Home Gaming E3 2013: The Witcher 3 – It’s a wild, wild hunt

E3 2013: The Witcher 3 – It’s a wild, wild hunt

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If there’s one thing that video games are still infamous for, it’s churning out sequel after sequel on an almost annual basis these days. When done right, it adds to the franchise, but when done wrong, it waters the core experience down. The Witcher though, has managed to produce a sequel that outshone the original. With a third and final game on the way though, CC Projekt Red may have just produced their masterpiece in that trilogy.

Taking place after the events of The Witcher 2, the world has been left in chaos. With humanity tearing itself apart, the world has taken a darker turn, but it’s the emergence of The Hunt, a supernatural force bent solely on death and destruction that is about to force Geralt to make some hard decisions.

At a closed session, I got the chance to see the game in action. Taking place a little further on in the story, we watched as Geralt put his Witcher skills to use, using them to strike bargains, engage in a random encounter and most importantly, hunt.

But first off, the game itself. What I saw was that of a pre-alpha build, but it looked simply beautiful. Clearly, a ton of work has gone into the game so far, and the world around Geralt looks truly next-gen. And it’s a massive world to boot.

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In fact, it’s 35 times larger than the world that was created for the Witcher 2, with CDPR telling us that the open world environment we see would be rendered with no loading screens whatsoever. But the biggest change here is in how CDPR has created a world that feels alive, instead of a gigantic arena that is a flat panel of random encounters and side quests between main missions.

The new visual direction helps quite a bit with this effort, but it’s the little touches that really help sell the game. Fast travelling to a small fishing village, Geralt finds himself staring down the ocean, while a raiding party rows off into the distance. This is where CDPR surprised us again, as they told us that we could take a boat and sail off as well. Doing just that, we sailed past the longboat, which was populated by Viking-influenced warriors singing a sea shanty as they rowed off to sea.

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Showing us more of the environment, CDPR then explained that a new weather system would also influecnce the game. In fact, with a storm on the way, they decided to ditch the boat and head to shore. According to CDPR, rain and other bad weather will affect the game, from navigation through to combat, although they’re still working on implementing that feature properly right now.

We then got treated to some combat in a random encounter. Combat now looks faster, sleeker and better paced, while still holding true to the principals of fighting smart and being prepared. The new visuals helped drive this fact home, and Geralt moved like a veteran with grace, quickly dispatching of the rogues around him, before he then decided to show off some magic by attacking a hulking Fiend.

There’s a ton more still to talk about, but mark my words: The Witcher 3 might just be one of the best games that E3 had to offer this year.

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Last Updated: June 13, 2013

20 Comments

  1. Ah! But what about the rampant sex! If Geralt doesn’t try to extend his carnal knowledge of every female form in the open world then I’ll be bitterly disappointed.

    Seriously, I quite literally cannot wait. Any dates? PC release before or after console?

    Reply

    • Argentil

      June 13, 2013 at 14:23

      CDProjekt Red have always been PC primarily, followed by an Xbox release at a later date. They are quite passionate about the PC platform, so you can expect it on PC day one. I would be hugely surprised if they delayed it.

      Reply

  2. Gareth L

    June 13, 2013 at 14:11

    Thanks Darryn, I didn’t realise how amped I am for this game until reading this and looking at the screens. Wow, I want this now!! I fell in love with the world of The Witcher 2, even though I didn’t finish it. *ahem*

    You guys are doing a great job over there – great coverage and articles. Jealousy is at a max right now! 😉

    Reply

  3. Argentil

    June 13, 2013 at 14:13

    Yay, been waiting for you guys to do an article on this. Really anticipating this game. Looks great.

    Reply

    • Trevor Davies

      June 13, 2013 at 14:30

      The books are good. I finished Roadside Picnic the other day which they based the Stalker games on, also a great read.

      Reply

    • Kromas

      June 13, 2013 at 14:43

      I’m fairly certain Tolkien himself would have condemned what they did to his books on the big screen. So I get where you are going.

      Reply

    • Heist

      June 13, 2013 at 14:52

      It IS endorsed by Sapkowski – he just doesnt see it as cannon (he sees the games and books as different storytelling mediums).
      Also, I am sure that both Yennefer and Ciri will feature in this last game – with Geralt having regained his memory, Triss will once again be rendered second to Yennefer. Yennefer probably held prisoner by the riders of the wild hunt with Triss and Ciri helping Geralt rescue her.

      Reply

  4. OVG

    June 13, 2013 at 14:22

    SWEEEEEEEET

    As I said 4 months ago. The better version between the two will depicted my NEXT GEN purchase…

    FUCK THAT. PS FOUR BABY!!!

    Reply

    • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

      June 13, 2013 at 15:54

      Spoken like a Sir!

      Reply

  5. Umar Kiiroi Senk?

    June 13, 2013 at 14:25

    Thought they would not release on Xbone you know, seeing as how they are so very anti-DRM

    Reply

  6. Todor Doutchevitch

    June 13, 2013 at 14:26

    I can not wait for this. Loved the Witcher 2

    Reply

  7. Trevor Davies

    June 13, 2013 at 14:27

    This is the one game that will make me break my solemn vow not to pre-order games.

    Reply

  8. Ultimo_Cleric N7

    June 13, 2013 at 14:34

    So basically, Skyrim on steroids. Cant say I enjoyed the 1st Witcher, the 2nd was great though. This……this looking incredible

    Reply

  9. Brady miaau

    June 13, 2013 at 14:36

    Oh yeah baby!

    This I want so badly. Previous two games were awesome, with number tow being more polished than number 1

    Reply

  10. David Muller

    June 13, 2013 at 14:36

    Looking forward to the combat rebalance mod for Witcher 2 next week, and this is on my pre-order list.

    Reply

  11. Ultimo_Cleric N7

    June 13, 2013 at 14:37

    Also…..here is my wish, as strange as it sounds. I want Dragon Age 3 to be better than this. To me the DA franchise has the chance to be WAAAY better than the Witcher. DA 1 set up SUCH an epic storyline, better than any other dark fantasy I had played in a very long time. Only to be decimated by the pile of Dinosaur Crap taht was DA2…….Please Bioware……make DA3 brilliant.
    Not saying I dont like the Witcher series though. Just want DA to come back from the dead and wow us all 🙂

    Reply

  12. Gideon Venter

    June 13, 2013 at 14:45

    Ooh, baby, baby, it’s a wild hunt…

    Reply

  13. Kromas

    June 13, 2013 at 14:46

    Any news on their other projekt?

    Reply

  14. Rock789

    June 14, 2013 at 07:37

    I think I may have just soiled myself with excitement… This is 1 game that most definitely is top of my “Must have at all costs even if kidneys must be sold to afford it” list! Cannot wait! 2014 seems so far away now…

    Reply

  15. Willem Swanepoel

    June 17, 2013 at 08:51

    It will be one of the best RPG games that you have ever seen!!!

    Reply

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