The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Is A Pretty, Pretty Thing

By John Walker on January 30th, 2014 at 9:00 am.

Hands up who wants to see three new screenshots from The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt?… Okay, and now hands up who wants to go to the fairground!… Oh, weird. New The Witcher 3 screenshots it is then, which you’ll see below. They’re really very pretty and all, but, well, we were going to get candyfloss.

They appear alongside the news that CD Projekt Red have launched “a completely redesigned forum experience”. (I’m sorry, it’s their words. Don’t blame me. And at least they didn’t call it “a forum solution”.) Which is to say, they’ve relaunched the forums. They, um, look like forums to me. Fortunately, these screenshots just continue the, “No, no way – no way this is in game. This is in game? Are you SURE this is in game? Wow, this IS in game!” that has trailed development of this project. Click on them to see them as if far nearer to your face.

The open world RPG is making massive promises, and we’ve this sneaking suspicion it’s going to keep them. There’s still no release date, but it’s hopefully going to be at some point this year.

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77 Comments »

  1. MajorManiac says:

    Now thats what I call allot of pixels.

  2. BobbyDylan says:

    So

    Much

    Want!!!

  3. revan says:

    My computer is crying and wailing “I need an upgrade!!! Upgrade me NOW!” :)

  4. Didden says:

    Wait, an open RPG world I don’t need to install 100 mods on to bring its graphics up to PC standard? Weird concept!

  5. Max.I.Candy says:

    Mmmm, cinnamon sparkly.

  6. BlacKHeaDSg1 says:

    I hope that The Witcher 3 will be better that Witcher 2, which was really disappoing game (for me).

    • TheMasquerader says:

      I hope so too. I loved the first Witcher, but Witcher 2 got uninstalled after 10 minutes of playing. And I’ll certainly not waste my money with Witcher 3. But for all the Witcher fans out there, I hope it will turn out to be a great game in the end.

      • Cinek says:

        LOL. I got it other way around – Loved Witcher 2 and hated Witcher 1. Mostly for it’s horrific combat (which feels like one endless QTE sequence) and totally idiotic approach to women.

        • SillyWizard says:

          To be fair, as far as I can tell most real life approaches to women are pretty idiotic.

        • ohminus says:

          I think most people completely miss what the actual “approach to women” is – it’s a pretty emancipated one. The sorceresses are some major power brokers, deliberately using a beauty only gained through magic to their advantage. And even the women in the overall population know how to make sure they get what they need: “A Witcher! Hide your women!” A sterile mutant is the ideal way to get your needs fulfilled without risking to produce a child nine months later that some day looks suspiciously like the baker three streets down. Rather than the Witcher using the women, the women use the Witcher just as much. A Witcher allows them what normally only men can do – f**k someone and don’t give a crap about the consequences.

      • Slazer says:

        As it takes about 15 minutes until you can yctually decide what to do, that sounds rather irrational if you liked the first one

    • InternetBatman says:

      I just hope it won’t be a series of cleverly and not so cleverly hidden tiny arena fights.

      I found the Witcher to be a bit of weird chimera: I died a lot, but it wasn’t hard, just tedious; the story was nonlinear, but you were only given tiny places to explore; there were lots of stats, so character builds and potion builds seem important, but really it just seemed to wind up as different flavors of gish; and the storyline had a lot of reactivity, but the characters were so unlikeable that it didn’t matter what happened to who.

      • Darth Grabass says:

        That’s it in a nutshell. Witcher 1 rides along on nostalgia, I think. For me, it was just tedious. It’s some sort of special achievement when a game manages to be both simple and incredibly frustrating.

  7. Virtz says:

    Why are they robbing a guy that doesn’t even have shoes?

  8. Zulthar says:

    Am I the only one who thinks that all Witcher 3 screenshots have looked terrible? They did the same thing with Witcher 2, it’s like they’ve applied some kind of sharpness filter to all screenshots. I don’t understand it.

    • Miked says:

      I’m with you there. It’s particularly evident in the first image and makes the image a bit distracting to look at.

    • TheMasquerader says:

      No, you are not the only one.

    • basilisk says:

      The Witcher 2 uses a sharpening filter directly in-game, so I’m assuming this will too. They just like the effect, I suppose (I don’t, but at least in this batch of screenshots it’s a lot more subtle than in the earlier ones, where it really looked like poor jpeg compression).

      The big question is whether they’ll be able to optimize it properly for mid-range hardware. They really didn’t do a very good job of that on TW2.

    • Maritz says:

      Not being particularly au fait with graphics terminology, is “sharpening” that weird outline around all the models?

      • basilisk says:

        Check out the comparison shots here:
        http://www.pcgamingwiki.com/wiki/The_Witcher_2:_Assassins_of_Kings#Sharpening_filter

        You could describe it as basically enhancing all outlines, which sharpens textures but can also introduce quite a lot of graininess and noise.

        • Maritz says:

          I see, thanks. I had noticed some graininess when playing Witcher 2, but didn’t look into it at the time.

          Presumably there is no way of sharpening outlines without introducing the noise? It doesn’t seem to me quite as obvious in the Witcher 3 shots as it did in Witcher 2 at least.

          • VelvetFistIronGlove says:

            The noise is present in the textures (especially the tree bark); the sharpening filter just makes it more visible.

      • cafeoh says:

        Depends. If you talk about the black outlining then no, this is the work of SSAO (SchutzStaffel Ambient Occlusion).
        A very efficient shading technique developed by some guy at Crytek if I recall correctly. Unfortunately it only uses Screen Space, which means that basically it doesn’t really use any 3D data, just the ZBuffer (it’s like trying to apply AO on a heightmap).

        Anyway, fast and efficient technique (says graphic programmer genius Iñigo), but comes with a shitload of imperfections like shadow “bleeding”, or that stupid devil grass in Far Cry 3 that seems to emanate pure black matter.

    • DodgyG33za says:

      I dunno about the sharpness filter but it would be better if they took the screenshots without some random dude or his horses arse taking up most of the shot.

    • Focksbot says:

      It’s not just the sharpness filter either. This whole fetishism for polygon count and mist/water effects should have been left in the 90s. These graphics have nothing going for them except the fact of the eye-watering number of man hours behind them. The figures are still animated corpses (or posed corpses, in the case of stills), the environment has no real atmosphere and everything looks like it’s been sprayed with a thin coating of oil.

      The only distinctive thing about this game in particular, on current evidence, is the way it just about evokes the feeling of being lost somewhere in the browner regions of the Norfolk broads on a dreary day in December. I honestly think Nidhogg is more visually beguiling than this, and I don’t even like Nidhogg.

  9. Geebs says:

    Stop trying to make “a thing” a thing. It’s never going to happen.

  10. Slinkusss says:

    I just hope the horse riding doesn’t suck. Hopefully it’ll be like riding in Red Dead Redemption and not like, well… any other horse riding in any other game.

  11. TheMasquerader says:

    Wow, so much noise in these images. I was actually expecting to see something great. But then again, I’m not going to play the game anyway, so it might as well look noisy and nothing else.

  12. frankenheimer says:

    The atmosphere, darkness and grittiness of the Witcher is what drags me in. Places I would never ever want to spend a second in real life, but in-game I just stroll around taking it all in until the next frantic fight comes along. :) High hopes for Witcher 3. But my poor PC..

  13. Noviere says:

    This makes me excited for what they are doing after the Witcher 3. Mainly because I don’t like the actual Witcher :P

  14. Perkelnik says:

    Im going to replay Witcher 2. Should I play with full combat rebalance mod ?I quite like the combat, but it sure could be better.
    Also, RPS guys, next time you do an interview with RED staff, could you ask about what HW they run the game on? And if they could at least hint the minimum system specs…

    • lanf says:

      I just did a full replay on dark mode with FCR2 and I don’t know what to make of it. It’s different, better in some areas, worse in other. A lot of items/patterns got (re)moved, some stuff added. The only real difference in combat that you will notice right away is that, instead of rolling like a madman, you will be making pirouettes as a madman. I would certainly not recommend it to someone who hasn’t played it a few times through. But if you are familiar with combat now, you should certainly give it a try.

    • Max.I.Candy says:

      I’m currently making a playthru (my 3rd) with the combat mod. It basically makes it so you wont be blocking anymore, as it happens automatically (most of the time). Its weird at first and took me a while to get into it, but I’m enjoying it all the same.

  15. TheMasquerader says:

    Why is Geralt wearing clothes that make him look like a soldier rather than a Witcher? Really lacking personality.

    • Cinek says:

      FYI: It’s an RPG. You can pick any clothes you want.

      • Wisq says:

        … except that clothes are often armour, and armour has stats, and you generally wear whatever armour offers the best stats, or else you’re choosing to make the game harder than it was intended to be. Which is a choice and is fine, if you can handle that.

        The point being: Yes, theoretically you can wear anything you want; no, that’s not always true in practice; and hrm, is this the art direction they’re going for in general?

        (To clarify: I’m neutral either way, but I just object to dismissing the whole issue as “you can wear whatever you want”.)

  16. Laurentius says:

    I don’t really see what is particularly great about these screenshots. i would even say they look kind of bland.

    • Max.I.Candy says:

      I agree there is nothing particularly special about them. They even have a concept art look to them (e.g the lake in pic. 2). The short ingame clips that they have shown are a LOT nicer. The game will look a lot prettier then these pics, which look like 720p console.

  17. lamontagne says:

    I’m on a horse.

  18. kael13 says:

    Screenshots always look a bit worse than the quality of the final, moving frames shown in game. But I agree with others, there really is some excessive noise applied to these.

  19. deadly.by.design says:

    *sigh*

    I remember when I had time for 100-hour RPGs.

    But hey, real life. I’m sure I can live this game vicariously through Youtube and gaming journos anyway.

    • OscarWilde1854 says:

      It’s not as if you need to play a 100 hour RPG in 2 days (So what if there is only 48 hours in two days?)….. It’s very possible to have a “real life” and still play through 100 hours of an RPG over an extended period of time. It just means you have to be a little pickier with which games you choose to spend your limited gaming time on.

      • SRTie4k says:

        I find playing RPGs over an extended period of time kind of kills the immersion, especially when you have a journal/quest log filled with half-completed quests and you can’t remember what the hell you were supposed to be doing. Unfortunately this is what happened with me in Skyrim (despite the fact that I already finished most of the main quests), and now I’m not sure whether it’s worth purchasing the expansions or not if they tie in with any of the plots/lore of the game that I’ve so conveniently forgotten over the past year.

        Playing long RPGs in a short amount of time helps quite a bit when you still have the memories of the ins and outs of the plot still fresh in your mind.

  20. SRTie4k says:

    It’s cotton candy, not “candyfloss”.

    • CookPassBabtridge says:

      Tomayto, To-mah-to
      Truck, Lorry
      Cellphone, mobile
      People dying, free healthcare since 1948

      • SRTie4k says:

        I guess I’ll make sure never to get sick in England.

        • CookPassBabtridge says:

          Interestingly, in yet another Atlantic difference, if you say “sick” in England you would be referring to actual vomit, so if you “got sick in England” you would be carrying a rather interesting item back through airport security. You could claim it was liquid Parmesan cheese I suppose.

          • SRTie4k says:

            I’ll be sure to avoid going to hospital…better?

          • CookPassBabtridge says:

            Yes please :D Given the current economic situation we probably can’t afford it right now anyway. You can be a bit ill. Backache is fine.

      • Deccan says:

        “You say ‘erb’, we say ‘herb’, because it’s got a fucking H in it.”

        • SRTie4k says:

          You also say “al you mini um”. We say “uh loo min um”…because it doesn’t have an I before the U.

          Americans can’t pronounce certain words because of the Brits. It all started with you silly people. We just tried to correct a few of those idiosyncrasies along the way.

          • CookPassBabtridge says:

            Sorry to be anal, but we spell it differently too. Aluminium.
            Its the differences that draw us together though right? ^_^

          • grimdanfango says:

            Sorry to be anal and right, but the guy who first identified it called it “Alumium”, and later changed it to “Aluminum”. So, the Americans stuck with the altered version, and us Brits, being anally retentive types, decided it needed to fit in with convention better, and took it upon ourselves to rename it appropriately.

            So, it really depends whether you agree with changing the original discoverer’s name or not, after he already changed it once himself.

          • CookPassBabtridge says:

            I had to look up the wiki etymology section and am really pleased I did. I like the convention idea personally. Yes there are metals like Molybdenum and Platinum that gallivant around with a flat ‘um’, but like its brothers Calcium, Strontium and Chromium, I like the wrapper I put my sandwiches in to have an antepenultimate ‘i’. It makes the lettuce more crunchy.

            I also like the (very British) idea that we changed the name of a fundamental physical building block simply because someone complained, via an anonymous review in a journal, over the sheer affrontery of ‘sounding less classical’. I like to think us commenters have the same power over RPS, such as when the header title became “Dangerous and Wrong” for a while :)

  21. MattMk1 says:

    The CD Projekt folks should be happy knowing they finally made it to the big time.

    Their games finally have enough popularity and hype behind them that the snobs and hipsters feel the need to let everyone know how unimpressed they are, and to make sure they’re not mistaken for the unwashed masses who think Witcher 3 looks great.

    • Megakoresh says:

      Ahaha. Top comment right there. Even through it’s obvious but still you put it so well. Of all the “unimpressed” comments I saw one which I can respect since it provided a solid basis for opinion that you can see where it’s coming from. The rest is exactly what you said.

      Regarding the comment I found worthwhile, I do hope they tighten up the characters/story and gameplay to make them a bit more distinct. I agree that characters ALL without exception extremely unlikable and disgusting and all the choices and the storyline in Witcher 2 was so grim and hopeless that I often found myself not giving a shit about the “shade” of the consequences.

      I loved figuring out what the consequences will be, since I loved the depth of storyline that is unmatched by any other game to this date, but I could not relate myself to them in any way because whatever I chose seems to play out in “a different kind of shitty”. I didn’t care who lived or died, cuz there was noone I liked and the ones I did like were outside of my control. And I didn’t care who won or lost because both sides have a tiny bit of good and SHITLOAD of bad. And such it was with every choice.

      And gameplay really was all stats same execution. Builds were important, true, but when it came to the actual action it was the same thing all the time, which wasn’t very exciting.

      Also facial animation. My god that was terrible. I hope they listened to feedback on that and actually improved it.

      But that one about combat we know they’re improving. About the story and characters however… Well I will still enjoy Witcher 3 I think, but I really do hope they improve it.

  22. eclipse mattaru says:

    You know what I would call “a pretty thing”? If they used those hand-drawn images from TW2′s cutscenes for the entire game.

    This? This is the same kind of pseudo-photorealistic stuff that everyone else and their dog are doing, I’m up to here with it, and in the end it will still look terrible as long as the models’ animation are on the level of wooden puppets. I appreciate that there’s a lot of pixel-painting man hours spent in these, congratulations and whatnot on your technical prowess or whatever; I just don’t like it.

    I am looking forward to the game, mind, but these images don’t do anything for me.

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