Witcher 3: Open World, Non-Linear, Beard

By Alec Meer on February 5th, 2013 at 10:00 am.

You know a developer’s really made it when they arrange an exclusive cover feature with GameStop’s loyalty card-flogging magazine Game Informer. CD Projekt RED are the latest to do the whole de facto scoop thing, revealing the already-teased The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Aka, 2014’s most exciting RPG, it rather sounds like.

AND GERALT HAS A BEARD NOW.

Much of what will be in GI has been scanned and summarised in that forever tawdry way, so I shall do my best to avoid doing much or any of that. Fortunately, GI have put out a trailer for the various stuff they’ll be lobbing online over the next month, from which we can glean that The Witcher 3 will be an open-world game, with a more personal story, monster-hunting and the determination to take on the likes of Skyrim and Dragon Age.

What I’ve read – I couldn’t help it! – claims this will be a true open world game, with no loading and much more branching, freeform progression that isn’t a story split into defined chapters, as were the previous two Witchers. It’s hard not to think Elder Scrolls, and then harder still not to think about how Witcher 2’s many excellent aspects really could outdo Skyrim if CDP get it right.

We’ll have more as more info is released in a way that doesn’t involve summarising summaries on forums.

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217 Comments »

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  1. GallonOfAlan says:

    I appear to have cum in my dry goods.

    • f1x says:

      I might need a new keyboard

    • Eddy9000 says:

      your user name has just taken on a whole new icky significance Alan.

    • d3vilsadvocate says:

      “Everyone likes Open World Games”

      Are they kidding me? I don’t like open world games, I want story driven games like the Witcher 2.

      This saddens me a great deal and I sure as hell won’t get this game!

      • TheIronSky says:

        What part of “open world” means “not story driven?”
        Also, I think you missed the part when he said, “It’s more of a personal story now…”

      • Solanaceae says:

        I’m with you man, not a fan of open-world games either

      • noodlecake says:

        The Witcher 2 had such a tight and well crafted story compared to any open world game ever made, I think it’s reasonable to worry that making it open world could lose some of that quality that comes from a guided linear (well, branching) storyline.

  2. MiniMatt says:

    I know this is going to set the angry camps right off – but…
    1:17 – 1:18 in the video we see the poster art that adorns CDP offices.

    And suddenly collection cards and cyberpunk undies make sense :)

    • stiffkittin says:

      You are a bad person. You know what you’ve done right?

      • MiniMatt says:

        I have a sideline in pitchforks :)

        Tho in all seriousness, I haven’t seen a Pirelli calendar in a garage for *ages*.

        • f1x says:

          Cover all the tits!

          On the other hand, that poster is the image of Triss that was featured in Playboy Poland, not just a random poster

        • stiffkittin says:

          I might be wrong but it looks like it might actually be playboy-style poster art of Triss. Jury’s out on whether that gives ammunition to the hooting, torch bearers or not though.

        • Blackcompany says:

          I’m going to go out on a limb here for a moment with a theory that is, admittedly, speculation. If you happen to hail from Eastern Europe/Poland please feel free to correct me:

          I don’t think the CDP look at nudity/sex/sexual appeal the way we Westerners do. And I think this might be a matter of culture. I think not only do their views differ greatly from the prevalent view point here, but that the difference is so deeply ingrained that they might struggle to understand how we in the West – and even perhaps in Britain – can take offense in the first place.

          I knew a girl from Poland once. She was very…open…about sexuality. Not grossly explicit. But the topic, her views and her desires were not exactly something she had trouble speaking about. It was a rather refreshing view. And perhaps that was simply her own personal viewpoint, not a cultural thing. But then too, different cultures view nudity and sex in utterly different lights. And Western views on the subject are so deeply tangled up with the pseudo-religious underpinnings on which they are based that separating the views from their religious origins is night impossible.

          Which is to say I won’t judge them for having a nude poster – and a rather tasteful one – of one of their game characters in their office. If this is acceptable in their culture and does not offend anyone who works in that office – and I trust it does not, since it is not only there but displayed openly – then who am I to judge from the standpoint of my culture what they do in their own?

          Granted, if you are going to release media for the world to consume you should perhaps take pains to understand the various cultures who comprise your customer base. But can the reverse not also be said regarding the customer base, and understanding that there exists a potentially huge difference in culture between the consumer and the culture in which said media originated?

          TL;DR: Just because we don’t do it or find it acceptable in Western society, does not mean its not acceptable everywhere.

          • MiniMatt says:

            @Blackcompany – whilst I have a large number of Polish relatives I can’t say it’s the sort of conversation that crops up – although there are some topics one wouldn’t necessarily expect to discuss with Aunty regardless of nationality :)

            It’s a fair point, and one we recently went over when Chinese advertising of Planetside 2 came to light. It’s very easy to fall into a kind of cultural imperialism and dictate one culture as better than others.

            I’d note that whilst it’s possible to make some very broad generalisations about a country’s culture, no country by any stretch of the imagination is culturally homogenous. “Western” culture doesn’t really exist, encompassing as it does west coast hippies, frat boy dude-bros, Las Vegas, mormons, Hugh Heffner, the Tea Party, The Sun’s page 3, blue rinse little old ladies and Germaine Greer. Poland is undoubtedly similarly broad.

            I don’t particularly have an issue with what they put in their office. I can say that I’d personally find such decoration inappropriate in a UK office. I *think* I can say I’m perhaps in the majority opinion in that regard. Further I’d say that at a time when the industry as a whole is desperate to get more women involved in game creation and consumption (for purely business reasons, I’m not dictating what they do for societal reasons merely echoing what they want for very clear profit driven reasons) this kind of thing looks to be simply bad business sense in a global setting; as to the effect in any particular local setting, indeed I have no authority to form opinions.

          • mlaskus says:

            Your argument is generally valid but your assumption about Polish culture is way off the mark. :)
            Poland is a predominantly Catholic country with very strong taboos about sex and sensuality in general.

            Witcher as a franchise has a lot to do with sex because Sapkowski – the author of the book series it is based on puts sex scenes everywhere he can. The very first scene in his other big fantasy series starts(Narrenturm) with a very graphic sex scene.

            CDP gets a lot of flak for something that was mainly a consequence of the IP the chose to base their first game on.

          • SuicideKing says:

            I don’t think it’s really about nudity, it’s about if you’re encouraging objectification/sexism or not.

            People found that card game thingy sexist, and from what i read about it, it did seem that way.

            Having a random poster in their office really doesn’t amount to much, if that doesn’t translate to anything negative.

          • Tukuturi says:

            @MiniMatt Western culture does exist. You’re looking at superficial differences and assuming they constitute a complete difference at all levels. Bros and hippies, for example, depend on the same economic system for subsistence and interact with it in similar ways. They are generally raised in the same sort of family structure. It’s easy to take these sort of things for granted and consider them “not culture” when they are such a basic part of our culture.

            You might benefit from reading Julian Steward’s Theory of Culture Change. Therein he explains a concept known as levels of sociocultural integration. The gist of it is that cultures and subcultures can be broken down into (admittedly arbitrary) levels that exist in a kind of nested hierarchy. For example, you have a family level, a community level, a regional level, a national level, even a global level these days. It gets a little more complicated, as individuals can also belong to subcultural groups that are not necessarily nested in the same way, such as gamer culture.

            CDP obviously has its own culture as a company. The national culture of Poland may or may not be pro sexy, I don’t know. They’re heavily Catholic, but so is Brazil. I do know that the company culture of CDP is pro sexy, and that’s cool with me. I only wish I could play a female witcher and sex up all those beer-bellied peasants.

            Sorry for the anthropology rant. I think I got carried away.

          • MiniMatt says:

            @Tukuturi – Fair point, and I’ll make a note of seeing if my local library can grab a copy of the text you advise.

            I think I badly worded the point I was attempting to make. Yes, “western culture” does exist. But, and I think your explanation expands this point, views on where art/decoration ends and objectification or even oppression begins is not a matter defined by “western culture”. This very thread illustrates that even commenters on a single web site cannot converge on one general opinion.

            Blackcompany makes an extremely valid point that we, myself especially, should be very much aware of the risk of cultural imperialism and of imposing values across the globe. I was attempting, badly, to counter with the argument that “Polish culture” is no more or less homogenous than “US culture”, or “UK culture”, or “Western culture”.

    • D3xter says:

      It’s Triss Merigold from the Playboy Rendering/Shoot they did, dude: http://tinyurl.com/b3v3w4n

      • MiniMatt says:

        Yep, it’s just perhaps a little jarring to see it in an office environment in the same way the cliched Pirelli calendars did in garages.

        I can’t imagine that being particularly appropriate decoration in any other office. Now games are different, and Poland is different and…. I’ve lost track of my point, just buy the pitchforks damnit :)

        Perhaps I’m more inclined to believe devs when they say “there is genuine narrative reason for this choice of clothing/setting” and “we believe in inclusivity in gaming” etc when they don’t have big posters of nekkid people on their office walls.

        • Kitsuninc says:

          I say, whatevs. If they want that in their office, as long as it isn’t bothering people (Within the office), who cares? Of course, it could lend credence to other claims of sexism, as you’re saying…

        • f1x says:

          Oh come on

          stop being so puritan, they just were happy about the collaboration with Playboy Poland

          things are getting ridiculous

        • D3xter says:

          People in Mainland Europe are generally not as afraid of breasts as those in the US and seemingly the UK if RPS is anything to go by.

          And I still don’t believe that game designers have to “explain themselves” to anyone for stylistic choices in their games, whatever they may be or that they have the moral duty to spread the message of “inclusiveness” or any other social commentary.
          I don’t think CDPR has ever said that either, see: http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/06/21/cd-projekt-on-game-of-thrones-sexs-place-in-gaming/
          It’s one of the reasons I like them so much.

          • Eddy9000 says:

            That devs don’t have to do or say anything is an undeniable statement of fact, they could release an RPG called ‘Wench-rape 3000′ without comment or explaination, but the fact is that people are going to voice their opinions about their games and are perfectly at liberty to do so.

            We’re quite liberal about breasts in our media in the UK, we just don’t like sexism very much. It makes poor television for starters if Italian TV is anything to go by, I mean how many hours of programmes featuring half naked 17 year old girls dancing around a 50 year old man does a country need?

          • MiniMatt says:

            The whole comfortable with nakedness thing is a fine line though.

            The fine line between being grown up and comfortable with nakedness can cross into titilation for the sake of marketing. This can also have the unintended side effect of discouraging sales and potentially, paradoxically, make people far less comfortable with nakedness – the nakedness we’re encouraged to be comfortable with is the unattainable CGI enhanced nakedness, not the saggy, droopy celulite normal nakedness.

            Not saying this is necessarily the case here. Not saying CDP necessarily have any great social duty.

          • caddyB says:

            I remember going to the swimming pools and seeing a lot of naked ladies and men in the showers. It doesn’t have to be awkward or sexual if you don’t make it out to be.

            Also intimidating if those people were like .. really old.

            I don’t understand why Americans have such a big problem with titties and ballsacks.

          • Bhazor says:

            They advertised a game by having their main female character pose naked in Playboy. That’s tacky however you look at it.

            It’s also insulting that they think *that* will get their audience’s attention more than the game itself.

            You wanna know the reputation of CDProjeckt in the mainstream gaming press?
            Watch this and see if doesn’t make you cringe as a fan of the game.
            http://blip.tv/angryjoeshow/the-witcher-2-sexy-review-5244371

          • Blackcompany says:

            Wait.

            Main-stream gaming media?

            Angry Joe review as an example?

            I’m…uncertain…as to the credibility of the claim that Angry Joe represents any sort of mainstream viewpoint. But then I go out of my way to avoid people who find reasons to rant even about good games, so claiming to be more than passingly familiar with the guy would be a falsity on my part. Still, i feel he more represents everything that is wrong with gaming culture, more than he does mainstream anything. There is enough anger running around in the gaming community without finding someone to act as a catalyst for more, thanks.

          • maximiZe says:

            But any sentient being cringes when watching Angry Joe videos, what’s your point?

          • Alice says:

            I think you are mistaking “not afraid of breasts” with “more sexist and tolerant of sexism”.

          • D3xter says:

            Alice: No I’m not, I meant exactly what I said.

            As for Angry Joe, I don’t particularly like him and have no greater opinion or desire to watch any of his videos. Although I did watch this one from about a year ago with him visiting CD Projekt titled “The Wild Hunt for Witcher 3″: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBulcpw1Q2o&hd=1 and remember it improving my opinion of CDProjekt RED even more.
            You can see those Posters, among other things there too.

          • DiamondDog says:

            So now we’re just conflating people uncomfortable with the objectification of women and prudes who can’t handle looking at some boobs. Good to know.

            And also throw in the now running theme displayed in a comment below where it’s apparently impossible to like games and also hold opinions on wider society. It’s one or the other people! They can never EVER meet! Gosh, why can’t we all just live in a little gaming bubble where we can enjoy things free of conscience.

            This place gets more absurd by the minute.

          • Dances to Podcasts says:

            ” how many hours of programmes featuring half naked 17 year old girls dancing around a 50 year old man does a country need?”

            About as many as a country needs page 3 girls?

        • Eddy9000 says:

          I have it on good authority that they play top-trumps with trading cards of their sexual conquests in their lunch break as well.

          I wonder if the thorny issue of stubble-rash will be addressed in the third game in relation to Geralt’s new whiskers. Perhaps Geralt’s nemesis could track him through the kingdom by the trail of sore-faced women left in his wake.

          • Dances to Podcasts says:

            Until you mentioned sore-faced I was thinking in a completely different direction…

    • bigjig says:

      I love how, rather than be excited for a new Witcher game, RPS commentators are worried about some random poster in an office. Probably a good time to give up gaming altogether if that’s where your main priorities lie.

      • MiniMatt says:

        People can hold, count them, *two* opinions at the same time!

        Personally I’m *hugely* excited about a new Witcher game. Steam says I have 171 hours put into Witcher 2.

        I also find the acceptability of soft porn adorning office walls a tad lacking. Though I can’t say as I’ll lose sleep over it.

        • Blackcompany says:

          I would lose sleep over it.

          But only if I had to sleep in the same office space where it was mounted on the walls.

          I jest, of course – get your Pitchforks, Matt probably has them 2-for-1 by now – but so long as it does not offend the employees there, who am I to judge another culture and their behavior? There’s enough of that going in here Ethnocentric Central (aka, America) without me adding to the chorus.

        • DaWalrus says:

          I wouldn’t want my game studio looking like a boring office, or even like a typical game studio.

          A nice looking poster with some balls titties adds a delightful bit of character.

          • Kitsuninc says:

            I would love to see a poster with some balls in my office, just because it would break the mold a little. Tits? Come on, you can be more original than that, CDP!

  3. RoyalPumkin says:

    We’ve the power of the beard he shall command everyone! Geralt!

  4. postwar says:

    Geralt looks like a thinned down Gabe Newell.

  5. BobbyDylan says:

    Can’t wait. The Witcher 2 was amazing

  6. Alice says:

    I wish I could play the Witcher games because I’ve seen so much good stuff written about them, but I don’t want to play an RPG where you can’t customize my character to play as a female. Playing a pony-tailed macho dude does not appeal to me on absolutely any level, regardless of how good the story or how open the world is… :(

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      DrAmateurScience says:

      I was just thinking that I would love a ‘roll your own Witcher’ option. I always felt the restriction to Geralt was rather at odds with the ‘open’ narrative and now – in the case of Witcher 3 – the open world.

      Enjoying the first one so far though (just started the other day). Definitely a game about Geralt though.

      • caddyB says:

        I don’t know. I like Geralt as he is and the story is all the stronger for it. But it shouldn’t be impossible to write a game where you can play your own.

        Also: Women can be Witchers but the mushroom and herb combinations in the training are designed for men, and it is said in the books that they would physically alter the female body .. badly.

        • f1x says:

          yeap,
          they can definitely be witchers tho: Ciri is sort of

          but she had it harder because of said mushrooms been only tested with men until then

          • caddyB says:

            IIRC Triss was opposed to the idea of giving her the herbal treatment because of what would happen to other women.

            Then again, Ciri is not a normal person.

          • BULArmy says:

            I am pretty sure that the woman on the cover is Ciri and with the whole personal story/Nilfgaard that the W3 story will be I will be happy for some better ties with the books lore.

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          DrAmateurScience says:

          I suspect it would help if was familiar with the source material at all :)

        • MrUnimport says:

          CAN GIRLS BE WITCHERS

          TOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO?

      • Saiko Kila says:

        Openness of the world has nothing to do with a choice of gender of your character. Especially if the character has a rather well defined personality, like in Gothic series and in Witcher series as well. I prefer the meaty characters of these two to the characters of poor mutes of Elders Scrolls/Fallout3s, which are just plain and boring, no matter what sex they have printed on their ID cards.

        After all, YOU are living in an open world for real, and you cannot change your gender and looks on a whim. I used to play pen-and-paper RPGs, and I remember that (usually) in RPGs you assume a role of some fictional character, in contrast to some fictional character assuming your role (and maybe look) in a fictional world…

        • Christo4 says:

          Umm, maybe you didn’t get it, but in Fallout 3 and Skyrim YOU are the character. The characters is what you make of him, the decisions you make and the actions you take. Of course they don’t have a “depth” at the begining since your only at the start of your adventure! Just play the game for 20 hours(any skyrim or fallout 3) and then think about what decisions you have done and how you have affected people with your actions. Were you evil or good? did you kill the ghoul or or not? Did you search for your dad or you didn’t give a cake about it? did you pass a speech check (which needs high charisma or speech) or you didn’t and you had to kill somebody? (didn’t play skyrim so i can only give you fallout 3 examples, but it kinda works the same way, just fantasy). That’s the beauty of Bethesda games, you aren’t given a character, you are given a blank paper and you cna make him/her however you wish him/her to be. Bad/Evil, Cowardly/Heroic, it’s your choice.

          • TCM says:

            But you are not limited or constrained by those choices — you can change your way of dealing with things on a whim, flip flop between good and evil in your dialogue with no lasting effects, and do the entire Dark Brotherhood murderquest while still being the savior of the world beloved by all.

            Don’t get me wrong, I like TES. But don’t confuse ‘having a blank slate’ with ‘roleplaying’ – even Pen and Paper games will punish you for acting radically out of line with how you have defined your character, and that’s about as sandbox as an RPG gets.

      • paddymaxson says:

        Well, Geralt is the eponymous Witcher. While there are other witchers, Geralt is /the witcher/ This is a story about Geralt.

        It’d be interesting to see a game set in the same world mind you, maybe after they finish Geralt’s story.

    • f1x says:

      I play with female characthers 99% of the time, but I don’t mind playing Geralt’s characther,
      its not only a “macho”, but I guess its easier after reading the books

      thats just my opinion, but I prefer they lock it to playing with Geralt (maybe giving a couple more customization options) because I think the story would be disminished if you could play with custom char

      • Alice says:

        I don’t see why the story would be diminished if you could customize your character. Mass Effect allows players to customize their characters, and the story is just as great as it would have been if Shepard was only ever a guy…

        • KikiJiki says:

          The games are based on a well established series of books where the overall focus is clearly on the character of Geralt and his story. Take Geralt out of the game and it’s not ‘The Witcher’ but ‘set in the universe of…’ and quite honestly to me it’s not as interesting. If you want to play a fantasy RPG with character customisation and similar world themes then Dragon Age is already available.

        • Sheng-ji says:

          I remember the D&D campaign where the DM had created our characters for us. We complained about that for months, I wanted to play a magic user but I got lumped with a stupid paladin (literally a paladin with low intelligence).

          Thing is, the DM needed to control who we were because of the depth of his story – it wouldn’t have worked in any other way, and I see the same in games. It’s no coincidence that the RPG’s where you get to customise every aspect of your character are shallower. Remember in mass effect, the choice between male and female is purely aesthetic, it makes very little difference as society in the mass effect universe is fairly equal in terms of gender. In witcher it would be a real immersion breaker if as a female you were treated the same by the inhabitants of the world.

          Given that every other RPG lets you choose your character down to the last detail, it’s nice to have just one which tells you who you are and challenges your roleplaying to meet that character.

        • Premium User Badge

          Stellar Duck says:

          And Mass Effect are the worse off for it. Shep is basically an empty cipher with no personality. To allow for a such an undefined character the games become vague and non comitting. The fact that it makes absolutely zero difference on the story if Shep is a guy or lady, angel or jerk should say a lot about how empty he/she is as a character. There simply is no charater called Shephard. Just an empty shell with the vaguest of outlines.

          Contrast that to Geralt. The Witcher would be an entirely different story if it wasn’t Geralts story. It’s that one persons story and it’s defined by that. If Geralt was the same non entity as Shep you’d need to have an entirely different story (or accept some really weird stuff).

          • Alice says:

            I respectfully disagree. The story and world of Mass Effect does not suffer in the least from the fact that the protagonist is not a pre-defined personality, but rather an outline left for the player to fill in and shape as they see fit.

          • Bhazor says:

            I don’t know, Geralt always felt like a cypher to me especially in the first game. I agree theres nothing wrong with predefined character’s but if you can still make them act out of character (Geralt siding with Templars for example) then I’d argue thats more damaging than just having a blank slate.

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            Stellar Duck says:

            But there is no personality for the player to fill in. My Shep is no different in any way from your lady Shep. It’s the precise same empty shell being precisely the same amount of vague and bland so as to not mess with the story. Even in the way the dialogues are artificially constructed so as to have to reference the gender as little as humanly possible underlines that Shep has no bearing on the world at all. Just a card board cutout that says lines that people don’t even respond to. They just say theirs.

          • Premium User Badge

            Stellar Duck says:

            @Bhazor:

            I’m not saying the The Witcher or Geralt are perfectly executed, but at least Geralt has a character to act out of by doing something weird.

            Shep can never act out of character as he doesn’t have one.

          • Alice says:

            @Stellar Duck
            If your Shepard has no personality, or feeling towards players/events in the game, or affinities for one thing or another, that yes, obviously it’s only an empty shell of a character. My Shepard likes and dislikes different things, and reacts differently to different characters, and goes out of the way to do things for some other people, while completely ignoring others — entirely because that’s the character I made her into, not because she was scripted that way.

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            Stellar Duck says:

            I think, but correct me if I’m wrong, our problem here is that we have run into that age old problem of defining the role playing game. And we’re on opposite sides of the fence.

            You seem to be in the “I define the character” where I’m in the “I’ll play the char sheet the GM hands me to my interpretation”.

            I didn’t quite realise that, at first (I’m tired I guess), so my objections came from a bit of a misguided attempt to point out why Mass Effect is a bad example to point to when it comes to characters. I still think that but we don’t see Shep the same way. To you she’s a fully fledged character and to me he’s a empty character sheet that gives me nothing to work with.

            I now see what you mean, and I can’t object to that other than to say that I play in a different way. Not better, mind, just different.

            Having played through all three games as both a girl and boy I stand by my claim though, that the character and story is so incredibly vague that it doesn’t matter one bit how you play. When you can change the gender of a protagonist and nothing whatsoever changes in a story you’ve written an extremely non committing story that can never really react to the player. Same problem in any Bethesda game ever made.

            I now see what you mean, and I can’t object to that other than to say that I play in a different way. Not better, mind, just different.

        • MrMud says:

          I will counter and say that the identity of the character in Planescape Torment is integral to how they tell a story.
          I don’t know if I want the Witcher series, with its great narrative, to turn into skyrim where the storylines are generally pretty bland.

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          PoulWrist says:

          It would, because it’s not the story of you in the role of “Alice the Gamer’s Avatar”, it’s the story of Geralt, as seen through your eyes. The game, the story and its meaning and focus will disappear as it hinges on the character of Geralt, who isn’t really a pony-tailed macho-dude as you describe, but a rather more complex person.

          I don’t know what the real difference between pony-tailed macho-dude and pony-tailed macho-girl is, but apparently important enough to not want to play a game with a rather mature story and setting, in which characters are not one-dimensional sex objects, even if the press tries its best to make it sound like it, because, you know, the game has sex in it.

          As to all the debacle on the first game and its objectification of women through the collectible cards, then doesn’t it really say more about the player than the game that anyone should choose to go around ignoring what you can have going on between Geralt and Triss in order to collect achievements? :p

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          Ninja Dodo says:

          I’d rather have more games with interesting female leads than have every game give you the option to choose a custom character. Nothing wrong with exploring a world with a generic blank slate, but it’s a different kind of game.

          Some games are about playing a role that is specifically another person. If you don’t like that role, you should not play that game. It’s like complaining that you don’t get to choose a character that isn’t James Bond in a James Bond game. A game where you play a non-specific (male or female) secret agent could be excellent, but it would cease to be a game about James Bond…

          It all depends on what a game is aiming for: creating a world for you to explore as yourself OR letting you *be* another character in another place (because the role itself is interesting).

          • Alice says:

            Oh believe me, I’d also rather have more games with interesting female leads. :)

          • Merlkir says:

            I wouldn’t. Women are weak and can’t do anything in battle. It’d be boring games about babies, unicorns and baking.

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            Ninja Dodo says:

            What I’m saying is I also wouldn’t want the option to play a generic male character in Beyond Good & Evil, instead of Jade, for example.

            It’s a game about a specific character.

        • Zenicetus says:

          Geralt has a specific look, and a back story, that’s just as strongly defined as Batman. If it wouldn’t make sense to allow the player to change Batman’s gender in the Arkham Asylum/City games — and I think it would be hard to argue that point — then by the same logic, it doesn’t make any sense to allow the player to change Geralt’s gender in the Witcher games.

          That said, I can certainly see why inhabiting that particular role might not appeal to everyone, whether it’s the Witcher or Batman.

    • NecroKnight says:

      How is Gerald macho? Macho men are boisterous, arrogant, obnoxious and generally stupid. Gerald is none of these things, in fact he barely shows any emotions. Yes, he likes sex and can get most of the women, but that does not make him a macho character.

      • Premium User Badge

        RedViv says:

        Indeed. Geralt is a good manly mutant. His flaws lie elsewhere.

      • MrUnimport says:

        I think being a stoic type who doesn’t exhibit emotions easily is also a macho trait, actually. But Geralt isn’t quiet, not by a long shot.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      Not knocking your opinion, but to me, Geralt is anything but macho – he is around macho people but the way I interpret things, he barely conceals his contempt for such behaviour. He is sensitive to the problems that other witchers feel are beneath them, he will stick up for those being persecuted, to his detriment as they can be deserving of that persecution!

      He obviously does do a lot of fighting and is rather good at it, but he doesn’t seem to brag about it, it’s the other people around him who boast on his behalf!

    • Necroscope says:

      I suspect the work involved for the devs would bloat for a fully realised female witcher to be playable, such as the myriad responses of NPCs etc etc that would require altering. Usually I tell myself to get over myself when there’s an issue stopping me playing a game. Speaking strictly for myself, I don’t want to miss out on something I want to play by procrastinating or dreaming up reasons why I shouldn’t. I enjoy playing female characters as well as male. I want the fuller experience. In addition, I’ve almost missed out on a favourite game here and there because the tutorial was so bad. I had to force myself to play and when I did I thought to myself why didn’t I try the game, I was halted by a big nothing.

      • Alice says:

        I have a hard time getting over this issue; I mean, we’re talking about a total lack of appeal for the character I’m supposed to play – in a role-playing game where the whole emphasis is on the character you’re playing and what you’re doing with him/her.

        I understand that allowing the option to customize the character is a big job — maybe it would not even fit the story — and I didn’t want to imply that the devs *should* give players the option to customize their characters in every RPG, I was merely saying that I regret that I don’t find playing this character appealing, especially if the third game is going to be an open world game, as I love those…

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          PoulWrist says:

          You can customize in ways that matter, such as what powers and stuff to focus on, what gear to wear and what impact you make on the world and its characters.

          I don’t see how having a male main character in a game can be so offputting. I’d play any game with any character, regardless of gender of the character if the game is good. And I wouldn’t be doing it to look at tits n’ ass…

          • Alice says:

            “I don’t see how having a male main character in a game can be so offputting. ”

            For me it breaks the immersion in a role-playing game… :/

          • Merlkir says:

            As someone pointed out higher – it’s the age old divergence in “role playing”. You want to play yourself. Others like to play characters very much unlike themselves.

            If you tried that and hated it, then sure, just don’t play The Witcher. If you’re just not sure you’d like playing “not-myself”, perhaps give it a shot, try to see roleplaying from another angle. It’s fun, because it challenges the player in a way, forces you to empathise with the character.

            Instead of “heck no, I’m not doing that!”, one thinks “would Geralt do that?”. Which is admittedly less of a personal self-experience, but it was never intended to be that.

        • Ringwraith says:

          Well, depends if you can deal with a world-weary, cynical and somewhat snarky outcast as a main character.
          I really like him as a character as he’s often doing things despite himself while knowing he can’t do everything, and doing his best to stay out of political maelstroms that frequently occur.

          • Blackcompany says:

            Geralt has flaws. Deep, and often ingrained, character flaws. Sometimes he is too harsh, cold or distant. Sometimes insensitive. Sometimes selfish and sometimes too caring or too quick to stand up for those who may not deserve his bravery on their behalf.

            It is, I think, fair to say that Geralt’s flaws outweigh the obvious positives in his personality. Much like a real person, in fact. The cons at least balance the pros of Geralt’s overarching personality.

            And that is what makes him interesting, and fun to role play. Much as I enjoy it, at least compared to Skyrim, your character in the Witcher games gets to HAVE a personality at all….

          • Ringwraith says:

            I don’t mind games where you don’t have a personality like Skyrim, seeing as you’re building them from the ground up anyway, and being a first person game also helps in that regard.
            It’s when someone is made out to be a character in the setting and doesn’t really have one.
            Heck, I’ve seen completely silent protagonists have character before, and even character development! (All in the actions and reactions).

        • Tukuturi says:

          Getting outside of your gender role can be fun. Everyone should try it some time. Play a male character. Dress up as a man and go out to the bar. Grow a mustache. Gender is a cage that society has constructed around you. Break free!

        • MrUnimport says:

          Do you happen to have white hair in real life as well? How are your sword skills? Please, teach me the secrets of launching fireballs out of your hands. If you can do all of these things I might understand a bit better how the character’s gender is jarring.

    • Fenix says:

      I don’t get this reasoning. The Witcher series draw on enstabilished material, in which Geralt of Rivia IS the protagonist and central figure. There are several other important characters, many of them female, but in the end it is a game about Geralt itself, above all. It is an RPG, yes, but an RPG meant to be played as Geralt of Rivia. The only time Geralt wont be the protagonist is in the case of spin-offs. You’re missing out to be honest, and for a pretty dumb reason.

      • Alice says:

        I don’t understand why is it so hard to understand that someone might not feel the desire to play the game because they are not drawn to the character they are supposed to be playing. If I don’t like the character in a role-playing game, what am I left with?

        • KikiJiki says:

          If you don’t like the character you play in an RPG then that’s fine. Lamenting that you don’t like it and would like the story diluted so you can like your avatar more is inviting this sort of criticism. As I said in another comment if you want to play an RPG with similar themes and customisations then there are other products on the market that I’m sure you’d enjoy.

          Alternatively you could perhaps give The Witcher a go. You might find yourself discovering that your preconceptions of Geralt differ from how the character is actually presented, especially in the second game.

          • Alice says:

            This is not about “liking your avatar” but feeling no appeal toward the character you are supposed to play — I find that a rather big obstacle in a role playing game. This is about the inability to immerse yourself in the world of the game when you’re don’t really want to play the character you’re playing, but would rather play a different one. I don’t know about you, but that kinda ruins things for me.

            Also, I did not say or implay that I want devs to dilute their story to satisfy players like me. I was merely expressing regret at feeling no appeal for the character, and therefore no desire to play it, in a game that is so widely praised.

          • kael13 says:

            Exactly this. You shouldn’t have to sacrifice the integrity of a story simply because you can’t project yourself on to the character. Geralt has always been a male character. CDPR could make a female lead but that would imply rewriting a lot of the background lore and a hell of a lot more gender specific voice work, not just from the lead.

            Oh and I prefer playing femshep.

          • KikiJiki says:

            Unfortunately the story of The Witcher is Geralt’s entirely (the name kind of implies that), so your comment:

            “I wish I could play the Witcher games because I’ve seen so much good stuff written about them, but I don’t want to play an RPG where you can’t customize my character to play as a female”

            is pretty easy to misread as wanting The Witcher to not be about Geralt, but about a more generic character which would in my opinion undoubatlby dilute the story.

            Can I ask though how you formed your opinion of Geralt, given your apathy toward his character and your statement that you haven’t played the games?

          • Alice says:

            “Can I ask though how you formed your opinion of Geralt, given your apathy toward his character and your statement that you haven’t played the games?”

            Watching youtube videos of other people playing the game, how else? (mostly the first one, did not really investigate it after that)

        • Premium User Badge

          PoulWrist says:

          But, you do have a desire to play the game, you said so yourself. You’re then letting yourself be put off by your ignorance relating to the character, as displayed by your “macho pony tail guy” comment. You’re in the wrong there. If you can’t at all consider playing the game based totally and only on this, then, well, you’re just weird and you should probably not have bothered commenting.
          Also your focus on the RPG part is probably wrong, it’s more of an action adventure with RPG elements. Since RPG in digital form has come to mean a focus on stats and leveling up, where the more interaction in the world has become labeled as adventure. Where Witcher sits is more towards a good pen and paper rpg adventure, with a bunch of combat, but also a lot of meaningful interaction with the world. Through a set character, who you have some leeway to choose how to develop and how to guide through the world. But while you have these choices, it’s still a character you play, not your avatar.

        • Gira says:

          What am I left with?

          A videogame you can play if you want to!

    • Arcanon says:

      Give Gerald a chance, he’s not the stereotypical videogame “macho”…I come from total customization RPGs like DA: Origins and Elder Scrolls and I LOVED The Witchers, both of them.

      • TimMc says:

        Problem I find with “blank slate characters” you get from Bioware, Obsidian and Bethesda RPGs is that you are so boring. Your backstory is meaningless for the most part, you have no impacting relationships you take forward into the game.

        Contrast to the Witcher games where every 5 minutes someone appears and says “hey, remember me from the books when you saved me/fucked me/threatened me?”. Giving the player a history in the world is very fun, and especially immersive if you have read the books.

        • TCM says:

          I maintain this is the reason Planescape has such an amazing story — because you have done things in the past, and those things curve back around and affect amnesiac!you in the present. You have a history that stretches back farther than anyone, and the echoes of your actions resound. You can atone for them, exploit them, ignore them, whatever – but you are a player in this world, and you were since before you could remember.

        • Fiatil says:

          I’m really glad both of you just touched on what makes games like the Witcher so great to me. It’s what made me love Gothic 2 so much when I first found out about it as a teenager. I had never played Gothic 1, but I absolutely loved going to the old prison colony and meeting all of the protagonist’s old friends from the first game, or seeing that some of them had become higher ranking members of the mercenaries or fire mages or what have you.

          I hadn’t met the characters before, but because the familiarity and friendship they had shown towards me felt so real, their opinions really drove the way I felt about the game world. There was no way I was going to be a Paladin when all of my character’s friends were old prisoners turned mercenaries fighting against them. Something like that would never happen with the now-genre-norm tabula rasa character. Keep Geralt Geralt, and bring me more games like it!

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          FriendlyFire says:

          I think this is also in part why people liked the Mass Effect series so much. While in the first game you were pretty much a blank slate, and a fairly generic one at that, the second and third games had exactly the same kind of feeling where your character existed prior to the game and had a lasting impact, forging relations with a lot of other people and getting a reputation with most others.

          The way The Witcher does it allows for even more characterization, though, most certainly.

    • Cockles says:

      I have a similar opinion as a male player, I usually choose to play as women if I have the choice as I’ve been bored playing as the male power-fantasy character for a LONG time.

      I hear the witcher games are great but I get put off by playing a gruff masculine womaniser. I’m sure if I could commit to them a bit further then I’d get wrapped up in it but RPGs generally allow character customisation and for some reason I can’t get passed the fact that this one doesn’t, nor can I really get on with Geralt as an interesting character (I guess the character arc over the course of the games is interesting but initially he’s just another bland, overtly masculine fantasy).

      Nothing wrong with that, just saying I don’t get on with it and I understand where you’re coming from

      • Fluka says:

        I don’t have a problem playing a male character. I loved playing Adam Jensen and JC Denton in their respective Deus Ex games, for instance, and I’m happily planning to go play Lee in Walking Dead at some point. Geralt just seems so boring, however. Yeah yeah, I know his personality is what you make of it. I’ve just seen this type of grizzled, man’s man fantasy character so many times before, however, and if I want the whole fashionable “mature” sex n racism n politics fantasy dealy, I can just go read George RR Martin instead. I know it’s uncool to like Dragon Age now, but that still feels fresher to me.

        • 2helix4u says:

          Man I am flummoxed at the suggestion that Geralt is more boring than Adam Jensen.
          He’s one of the more interesting protagonists because you can successfully play through with him as true-neutral, he’s not out to save the world or condemn it, he’s out to use the skills he was given to do what he was made for and not take sides. The choice to take your own path is also played up as a big deal where in other games it is often seen as indecision.
          Considering neutrality has long been a non-choice in RPGs up to Bioware removing it entirely in DA2 that is interesting to me.

          • Fluka says:

            Again, I’m not saying that Adam Jensen is necessarily a deeper or more well defined character than Geralt. I’ve heard lots of praise for the player’s ability to define Geralt as a distinct character. I’m just saying that I find the base character of Geralt – serious white fighter guy in high fantasy epic whom ladies want to bone – has very little appeal to me, as something I’ve seen one too many times before in movies, games, literature, etc. I don’t want to hear that person’s story again, good though it may be. (Of course, you could also argue that Adam Jensen’s story has been told many times before, but maybe we just get less cyberpunk these days than we get Tolkienesque fantasy… Speaking of which, I’m a lot more curious about CDP’s Cyberpunk than this series!).

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            FriendlyFire says:

            Jensen is a serious white security guy who fails miserably at doing his job in a standard cyberpunk setting.

            It’s easy to make reductionist descriptions of a character and then claim that the character is uninteresting. Put your preconceived notions of what Geralt is in the trash and just play the bloody game. You’ll see that just as Jensen is deeper than a one liner, so is Geralt.

    • Siren says:

      “but I don’t want to play an RPG where you can’t customize my character to play as a female.”

      As a female fan of the series this post bothers me. I can only come to the conclusion that the poster is both young and fairly new to RPGs (sorry Alice, no offense intended). Games where you customize your character are definitely great, but so are games with pre-written characters. To say that a game is unplayable because you can’t customize your character or make a female version of them is ridiculous. You can’t relate to a male character? What? I hate that kind of BS. You don’t need to pretend a character is you in order to relate to them. Most long term female gamer players would agree with this – despite the rubbish spouted by the “gender and games” people. That said, we definitely do need more female characters that are written properly, and Rhianna Pratchett’s rebooted Lara Croft should be interesting.

      Anyway. Alice. This is not really directed at you, it’s more at the stereotyping of female gamers. Those of us who have been around all along generally get mistaken to be males and don’t stand out. However, with the more vocal younger generation coming along… well, we were always misrepresented, but it’s somehow worse when it’s your own gender doing it.

      • CutieKnucklePie says:

        Well Siren but the problem has been lately that the cry for “characterization and development” as a justification for locked down characters has rendered characters that are white and male 99% of the time. Time and time again it’s the same and it’s just been an excuse for laziness and appealing to certain audiences exclusively, because it is assumed we women will end up playing male-centered narratives out of sheer lack of anything else. This is not just a problem with games, but it is extremely pronnounced in them.

      • Alice says:

        It’s not that a game is unplayable because it has a male protagonist, it’s the fact that nearly all games have male protagonists, and RPGs are one of few genres where you can customize your character. This is what draws me most to RPGs, and the lack of this is what puts me of the Witcher games.

        It’s not that I can’t relate to another male protagonist, it’s just that I don’t feel the motivation to do so again.

        For the record, I am over 30, although I don’t think that’s important.

        • Fluka says:

          Pretty much every time a main character is set in stone is another time I’m not going to get to play a woman, or even a nonwhite man. Well, say what you will for Geralt, at least he’s not a stubbly chinned brown haired man! His hair is white!

          • CutieKnucklePie says:

            Exactly. That’s how it’s been lately unfortunately, “story and character development” means “white man” 99% of the time. Same with the GTA series. It’s a cop-out.

            And yes, such great hair on that Geralt! :D

          • Lowbrow says:

            Part of the problem is that the “white” label lumps in most European and American cultures. 15th century Italian setting? White. The Romans, and the barbarians migrating in from the west? White. The Crusaders and the Muslim caliphates? White. Essentially everyone but Asia and Africa get lumped as white.

            Personally, I hope the desire for more cultural diversity doesn’t keep us from exploring “white” cultures that are ignored by gaming. Where’s my Byzantine-style RPG, or one set Catal Huyuk or early Mesopotamia?

    • CutieKnucklePie says:

      That’s my biggest problem with the Witcher games. They are not bad games or anything but locking me to play some brawny guy in a world of cardboard sexy women doesn’t entice me to enjoy the story at all. The controls also feel a bit too console-y for my taste but that’s another gripe.

      • TCM says:

        It’s an adaptation/sequel to a series of Polish novels started in the 80s, with the same protagonist.

        It’d be like asking for Harry Potter to be a black woman in the movie adaptations, because female and minority protagonists are underrepresented in film — your point might be good, but this isn’t the target to pick.

        • Fluka says:

          I still wish we’d gotten Donald Glover as a black Spiderman in the new movie…

          • Snargelfargen says:

            I’m not sure how well that would work. Glover is really really good at being, well. Donald Glover. His personality wouldn’t leave much room for Peter Parker.

            A spider-man movie based on the Miles Morales reboot would have been amazing though! Sadly, knowing Hollywood, a teenage romance between a black guy and and a white girl would never make it to theaters :-(

          • Fluka says:

            Fair enough (and that *would* be a cool, albeit unlikely adaptation). Last summer’s Spiderman is another example of a game/movie I didn’t play/see because my main response to it was “What? This again?” (And again, I hear it was a decent film…)

          • UpsilonCrux says:

            Danny Glover would be infinitely better

            Riggs! Riggs!!!

          • The Random One says:

            Man, comic books used to make “A WEIRD WHAT IF SCENARIO! WHAT IF SUPERMAN WAS ACTUALLY BEES? LIKE A BUNCH OF BEES TAPED TOGETHER INSIDE A MAN-SHAPED SUIT” issues all the time. What’s the problem with a black Spiderman? That’s also Danny Glover I guess?

        • CutieKnucklePie says:

          Good point, but what IS the target to pick then? Because if every male-centered narrative can have a justification like that, how is change to be effected? How do we make it so that the next time CDProjekt or any other company picks a good fantasy/sci fi series to make a game it involves good women characters which you can also play and not just auxiliary male fantasy sexpots for hetero guys to gawk at? How do we make it so that the next great game storyline doesn’t have to go to the focus-group approach of featuring a white male front and center 99% of the time? Remember that if no one calls attention to or fights against any kind of unfair skewing things don’t just right themselves by magic.

          • Fluka says:

            There’s always some excuse to have an unchangeable white male protagonist. We’re doing it because we’re adapting a previous source. We’re doing it because the society we invented from thin air is racist/sexist. We’re doing it because we wanted to explore (insert theme involving manliness). An individual character is not a problem – hey, some super-serious white dude characters are truly great and memorable! But when it happens over and over and over again you start to view the reasoning a bit differently…

          • Deadly Habit says:

            The key is picking your battles properly and presenting a compelling argument instead of just this shotgun blast target everything approach.
            Actually approach some of the writers of these companies and ask them about the process and how they write their characters.
            I saw a similar argument to Alice’s on the Game of Thrones RPG forums on why can’t I be a “strong independent female character?”
            Much like The Witcher it’s based on previous source material and story driven where the characters have back stories (not to mention Game of Thrones has very few female in power or independent roles.)
            The games have characters with deep backgrounds and a rich world history around them.
            Even with my favorite sandbox open world games like Daggerfall or Morrowind your avatar has nowhere near the depth as say Geralt in The Witcher, or Mors in Game of Thrones RPG.
            It also helps I can reach over to my bookshelf and read The Witcher novels or Game of Thrones novels and get even more involved in the worlds and their lore.

          • UpsilonCrux says:

            What DeadlyHabit said.

            Change will not be effected from forum caterwauling, but from positive action. Why not get in touch with some like-minded people and design a game with the changes desired. We live in the age of Kickstarter and crowdfunding, it has never been so possible for everyday people to effect change or implement new ideas/thinking into games. Do it!

            You’ve got the power. BABABOWBOW WOWWOW

          • Paroxysm says:

            I thought characters like Saskia in Witcher 2 were pretty excellent female roles. Plus arguably the most powerful characters in the game are women. They didn’t have the sleeping around and trading card collecting like in the first game (there a still a couple of sex scenes) and most of the characters are very well rounded. Aside from not playing a women at any point what major issues did you have with the female characters of Witcher 2 aside from the marketing?

          • D3xter says:

            Paroxysm: I never really got that complaint either, The Witcher cards were tastefully done erotic fantasy drawings that popped up after certain encounters, they were not “collectibles” as in not all of them could ever even Pop Up in the same play through and it wasn’t hinted anywhere that that was their purpose. Also none of them even showed anything more than a few risque exposed breasts: http://envydream.blogspot.de/2011/07/witcher-unlocked-sex-cards.html
            A lot of them didn’t even contain any nudity at all.

            The intention was probably to NOT show those often silly in-game cut scenes as pictured in your standard BioWare game and instead fade to black replacing it with that mechanic (considering the source material it was a part they had to deal with). But it seems to have backfired with the often overly sensitive gaming media in certain countries, despite them even having “censored” and “uncensored” versions of the same for US and International markets.

            So they reneged and did the “scenes” in Witcher 2, which are also rather tastefully done. I’ve also seen some people compare them to “HBO series” in the same breath they were trying to criticize them.
            I don’t think that’s a comparison they should be particularly ashamed of, and I don’t see any reason why Gaming shouldn’t have its HBO-like depiction of nudity either.

          • Paroxysm says:

            @D3xter: I pretty much agree with everything you wrote. I only brought it up because that was the standard criticism levelled against the Witcher and while I don’t agree with it I thought using it as a base level would be a good way to demonstrate how Witcher 2 keeps even further away from that kind of representation.

          • harbinger says:

            That KickStarter comment reminded me of this lol http://i.imgur.com/WEwWHYS.jpg

    • x1501 says:

      I want to play a Discworld game where I can turn Rincewind into a busty bikini-clad supermodel. I just don’t want to play an RPG where I can’t customize my character to be a female. Playing a scrawny, scarecrow-like robed dude with a raggedy attempt at a beard does not appeal to me on absolutely any level, regardless of how good the story or how open the world is.

      Also, I want a pony. A transsexual one.

  7. D3xter says:

    More Infos and the very first few images of the game from that GameInformer article here: http://gamingeverything.com/39177/witcher-3-confirmed-is-next-gen-featured-in-game-informer/

    1920×1080 Wallpaper without branding: http://www.abload.de/img/1360040450623fhuor.png

    From the stuff mentioned in that article these are the most concerning points 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 righteously smite them down if they give any room to BioWarian design 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. 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 and bland” style 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 design.

    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 influenced the design of the game in general a lot. The “Next Gen” consoles will likely offer a lot more “Open World” games 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.

    • f1x says:

      I understand the QTE hate, but I trust CDProjekt, they will bring something insteresting, and they say they are still deciding, so hopefully they won’t plague the game with slow-mo QTEs,

      About Open world, I think we should not be afraid about The Witcher turning into Skyrim, because they don’t need to cash on the success of Skyrim, The Witcher has its own style so they will do something that fits it. I think the objective of CDProjekt regarding open-world is more about not confining players to the same area but rather let them roam while completing the history

      • D3xter says:

        My understanding is that they are thinking about the fighting system similar to what it was in The Witcher (1), since Special Attacks had this QTE-Mechanic where you had to press buttons at specific timing to succeed and do a finisher or similar moves, which was rather bad.

        And I hope so and that it’s pure Marketing talk, but they mention both Skyrim and Dragon Age: Origins in the 2 Minute “Reveal” Trailer.

      • Henson says:

        I dunno. The QTEs in Witcher 2 were, by and large, pretty damn terrible.

    • Premium User Badge

      DrAmateurScience says:

      It’s a bit early to be jerking knees isn’t it?

    • Strabo says:

      Witcher 2 had QTE. Luckily you could dumb them down on the PC to basically ignore them.

    • tobecooper says:

      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.

      I thought the first Witcher was badly designed, and while maybe it didn’t involve much grind, it was full of fluff, filler and re-using the same locations (Chapters 1 & 4 could be cut out without losing much, chapters 2&3 took place in the same space. Almost every quest in the game was a fetch quest.)

      • Bhazor says:

        There was a lot of padding in the first game. The first two chapters (tutorial and the witch hunt) are pretty notorious as far as dull openings go.

      • Laurentius says:

        There was indeed some runing back and forth in Witcher but Chapter 4 to be cut off ? I’ve found truly amazing, so great change of setting an pace not to mention probably best unsettling locations in video game that doesn’t involves shaodws but is happaning in full sun (Fields ).

        • tobecooper says:

          I meant plot-wise. Chapter 4 stops the plot in order to do stuff. It’s basically one long sub-quest that slows down the slow pace even more. I actually did like the fields very much too.

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      Oozo says:

      The have a new engine, right?

      If they want to stick to the action-side of combat (which, I’m sure they do), why not take a lesson from “Dragon’s Dogma”? Seriously, I really think that the monster hunting could be interesting, given that it works well with the setting and that they actually want to make it part of the living world. (That is, having to investigate what people in villages are saying, and not just clicking on a person with a question marker floating above the head; monsters following day/night cycles etc.)

      But if you want to have big monsters, and fight them in style, the physicality of “Dragon’s Dogma” (with a little bit less of extravaganza) would be so much better than any QTEs. We’ll have to wait and see, I guess.

    • Bhazor says:

      - Moving more toward romance and away from shallow sexual encounters
      – That was one of the best things about the Witcher previously, god shall hopefully righteously smite them down if they give any room to BioWarian design in any way…

      Seriously? A fantastic maturely written RPG with leading edge technology and one of your favourite parts was watching the developers mash their action figures together to a stock porn moan track.

      • D3xter says:

        I think you might be confusing your games, this part: “A fantastic maturely written RPG with leading edge technology” rather fits The Witcher.
        This part: “watching the developers mash their action figures together” sounds like you are confusing it with a BioWare game like Dragon Age: Origins or Dragon Age 2.

        Having sex be a natural part of the world and not shying away from nudity where it fits because some people might not like it, similar to Game of Thrones with which they have likened their game, and not particularly making a big deal out of it or giving it important plot relevance is one of the things that would fit your first statement.

        Turning it into a bad dating simulator embedded into gameplay, where you have to give presents to characters and listen to wretched dialogue lines, to collecting “friendship points” with the sole purpose being goal-fulfillment for your character to be able to engage in “romantic dialogue”, sleeping with and watching some ingame-cutscenes showing characters cuddling together seems to be the exact opposite.
        It’s teen drama with a fanbase seemingly obsessed with certain characters, calling them things like “waifu”: http://www.somethingawful.com/d/weekend-web/bioware-social-forums.php

        And BioWare has abided by it so far, even coining terms like “player-sexual”. But one of their main writers seems to finally be contemplating that maybe they’re doing it wrong, although I don’t see him happening upon great insights: http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2013-01-14-more-romance-in-bioware-games-or-less-writer-discusses

    • Skhalt says:

      I can’t really understand why there is this huge competition between games as to which one will deliver us the biggest landmass. What it means in practicality is that you’ll spend even more time running around (as opposed to doing interesting stuff), or that the campaign will be so long that when you finished it you’ll never want to play it again.

  8. The Dark One says:

    This is what I want the most- a Bethesda-style open world environment, but with the character and depth that Obsidian or CD Project can bring.

    • Premium User Badge

      Lambchops says:

      I’m still fear that you can have one or the other but never the twain shall meet. Or at least if they do it’ll be an encounter punctuated by lots of awkward silences and an embarrassed parting.

      However I will be happy to be proved wrong and y’know, maybe these guys will be the one to do it.

      • Premium User Badge

        Saul says:

        Yeah, I agree. I’ve never seen an open world game that also has a story that engages me, so I am concerned. I like my games with direction!

        • Advanced Assault Hippo says:

          Well, there’s still plenty of other games being made that have tight direction. Not all games should conform to this.

          There are endless hordes of us who actually prefer having our own direction in open-world games. So it’s good to spread it around and appease all tastes.

          • Pony Canyon says:

            Very true that there are other directed narratives out there, but there are also plenty of other sandbox games out there too. The point is that this is likely to be a big departure in game style from The Witcher 2. Anyone that was a fan of The Witcher 2 has every right to be cautious with what they have planned for #3.

          • Advanced Assault Hippo says:

            Well, I’m a fan of Witcher2 and I don’t feel cautious at all. I see it as the devs trying something new for the series.

            Plus, Witcher1+2 will always be there for those who want a more linear/structured Witcher fix. (Plus tons of other RPGs being released)

          • Pony Canyon says:

            …And there’s plenty of other sandbox games out there too. Why do we need to sacrifice one of the better narrative RPGs for a sandbox one? Stellar Duck nails it, a little below. I really do enjoy sandbox games, but what really made the Witcher games click for me so far is the directed narrative. And strength of narrative pretty much always suffers in sandbox games.

            I’m all for CDP trying something new – good on them – it just seems they are likely sacrificing the best point of the original games in order to try it. I’d much rather they create their own IP or tackle a new one for the sandbox project, as I’d much like The Witcher to continue its tale with the same level of narrative intensity.

          • Advanced Assault Hippo says:

            Because the devs want to aim higher? Because they want to try something that hasn’t been done before?

            Perhaps the tight story of Witchers1+2 were tight for a reason…and our protagonist has moved on and is now living the life of a Witcher day-to-day. Perhaps the story from here on isn’t *meant* to be as focused.

            And for every Witcher fan who wants them to change nothing and stick to the same formula, they’ll be just as many of us licking our lips at the potential an open-world Witcher game has.

          • Pony Canyon says:

            Well, we’ve both been pretty kind so far in saying a sandbox game would be a new idea. It obviously isn’t, it’s just new ground for them.

          • Advanced Assault Hippo says:

            Well….what makes you think they’re *not* trying to aim higher?

            If the devs agreed with you that a better Witcher 3 would arise from a more scripted game, same as before, then that’s what they would be making.

            Of course their intentions are to aim higher for the series, regardless of whether you agree with them.

          • Advanced Assault Hippo says:

            No, you’ve extrapolated a lot of that yourself. I merely said the devs wanted to aim higher – if they thought going open-world wasn’t progress they wouldn’t be doing it.

    • Xardas Kane says:

      It’s a match made in heaven. However I am sort of skeptical that it’s even possible, considering the nature of open-world games and how it doesn’t usually work well with a more story-heavy approach. But if anyone can pull it off, it’s these guys. I LOVES YA, CD PROJECT!

    • Advanced Assault Hippo says:

      Man-hours. It’s all about man-hours (or ‘dev-hours’ to be more PC).

      The more project dev-hours you spend on making a huge amazing open-world, the less you can spend on tight characterisation, plot, highly-detailed questing and so on. And vice-versa.

      A hyper-polished Skyrim-type game would need to be a fraction of the size to match some people’s expectations of a tight, polished RPG. But then that would miss the whole point of being huge open-world…etc.

      And round it goes. I’ve yet to see an attempt that comes anywhere near to cracking this problem. I imagine Witcher3 will generally have all the same “drawbacks”.

      It always comes down to balance. And there’ll be endless compromises in the game design, as there *has* to be when making a huge world to explore.

  9. derella says:

    I really want CDP to make their own fantasy IP. I liked the Witcher 2 because it was a gorgeous and engaging RPG. Having to play as Geralt made it less enjoyable for me. At the very least, I hope the next game is called “A Witcher 4″ so I can make my own character. :P

  10. sharkh20 says:

    It’s not as good as Witcher 2?

  11. Premium User Badge

    Stellar Duck says:

    I’m not really sure I want an open world Witcher game. As shown by every Bethesda game (save possibly the Terminator one), it greatly dilutes the story when I can just go pissing about anywhere. For me, TW2 was a fresh breath of air in its tight narrative and structure. I’m greatly worried that that will be lost in chasing after the mythological “open world”.

    • Paroxysm says:

      I’m very worried about the open world thing. I like very few open world games and almost no open world RPG’s. The Witcher 2 was so incredibly focussed and rich in detail I don’t know how I can see them getting that to work in an open world environment. If it were anything like Skyrim I would be beyond sad… also extremely bored.

      • Bhazor says:

        I certainly didn’t like the comment “Everybody loves open world games”. That sounds very much like a publisher lead decision. It sounds like they’re chasing a market instead of naturally evolving their game.

        The monster hunt system also sounds like a horrible throwback to the Witcherboards in the first game.

    • Skhalt says:

      I’m baffled at how they can’t see that by definition your story becomes a bit… disjointed when you put it in an open world.
      You’ve got to go to this place for this very important reason. On the way you are attacked by baddies, then you take a detour to admire that neat waterfall, then you come across ruins and you decide to explore them, and maybe you’ll come across a caravan of merchants and accompany them to that little village on the way, etc etc etc…
      It’s all very good in itself, but when you arrive at your primary destination you will have completely forgotten why the hell you were going there in the first place. How can your story not suffer when potentially hours of gameplay could come in between your plot points?

      • Bhazor says:

        Well one potential is what I like to think of as the “detective approach”. Instead of a central narrative you have a set of leads.

        So say the game starts with a murder and the story is about finding the murderer. You could go with the police and solve it like a CID would or you could join the criminal underworld and try to find out the murderer that way. Now in an open world both narratives could exist side by side with you able to drop from one to the other. So you’ll be a cop about to arrest a suspect but then they turn around and offer to get you into the gang. Or you might be with the underworld and then rat them out to the police and carry on the investigation as a cop with your new witnesses. Add a half dozen criss crossing narratives like this and you can quickly fill a whole country where going off the beaten path means picking up a different lead for a time. In this case you might wander into a buried ruin and find out about a squirrel plot which could play into a half dozen different leads.

        It would be a ton of work but it does mean going off the beaten path still takes you along the prescribed story.

        • Slazer says:

          If you read the books, nearly the whole Gerald-part of the last two was his way south to search for Ciri with tons of stuff happening on the way, while still keeping his focus with some story related dialoges, nightmares, scenes (e.g. finding a village destroyed by the people you try to save somebody from). In TESgames you know where to go, and if you go somewhere else neither you nor anyone else really seems to care about it. Just make sure you keep reminding the player what his real target is!

          Still love having the “Do you have a Watership/GECK” dialogue option with almost EVERY single NPC in Fallout 1&2

    • Pony Canyon says:

      Yep. And I say this as someone who loves sandbox games. Sandbox is all well and great, but it’s a huge departure from the style of The Witcher 2. Not saying it can’t work, just saying we’re allowed to be nervous.

      • Premium User Badge

        Stellar Duck says:

        I like sandboxy games as well but they’re *not* conducive to a well told story. I couldn’t tell you the first thing about the stories in any TES game if you held a gun to my head. (Though to be fair: Bethesda do make some dreadful stories not worth remembering in the first place)

        I think one way that kinda sort of worked was New Vegas where Obsidian for the first part of the game soft gated the map with murder wasps and death claws to make sure the player at least went in the direction the game needed her to.

        But really, this is problems GMs in pen and paper games have been wrestling with since forever. Player freedom does not mesh well with narrative needs in general and I kinda doubt it even can. I’m not saying TW3 will suck, but I think there is reason to be worried that they will lose what’s so good about the games in chasing some airy goal of player freedom and open world structure.

  12. AndyBumpkin says:

    BEARDFACE!

    Seriously though, couldn’t get into the first two games (could tell they were good, just no patience on my part) but would certainly try another Witcher game.

  13. f1x says:

    0:25

    Most fabulous hair in game industry

    • Donjo says:

      As soon as I saw that bouffant it was all I could think about. It really took my attention away from the rest of the video. Maybe it was a dare or he lost a bet?

      • Gira says:

        Not sure you know what a bouffant is.

      • f1x says:

        I felt the same, they keep talking about the combat, but my head could only think about that marvelous stream of hair

        must be that I’m jealous because I’m almost bald

  14. Xardas Kane says:

    I haven’t touched a video game for two and a half months now. I bought a bunch of games during the Steam sales, games I know I (would) love, but every day when I got back home I didn’t feel like playing at all.

    Then I read this article. Now I can’t wait to finish work and start playing The Witcher 2 all over again. It’s just that good.

  15. Premium User Badge

    Anthile says:

    The Witcher 3 is going to be better.

  16. mrmalodor says:

    WITCHERFACE

  17. Premium User Badge

    Tunips says:

    I really should finish The Witcher 1. An ‘Abridged Edition’ mod would be really handy.

    • Juan Carlo says:

      Witcher 1 is a great game, but you could probably cut all of Chapter 4 and not miss much. Just when you get to the good side of town and things start picking up and getting politically tense—-you are suddenly whisked away to the country side and the game turns into a more whimsical and generic fantasy RPG for a bit. That section kind of threw me when I first played it as I felt like someone had just dropped “King’s Quest” into what was up to that point more “Game of Thrones.”

      One of Witcher 2’s best features is that it’s much shorter, but has branching storylines so it rewards playing it more than once.

      • Premium User Badge

        Oozo says:

        Interesting. While I do agree that Chapter 4 is not really well integrated into the rest of the game (in fact, it’s a rupture of the narrative flow), it somehow was my favourite part.

        While the city and the swamps could have been in any other Fantasy RPG, the village and penisula in Chapter 4 felt like the one place that was really rooted in Slavic mythology. There are a lot of unique creatures there, and, best of all, their existence is interwoven with the existence of the people living around them in a way that is not true so much for, say, the city.

        I mean, I can very well see how that part could have been cut out in the greater scheme of things — but on a microscale, it was really a lovely part of the world to spend time in. (And it’s what I think of when I try to imagine a blueprint for a good integration of the monster hunting-part of the third game — people really having problems with the monsters around them that amount to more than just: “It’s trying to kill us. Kill it!”)

        But yeah, YMMV, obviously.

        • Laurentius says:

          I loved Chapter 4 and it has its meaning too, giving us a glimpse of what would be like to Gerlat living with Shauni and Alvin in the countryside but he knows deep inside that he is not cut for such life. Also Fields- fantastic locations.

          • Premium User Badge

            Oozo says:

            Thanks for pointing that out. It actually does make (narrative) sense as a locus amoenus that Geralt will never be free to live in — a dreamscape, almost. And yeah, the fields were a wonderful location indeed.

  18. Soulstrider says:

    Damn, big politics and the world story driven gameplay were the two things I most liked in Witcher, I really didn’t want it too become open-world.

  19. Spoon Of Doom says:

    Holy shit, I haven’t even started The Witcher 2. To be honest, I haven’t even finished the first one yet. God dammit, Steam sales and backlog!

  20. Stevostin says:

    “It’s hard not to think Elder Scrolls, and then harder still not to think about how Witcher 2′s many excellent aspects really could outdo Skyrim if CDP get it right”

    I really wonder if it’s possible to get Skyrim’s magic if you can’t design & pick your character. I was pleasantly surprised to see i could get hook with Mass Effect kind of RPG, but even there Shepard was my Shepard.

    The fact that you really play Gerard – I am not sure if it’s even useful to make open world. Also, apart from being ugly looking and potion reliant (Lance Armstrong has lost his titles with that, it’s big time for gamedesigner to realise how potions buff are a turn off for some gamers) , TW2 was crippled by a lore that was forced into player’s head as if he was supposed to know all about it. As I didn’t, it was one quest element after the other that was probably smart & cool for the book’s fan but didn’t ring any bell to me.

    There were tons of good idea in TW2 and it’s a shame it was so below the quality bar for RPG that it’s one of the rare one I couldn’t get myself to complete. While I much prefer Skyrim to Bioware’s stuff, I think TW3 should rather focus on kicking Bioware’s ass – or directly get rid of Gerard, let us pick character, and, let’s be crazy, offer us an immersive game (ie with FPV).

    • Svant says:

      TW2 is about a gazillion times more immersive than skyrims themepark. Potion reliant? O.o What are you talking about? TW2 hardly uses potions at all unless you go full alchemist build but even then potions are just the “buffs”. The game is not high fantasy where everyone is a mage and chucks spells all over and elves prance around in the forest.

      The Witcher did just about everything better than Bioware has ever done (especially the newer games), the fact that they had Geralt to build from let them actually focus on the story, the choices, the consequences of those choices instead of trying to make something that will fit as well as possible with 50 different characters… i.e. having no character at all.

      Yes there is some lore that you probably should know before starting TW2, but hey it is the sequel to a game so ofcourse they will expect you to know some of the stuff from previous games. But even so I did not really know anything about the lore when i first played The Witcher 2 but after the prelude i knew everything i needed to and played one of the most amazing RPGs ever made. Just the fact that the story has so many elements that are tied to your choices, like which hub you arrive in the second part of the game. Then how certain things in part 3 has a lot of different meanings depending on which path you took and how certain things made no sense because you had no idea who XXX was because you took a certain path.

      Brilliant.

  21. lordfrikk says:

    Open world non-linear beard: we have a contestant for the best new genre.

  22. phenom_x8 says:

    Reading the news and watching the trailer makes me trully excited,hyped and breezing throughout my body. This, I think, the only game that makes me feels just like that. No other game have done it!

  23. Stupoider says:

    As long as the similarities between Skyrim and TW3 are restricted to being open world, it’ll be fine. Skyrim’s problems seeping into TW3 would be catastrophic.

    • Laurentius says:

      But number of sold copies of the game seeping to rival Bethesda’s mountain wouldn’t be catastophic for the developer.

  24. Dowr says:

    I’d argue Witcher 3’s biggest leap forward from it’s predecessors is diffidently Geralt’s beard.

  25. Premium User Badge

    Ninja Dodo says:

    Did anyone else read that as “Non-linear beard”? Somehow, this is the best feature.

    [edit: ah, someone already did]

  26. Laurentius says:

    Geralt’s beard is very uncanonical, i don’t like this.

    • Michael Fogg says:

      The books don’t mention his facial hair or even his hair in general. Or anything about his appearance, save for the white hair, scars and a lined tired face. It’s up to the reader’s imagination. Or the devs who adapt him.

      • Laurentius says:

        Actually, they do, Geralt very quickly asks Dandalion for razor after Vilgefortz beating and forced treatment form Dryads, meaning he is not fond of and used to sporting facial hair.

  27. Svant says:

    I am scared with the open world stuff, monster hunting side-quests etc. Open world games tend to have all these “gamey” things where the game feels more like an amusement park than a living involving world. Some games are good this way, Far Cry 3 for example, or GTA. The Witcher? Not so much, its the story, the details, the immersion that makes the witcher so bloody good.

    So I really really hope they do not loose track of this and turn this into a bland romp around the countryside with 2347823 dungeons that look exactly the same, with the same monsters and the same boring loot. Make stuff that is interesting, then you do not need a gazillion of them.

  28. Thoric says:

    Gotta love how ambitious CD Projekt are. Instead of getting stuck just trying to replicate their last success with minor changes, they constantly keep pushing themselves into new territory. From their great debut, through making their own engine and going multiplatform for TW2 to now taking on not one, but two AAA open world RPG projects. All of this without losing their financial and creative independence, or their care for their customers.

    Hope they keep at it for many, many years.

  29. Premium User Badge

    psepho says:

    Warning bells! Can’t remember who or where (Gamasutra?) but there was a very good article a short while back about the different kinds of RPG and the danger of conflating them under the umbrella of ‘action RPGs’. One of the points that I really agreed with was the way that a narrative RPG, for example, hits very different buttons from a dungeon crawler or a sandbox.

    I hope CDProjekt haven’t made the mistake of watering down their core offering in terms of engaging, non-linear narrative by trying to suck in a bit of the audience from Skyrim’s sandbox. Of course, crossover and rule-bending can give rise to innovative greatness — fingers crossed — but it is a tricky path and putting on Skyrim’s clothes might just make Geralt look like a prat…

    (Typing on phone otherwise I would track down said article and post a link.)

  30. oceantorment says:

    People take Geralt as a macho shallow character, but there a few character traits that are cool on his personality like realism, he don’t believe on this ideology and patriotism bullshit, he just want to have sex with beautiful women, drink a beer with his friends, he don’t try to preach how anybody should live and isn’t a power hungry freak like the kings and most sorcerers on the witcher world are.

  31. Snargelfargen says:

    CDProjekt is getting more amibtious with each game.

  32. Redkid says:

    Did anyone else notice that Geralt is carrying the steel sword, while his follower is carrying the silver sword?

  33. pakoito says:

    RPGCodex probably is up in arms right now.

  34. Snoken says:

    I have a bad feeling about this too but not because of the video or anything of the stuff that was mentioned before but because of the fact that I deeply and profoundly hated the controls and the retarded camera angles of the second Witcher game. I loved the first game, played it through twice just to try and find all of the gear, the perspective was great and the actual fighting was quite easy to handle after a while. I even read some of the books and saw the whole first season of the polish TV-series. But then came the second game with its consolish game-padish touch. I tried playing it for about two hours then I gave up never to touch it again. The story was quite alright (saw most of it while watching my roommate play) but in my opinion the game was ruined because of the absolutely loathsome controls. And no, I will not ever touch a game-pad to play a game like that. If they don’t make the controls a bit more like Skyrim’s even though they were not the best I’ve seen yet either I will plain and simply not buy this game.

    • UpsilonCrux says:

      Controls a bit more like Skyrim??!

      You sir, are certified.

      • Snoken says:

        I did not realize that it was that easy to feed the trolls nowadays. RPS readers usually are a bit more polite than that. Just for the record I never said the controls of Skyrim were good but at least they weren’t as dreadful ass those from the Witcher 2. If I wanted to play an action oriented game with melee combos and stuff like that I would play some Assassin’s Creed because at least these guys know more or less what they are doing. In an RPG I could care less about crap like that!

  35. Aedrill says:

    OK, among all this knee-jerking “anti-sexism” BS people missed quite important detail. Geralt’s companion is blond, so it’s not Triss (not Yennefer either), so who might it be? Ciri? I think we’ll meet ger in this game, because why not, but I also believe it’s not her on this graphic. Who the hell is she?!

  36. Megakoresh says:

    Amazzzzzing! I hope RE3 will also have support for advanced facial animations, it was pretty much the only large weakness of Witcher 2.

  37. ukpanik says:

    This will be the final Witcher game, according to EDGE.

  38. F3ck says:

    Welcomed news, indeed…

    …everyone does like open world games. Maybe some don’t…likely the same lot who, as children, couldn’t wait for recess to be over…to get back to their seat…back in line.

    People might whine about various Bethesda games and carry on about there being ‘nothing to do’ out there with no one shoving you down a corridor…but these games are almost universally appealing since we all play them differently, they’re different games to each of us.

    I suppose if all that freedom made me feel so uncomfortable…I might just stick closely to the main quest and map markers and shut the fuck up.

    • Shooop says:

      What people don’t like about open-world games are their narrative usually suffers greatly because the developers have to not only tell you a story but also make sure you can go around and explore.

      But if anyone can pull this off and satisfy both requirements it’s CD Projek.

  39. Shooop says:

    Dreams do come true.