The Witcher 3 Trailer Has A Boat Made Of Dead Men’s Claws

Blue sky in gaming.

The Witcher 3 looks good. The dark fantasy RPG from Polish developers CD Projekt Red is the first to take the series into an open-world, and it’s doing so without sacrificing any of the visual flair of the previous games. Evidence? Check out this lovely new trailer.

“I saw a long ship made of the claws of dead men,” is a striking line of dialogue, but how buoyant are these dead men’s claws? Doesn’t it smell a bit when you’re sailing around? When you’re eating food on the ship, are the plates and pieces of furniture also made of dead men’s claws?


The bit I like – properly like, in a not-just-for-lols way – is when the grimdarkness gives way to Geralt riding a galloping horse across green fields under a bright sky. The city shown later is similarly bright. For all its monsters, morbidity and unpleasantness, The Witcher’s world is pretty to walk around. Throw in a bit of dynamic monster hunting, some island-hopping adventuring, plus that gryphon thing and The Witcher 3 is almost exciting enough to make me forget all the cack bits from the first two games.


  1. daphne says:

    I hope this game gets delayed to early 2015.

    Because that’s when I’ll be getting a new rig.


    Also, Percival’s pretty good music.

    • Perkelnik says:

      Im in the same boat. Well kind of – Im willing to buy new rig just to enjoy this with all the bells and whistles it will offer.

      • Emeraude says:

        I’m in the same boat.

        And it, too, is made out of the claws of dead men.

    • Drayk says:

      I am also planning to buy my next PC in a about a year. My Idea is to see what those new consoles are capable of and chooses something a bit more powerfull so that I can play games for the next 5 years to come.

    • TheVGamer says:

      It’s an open-world game so chances of it being buggy on launch are pretty high. Also, mod support. I’m fairly certain they’ll go balls-out with mod support this game.

      So, it releases in a somewhat buggy state and by the time you’ve built your rig, the game is not only polished but there are also a vast array of mods available for you to download. I know I played W2 a year after it’s release and I’m glad I waited.

    • Zorlan says:

      Indeed, I shall also be getting a new PC in 2015.

      Nvidia Maxwell GPU, next generation Intel CPU, DDR4, G-Sync… Oh, future.

      • daphne says:

        That’s basically the same checklist as me, yeah. With the exception of DDR4, to which I hadn’t paid much attention…

        EDIT: Also, hopefully much cheaper 512GB or 1TB SSDs.

        • bstard says:

          This morning I got up, woke unter the shower, put on my purple undies.

          Oh and I wont be getting any rig soon.

    • Jazzyboy says:

      Yeah, I really want to wait until late next year at least to buy a new graphics card/new rig if needed, because hopefully AMD and Nvidia will be releasing their real new architectures by next year.

      But I will definitely be upgrading for the Witcher 3, no matter when it comes out, so my plans might be spoiled /:

    • LionsPhil says:

      Or it could be released earlier, and then you could buy it in a sale in 2015?

    • LVX156 says:

      I’m hoping my meager computer will be able to meet the minimum requirements at least. So far I’ve been able to run everything except games from silly companies who make the game require 6GB of RAM even though it runs just fine on half as much. I won’t be able to afford a new computer until late 2014/early 2015 (even if I stick with AMD as I plan to do).

  2. C0llic says:

    If this game isn’t amazing, I’ll be so dissapointed.

    Considering I even loved the first game though, I think it’s going to make me very happy indeed. It can’t get here fast enough.

    The atmosphere, writing and lore of these games has always been fantastic. This should be a bethesda beater. A huge open world game with some real character to it, possibly even an engaging plot, that isn’t populated by wooden puppets? Yes, please.

    PS. I know Morrowind had an amazing, engaging world (and I loved it), but since then, even skyrim didn’t engage me, unfortunately.

  3. Keyrock says:

    If nothing else, forks and cutlery made from dead men’s claws would make sense.

    I already reached MAXIMUM HYPE LEVEL CRITICAL REACTOR OVERLOAD MELTDOWN IMMINENT for this game a long time ago, so another utterly gorgeous trailer does literally nothing for me, on account of it not being physically possible for me to get any more excited.

  4. Shezo says:

    damn, i can’t even remember, where was it mentioned, in books or previous games, that wild hunt is “interdimensional” elfs ?

    • C0llic says:

      I’ve never heard that.The wild hunt is actual very old european folk lore (I’m sure you probably know that). That’s why it has that odd ring of authenticity to it. I’m pretty sure that’s not mentioned in the games, can’t speak for the books (seems a bit.. unlikely though).

      link to

      • HothMonster says:


        No he is basically right. It’s in the books. I won’t add to his spoilery spoilerness but it is tied to a pretty major reveal. If you want to know more you can read this link to as well as follow the link there to the page on “The King of the Wild Hunt” though if you haven’t read any of the books it will probably just leave you with more questions than answers.

        • Niko says:

          It’s kind of sad that the books have been translated into a couple of languages like 20 years ago… except English.

          • HothMonster says:

            I actually read the fan translations of the untranslated books and they are pretty damn good. Few instances of misgendered pronouns and odd little mistakes but mostly stuff your brain can filter out rather quickly. I tried reading them ~5 years ago and they were abysmal then but I tried again this summer and found them all very readable. Plus they are fucking awesome books.

            Start here link to

            They pulled the blood of elves translation at some point so you will have to find it elsewhere or buy the English novel. Happy reading!

          • Niko says:

            Oh, I have read them in Russian a while ago but it’s great that there are translations.

          • thekeats1999 says:

            They are starting to pick up the pace of the books English translations a bit. The second book in the Saga (and third book to be released) was release earlier this year with the fourth book due for release early next year.

            Unfortunately something about the newer covers makes me think Romantic Fantasy Book.

          • paddymaxson says:

            they’re taking about 4 years each to do (on average) the 4th one is schedule for next year, meanwhile one set around the time of The Witcher 3 is schedule for sooner?!

          • Werthead says:

            They’re not taking 4 years to do each one; there was a massive legal problem between the English publisher, the Polish publisher, the translator (which is why the new ones are being translated by someone else, I imagine) and the original author. It just took ages to sort out, but now it has been sorted out and the remaining books should follow at a rate of 1 or 2 a year.

    • Niko says:


      It was in the books first. They are indeed some elves from a universe different from Witcher one’s, where humans never got to the top of the world, ghettoing other races – in fact, in that world elves slaughtered all the humans.

    • Hauskamies says:

      Spoiler tags? All I’m gonna say is that if you’ve read the books then the mystery of the Wild Hunt is no mystery at all. Their existence is clearly explained. Also in the Witcher 2 in the third act when you get this one optional sword through a sidequest, the purpose of the Wild Hunt is revealed.

  5. lautalocos says:

    im very curious about the combat. i still have completely no idea how it will be. also, all of those pretty cities you saw in that trailer? 5$ they are full of horrible, horrible people, like in every witcher game. which is in part what makes them so great

  6. kael13 says:

    Here’s a better quality link that isn’t so dreadfully compressed.

    link to

  7. BTAxis says:

    This game looks VERY good. I doubt I’ll play it though, since I bounced off both of the previous games.

    • golem09 says:

      Maybe you should try the first book, that will put you into quite a different mindset about who the character of Geralt actually is.

    • Maxheadroom says:

      i did too. i think mainly because i cant stand the main character.

      Normally I prefer playing a pre designed character (as opposed to creating your own in say, skyrim) as it usually serves a stronger narrative. But geraltr is such a massive tool that i want him to die at any given opportunity. .

  8. Fizzbang says:

    For your mythological perspective, “a long ship made of the claws of dead men” is a clear reference to the Norse Naglfar, a warship built in Niflheim and meant to sail the seas during Ragnarok. Scholars disagree on whether the tale says it’s made from the (finger/toe-)nails of the dead, or from whole corpses, but it would be piloted by Loki and his daughter Hel, and crewed by the restless and dishonored dead.

    Obviously, Witcher’s mixing it with some other myths, but It’s just another example of why fantasy writers continue to mine the Norse myths for some of the most grimdark metal concepts ever put to verse.

    • klmx says:

      I miss the time when fantasy was just about creating the most beautiful and interesting worlds, rather than being the grimmest of the dark :(

      Not sure if they even existed, but still

      • Dave Tosser says:

        This, I think, is what made me fall out of love with modern fantasy.

        To read Dunsany is to be swept away to a land where the jewels queens wear are so beautiful that each has a chronicler who writes of nothing but it for all of their days, where even something as mundane as the mud at the bottom of the Thames can be fleshed out into an imaginative and interesting tale, and the heathen comma is slain in mortal combat by obsolete verb forms wielding a sword of archaisms.

        ER Eddison took Lassingham to Mercury and got so caught up in his own narrative that he completely forgot about him and mercifully remembered he existed when writing the second book. Poul Anderson has such an obvious love for Scandinavian myth that puts the slipshod mining of ancient cultures so prevalent amongst lazy fantasists to shame. Moorcock, Tolkien, Clark Ashton Smith, Ursula K LeGuin, Jack Vance, Hope Mirrlees… the list goes on and their imaginations run wild, even if their Elizabethan prose so obnoxious doth be.

        I have trouble with Martin, Sapkowski, Cook, Donaldson and so on because, noble though their desire to ground fantasy is, I don’t get that same thrill from their worlds. They don’t inspire me in the same way, they don’t excite me in the same way. Look, our elves are smeared in shite! Yes, yes, wonderful, but are your forests soughing?

        I’m not against grimdarkness. It can be done well and most of the authors I listed above are fairly solid at building myths of blood and earth, but I just wish the ridiculous prose and nigh endless pages about some fucking palace on a rainbow weren’t killed to bits. I want fantasy to be as varied as any other genre, but too often we’re either mired in clichés or attempting to smother our readers in bodily fluids. Give me overblown nonsense rendered through sheer creativity anyday.

        I enjoy the Witchers, but they do get a little silly sometimes. Great atmosphere and their world is interesting with the politicking, but I wish we were a bit more creative. Europeans with swords? Oh, alright, but don’t make me run through another sodding zombie cave. We’ve got the rendering power to bring to life the sort of outlandish spectacle that only early fantasy authors dared to dream of, but we keep on coming back to the same sights. A ship made of nails! Yes! Brilliant! It ties into fears across cultures regarding what nails and hair and so on, and what happens if you don’t dispose of them properly, and it’s fucking weird. Give me weird! Give me scary! Give me grim, give me beautiful, give me exciting and give me fun, but let’s try and have a little imagination.


        • Geebs says:

          Yeah, but the entire appeal of Sapkowski is how his characters bicker and bitch at each other in a totally believable and genuinely amusing fashion; and he’s more Discworld-grotty than grimdark. Martin on the other hand wrote one good book and has now managed to stretch one other decent book over, what, six so far? That’s Frank Herbert territory for being not only terribly disappointing but also very long-winded about it

        • hypercrisis says:

          Most of what you’re saying sounds somewhat contradictory to whats possible to make entertaining in an action game, though I do wish to some day see “Objective: describe the beauty of the queens jewels” with no prompts or indication

        • LVX156 says:

          differentstrokesfordifferentfolks indeed.

          The reason why I’ve always despised fantasy, even as a little kid, is because I couldn’t stand the glossy, colourful cookie-cutter world of noble and mystical elves, hardy and greedy dwarves etc. That is why I love the world in games like The Witcher or books/tv series like Game of Thrones.

        • MartinWisse says:

          Try N. K. Jemsin for some of that baroqueness you seem to be missing.

      • Arglebargle says:

        Funny, I thought the genre was overrun by high genre, twee, rainbowy, teen discovery fantasy. Of course, I don’t read much that doesn’t come with a recommendation these days, so I could be off by that reason. I do prefer the more ‘realist’ strains, but could do without the super-angst versions, be they twee or grimdark.

      • paddymaxson says:

        That’s not entirely fair on the Witcher, it’s a pretty decent mix of grim and pretty cheerful. The grimdark bit about the boat is referring to a vessel piloted by the main villains who have been hounding Geralt/people Geralt know since the first book of the Blood of Elves saga

  9. treppenwitz says:

    It’s a reference to link to

    • Lacessit says:

      I’ve known about that myth for most of my sentient life, and thinking about it still it makes a shiver run down my spine. We just don’t make stories that good any more. Maybe W3 will get close ;-)

  10. Hunchback says:

    “The Witcher 3 is almost exciting enough to make me forget all the cack bits from the first two games. ”
    Cynical much?

    • paddymaxson says:

      Well, for all their faults they’re both marvellous games, but they did both have a lot of faults, the first game was overlong due to side quests being MMO style “bring me 10 drowner asses” and the combat suffered from that awful lag that all games in Bioware’s aurora engine did. I’ve very few complaints about the second game and most of those have been fixed since release.

      • Zekiel says:

        I seem to recall the problem with the 2nd one was that it had a bizarre reverse difficulty curve which was mitigated but not solved by official patches. I ended up playing the first half on Easy and the second half on Normal, and it was still really easy at the end (all until the very last 2 fights).

        For my replay I’m seriously tempted to go with a mod that supposedly solves this by rebalancing all the items. But I’m always extremely wary of “change everything” mods because there’s so much potential for them to break things… Hmmm…

  11. SominiTheCommenter says:

    We demand more ASCII Art

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    • The Random One says:

      What the hell is that, a pot-bellied man with a black eye wearing a potted plant for a hat and wearing bunny slippers?

      • Rizlar says:

        Minotaurs having a picnic on a cliff, in Dwarf Fortess parlance?

  12. Shieldmaiden says:

    I’ve realised that I couldn’t care less about the fact this is open world. The reason I’ve sunk so many hours into Bethesda’s offerings is that they present you with a fairly blank slate in terms of character and a big world for you to go mess around in. I’m a role-player, I spend a lot of time thinking about various characters and being able to conjure up various incarnations of them in a AAA video game is immensely appealing. With the Witcher having a fixed protagonist, it just doesn’t have the same appeal. I’m still looking forward to the game, it just doesn’t fit into the same mental box as an Elder Scrolls title.

    • Hauskamies says:

      Different strokes for different folks. This is one of the reasons I can’t stand Elder Scrolls games while I love the Witcher games.

      • The Random One says:

        Meanwhile, I can’t care about either because I don’t care about medieval-ish fantasy, no matter how well done. Variety!

    • Zorlan says:

      Well, it’s not an Elder Scrolls/Bethesda game so it shouldn’t fit in the same mental box either. :)

      • Shieldmaiden says:

        My mental boxes are bigger than individual franchises. :)

    • EBass says:

      I understand your perspective on this, but I think you’re going to be missing an amazing game. Even though you are “Geralt” you can very much define what sort of Geralt you want to be far more than in TES games, which really don’t allow you much expression in how their plots or subquests work out. Also far more than a game such as Mass Effect in which you are also a defined character, but your choices remain pretty much the same except “do them in a goody way/do them in a ruthless way”

      • Rizlar says:

        Think I’m with you on this. Extremely open, sandbox type games work well with completely undefined player characters, but open world games with more explicit narratives can work better with a pre-defined player character.

        Kind of feel that Skyrim fell down a bit in encouraging sandbox roleplaying but then forcing specific narratives, without a lot of freedom in how you pursue quests. While in a game like GTA3 the specific player character allows you to engage with the open, sandbox world and scripted missions in a more meaningful way.

      • Shieldmaiden says:

        It’s okay, I won’t be missing out on anything, I’m still looking forward to the game immensely. I think I said that in my original post. I’m just neutral on the open world thing; it’s not something I felt the absence of in the previous games.

    • grimdanfango says:

      In the Elder Scrolls games, you start as a blank slate, get to go anywhere and do any bland, generic activity of your choosing, and remain a blank slate.

      Witcher 3 may constrain your character choice, but at least it’ll actually have *some* character! I just can’t get excited about role playing Blandy McBlandbeard the great sort-of-mage-thief-fighter-dude with zero charisma, no matter how much I’m allowed to customise him.

      Just the landscape in this trailer has more personality than all the characters in Skyrim!

      …okay, so I’m semi-trolling, but a milder version of all that is pretty close to how I feel about Bethesda games.

      • Shieldmaiden says:

        That’s fine. I don’t feel the same way because when I player an Elder Scrolls game, the character development is mostly going on in my head. It’s almost like a big, sandboxy tabletop RPG that I can play on my own. I’m very aware that if that isn’t something that you “get” then the appeal of the series is greatly reduced.

  13. Moraven says:

    Horse riding makes me think of Epona in Zelda.

  14. Leb says:

    I still need to play the Witcher 2, its sitting on my steams list collecting binary dust

  15. Snafoo says:

    Yes, riding a pretty horse is all fine and dandy, but will I get to ride witches and/or wenches?
    After all isn’t that the true spirit of witchering?

  16. JonathanStrange says:

    I look forward to the inevitable post about sexism and the 300 or so comments that will follow nearly as much as the game itself. Make it so Rock Paper Shotgun!

  17. lili says:

    The trailer looked promising until the moment Gearalt’s face appeared, which filled me with so much irrational revulsion that I was forcefully reminded of why I couldn’t last more than thirty minutes before I shut down my PC and go for a walk every time I gave the previous games another try.

    • grimdanfango says:

      I must admit, as much of a fan as I am, and as impressed as I consistently am with CDPR’s visual design, I can never quite fathom why they seem to have such trouble making Geralt blend in with the rest of the game. It always feels like they’ve applied a few too many sharpen-filters to his texture maps, just to try and make him stand out. They don’t seem to have nearly as much trouble making every other character in the game look natural enough.

      • paddymaxson says:

        Well, you could see it as the fact he absolutely does look unnatural and is meant to, Geralt is unfortunately a bit of a male power fantasy character and being the most unusual looking person in the room (even in a room full of other Witchers) is part of that.

  18. Megakoresh says:

    I hope my GTX770 will be able to handle this beauty!

  19. Laurentius says:

    What a horrible cheesy trailer. Seriously i thought that everyone agreed that Dragon Age trailer was horrible and now CD Project copy paste it.

  20. paddymaxson says:

    Sorry to be a massive Witcher nerd but: The Wild Hunt doesn’t need to concern itself with boat buoyancy, they’re spectres and can float on anything, and also is Geralt wearing Redanian colours in parts of this trailer?

  21. wodin says:

    At last an open world game where Cities are actually HUGE and full of people!!

    • Volcanu says:

      To date that’s always been the most jarring bit about the Elder Scrolls games (which I love incidentally). Finding major cities to be a keep and about 4 houses is always a bit of a shame.

      I think the worst example was in Oblivion when you’ve been building up to a climactic battle in the war aginst the Daedra (the defence of Bruma I think it was) and it comes down to you and about 5 blokes running around outside the walls of a small town, swacking a few daedra as they emerge. My preference would be to avoid these sort of major battles until the technology is there to do them properly. I’m hoping we’re now approaching a place where these can be done properly.

  22. Volcanu says:

    Looks most exciting.

    I do hope they’ve substantially improved the combat so that its a) actually fun, and b) has some weight to it. The twirly, roll-y, stuff from the Witcher 2 always felt like a bit of a chore and the sword play was never satisfying (in my book).

    • Megakoresh says:

      Agree on that. I hope they listened to the right feedback. The combat never felt tactile because there were no combos and you had no control over how good Geralt is with the sword. It was just click spam and the longer you spammed the more Geralt swang his swords, but it was quite clunky and because you had no control over that combo, it never felt satisfying or tactile.

      • MellowKrogoth says:

        To me combos sound like the exact opposite of “tactile”.

  23. Stevostin says:

    I’ve always found Witcher game visually wrong but I am ready to eat my hat. This has turned out beautifully. Also, there is a fantastic mood. I feel… desire…

    Damn, shall I play the Witcher 2 again ? It fell out my hands last time.

  24. Snegletiss says:

    I hope the combat is more like the first Witcher. The Witcher 2 was too simplified, and the scaling of attack combos after ranking up wasn’t that fun. More pirouettes please(!) And less politics. (Witchers don’t care about that sort of stuff)

  25. acu says:

    Still haven’t finished Witcher 2.. not sure if I should play Witcher 3 until I have done that. It always takes me ages to completely any game.