Ten Points For Gryphon Gore: The Witcher 3

By Adam Smith on June 9th, 2014 at 7:30 pm.

There are four main types of games likely to show up in the big E3 presentations. They are Men With Guns games, Men With Swords games, Men In Cars games and Men In Shorts games, and I seem to have drawn the longsword. Having just peeped at Dragon Age, I’ve now plucked The Witcher 3 out of the Enormous Hat O’ Videos. It’s a ridiculously impressive slice of in-game footage, suggesting that CD Projekt are either liars, extremely hard-working and talented, or from the future. Perhaps this sort of giant open world (actually seeming to deserve that tag) with mythical beast hunts is considered ordinary at E3 2025 but it looks damned impressive from 2014.

It may be a MAn With Swords game but it’s the most interesting one likely to show its face at E3. Unless Sony really do have a Dark Souls III announcement.

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64 Comments »

  1. RedViv says:

    Feeling right at home with that catchphrase. Mhm.

  2. fucrate says:

    This is probably the best RPS headline to date.

    • pepperfez says:

      In a place so overflowing with puns, it’s truly impressive for one to stand out.

    • RedViv says:

      I chose to not start a pun thread with something like “Also ALL GORE FOR PRESIDENT!” to show my surprise at this one having gore-ious hackstabsliceing results again. I missed that in TW2.

  3. Artist says:

    I really hope it will not become a hyperbole that ends like Gothic 3 at release… *pressing thumbs*

  4. Laurentius says:

    Geralt’s not rolling in combat like mofo, now that’s a good thing. Apart from this, a bit meh, consolized crossbreed between Skyrim and Dragon’s Dogma.

    • Mungrul says:

      But they could really do with nicking the ability to grab a hold of and ride large monsters that Dragon’s Dogma did so well.

      • Laurentius says:

        I was almost sure that at the and we will see Geralt griping the Gryphon to finish it off but no, just jump straight to trophy celebration.

    • derbefrier says:

      Ehh the witcher games have always been pretty average in my opinion. Bad combat, decent (but easily forgettable)story, gorgeous graphics pretty much sums up the first two games. I don’t expect this to change much in the 3rd except we will be adding “open world” to that list

      • Laurentius says:

        Well, I disagree, first Witcher has very good questing system, something that having been done in ages in cRPG. Well grounded quests that unfold very naturally, with great sense of place and characters.
        This one looks, despite all CDPR talk of how they will manage to pull this off in “open world: like mixed system of ‘exclamation mark over his head” and “I’m being killed over here, care to spare a moment ?”.

        • Cinek says:

          W1 was basically: Poor graphics (and unstable game even despite of years spent patching), horrible combat (constant QTE sequences with “click the flaming sword”, lol), great storyline with awful moments (sex cards… -_-). W2 was IMHO better game pretty much all across the board (ok, storyline was bit too short and lacked side-quests, still though – they basically set a standard for non-linear gameplay).

          • paddymaxson says:

            The first game looked great at the time, environmentally at least…

            I don’t think it’s fair to call that combat “quick time events” it was more of a crossbreed between rhythm and the click and wait type combat pioneered by old D&D games where you set your commands and it then did a round of combat – bear in mind the first game was on a very heavily modified version of the Neverwinter Nights engine, it essentially was that (hence the combat lag). You clicked, Geralt performed his actions then you clicked again at the right time to continue to combo chain, this was interspersed with using the signs.

            Unfortunately the rhythm of the clicks never really changed unless your combo got longer, so it wasn’t very challenging – the challenging part was picking the right potions, the right stance and the right sword, but it wasn’t that challenging unless you played the toughest difficulty.

            It wasn’t great combat, and to be honest it was a bad choice for the game, but it had its charms and allowed for a very “Witcherish” aesthetic animation-wise.

            But it was forgiveable based on the immense strength of the game’s story. Unfortunately there were a bunch of other poor decisions like not kicking off the story till Act 2.

            The second game was better, but I’m very fond of the enhanced edition of the first game.

      • knowitall011 says:

        you sound like a guy who never learned how to play the games.

    • Rakombo says:

      The fact the he doesn’t roll is one of the most annoying things.Most games that have a rolling as their dodge mechanic works pretty well but this specific hop dodge is terrible in most games.Overall the combat looks about the same,some animations look like they we’re ripped straight out of witcher 2,I find it both reassuring and disappointing.The combat in witcher 2 was relatively satisfying but honestly I was hoping for much more.

      • paddymaxson says:

        Rolling just isn’t really in a Witcher’s bag of tricks in all honesty, it shouldn’t be in the bag of tricks of any swordsman, it leaves you unable to parry. I don’t think Geralt at any point in the books rolls in combat. He’s much more likely to take a step back, use his unnatural flexibility to move his body away from the weapon or to use the impetus of his enemy’s blow to push himself in a particular direction with a parry

        • Rakombo says:

          Rolling is a Hollywood that was probably never done by competent individuals during any sort of combat.However that little hop as shown in the video has short range,delay and looks not as useful as the roll.What works in real life rarely translates well into game mechanics.

      • tuxfool says:

        Are you aware that there were a lot of complaints about the excessive rolling in W2. They decided to do something about it.

  5. Gilead says:

    I’ve only just got a PC capable of playing the second one on high settings (going through it for mostly the first time at the moment — previously just played the prologue in a tiny window with everything set to low before giving up).

    Hopefully I won’t need to upgrade for this one, although it’s not looking promising if that gameplay footage is accurate. Also, I hope the combat is better.

    • RedViv says:

      It does have the wonderful spinning and quicker stance changes of the Full Combat Rebalance mod, which I would HIGHLY recommend – and the designer of that one has been hired by CDPR shortly after the release of TW2 and is now responsible for gameplay in the third game.

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      Besides, the Witcher games usually tend to impress enough on various levels that the combat is sort of pardoned, otherwise they’d all leave a sour taste.

      But really, combat in this one looks to me a little better than TW2.

    • Gilead says:

      I was thinking of downloading the Full Combat Rebalance mod, but I’d read a view comments that said it was a little buggy. Still, if it improves the combat that much I’ll give it a try.

      When I was playing the first one, the best parts were the atmosphere (and music — best RPG soundtrack I’d heard in ages) and the little story/worldbuilding moments and encounters scattered around the place. The combat was always kind of a chore to get through, and yet I bought the second game on the day of release because all the rest of it seemed like it would be worth it.

      • Slaadfax says:

        For what it’s worth, I ran through the entirety of TW2 with the combat rebalance mod and detected nary a bug, glitch, or snag. I can also vouch for the quality of the mod in terms of improvement, though admittedly it had been quite a long time since I’d originally played TW2, and I didn’t actually have a problem with the combat back then.

  6. CookPassBabtridge says:

    Anyone else seeing the gameplay segments in what looks like 240p despite having the video set on 720?

    • RedViv says:

      Microsoft Xbone: We swear we swear on oor mums it does ten eighty peas it does, we do!

    • Siimon says:

      Not just you :(

    • LTK says:

      The video itself might not be the best of quality but youtube is also not taking the torrent of E3 videos pouring in very well.

      I’m mostly sad it isn’t available in 1080p, since that’s obviously what the machine runs on.

      • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

        Don’t count on actual 1080p when TW3 and Xbone are in the same sentence. It can’t manage that even on BF4, not even the PS4.

        Not to hate on consoles, but this generation they really went for immediate profits, cutting an unholy amount of corners.

        Then again, it’s also possible that it’s PC footage and they’re being silent about it.

  7. db1331 says:

    What’s the issue with games featuring male leads? Why do you hate men?

    • RedViv says:

      EVERYONE hates men, with their NOT ALL MEN sayings and such!

    • BobsLawnService says:

      Don’t you know that as men we need to be ashamed of our filthy urges and history of oppressing everyone and we need to tear at our beasts begging forgiveness from the womyn we’ve wronged since we came down from the trees?

    • Valkyr says:

      I didn’t read anything in the article saying that the writer had an issue with having witnessed only male leads in games, or hated men in general. However, the fact that you were struck by the absence of women in lead roles might be an explanation of your reaction, which proves that you actually think it raises an issue. In this, I agree with you.

      Or am I wrong?

    • bill says:

      Please don’t troll and try to derail the comments, no matter how fun/easy it might be.

  8. Batolemaeus says:

    Wow, if that combat system is any indicator, this won’t be terribly interesting to play. The UI appears to be a bastardization between a PC designed for a pointing device and one designed for controllers, satisfying neither.

    That sure did put a damper on my cautious optimism for the game.

  9. pailhoarse says:

    It used to be Player Characters were the most common killer of monsters. Now it’s cut-scenes.

  10. Keyrock says:

    That looked pretty fantastic. I’m assuming you get to come back for some sexy time with the lady you helped out. I mean, it wouldn’t be a Witcher game if you didn’t.

    • onodera says:

      That’s exactly what I was going to write. Geralt shagged every not unattractive female NPC in the games.

    • RedViv says:

      Can’t we bury that joke after TW2, where you could bed at most three people? No?

      • Hidden_7 says:

        Seven by my recollection. Though to be fair, not all in a single playthrough.

        • RedViv says:

          Okay, a closer look at the wiki says five. Plus prostitutes. Still a far lower number, and at least none of the liaisons come out of bloody nowhere to go BOO HAVE A CARD WITH TITS, MATE.

          • Coming Second says:

            TW1 did make me laugh towards the end, where you proposition a tough-as-nails elf out of nowhere and she replies along the lines of “What is your problem? The city is burning down around us, we’re up to our necks in the dead and wounded, I’m run off my feet and you’re here trying to cadge a sh- ah fuck it you know how this goes.” *receive sex card*

  11. BobsLawnService says:

    That trailer looked annoying. Monster killed in a cut scene. Scripted gryphon hint forcing you to trek all over the landscape to kill it and pick up another quest.

    • gaiusimperator says:

      To me it looked more like that was scripted FOR the trailer to give the gameplay segment something cool to end on.

      • subedii says:

        Pretty certain this is the case. I mean it’s pretty obvious to begin with since the creature’s health bar was nowhere near finished before the cutscene ended the trailer.

        Of course, it’s a question of how amenable people are to this alien suggestion. I recall almost the exact same complaints coming out when the XCom demo came out, even though it was really freaking obvious that the demo was heavily scripted to act as a tutorial.

        Everything was ruined forever that day as I recall.

        • MrRoivas says:

          Nah, everything was ruined forever the day they said that Nu-Xcom wouldn’t have time units. Then everything was double ruined forever when the demo was released.

  12. VelvetFistIronGlove says:

    So Geralt is the one responsible for killing The Last Guardian? Figures.

  13. Shooop says:

    That was really underwhelming compared to all the previous footage they’ve shown.

  14. serioussgtstu says:

    A shiney new donkey for whoever brings me a link to this footage running at 1080p and 60 fps.

  15. L3TUC3 says:

    I was expecting Geralt to exclaim “Metal Gear?” at any time.

    • Grargh says:

      I thought he sounded like Rorschach.

    • dahools says:

      YES ! I am so glad I am not the only one who thought snake had fell into a time machine and turned up in the witchers universe. There are some extrodinary similarities in character art.

      Trying to decide whether to pre order this or not. Two deals one on gog, or steam. Hmmm. . . I am pretty good at avoiding the hype and thus the following dissapointment usually. But I want to see the next chapter of the wild hunt too. . .so I am on the fence at the moment.

  16. dr4gz0r says:

    For those who missed it, apparently CDP’s reps went once more through the demo premiered at the Microsoft conference on Twitch, and according to the people on Witcher 3′s forums it is a better showing. Here’s a YouTube link to it:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNBDtFLFi_c

    It looks like a former CS pro is playing here, which makes combat look overall better (to me at least), less arcade-ish I’d say.

    Compared to the Microsoft conference demo, you can also see the Yrden sign in action and some very neat animations (Geralt’s idling + defeated enemies slowly crawling out of the combat area).

    They also take their time exploring the area (it shows landscapes and vegetation a bit better ) and go over a bunch of game-related things like alternative version of signs, lore etc.

    • Slaadfax says:

      Indeed, thanks! I liked the first one just fine, but this one did give a little more of a methodical approach.

    • tuxfool says:

      eurgh. The frames are dropping so hard that I can see them!

  17. bill says:

    I never think watching people play RPGs looks good. Without actually being involved in the action, it always looks like a guy running around a lot, and then hitting and being hit a lot. And it always seems much more obvious how ridiculous it is that you go around slaughtering thousands of people. When you’re playing you don’t really notice it so much.

    Come to think of it, it’d be really nice to have an RPG where the majority of the people you defeated didn’t die. A heroic fight should involve defeating/incapacitating/scaring 10 guys. Not decapitating 10 guys after smashing them to the ground.

  18. Megakoresh says:

    The combat does look similar to Witcher 2, just better and more responsive, at least from the video. But one thing obviously only 1 in a 1000 people on the internet realise is that of all the things in a videogame it’s the gameplay which is almost impossible to judge from a video.

    You don’t know how the game plays until you’ve played it. Just like when some of those other games show some amazingly cool “gameplay” sequence and it ends up being a shallow tat when the game comes out, this can go either way.

    We’ll just have to wait and see, but honestly if they make Witcher 2 combat more responsive, regen vigor faster, make spells more interesting (and from the video effects it seems like they have) and make some actual freaking COMBOS (as in real combos not just animation build up upon mashing attack button), I would be totally fine with it.

  19. PoulWrist says:

    So I figure it’s the console version shown there, seeing as how I could barely make out what was going on on screen…

  20. jonahcutter says:

    The combat looks really good. Much smoother overall. Now if it actually plays this way in the real game…

    And no rolling nonsense. I love that they’re showcasing a swordsman using footwork for positioning, not dive-rolling everywhere. The absurd dive-rolling trope in video games can’t die out quick enough.

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