Size isn’t everything, but the sheer scope of CD Projekt RED’s The Witcher 3 is alluring, to say the least. Designed to be the crowning achievement from the renowned RPG developers; for the first time the series will combine mature, nonlinear story with a vast, fully open world.
“The captivating and non-linear story of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt takes place in a rich, truly open-world environment. 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.” 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.”
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.
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.”
The game’s quests and narratives are being designed around an interwoven three-tier structure, with Geralt’s personal plot being dominate and leading into the invasion of Nilfgaardian and then into typical side-quests like monster hunting and crafting. Monster hunting promises to be far more in-depth this time around, with redesigned enemy AI and a much larger focus on gathering clues and information from townsfolk and book. Factors like the time of day also affect where monsters will appear and their abilities.
The game’s skill trees, magic signs and inventory will also be tweaked, with CD Projekt RED admitting that many found The Witcher 2‘s inventory frustrating. Spells can be modified and developed, with Igni now having a new flamethrower effect and also the ability to be transformed into a 360-degree blast.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will be released in 2014 simultaneously on PC and all “high-end” platforms. I’d say it’s a safe bet we’ll see the game on the next Sony and Microsoft systems — but probably not the Wii U.
Game Informer has published a quick video touching on the development team and the game’s direction. In the teaser, some important information emerged. Built using the brand new REDengine 3, Wild Hunt boasts a world thirty times the size of its predecessor and even larger than the rather massive Skyrim. The new version of the proprietary RED engine features new streaming technology designed to minimize load times.