to anger it. The younger group has had enough and want the monster gone. It's entirely up to you who you listed to, and neither option is the wrong or bad one. For the purposes of the demo, we chose to kill the monster. First things first, Geralt needs to know what he's up against so he heads into the forest to investigate. As many monsters have weaknesses and strengths that can be the difference between success and reloading a save, it's best to know what you're walking into. Hunting a werewolf? Probably best not to do it on a full moon, or you're in for a bad night.
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