The Witcher 3 To Be CD Projekt Red’s Final Witcher Game

By John Walker on February 6th, 2013 at 10:00 am.

A few more details have emerged on The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, without having to read the scans of some store-owned magazine or other to which they’ve inanely restricted their promotional material. (Oh, gaming industry, you are infinitely idiotic.) Wild Hunt will be CDPR’s last ever Witcher game, they’ve declared, but this time in an open world “larger than any other in modern RPG history”.

30 times bigger than The Witcher 2, the emphasis here really does seem to be on an open, freely explorable massive world. We’re promised woods, lakes, mountains, cites and villages, all at our disposal, all offering quests and adventures. Although whether access to them all will be restricted by the stupidest opening section of a game imaginable has yet to be announced.

CD Projekt Red’s bossman Adam Badowski emphasises the point further, in his press release puff:

“Imagine playing a dark fantasy game with the same great non-linear story as in the previous Witcher titles, but now told in a world you can explore freely with no artificial boundaries. The war-ravaged world is so huge that to reach farther places you will need to ride a horse or sail a boat to get there. A world where your choices have truly epic consequences.”

So, yes, we’ve heard such claims all before, from every RPG developer since the dawn of time. They’re not original words. But I rather get the sneaking suspicion that this time they may actually be true. And of course there’s the obvious comparison with The Elder Scrolls to draw – it’ll be interesting to see if they handle such scope in the same way.

It’ll be on their freshly revealed REDengine 3, and they promise an improved combat system, and “no Quick Time Events”, so that’s good. The only hint toward any actual purpose to it all so far is that Geralt will be rescuing loved ones, and ultimately tying up the story of the witch hunter. Badowski emphasises that this really is the final chapter for the character, and the Witcher series. “We believe that we should end the series on a high note. Technology has progressed to where we can finally tell the story the way we want, with the visuals we want, in the world we imagined. This will be the ultimate fantasy RPG experience, and while we’re hardly out of stories to tell, we believe it’s time for us to look to new worlds and new horizons to keep pushing the boundaries of what we can create.”

Obviously they’re promising that it’ll be accessible to people who didn’t wade through the tortuous tedium of the first game’s first ten hours, and those who were so incredibly pissed off by the second game’s moronic beginning that they swore to never play it for another second. There’s no mention at this point about collectable tits. But it’s coming as soon as next year, which is impressively speedy for a game of the scale they’re describing. Sadly we don’t get to show you screenshots of it, because they’re stuck behind a paywall of a website for a magazine owned by a shop that sells games because everything is stupid. (We could post the watermarked versions like every other site will, but then their editor might start threatening to sue our readers again.)

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154 Comments »

  1. GallonOfAlan says:

    Doing a Google image search for them is a waste of your time and will yield absolutely no results of interest.

  2. Skeletor68 says:

    Witcher 1 is definitely worth getting through the first few hours for those who are on the fence. It may require a little more FAQ perusal than most games though as sometimes you won’t realise you should have really taken such and such potion before fighting a dude. Great game though!

    • int says:

      I like the game but the quest log is frustrating and I hate the vast distances you have to run to get from A to B. This is a game which would have benefited from fast travel.

    • Juan Carlo says:

      Both Witcher 1 and Witcher 2 are awesome. Some of my favorite stuff of the past few years.

      Games journalists bitch about them, though, because on the whole they prefer well polished mediocrity with no quirks to more rough, wild, stuff that reaches farther (even if it’s not as smooth). The Witcher series falls into the later category.

      Anyhow, Witcher 2 was by far the best game of 2011 (and its opening sequence was awesome), even though the gaming press anointed “Deus Ex: HR,”—a game that didin’t reach very far, but was polished to the point of blandness and thus was perfectly palatable.

      • Xardas Kane says:

        The first one has a Metacritic score of 81. the second – 88, so come again? It was more than warmly recieved by critics.

        Also, Human Revolution was a fantastic game. Saying that it was so polished it was bland is as illogical as it is stupid.

        I really don’t understand the modern gamer, who desperately needs to compare everything and shout left and right that this game and that game is dumbed down, consolized, generic etc.

        • Juan Carlo says:

          I was mostly replying to all of Walker’s whining in the OP about Witcher 1 being “tedious” and people not making it past the “horrible” opening section of “Witcher 2.”

          But more than that, I do think there is a tendency in games journalism to focus on individual elements which may be a bit rough at the expense of the overall picture—which usually results in the more agreeably bland, yet polished games, getting praised to the heavens, while the more wildly ambitious games which have a few flaws get buried. I’d never say Witcher 2 was ignored or anything, but I do get confused over how much certain other less ambitious games were praised mainly for offering a smoother experience. Perhaps that just comes with the territory of being a “critic” in the “evaluative” mode (rather than say, a “critic” in the broader, more literary, type mode). As an evaluative critic you are going to have to point out a game’s flaws–so it’s not unexpected perhaps, but personally I’ve always rated ambition way higher than degree of polish. To the point where I will over look and put up with a whole hell of a lot if I see something in a game that I think is really special.

          And Human Revolution wasn’t a bad game–like I said it was very “agreeable” and very “polished” (apart for, I guess, the boss fights–which I personally didn’t mind, I guess, as they at least broke up the monotony of crawling through vents and whacking people on the back of the head so they could sleep for hours without waking up–which is the silliest conceit that I wish stealth games would abandon already. I liked the boss fights as they forced you to think on your feet and redo your strategy on the fly in an entirely unexpected and challenging way–which is something games almost never do because critics will complain). It’s just the sort of game that I played then more or less forgot about week later. It didn’t do anything that was in any way new or surprising.

          • G_Man_007 says:

            I see nothing tedious or moronic about either game. I liked the self contained areas of the first game (true, the boss fight at the end of the first area outside Visima was a pain, but you had to prepare for it, and develop a strategy, and the area was full of character, especially when day became night), and I fail to see what was wrong with the opening of the second game Mr Walker. Do you mean the events leading up to the first village where you chose in what order to tell the story? What’s moronic about that? It was one of the best games of that year (they both were for their respective years), and the first one was rightly praised for its take on the fantasy trope, its mechanics, the consequences of decision, refreshing the genre, and CDProjekt’s constant patching and improvement that took a game I began playing which was rough, buggy but charming into a stable and thoroughly enjoyable build.

          • mazzratazz says:

            I seem to recall around the release there was a lot of whining about the opening section mostly due to the difficulty of the combat, and the fact there wasn’t any sort of tutorial to help you on your way.

            /trollmode on
            So the casuals didn’t like it, basically : ]
            /trollmode off

          • Shooop says:

            There were the doors and ladders in the second Witcher. The way you operated those were pretty moronic.

      • IRiver says:

        Agreed. Also, I have no idea why people are bashing the original Witcher…

        Witcher had a fantastic atmosphere (thanks to a fantastic OST – which is Way better than anything those big names (Jeremy Soul, Inon Zur, etc) produced lately ), an interesting storyline, a very interesing crafting system, and it was a very long game also. AND I LIKED THOSE COLLECTABLE CARDS.

        Witcher 2 had a TOP notch, mature storyline (put same on all Bio land products), interesting quests, amazing visuals.

        So come on CDPR, show the world HOW to conclude *khmm, BIO, khmm* the modern history greatest RPG trilogy!

        • mazzratazz says:

          I agree about the Witcher 1 bashing being largely unfounded. The first act meant things started slowly, sure, but it built the atmosphere brilliantly and helped establish the setting. It was a bit fetch-questy and arguably the weakest part of the game, but mostly just if you wanted to do every sidequest. I personally didn’t have a problem with it lacking any sort of fast-travel option because the area wasn’t all that huge, and it was a fantastic place to wander around in because of the ambient detail and the soundtrack, as you say.

        • Archonsod says:

          It had a plot that felt like it was written by an 8 year old trying to do ‘edgy dark fantasy’, the worst combat system ever attempted and from what I can gather a “witcher” is some kind of mutated humanoid who operates as a postman in medieval times while occasionally duffing up what passed for chavs in those days.

          The second improved on the combat a fair bit (it’s actually alright post-patch), but the story was lacklustre and the initial tutorial bit just tedious. They also incorporated quicktime events, which while you could turn them off does not excuse them from the mandatory death sentence such a crime against humanity carries. Talking about patches, it’s still buggy as hell in some places (most annoyingly in some quest triggers, nothing puts you off completing the game quicker than finding out you need to restart the entire chapter because some script or other misfired).

          Mind you, I liked the dice game in both of them. Probably spent more time playing that than the actual main game.

        • Hauskamies says:

          So. My experience with the Witcher series is this: I started with the second one and I love it to death, probably my favorite rpg of all time. Then I think, ok, let’s try the first one then. First the combat hit me like a brick wall. It took me actually half a year of conditioning that it’s not as bad as it feels like. Now I got over the fact that it’s not as good as the combat in the second game and I’ve just started the fourth chapter. The thing is though, every single thing that the Witcher does, the second does better. And it feels so frustrating that I have to deal with all the stupid things that were fixed. The time I’ve spent running to fireplaces and/or finding an npc that allow you to meditate is ridiculous. That time could’ve been spent playing the game. And all these “kill x number of y and bring their item z” quests are m(mo)assively boring. The writing of this game is nowhere near as stellar as it is in the second game and Geralt’s tendency to screw anything that has two legs and move is facepalm worthy. The locations have a copy-pasted feel when the second game looked handcrafted and very detailed everywhere. Items and equipment are very bland and I like the potions of the second game much better.

          And the length of the game is misleading since so much time is spent running around the same places(oh how I learned to hate the swamp, it really didn’t need to return in the third chapter).

          I make it sound worse than it is but it’s just so hard to enjoy the game when you play it after the second game.

  3. MuscleHorse says:

    Maybe it’s about time that I finally started on these.
    I can never get past the opening sections of The Witcher. The voice-acting/script is beyond awful, but I imagine there must be something there what with how everyone goes on about them.

    • Arcanon says:

      I’m told the Witcher 1′s VA was even worse before the Enhanced Edition. It still isn’t a perfect game, but I was able to look past the rough edges since I really liked the setting and lore. The fact that I played it after Dragon Age 2 might also explain why I digged it so much.

      Also, sick soundtrack!

    • Cinek says:

      Just play W2. It’s brilliant game. So much better then the first one, in every respect. You won’t regret skipping W1.

      • MuscleHorse says:

        I think I may do this. I’m just something of a completest at heart and if I go onto enjoy number 2, I’ll have a nagging feeling I’m missing out.

        • Cinek says:

          I plaid W2 first, without bothering with first one, and only once I felt like if I missed something – when meeting a courier who gave me some letter. It was reference to one of characters in W1 that never was explained in W2. But other than that? W1 could never be made and I’d still find the game amazing.

          I tried W1 after finishing the W2 and… never been more disappointed by any other game. It’s like going from one of epic, worthwhile games into something worth score not much more than 5/10. Went more-or-less till the middle of the game hoping that it gets better, but still… same crap. Few quests were decent, but it felt like Skyrim main storyline was more fun then whole W1 (and that one was horrible too).

          • Arcanon says:

            W1 introduces you to what Witchers are, how they are made and why, the social tension between humans and non-humans, the political situation, what Nilfgaard is, the characters, the Wild Hunt, and many other details about the world, devilered in books and conversation.

            Mass Effect 1 had clunky combat too, but you wouldn’t play Mass Effect 2 without it….right?

          • Cinek says:

            W1 introduces you to what Witchers are, how they are made and why, the social tension between humans and non-humans, the political situation, what Nilfgaard is, the characters, the Wild Hunt, and many other details about the world” – W2 does exactly the same. It explains it differently, but it explain that too. So it’s not like you’ll miss something important. Perhaps you’ll get the information bit later, not right off the introduction, but you will get it.

          • derella says:

            I tried to play W1 when it came out, but it was horrible so I never made it past the first few hours. When I played W2, I never felt like I missed out on anything important.

          • Droniac says:

            “Mass Effect 1 had clunky combat too, but you wouldn’t play Mass Effect 2 without it….right?”

            The difference here is that Mass Effect 1 can easily be argued to be the better game of the two, whereas there is absolutely no way to argue that The Witcher 1 is better than The Witcher 2. As much as I like the original Witcher game and consider it one of the best RPGs of all-time, it’s improved upon by its successor in quite literally every possible way.

            That’s certainly not true for Mass Effect 2, which had inferior RPG elements, less freedom of movement, FAR inferior storytelling, important-character-overkill-syndrome, nothing actually happening until the very end, Jack, etc. Sure the combat and graphics were better, but on the whole I’d certainly consider Mass Effect 1 to be the better game.

            Also, whereas playing ME1 is absolutely essential for understanding what’s going on in ME2, you don’t actually need to play Witcher 1 to understand what’s going on in Witcher 2. It’d add a lot of flavor and more context to be sure, but it’s not at all required. You would be missing out on one of the best RPGs ever made though, which is a shame.

      • Arcanon says:

        I do not recommend that.

        You would miss all the story and lore of the world, Witcher 2 has some intricate political schemes that wouldn’t make much sense without experiencing W1.

        Also, imported saves.

        • Cinek says:

          “You would miss all the story and lore of the world” – no, you are wrong. You miss that even if you play W1. It changes next to nothing. If you want to know story and lore you need to read the books. Otherwise you just fool yourself into thinking you know something. W1, at least to the part I plaid it, explains next to nothing. Equally well you may skip it completely and save both: time and nerves.
          Reading the books changes everything though.

          • Arcanon says:

            I’m told only 1 book has been translated in english, and not very well.
            If you are Polish and a book fan I understand where you are coming from, but since I can’t get my hands on the books where I live, the W1 is the closest thing I have to an introduction to the world.
            The W2 made sense to you because you knew thee books already, imagine playing it without any information at all.

          • Cinek says:

            Nope. Not at all. Read from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Witcher#Translations

          • Arcanon says:

            So there’s a short story collection, “The Last Wish”, and a novel “Blood of Elves”.

            Let’s change subject for a minute, I want to read those before the Witcher 3 hits the stores, which book should I read first to get the best experience? (if I can find them)

          • Cinek says:

            How about reading bit more then one paragraph from wiki? It’s much more then 2 books of short stories.
            The order:
            Short stories, placed before main saga:
            1. The Last Wish
            2. Sword of Destiny
            Main Witcher Saga:
            1. Blood of Elves
            2. Times of Contempt
            3. Baptism of Fire
            4. The Swallow’s Tower
            5. Lady of the Lake

          • Werthead says:

            Only one of the collections and the first novel have been translated into English, is what he presumably means. The second novel is supposed to be out this year, but there’s been a major legal snafu between the publishers, the author and the translator that is taking forever to unravel.

            There are fan translations available, but by all accounts their quality can be variable.

          • allsorts46 says:

            I just want to say that the fan translations are well worth it. I bought the only officially translated book (Blood of Elves) for Kindle, but on finding that the rest of them are not done yet and have a history of being ‘coming soon’ for basically forever, I gave the fan translations a go.

            The quality certainly does vary a lot, even from one chapter to the next – but beyond a few minutes of adjustment on finishing a particularly well-written chapter and starting on a relatively bad one, it’s not so bad as to ruin the immersion for me, I still got very into the story. So far I’ve finished all of the second book (Times of Contempt) and am halfway through the third (Baptism of Fire), and already I realise how much I missed or didn’t understand about events and characters from the game, particularly the second game (it has a lot of familiar characters, far more than the first).

            I’d recommend giving them a try.

          • gmcleod says:

            I’ve read the two translated ones, waiting on the next one to get published.

            The Last Wish comes first, and it’s fantastic. The first chapter was adapted into the intro movie of The Witcher 1, which is great to watch after you’ve read it.

    • Schadenfreude says:

      The English VO in Witcher 1 is pretty bad (even with the improved EE). I always just set the language to Polish with English subtitles. Makes it far more interesting – like playing through some strange foreign movie :D

      • Cinek says:

        Well, polish VO is rather bad too. I mean: I seen worse, but besides 2 or 3 people, all the others leave quite a lot to ask for (that said – I’m from Poland so don’t need subtitles nor ever will know the “feeling” you talk about ;) )

      • DrAmateurScience says:

        I actually tried that last night. Didn’t stick for me, had to change it back.

      • sonson says:

        I really enjoy playing a game which has regional British accents for a change. In One you have voice actors from Yorkshrie and the North East, as well as Scotland, and in Two you have Northern Irish, Welsh, Irish,and it adds so much to the character of the races and individuals in question.

        • Wizlah says:

          Irish no longer a regional British accent. Not since 1949.

          • Llewyn says:

            1922. (Or arguably 1919).

          • sonson says:

            I know, just didn’t think politics would come into a throw away comments post though that was maybe naive. Just to clarify I do not think that Britain includes Ireland, or that Terry Wogan is British even though he is on BBC Radio 2

          • Schadenfreude says:

            Or arguably the end of The Free State in 1937 when Ireland left the Commonwealth. :D

            Though if we’re speaking geographically and being extra pedantic, Ireland is still one of the British Isles so ‘British Regional Accent’ wouldn’t necessarily be that wrong.

        • Llewyn says:

          Don’t know about politics, but you can count on RPS comment threads for pedantry as much as for puns. What tickled me was that the pedant was so wrong, unless he considers Australian to still be a regional British accent.

          Edit: Argh, so many Reply buttons :-(

          • Hmm-Hmm. says:

            You could click them all, although I don’t think the end-result would be positive. Better to just pick one at random (or possibly the last one).

          • Llewyn says:

            It’s more “picking the right one” that’s problematic. Was so much easier (though admittedly even more confusing) before the nested threads!

    • sonson says:

      They’re very different. Witcher 2 is the better game, and one the best games going, but Witcher 1 is still excellent in it’s own right. It’s clunky and ragged and foreign but so is STALKER. And that’s part of it’s charm.

      The second game is about politics and war primarily, whereas the first is about social and cultural space, myth and legend, how the two combine and how war and politics impact on that. It’s as much about exploration and soaking up the environment as it is following plotlines. Witcher 2 has that but on a fare more controlled degree, Witcher 1 is quite a bit bigger in terms of it’s environment and feels like the frontiers of something very different to usual fantasy fare, even now. It’s worth playing a game which does those things well given that there aren’t many games which even try and explore such themes.

      It’s probably a love or hate experience, but if you want to play a game where the world and society is bigger and more complex than the protagonist there are few better.

      Play it with these texture mods to make it prettier http://www.moddb.com/mods/the-witcher-texturen-mod/downloads/the-witcher-texturen-mod, http://www.moddb.com/mods/witchercharactermodels/downloads/the-witcher-hi-res-character-models,

      • G_Man_007 says:

        There. You’ve hit on it. I love the atmosphere and values of the East European based Witcher and Stalker series, and there might be some bias from me on that, but you show me a game that might be a little buggy, but which has as much appeal as any of the Witcher or Stalker games.

  4. Arcanon says:

    So, no prequel with angry teen Gerald becoming a witcher…..good xD

  5. NecroKnight says:

    How is the beginning of the second game moronic? I though it was rather good.

    • Drake Sigar says:

      Ditto, the siege was great. Maybe he’s reffering to the hasty tutorial?

      • Barberetti says:

        I really enjoyed the siege as well, and don’t even remember a tutorial. Win win for me!

        After reading some more, I’m assuming there was a change to the start of the game at some point after release. Glad I missed it.

      • NathanH says:

        The siege was a lot of fun for me, but perhaps because I had been following the development and seen videos of how you were supposed to play.

      • Necroscope says:

        When the game was first released [witcher 2] the supposed [intro?] tutorial section, the dragon attack etc, was insanely difficult, so much so, I was sweating whilst playing :) After patch, less sweaty

    • Saul says:

      I believe the moronic part was that you could play it out of order, which meant you missed it teaching things you really needed to know because OH S**T THERE”S A BLOODY GREAT DRAGON AFTER YOU! At least, that was what happened to me.

      Also – it started off really hard, and then got a lot easier, which was weird.

    • ran93r says:

      I think I recall it being quite difficult, certainly in comparison to the rest of the game. You went in unskilled and unprepared to have your arse handed to you with a combat system modified from the first game. I know I died countless times in one of the opening scenarios. The words gang and bang spring to mind and not the fun kind.

    • Mr Roker says:

      At release and time of review it was bad – still the siege but much, much harder and unforgiving. They fixed it with the first patch, before even the big 2.0 patch I think.

    • Henson says:

      The entire siege of the La Valettes was a fantastic set piece, but a very bad tutorial. So long as you played the tutorial addendum before the game proper, the prologue of Witcher 2 really is wonderfully paced.

      Oh, and being able to tell the story out of order was kinda dumb.

  6. DrAmateurScience says:

    But will we be able to roll lustily?

  7. Cinek says:

    Thank god for no QTEs! – hated them in Witcher 2, and hated Combat in Witcher 1 (which was, basically, one gigantic endless QTE sequence).
    I’m glad they finally came back to senses and plan to get rid of this shit.

  8. Drake Sigar says:

    Next year? That doesn’t seem possible.

    • Duffin says:

      I’m sure I remember reading they had a small team working on TW3 before TW2 even shipped in April 2011. So 2014 isn’t that much of a stretch?

  9. Mario Figueiredo says:

    Unless they have been working on this for a veeeery long time, how they can possible manage to build the biggest open world game to date, all filled with quests and “interesting stuff” by next year?

    As the industry evolved enough that it can finally adopt slavery?

    • Low Life says:

      Surely they’ve been at it for almost two years already, as Witcher 2 was released in May 2011. Story/concept guys even earlier, since they aren’t really all that necessary at the late stages of development. As a comparison, from what I’ve gathered Skyrim development was started properly after Fallout 3 was released in October 2008 (some conceptualization done earlier) and the game got finished in November 2011, so a 3-year development cycle doesn’t seem impossible at all.

    • luukdeman111 says:

      I don’t get your logic… Almost every game gets announced approximately a year before release…. But that doesn’t mean they haven’t worked on it before that…

      • Mario Figueiredo says:

        True, true. I’m just too excited. I guess I need to find something to fault or I’m going to have an heart attack right here!

        • Grygus says:

          That doesn’t even make sense! You are a gamer posting in a forum. This means you are never happy. Ever.

          2013 Internet Bitch-Fest Form

          Choose any or all:

          [ ] Graphics are last generation
          [ ] Graphics are too demanding, I am not upgrading my PC for this
          [ ] Company is evil because they charge money
          [ ] Company is evil because the game is free but nothing is ever really free
          [ ] Company is evil because there is DLC, which is cut content
          [ ] Company is evil because there is no DLC, which means they abandoned their product
          [ ] Game is too easy unless you are some kind of casual player
          [ ] Game is too hard unless you live in your mom’s basement
          [ ] Game is taking too long to develop, I cannot wait to play it
          [ ] Game was rushed out for the holidays
          [ ] Game is available on console and is therefore a terrible port
          [ ] Game is not available on console, meaning a smaller budget and less attention
          [ ] Game design is a bullet list of genre-specific tropes
          [ ] Game does not fit into advertised genre
          [ ] Story is boring and stupid and immature and too short
          [ ] Developer plays it safe, sequel is just more of the same
          [ ] Developer ruins everything, has no idea what made earlier games great
          [ ] Developer has no creativity at all, and is just regurgitating nostalgia onto cyber-linoleum
          [ ] Developer has new take, meaning there is no requirement to use the franchise name at all
          [ ] Too many good games at once, where was this piece of crap in 2005 when I needed it
          [ ] Everything made with more than 8 bits sucks, and this is no exception
          [ ] Game seems good but too many people like it, so I hate it

  10. Saul says:

    I’m quite concerned about the open world, given that there’s never been an open world game that managed to integrate story effectively. I really don’t want this to turn into Witcher’s Creed-Scrolls, because neither of those series do anything for me.

    • saginatio says:

      I am worried about that too, but someone here eased my mind with F:NV example. It was open world game with nice deep story, quests and nonlinearity. They could also use the trick from Fallout1 and 2, that is: Story loaded cities with rather independent quests and a few random encounters when traveling between them.

  11. RedViv says:

    Well, the only big open world RPG developer has set a standard there – we need stupid unskippable introduction tutorials that really don’t tell you all that much, considering the time they take. The people must love those.

  12. WoundedBum says:

    I played TW2 when it came out, and have only been through it once. How different is since it came out? I’ve been meaning to do a second run, but I didn’t’ through a combination of other games/them introducing new stuff all the time, so I thought I’d wait.

    • Cinek says:

      Some new quests, new modes, bit of changes and improvements to the game. Think of it like random EA game after all DLCs are released. So: Rather worth a try, especially because your choices change the world so much that it’s worth re-playing even without downloading all of the patches!

    • Duffin says:

      It’s not massively different. There is a tutorial mode. There is a new quest in Act 1, and a rather long quest in Act 3 to beef out what was a really short act. There is some improvement to the lighting aswell that stops everybody from looking luminous.

      • WoundedBum says:

        Ah yeah, I remember there was a bug when I played where you could see light glow through wall too. Maybe I’ll try ubersampling too!

    • Mr Roker says:

      The whole second act is different depending on whether you go with Rourke or the Elf guy, it’s worth a second playthrough. I did after the last big patch. It did add a fair bit to it, but nothing glaring because i can’t remember a specific detail from it.

      • Duffin says:

        Yeh, both versions of act two are great and have a very different feel to them. Infact there are quite large plot points that you miss if you only play one version.

  13. saginatio says:

    here is some site with screens:

    http://www.ps3site.pl/jest-pierwsza-galeria-z-trzeciego-wiedzmina/142052

    Btw, Ive really enjoyed opening sequence in TW2. Although I also think collectibles in TW1 are non-offensive, so I’m rather in a minority ( honestly, excluding sexism aspect, those achievements are one of the best. I forget about most unlocks in games in a hour, whereas some of TW1 cards stick in my memory 5 years after finishing the game. Those were pretty nicely drawn. Another game that has nice unlockable graphics is Soul Reaver, those got stuck in my mind too. )

  14. Reinou says:

    Sometimes I wish every IP was limited to maximum 3 games.

  15. faelnor says:

    Obviously they’re promising that it’ll be accessible to people who didn’t wade through the tortuous tedium of the first game’s first ten hours, and those who were so incredibly pissed off by the second game’s moronic beginning that they swore to never play it for another second.

    Reading this irritates me. I acknowledge that everyone’s tastes are different, but this comes off as a statement of fact from one of the most famous (if not the most famous) gaming blogs, implying that this is an universally shared opinion.

    I found the first, slow hours of The Witcher to be perfect to build up my immersion, revealing the world, the tone and the characters. It manages to establish a (tenuous) bond between the different witchers and a feeling of home, a place which will never be the same after the events that unfold. I thought it was vital in order to get the ball rolling.

    I am not sure what Mr. Walker means by the opening scene of The Witcher 2. If he means the annoying on-rails tutorial, then yes, it was a bit moronic. But I’m afraid that he means the naked Triss scene, with an implied accusation of sexism or gratuitous sex. Quite frankly, this scene was absolutely fine considering the story and game. A trope also used in film, starting a story just after a couple wakes up in bed is a powerful way to establish some important relationships and help understand the tone of their subsequent interactions without having to write forced dialogue: that kind of visual cues for immersion is exactly what I love in what CDP Red are doing.

    • John Walker says:

      I mean the opening scene, so no, not that one. The stupid awful bit with some dragon attacking you for no given reason where the controls don’t work properly and I died 93402 times then ragequit forever.

      And the first 10 hours of Witcher 1 are *abysmal*.

      • Juan Carlo says:

        I was a bit impatient with the first 10 hours of the Witcher the first time I played it, but it was much better the second time. It’s that very rare video game where its characters are deep and interesting enough that you can pick up on nuances of their actions just by watching them behave and react to things a second time.

        Plus, people just have to have a bit more patience with the first chapter or two. It’s a bit long, but it’s definitely playing the long game in terms of setting up characters and plot points that will pay off in big ways later in the game. When you play it the first time the first chapter seems kind of weirdly episodic, but on replaying it you realize how interwoven all the story elements are. The Witcher 1 isn’t really about instant gratification, it’s more like a good TV series….you usually have to put up with at least 4 or 5 episodes at the start before characters start to click with you and the world starts to make sense.

        Which is part of what I love about the Witcher series, like a good HBO TV show or something, they just begin in media res, dump you into the middle of a complicated world, and leave you to figure stuff out on your own without beating you over the head by underlining character moments or plot points like most video games do. They are part of a very small list of RPGs that don’t treat the player like idiots.

        Plus, that opening segment of Witcher 2 has been patched like 50 times since the game’s release so it’s not exactly fair to complain about it anymore. I actually replayed it recently and it’s pretty simple now as the controls in the dragon section were simplified and they added giant “DO THIS NOW!” signs everywhere.

      • vegaswanderer says:

        I played the game (normal difficulty) on day one and didn’t die even once on the dragon section neither have any problem with the controls. Also… how is the dragon attack random? It was hinted all the way since you wake up and talk with Triss and even if you felt it was random, that doesn’t make the introduction moronic. It’s ok to have different opinions on stuff but stating opinions as if they were facts makes you look just as a temperamental rage kid and not like the adult i assume you are. I’d be careful with that.

        Also, no, the first hours of the Witcher 1 weren’t abysmal. One can argue that they were slow paced or difficult but… abysmal is, again, very categorical. I happened to enjoy them ( and i assume i wasn’t the only one here). Try to remmember this next time you rage about something. Yours is only one more opinion and you shouldn’t assume them as the “the facto truth”, even (specially) if you write in a well known journalistic website.

    • Eukatheude says:

      Showing two characters in bed is perfectly fine. Having a long pan on Triss’s whole body is kinda gratuitous.

    • Yachmenev says:

      I feel the same about those parts. As much as I (most times) enjoy the writing of John Walker and want this site to be something different then other gaming sites, I think our dear John is pushing it a bit sometimes. There is a bit to much of “this is how it really is” instead of “this is how I feel it is”, and the tone is often a bit to angry for my liking. It was the same with the texts about The Cave.

      I of course want’s honest opinions, but perhaps written in a style that don’t feel like a random angry forum posts when it’s about the things the writer didn’t like.

      That said, I do like RPS and John Walkers texts in general, and it continues to be my favorite gaming site. Mostly good stuff, and some stuff from time to time I feel can be done in a different way.

      Edit: That said, I do agree that the controls during the dragon attack in The Witcher 2 are pretty bad.

  16. derella says:

    As someone who isn’t crazy about the IP, I am thrilled that it’s going to be the last Witcher game. CDPR seem like a really talented bunch, and the world needs more RPG developers. Hopefully this means they will make their own IP, or at least license one that doesn’t have a set protagonist.

  17. Megakoresh says:

    Beginning of Witcher 2 was stupid? Riiiiiight….

    Also on the subject of speed: development of Witcher 3 started BEFORE the initial release of Witcher 2, so they have been on it for more than 2 years now. Considering the fact that their engine does not need many improvements aside from facial animations and handling of certain post-process effects, I would say they have plenty of time to make Witcher 3 up to their standards and beyond.

    I just hope they really do properly tie up facial animations and that they also tie up relationships with characters. That was Witcher 2′s let down, because behind the intrigues and agendas, the actual character personalities and your involvement with them as well as their development were limited to say the least. With shift towards a more personal story this time, it’s only fair that this aspect gets their full attention.

  18. Dowr says:

    I’ve always wanted a good Elder Scrolls game, now I may finally get one from Poland.

    But when they say “No loading screens” does this also translate to entering towns? Or will the lack of loading screens only be for the actual world?

  19. Crosmando says:

    Well, knocking off Bethsoft as king of the “open-world RPG” mountain shouldn’t be difficult, considering that Bethesda are completely incompetent, can’t code/program for shit, and only manage to even put out games by throwing millions upon millions at projects until finally a polished turd rolls off the conveyor belt. Not to mention spending more money on marketing games than actually developing them.

  20. Uthred says:

    The tone of this piece is bizarrely angry. Also is there any need for hyperbole like “the stupidest opening section of a game imaginable”? The opening to the Witcher 2 was great, it seems some players found it a little difficult but that was patched in very short order and is very far from “the stupidest opening section of a game imaginable”

    • Megakoresh says:

      Yeah, seems someone got butthurt about CDP restricting their info to those idiots at gameinformer (I like how they paste ads about OTHER games in the MIDDLE of their Witcher 3 coverage). Stupid a decision it may be, it’s a responsibility of good gaming coverage press to write an article without hyperbole and false information.

      • Mario Figueiredo says:

        Actually I took issue at the fact they made an exclusive to a subscribing magazine too. And I’m a reader of RPS. I honestly think it’s in his quality as a gamer, not as an RPS writer, that John was annoyed too.

        I think he was gentle in fact. I personally feel like saying Fuck You CDP! And fuck you Game informer! And fuck the horse you rode on!

        • Megakoresh says:

          And that is why he gets to write these articles and not you. And even then devaluing a game because it’s publisher made a marketing decision you disagree with is unprofessional to say the least.

      • John Walker says:

        Um, yeah – the people who got “butthurt” as you so utterly delightfully put it are, well, everyone. Restricting promotional materials for games is stupid, and I condemn it every time I see it.

        And just so you know for the future, it’s the responsibility of RPS to write however we please.

        • Supahewok says:

          No offense meant to you John, but is it really that different from RPS getting an exclusive interview? (other than the possible quality of the recipient of such information, of course)

          Not trying to be pedantic, I’m just curious.

          • Skeez says:

            Seems like you’re playing devil’s advocate here, because honestly I don’t know any gamer who likes the whole restricted promotional content madness. I think John voiced the opinion of pretty much every RPS reader in this write-up.

      • derella says:

        People read RPS because the writers have opinions, rather than just copying/pasting press releases and other site’s content. Unless this is the first article you’ve read on this site, you should know that by now. I suspect you’re just “butthurt” because the opinion expressed doesn’t line up with your own, and you know, that’s unprofessional.

  21. neolith says:

    “collectable tits” – boy, is that a thing these days? I need to get out more… :D

  22. Yachmenev says:

    Did people actually have a problem with the beginning of The Witcher 2? I thought it was a pretty nice way to tell the story. Enjoyed it.

    • Grygus says:

      I think it depends on when you played it. At launch it was possible to end up fighting a dragon with no idea how the combat worked, why the dragon was attacking, or what the hell was going on in general. Very annoying. I am told that they patched all this, so it’s possible that later players have no idea what I’m talking about.

  23. marcauron says:

    If they would be EA you would like every other site, on the internet saying:”Yes Sir!” and You would be painfully aware what blacklisting is, and even more painfully aware of the profesionalism required for
    interview exclussivity. Face it there is no PSP licker in their game, and with their size they are probably going in order.Game Informer is bigger.
    So the recent false political correctness that is happening here, and the sudden forced edginess on this particular article makes me wonder if it’s about RPG’s or about a increased mainstream appeal as a site. It used to be different.
    “There’s no mention at this point about collectable tits”, well that unfortunnate, these days where 50kg models in movies and recently games are beating the crap out of seasoned battlehardened veterans,paired with entertaining moves of martial arts knowledge acquired in their local Mc Dojo, tits collectable or otherwise are becoming saggier and saggier , because pretty tits are not normal, they are discriminating against teh woman,and hand painted tits in artworks, heaven forbid games became art one day, are fap material for the unwashed male masses. Francisco Goya was a pervert.

    • Dozer says:

      What “recent forced edginess”? RPS had always written this way. I don’t think it’s forced. As for the desirability of “exclusives” like this one, I’d be surprised if RPS would agree to be the vendor ofexclusive previews legally forbidden to other news sites. Have you ever seen an RPS watermark on a screenshot?

    • Grygus says:

      I think you posted this on the wrong site.

    • ffordesoon says:

      I thought you men were going your own way.

      By which I mean, to a site where you can rant about the unfairness of karate breasts or whatever the hell you were on about.

  24. nld says:

    What actually bothers me on those screenshots is the setting. Wasn’t Geralt supposed to set out for Nilfgaard to rescue Yen and stuff? Also, looming invasion on their part? Isn’t Nilfgaard kinda to the south/southeast? I was expecting something more tropical or desert-ish, not Grim and Frostbitten North with viking-looking dudes. This looks like goddamn Skyrim to me! (and it’s not a good thing, really)

    • Fomorian1988 says:

      South of the kingdoms of the Nordlings (where the previous games took place) there are also (mentioned in the scans) The Skellige Islands, the natives of which are basically Norse with Celtic language. The islands are presented here, on this map: http://www.free.of.pl/s/sidh/M_wiedzb.gif

      As you can see, Nilfgaard is insanely far to the south from where the previous games took place, so I assume Geralt and company is going to start the game on Skellige, trying to get a place on one of the Islanders’ ships.

  25. GameCat says:

    I don’t get it, first act in Witcher 1 was probably my fauvorite. Small village with demonic hellhounds spawning at night – perfect setting. I liked it more than marshes or most of city quests.

    Didn’t played second game or get past third act in W1 though.

    • BubuIIC says:

      I didn’t find it all that bad, but I liked the city and marshes a lot more later. It dragged quite a lot at the end, but that’s probably because I’m a completionist and I spend far too long trudging back and forth and back and forth these 2 paths… But the setting was definitely interesting, yes. (E: Only talking about the first chapter here, found the rest of the game much better in that regard)

      Also what’s wrong with the voice acting? I actually really liked it, especially, as someone pointed out above, the different accents for all those characters. Yet I have read at different places that the voice acting is supposed to be really horrible.

      • Hanban says:

        The marshes made me quit playing the game and not pick it up ever again. There was something about collecting something and I couldn’t find where that something was and the journal was no help. In the end there was just too much running around so I decided I’d just leave it.

      • GameCat says:

        I don’t know. I’m from Poland so I only listened to Polish dialogues. Well, it’s not bad at all, I generaly don’t like Polish dubbing at all (in movies and in games), but here I could stand it. Maybe because Witcher is strongly based on myths of Slavic countries etc so it feels more natural for me.
        But I think that Gothic 1 & 2 with expansion have much better Polish voices.

        PS. Speaking of dubbing – we have awesome translation of first Stalker – original Russian dubbing with Polish lector (single voice) over it. It creates even better atmosphere than original.

    • tobecooper says:

      or get past third act in W1 though.

      That’s one of the big problems with that game, it overstays its welcome a lot. If I didn’t want to have a save state for W2, I would give up W1 very early. It was definitely a slog to get through. And, funnily enough they kept all the good stuff (new weapons, armor, locations, bosses, so many bosses) for the last chapter. So there’s no sense of progression (enemies are a joke from the start). Its a very badly designed game, in my opinion.

      My problem with game’s beginning was that there was some tension and immediacy created in the prologue, which all have gone to hell with the ‘helping the assholes of the village,’ of chapter 1. I liked the world, but I didn’t like the people and wanted to leave them and just go forward. But you can’t, you can’t bribe the guard, instead you must go to a priest, who needs you to walk through the whole map, and help three guys who want you to go through the whole map, and then it doesn’t matter anyway. Gah.

  26. Svant says:

    The open world is so scary… I just hope that they do not feel they need to put in 10 cities, 500 dungeons, 200 ruins etc because that ruins the whole point of having a large world. If you stumble on a ancient-never-before-opened ruin behind every bush the world is not really big… it is very very very very small.

    Just make all the things you put in the world interesting, instead of bland and everywhere.

  27. 4th Dimension says:

    I loved Witcher 1, BUT Witcher 2 lost me on two counts
    1. Hardcore hardware requirments. I mean I know my computer is a bit old but not being able to achieve more than 15+ FPS is appaling. Also this makes all other controls feel sluggish which because of my second point is the dealbreaker.
    2. It’s more of an action game than an RPG, meaning your reflexes count the most and since I was never a twitch gamer AND I had aforementioned optimization problems that made it a deal breaker to me. After all I was having problems killing god damned fetch quest bosses (those insect queens or something in the woods in the starting area).

    I would really like to play it, but if I have to restart every fight couple of times no matter how weak enemies are because I died cos I couldn’t contorl my character in STARTING area, that my friends is not FUN at ALL. Maybe if they optimize the graphics or I get a much better rig and find some sort of super duper easy mode.

  28. sonofsanta says:

    My sadness is as infinite as Horace, His Ursine Majesty :(

    Can’t think of any games I’ve loved more than the Witcher games in recent years. I’ve enjoyed others more, I’ve appreciated others more, but The Witcher games were flawed, ambitious, different in scope and setting; their imperfections are what make them genuinely loveable for me.

    Not sure how to feel about the open world aspect either – I’m not sure that the best parts of open world design (emergent gameplay) will fit in with the best points of CDPR’s work, namely the incredible setting and story. Witcher 2 was perfectly fine in it’s chaptered content, and I feel no desire to see them move on from that.

    Any news on imported saves from TW2 yet?

    I didn’t have much of a problem with TW2′s opening, either, other than getting burnt to death a lot then ganged up on in that one early fight repeatedly. It was, at least, an interesting opening, unlike TW1′s castle section – deeply, deeply dull.

    (I went on a bit there, sorry. I love The Witcher, what can I say.)

  29. sinister agent says:

    I hope they mean that. Not because I dislike them or the Witcher (haven’t played any of them), but because I respect any creator savvy and strong-willed enough to stop at the right time, before their work disappears down the drain or up its own arsehole. And I hate it when developers say “last ever” and then five years later start milking it again with some “reboot” horseshit.

    CD Projekt seem like a company with respect for their audience though, so I doubt they’ll fall prey to that.

  30. wodin says:

    I like the sound of the Monster Hunter quests which is really what you are anyway..but I bet they are similar to Skyrims side quests..same thing rinse and repeat…just a different monster each time..

    The other issue with the Witcher is character progression..now I do love Geralt as a character but when he starts every game as a weakling after kicking ass and tooled right up in the previous games or is supposed to be some bad ass Monster Hunter it makes no sense at the start he is nothing special due to the need for level ups etc. This sort of breaks immersion with the story. It’s fine with custom created characters who are starting out on their journey but a little immersion killing when we are given a supposedly tough character who can’t do anything special as his is “level 1″. There is no way around it I know..but maybe abit hard to swallow when were at the 3rd game in the series..Unless he has a bang on his head and become useless at everything again..

    • GameCat says:

      Easy solution – make almost all enemies from pervious games possible to kill at the very beginning and then add some new, really tough ones.
      I want RPG where you DOESN’T start as a weak peasant who struggles to kill some rats and then after couple of hours he can slay dragons with rusty spoon, blindfolded and with one hand tied to his back. :x
      Im-m-m-mersion breaker!

  31. Michael Fogg says:

    I am slightly concerned by the fact that TW3 will be set in Skellige, which is Sapkowski’s medieval fantasy Scandinavia, since it will undoubtedly bear much resemblence to another fantasy land… the land of sweetrolls, horned helmets and guards who used to be adventurers. Ther frost giant in those pics looks like a borderline rip-off of Skyrim’s mammoth herders.

    • Havok9120 says:

      The islands are relatively tiny in the Witcher universe. I’d be stunned if all (or even most) of the game takes place there.

      That said, Scandinavian pirates several centuries more advanced than Vikings and armed with a bit of magic would be pretty scary. That and the whole “we crushed the Imperial Navy” thing.

  32. mehteh says:

    Cant wait! Another deep RPG for the PC and its smart and mature audience as opposed to every other AAA game that are console focus these days

  33. Raiyan 1.0 says:

    Seeing the amount of vitriol thrown at Walker’s direction, have people seriously forgotten how moronic W2′s beginning was? Steep learning curve (that eases off way too much later), throwing tough battles at you while you may have missed the tutorial playing the beginning stories out of sequence, and that goddamned dragon. Ugh.

    • G_Man_007 says:

      I can appreciate your experience, but that’s not how it was for me, I enjoyed it all. Maybe I just wasn’t jarred by that beginning the way you were.

    • Necroscope says:

      Yeah, on first release the intro sections were disproportionately tough to play causing me to sweat! ha !

    • Havok9120 says:

      I enjoyed it greatly on release. Somehow, I had absolutely no trouble with the dragon on my first playthrough (though it’s completely demolished me every time I’ve gone back to the game since then). I loved the Prologue.

  34. Hoaxfish says:

    http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2013-02-06-screenshots-of-next-gen-rpg-the-witcher-3

    Update: This is a bit more believable. Turns out that when CDPR studio head Adam Badowski said The Witcher 3 would be the last Witcher game, what he really meant was it would be the last game of this trilogy.

  35. Brun says:

    FAP FAP FAP FAP FAP.

    That’s all I hear about the Witcher 3, but color me skeptical. Making a good open-world game means having a minimalist narrative, and I’m not sure CDPR is capable of maintaining the strong narrative backdrop people have come to expect from games with “The Witcher” in the title while delivering a solid sandbox experience.

    I’m not saying it can’t be a good game, but I think that people are (bewilderingly) already elevating the hype and their own expectations to unreasonable levels, and as such are setting themselves up for disappointment.

    • G_Man_007 says:

      I hyped the fuck out of Witcher 2, and it was better than I expected, so…

      • Brun says:

        Given that a year later I’m still working my way through it, I wasn’t terribly impressed. It was certainly a huge improvement over the original Witcher, but there you are. Making it open-world is probably the best thing they could do to it as I greatly prefer my RPGs to be sandboxy rather than story-driven with a very few notable exceptions (Baldur’s Gate). I’m just not convinced they can deliver as open-world and strong narrative are conflicting design goals that can’t just be erased by technological improvements.

        • Ruffian says:

          how is this even possible? You must be hip to some crazy good other games or something. (or work a lot I suppose) The Witcher 2 was one of those games I devoured in a day or two, personally.

          • Brun says:

            The story was difficult to get into because I never finished The Witcher, mostly due to its incredible tedium and the ratio of boring detective work to action in a given play session (hint: TOO MUCH DETECTIVE WORK). Having to run back and forth across a big city to do “monster research” while constantly getting lost due to the crappy map was mind-numbing. As such when TW2 started I had no clue what was going on.

            A few other minor complaints turned me off to the game last April, the biggest being the uselessness of the map, which was one of the few things that was not improved drastically from TW1. It’s seriously atrocious for trying to navigate and makes doing any kind of quest a huge headache.

  36. Jason Moyer says:

    “ultimately tying up the story of the witch hunter”

    A witch hunter?

  37. Fox89 says:

    What was wrong with the introduction to Witcher 2? The stuff with Geralt retelling the story of the battle, right? I didn’t think there was anything particularly obnoxious about that. o.O

    Also lol Game Informer.

  38. montorsi says:

    Strange, I actually much preferred the opening hours of TW1 to the god awful swamp section, which put a stop to that playthrough and brought all subsequent playthrough attempts to a screeching halt. Thus I found TW2′s narrative utterly impenetrable because they did not bother to explain or provide background for any of the players or places (which I assume I would have learned about had I made it past Chapter Two in TW1), so they may as well have been speaking Russian.

    Hopefully they have learned to tell a self-contained, coherent story in TW3 but I am not holding my breath here.

  39. Ruffian says:

    ah, whatever. the witcher 2 was so good I forgot about the difficulty of the intro basically as soon as i had left it.

  40. Numerical says:

    I played the beginning of TW2, and that’s about as far as I got before they released the Giant Honking 10GB Patch Edition that you’re required to have before you can run the game. Then my ISP looked at me like Tommy Lee Jones looks up at Garrett Dillahunt from reading a newspaper in No Country for Old Men. There it sits to this day, unplayed. I sincerely hope this TW3 does no such feeble requirement and assumes we all have T1 internet connections with no bandwidth caps.

  41. ffordesoon says:

    I love it when people screech “You just didn’t get it!” about the first Witcher game. Because, let’s be honest, it’s an 8/10 game trapped in the body of a 6/10, and the first ten hours are so terrible that they’re actually depressing. There are a lot of great ideas there, but they are implemented horribly. And even when the game gets going in the second act that should’ve been the first act, there are still plenty of things about it that suck. Like the swamp. God, the swamp.

    Look, I love Alpha Protocol to death and think it’s a diamond in the rough, but I totally get it if someone can’t get far enough into the rough to see the diamond, because there is so much that is so rough about that thing. So when people gush over Witcher 1 and act like someone is stupid for not getting it, I both completely understand their frustration and find it asinine. Because W1, like many of the best RPGs, is a game you love in spite of its myriad flaws – and yet admitting that you bounced right off the first game is tantamount to admitting you’re mentally challenged in some corners of the internet. There is a great game in there, but it requires a whole lot of effort, a great deal of patience, and no small amount of squinting to find it.

    Witcher 2, on the other hand, is awesome from the very beginning. I don’t know what John’s on about.

  42. laddyman says:

    If memory serves correctly, the “quick time” events in Witcher 2 were more like “you have 5 seconds to press this button on the gamepad” events.

  43. alphacz says:

    A few comments. I thought the prologue for TW2 was fantastically done. I love how it was presented; you are telling the story of what happened vs just running through it. I almost thought it was worth it to just play through that in terms of enjoyment and the value received for what I paid on Steam. I think, if you liked the Dragon Age 1 origin stories (especially the Dwarf Noble in my opinion) you’d like the Witcher 2 prologue.

    Second, in terms of this game being bigger than Skyrim… why, why, why compare it to Skyrim when you should be comparing it to the Witcher 1 and 2? I have always been an Elder Scrolls fan, and own every game since Arena (yes, even Battlespire), but to be honest, I like the Witcher 1 and 2 more then them. Part of the reason I enjoy them more is the ATMOSPHERE. Everything feels so alive – for me, they are the closest that have felt Ultima 7ish to me in a long time (Gothic 2 come sort of close too). People have real schedules (everyone ending up in different places at different parts of the day, etc), Taverns are done extraordinarily well (better than any other rpg I’ve played), the artwork is phenomenal, towns/castles are gritty and real, and the game is actually quite challenging. This is the case too in Skyrim, but in a smaller scale. What I mean by that, is that while Skyrim is less “linear” in terms of what you can do in it and technically “bigger”, it just feels more “empty” than the Witcher 2. I could play for several hours in Skyrim, but then feel like, “ug, what have I been doing the past 4 hours?”. Whereas with the Witcher I always feel amped when I’m done; can’t wait to play more, and think about the story/environment throughout the day, etc.

    Remember in the Witcher 1 where you are paddling up to the swamp outside of Vizima and the camera is moving around with fog everywhere with the creepy music? That’s what I’m talking about. That sort of stuff is everywhere in the Witcher games. It is, in my opinion, absent in Skyrim with the exception of very small doses.

    Plus, there are tons of quests, great main storyline(s), and a really intriguing political setup that keeps things interesting. If you think about it, in a way, it is actually less linear than Skyrim due to the amount of choices you can make that affect the world around you. I also really liked the dice poker, fistfighting, arm wrestling, etc. And I actually liked the combat in TW1 and 2, even though they were different.

    To be fair, I think Skyrim did an amazing job with its dungeons, and landscaping, and I really enjoyed the quests, combat, and magic. I just liked the atmosphere in the Witcher more than all of that.

    My main concern is that the third game will head the route of Skyrim and end up feeling spread too thin. Instead of focusing on several concentrated areas that feel really alive, it will go to a massive RPG map, and feel slightly empty. Maybe they won’t run into this problem; they’ve succeeded in everything they’ve done so far. But I really hope the atmosphere, concentrated story, lore, alchemy, crafting, politics, all of it stay and are enhanced in the best way possible and don’t end up being spread too thin.

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