The White Wolf Returns in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

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The White Wolf Returns in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

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Geralt of Rivia is back, and this time, it's personal.

If you've been itching to dive back into the morally ambiguous world of The Witcher, you're in for a treat. CD Projekt Red, developers of the Witcher series and the upcoming Cyberpunk 2077, has lifted the veil on the third title in the Witcher trilogy: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Digital subscribers to Game Informer got a peek at the adventures in store for Geralt in his final outing.

Wild Hunt looks to be bringing a number of changes to the traditional formula of the past two games in the series. The most notable difference is in scope: The Witcher 3 will let Geralt wander freely in an open world that challenges Skyrim in size. Despite the grand scale of the game's free-roaming playground, the focus will be much more personal; Geralt's days of questing as an amnesiac sword-for-hire are over. Instead, players will navigate a continuous storyline (no more discrete chapters) that leads Geralt towards a confrontation with a "personal nemesis."

REDengine 3, developed for the next generation of gaming hardware, will power Wild Hunt as it brings The Witcher's world to life. Horse travel will allow for quick traversal of the countryside (with the possibility of saddlebags for some much-needed inventory storage). The open-ended gameplay also places a heavier focus on monster hunting, though players will need to study up on their otherworldly foes by reading books and questioning villagers to discover exploitable weaknesses. The monsters themselves will be brandishing overhauled AI, with a notable absence of highly-scripted boss battles. Veterans of the series can expect to see the return of gameplay staples such as in-depth alchemy, a detailed magic system, and fluid sword combat.

Details on the plot of Wild Hunt are still mostly under wraps. The freeform nature of the game means Geralt will be able to advance a variety of local storylines as his personal quest unfolds. These areas span the hotspots of a Nilfgaardian invasion, including Skellige, Novigrad, and No Man's Land. Geralt's journey will no doubt see him getting tied up in the politics of war, but the main storyline is driven by his own motivations: the protection of his loved ones and tracking down the titular Wild Hunt, a nightmarish horde of specters that always appear in times of great strife.

Geralt will embark on this hunt sometime in 2014. In the meantime, feel free to speculate wildly and/or swoon over his incredible new beard.

Source: NeoGAF

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As someone who's been unsure whether or not he should dive into The Witcher 2, this one could be what draws me back into the franchise if their open-world monster hunting turns out to be done well.

I can't wait for The Witcher 3. I think it is going to be awesome. Something I really want to see in it though are side quests that could effect the ending of the game. I am going to be sad when I complete the game in 2014. It is such a great series, I don't want it to end.

Hell yah, an open world Witcher sounds fantastic. I'm hoping their focus on the personal story won't detract from making a living, breathing world though. CDProjekt has already shown they can craft an awesome story, now to see them try and flesh out a world will be very interesting. It's a safe bet that CDProjekt knows what their doing though, as the last two Witcher games have been absolutely phenomenal and they seem very dedicated to making a respectable product.

Some first images from the Gameinformer article thing:

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Full size (1920x1080) Wallpaper: http://www.abload.de/img/1360040450623fhuor.png

Also, there's a short Introduction Trailer:

I won't hide that I'm pretty hyped, especially since I liked The Witcher 2 very much.

Some more Infos summed up here: http://gamingeverything.com/39177/witcher-3-confirmed-is-next-gen-featured-in-game-informer/

Anyway, from the stuff mentioned in that article these are the most concerning for me so far:

- The team is deciding between using a handful of in-combat special moves for particular attacks and a slow-motion quick-time event style

- Moving more toward romance and away from shallow sexual encounters

- World supposedly 20% bigger than Skyrim's

- DO NOT WANT Quick-time events in any way
- That was one of the best things about the Witcher previously, god shall hopefully smite them down if they move into the direction of BioWare in any way...
- Bigger is almost never better, Skyrim was bad because most places, quests and NPCs didn't have anything interesting to offer and if you have been to one or two caves you had been to them all. I hope they'll keep in mind that one of the best things about their two previous games was that most of the content was uniquely hand-designed without much filler and grind

Gothic 1+2 and even Risen beat any game made by Bethesda imo. It depends how much I'll like The Witcher 3, if they decide to go the carefully hand-crafted and thought-through Open World style with interesting characters, environments/level-design and quests like Piranha Bytes (and their previous game Witcher 2) or the "let's fill everything with dragons and caves and shit, even if it's all boring" of Bethesda. I'd much rather see mentioned that all their content is uniquely hand-crafted and interesting than "20% larger landmass than Skyrim", I couldn't give less of a toss about that if it is all boring filler or bad.

That said, I'm happy that it also won't have to suffer under 7-year-old console hardware this time around, since they obviously wanted to port Witcher 2 from the get-go and it likely influenced the design of the game in general a lot. The "Next Gen" consoles will likely offer a lot more "Open World" games in general and players can be happy to see the dreaded "loading screen" and generally cut-off areas you have to enter through doors and similar a lot less.

hopefully il have upgraded my pc for then

The Witcher is a weird series for me.

I'm a big fan of RPGs. I love the premise, the story and the in-depth gameplay that the Witcher series provides, but for some reason I never finished the first game until the second one was on its way to me in the mail.
And it seems this story will repeat itself again, as I still haven't finished The Witcher 2.

I don't know why, but somehow I just stop playing them when they near their end.

"The White Wolf Returns" made me think of Okami. I should really learn to read titles until the end to not get disappointed.

Dexter111:
Gothic 1+2 and even Risen beat any game made by Bethesda imo. It depends how much I'll like The Witcher 3, if they decide to go the carefully hand-crafted and thought-through Open World style with interesting characters, environments/level-design and quests like Piranha Bytes (and their previous game Witcher 2) or the "let's fill everything with dragons and caves and shit, even if it's all boring" of Bethesda. I'd much rather see mentioned that all their content is uniquely hand-crafted and interesting than "20% larger landmass than Skyrim", I couldn't give less of a toss about that if it is all boring filler or bad.

Funny you should mention the Gothic series.

When they started talking about a big open world, the first thing I thought is Gothic 3. Big open world, made by a smallish studio with a smallish budget, both of which are dwarfed by the studios ambition?

It does sound like a recipe for disaster, something that spawns a massive but uninspired world with equally lackluster quests or a buggy mess (or both).

I have to admit that while The Witcher 2 was undoubtedly my personal game of the year and maybe even my favorite game of all time (definitely my favorite ARPG) I'm sceptical about this. Taking the story to a more personal level also sounds iffy, I really enjoyed the political aspects of The Witcher 2 (and 1), mainly because you were never the center piece of the politics. In any other RPG I can think of you are always the center piece, the biggest hero or villain in the land with plot armor so thick a thousand swords couldn't penetrate it. In The Witcher, you're nothing more than a pawn, you bend your knee to kings like anyone else, and you are rarely the deciding factor in a big war, unless you stumble into

.

Also, open world... Meh. Remember The Witcher 1 and its wealth of side quests? Remember what they looked like? Remember collecting 10 drowner skulls for NPC #1325445 like you were playing a fucking MMO? Let us hope an open world with a wealth of side quests doesn't mean those coming back.

On the other hand, it's fucking CDProjekt. They made 2 incredible RPGs, they're not willing to let outdated console hardware hold them back and they seem to have hit their stride.

I guess I'll wait and see. But I'm reluctant to get too hyped for this for now.

SmashLovesTitanQuest:
SNIP

Well, I guess I have nothing of value to add here. I really hope that the Witcher 3 is fantastic, and an open world might be fun, but I'm worried it's not the best thing for the CDProjekt - especially after the first Witcher. Oh well.

Dexter111:

Bigger is almost never better, Skyrim was bad because most places, quests and NPCs didn't have anything interesting to offer and if you have been to one or two caves you had been to them all. I hope they'll keep in mind that one of the best things about their two previous games was that most of the content was uniquely hand-designed without much filler and grind

Gothic 1+2 and even Risen beat any game made by Bethesda imo. It depends how much I'll like The Witcher 3, if they decide to go the carefully hand-crafted and thought-through Open World style with interesting characters, environments/level-design and quests like Piranha Bytes (and their previous game Witcher 2) or the "let's fill everything with dragons and caves and shit, even if it's all boring" of Bethesda. I'd much rather see mentioned that all their content is uniquely hand-crafted and interesting than "20% larger landmass than Skyrim", I couldn't give less of a toss about that if it is all boring filler or bad.

Gothic 1+2 were indeed wonderful in world-crafting (let's... not talk about later titles). They were also massively popular in Poland, so I wouldn't be surprised if CDP Red were to take a page from late Piranha's technique.

And the Witcher world has been very well realized in the books and the later tabletop RPG. There's definitely enough lore and material there to make a gameworld more in the style of Piranha than Bethesda. I hope they have sufficient resources, although if CDP Red's previous efforts are any indication, they won't shy away from a challenge.

As much as the news makes me excited though, I still lack a machine powerful enough to run The Witcher 2... Maybe I'll get a new one by the time 3 comes out, then make a full trilogy playthrough.

SmashLovesTitanQuest:
Taking the story to a more personal level also sounds iffy, I really enjoyed the political aspects of The Witcher 2 (and 1), mainly because you were never the center piece of the politics. In any other RPG I can think of you are always the center piece, the biggest hero or villain in the land with plot armor so thick a thousand swords couldn't penetrate it. In The Witcher, you're nothing more than a pawn, you bend your knee to kings like anyone else, and you are rarely the deciding factor in a big war, unless you stumble into

.

Witcher 1 was a rather personal story too, so I don't honestly have anything against this change.

In fact, because you liked how you were never the centerpiece of politics, but more like a merc hired with honeyed words, you could probably like the way they set up political questlines in Witcher 3: You don't have to meddle in politics at all, so the writers can potentially give you a lot of scenarios that beg the question "Do you really want to get involved in this shit? Why not just quit while your hands are clean and go kill a Nekker or something?" and allow you to, well, actually quit without exiting the game.

So is it still going to be the functional console port The Witcher 2 was? Yeah, probably.

Having just played through most of TW2 again recently, I simply can't get hyped for it, almost at all. Almost everything about TW2 was just rushed and sloppy as hell. Unless this is going to be a massive improvement, and I doubt it, I just can't get my dick up for this game. I'm sorry, CDPR. You're a great developer from the consumer relations perspective, but the second Witcher was just a punch in the balls. Here's hoping the bad things about the game were a rush job as a result from switching your game design goals half-way in.

I'm rather sad about this whole open world thing. I'm one of those who believe you can either have a tight, focused story, OR a big ass world in which you can jerk around.
For me, that's basically the reason why GTA IV sucked so hard. You can't expect the player to care about the quests while he has a giant world to explore, nor to explore the world while there are important plot points to advance.

Hopefully this time the gameplay itself won't be horrible.

If Witcher 3 is as big improvement from Witcher 2 as Witcher 2 was from the first one, then this will easily become the best game ever. Needless to say, I am very excited.

Yes, yes and motherfuckin yes. This is the best news I've heard in ages, where can I preorder it?

Well this pleases me greatly and would be a nice addition to one of the next gen consoles.

Dexter111:

- Bigger is almost never better, Skyrim was bad because most places, quests and NPCs didn't have anything interesting to offer and if you have been to one or two caves you had been to them all. I hope they'll keep in mind that one of the best things about their two previous games was that most of the content was uniquely hand-designed without much filler and grind.

You can blame that on current gen hardware limitations. The Witcher 3 is a next gen game. So that shouldn't be a problem, in theory.

I find it most interesting how a linear rpg maker transitions into a sandbox game, none of the other companies has done it bioware stuck to mostly linear games with not huge sandbox maps ever, beth does sandbox, way bioware and cd did it makes it easier to tell a story and pace a story vs a sandbox where people can get distracted.

it wold be like bioware suddenly deciding to do skyrim, cd projekt has a great talent for making worlds i am really excited to see what they can do in a sandbox and really interested to see how they manage that sandbox.

cerebus23:
I find it most interesting how a linear rpg maker transitions into a sandbox game, none of the other companies has done it bioware stuck to mostly linear games with not huge sandbox maps ever, beth does sandbox, way bioware and cd did it makes it easier to tell a story and pace a story vs a sandbox where people can get distracted.

it wold be like bioware suddenly deciding to do skyrim, cd projekt has a great talent for making worlds i am really excited to see what they can do in a sandbox and really interested to see how they manage that sandbox.

I actually always felt like The Wither would benefit from being completely open-world. But there's no way they could have managed to do it with current gen hardware without sacrificing graphical quality significantly. And making your new game look worse than the last one is just something that developers don't do and shouldn't start doing.

Cognimancer:
The Witcher 3 will let Geralt wander freely in an open world that challenges Skyrim in size.

SQUEEEEeeeee!

This is pretty much what I've been wanting. I said months ago that an Open World Witcher game could be the greatest RPG yet.

That said, there is a big difference between having a world as big as Skyrim and having a world as interesting to play in as Skyrim (see Two Worlds 2 and Kingdoms of Amalur). Still if anyone else can pull it off, I bet CDProjekt can.

Suddenly this is on my Radar in a big way.

I'm glad the story is moving in a more personal direction. Politics are boring, fictional politics doubly so.

Hell
The
Fuck
YES!!!!!!!!!!!

Now to patiently wait for the 360 port...

Open-world map means we'll be stuck in the same place for the entire game. I'm not sure about that, Skyrim looked all the same, snow, mountains and dungeons.....boooring. I'm curious to see how they'll handle it.

Also, less politics and more personal...not a big fan of that either.

And they didn't even use an "Re" word in the title.

Excellent Will be looking forward to this I do so hope I can screw over everyone else while reaching my personal goals this time instead of being used.

Yes oh thank you!

I've been wanting a new one ever since finishing the second one, i don't know why but i love this series. It quickly overtook Dragon Age after the terrible number 2.

Everyone keeps saying "We're mixing in Monster Hunter!" Guys, if you're gon' mix in Monster Hunter, kindly do it right: Enemies which are neither bullet sponges nor glass cannons, but which take skill to bring down. Deep crafting systems from monster parts - not just potions, either, Geralt. Oh, and an actual hunt now and then, not just an arena battle, would be nice.

Anyway, great news! But am I the only one who's disappointed that open worlds are still measured in tens of square miles (SimCity 4 managed 100, for crying out loud!), and not (say) hundreds of thousands? We have the tech to make maps the size of, y'know, Europe.
It doesn't have to be bland, either. Keep the questing compacted near townships, but with epic journeys (montage-style?) between cities - and things like hunting/foraging/minor wilderness quests surrounding the more focused main game.

/pipedream
Maybe for Elder Scrolls 6: We Can Use More Than 512mb Of Shared Memory Edition?

kommando367:
Hell
The
Fuck
YES!!!!!!!!!!!

Now to patiently wait for the 360 port...

Won't happen. Maybe a 720 (or whatever they're going to call it) port will.

The Witcher 2 was a brilliant game that hardly ever ran on almost any machine. I had endless problems getting it to run until the 2.0 patch. Still if they can get some more polish on it it could be a real contender.

lancar:
The Witcher is a weird series for me.

I'm a big fan of RPGs. I love the premise, the story and the in-depth gameplay that the Witcher series provides, but for some reason I never finished the first game until the second one was on its way to me in the mail.
And it seems this story will repeat itself again, as I still haven't finished The Witcher 2.

I don't know why, but somehow I just stop playing them when they near their end.

I just couldn't stand The Witcher (first game). It was so tedious and boring, the story was meh, characters more so. The stilted acting, character designs, and combat were all so horendous.

I haven't played The Witcher 2, but is it any better?

omicron1:
Everyone keeps saying "We're mixing in Monster Hunter!" Guys, if you're gon' mix in Monster Hunter, kindly do it right: Enemies which are neither bullet sponges nor glass cannons, but which take skill to bring down. Deep crafting systems from monster parts - not just potions, either, Geralt. Oh, and an actual hunt now and then, not just an arena battle, would be nice.

I don't think they're saying they're mixing in Monster Hunter, as much as they're going to have more monster hunting in it, which has been a staple of the series so far. Hunting down monsters for bounties and potion ingredients.

And color me excited. I've really liked the last two Witcher games, and I look forward to seeing where they go from there. Now if only the rest of the Witcher books would finally get an english print release! It's been years since Blood of Elves left me dying for more!

SmashLovesTitanQuest:

Dexter111:
Gothic 1+2 and even Risen beat any game made by Bethesda imo. It depends how much I'll like The Witcher 3, if they decide to go the carefully hand-crafted and thought-through Open World style with interesting characters, environments/level-design and quests like Piranha Bytes (and their previous game Witcher 2) or the "let's fill everything with dragons and caves and shit, even if it's all boring" of Bethesda. I'd much rather see mentioned that all their content is uniquely hand-crafted and interesting than "20% larger landmass than Skyrim", I couldn't give less of a toss about that if it is all boring filler or bad.

Funny you should mention the Gothic series.

When they started talking about a big open world, the first thing I thought is Gothic 3. Big open world, made by a smallish studio with a smallish budget, both of which are dwarfed by the studios ambition?

It does sound like a recipe for disaster, something that spawns a massive but uninspired world with equally lackluster quests or a buggy mess (or both).

I have to admit that while The Witcher 2 was undoubtedly my personal game of the year and maybe even my favorite game of all time (definitely my favorite ARPG) I'm sceptical about this. Taking the story to a more personal level also sounds iffy, I really enjoyed the political aspects of The Witcher 2 (and 1), mainly because you were never the center piece of the politics. In any other RPG I can think of you are always the center piece, the biggest hero or villain in the land with plot armor so thick a thousand swords couldn't penetrate it. In The Witcher, you're nothing more than a pawn, you bend your knee to kings like anyone else, and you are rarely the deciding factor in a big war, unless you stumble into

.

Also, open world... Meh. Remember The Witcher 1 and its wealth of side quests? Remember what they looked like? Remember collecting 10 drowner skulls for NPC #1325445 like you were playing a fucking MMO? Let us hope an open world with a wealth of side quests doesn't mean those coming back.

On the other hand, it's fucking CDProjekt. They made 2 incredible RPGs, they're not willing to let outdated console hardware hold them back and they seem to have hit their stride.

I guess I'll wait and see. But I'm reluctant to get too hyped for this for now.

I despised Witcher 1. Was its sequel any better? The Acting, questing structure, basic gameplay and story (not to mention its models and physics) were all so... medicore/terrible.

Did Witcher 2 fix most of those issues?

Oh my godddddd

Oh my godddddddddddddddddd

So excited for this, I just replayed Witcher 2 recently as well. :'D

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