Witcher 3 Gets Release Date, Bonkers New Trailer

I am some kind of villain probably!

In an alternate universe, people are scared to death that The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is going to collapse under the weight of its own ambition and snap the neck of its brilliant potential in the process. And to be honest, I’m still feeling the tiniest bit of that in this universe. Going from Witcher 2’s traditional (though ambitious) trawl to an open-world 50 times its size is no small step, after all. But with each passing day – each live demo, each frighteningly well-cut trailer – I can’t help but feel optimistic. Maybe the PR hype brainwashing machine has finally made a fool of me, but I have really high hopes here. See why below.

Did you spot Game of Thrones’ Tywin Lannister? I spotted Game of Thrones’ Tywin Lannister. This is not terribly far removed from stuff we’ve already seen, of course. It just seems to be coming together really, really well now that it’s reaching the final stages of development. Or maybe it’s not, and this trailer just hides all the gushing seams with a thief’s precision.

The Witcher 3 will be out on February 24th. Though it suffered a recent delay, CD Projekt plans to use all of that time to apply its special brand of Polish polish. Hopefully the initial release will be more like Witcher 1 or 2’s extended edition – that is, fully fleshed out and functional instead of a bit janky.

I guess if you pre-order on GOG, you get a free copy of the digital version of the Witcher boardgame, Witcher Adventure Game. If you say “Witcher Adventure Game” five times fast it becomes “Itcher Venterame.”

There’s also a big physical collector’s edition for those who enjoy that kind of thing. It comes with a statue, a medallion, and – the truest conduit of imagination – a box. You can do anything with the box. Anything.

So then, who’s feeling bewitched by this trailer? Who still has doubts?


  1. Jiskra says:

    This is fucking awesome!

  2. SillyWizard says:

    Oh my. His beautiful hair…!

    Sigh, guess it’s time to pick back up where I left off in the first game. Just completed the sewer section that lets you start messing around in the city.

    Am I almost done, yet?

    • db1331 says:

      Oh, my. He hasn’t even seen the swamp yet…

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        Earl-Grey says:

        Christ almighty, those swamps.

        • SillyWizard says:

          I’ll take all that to mean that the swamps are the best part of the game.

          • DanMan says:

            It’s better to think of it like that, yes.

          • Henson says:

            …or the rest of the game.

          • Bradamantium says:

            I found them tolerable enough. Mostly they suffer from the same problem as the rest of TW1; relatively bland environments that beg actual hours of running to and fro across them from players, primarily in the form of sidequests. I think, for maximum enjoyment, never let the quest log feel like a To Do list. Skip some of it to get away from the trudge and into the story, which is actually pretty excellent as the game wears on.

          • Tuco says:

            In truth a lot of people used to complain that “you need to go back to those damn swamps dozens of times to do tons of fetch quests”.
            Let me tell you that’s mostly bullshit. If you aren’t an idiot who runs toward an area as soon as you get a quest there, you’ll easily notice that you can gather several quests that take place in those swamps and then go and solve all of them in one or two travels at most.

          • Keyrock says:

            The swamp is the most tedious part of the game, in my opinion.

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          zapatapon says:

          But after the swamps, come the fields. Oh, the sun-bathed fields… The moment where I entered the fields in TW1 honestly counts in my top 5 game memories ever. They stood so strangely in contrast, and yet in echo, to the gloomy atmosphere of the rest of the game, and suddenly made me care.
          There should be more fields in RPGs.

          • formivore says:

            The whole “Heat of the Day” quest gives me chills thinking about it. That made up for a lot.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Those sure are some nice hair physics.

    • Jazzyboy says:

      Definitely not. That’s like a tenth of the game at most, assuming you do all the side quests.(which you should as some of them are pretty cool)

      I still think the Witcher 1 needs to be remade. It’s got a much better story(if you were to write it down, not in practice as the VA was terrible) going for it than the Witcher 2 imo, but it seriously lacks in the gameplay department.

      • Bassen_Hjertelos says:

        Well, there’ll be an editor in W3. The mod community might do a remake. It shouldn’t be a problem to outdo the original as the size and scope of the series and it’s map has grown as opposed to TES which has shrunk it’s world every bloody release.

  3. RedViv says:

    Oh good gods it’s Ciri oh boy oh boy

    • golem09 says:

      When I watched the trailer I was thinking “Why does Yennefer suddenly have white hair?”. Even seeing it, it just seemed impossible, surely the voiceover was talking about Yennefer. Only when I watched the trailer for the third time, it hit me (really hard):

      • tobecooper says:

        I’m excited about Yennefer and Ciri, but also I think I saw Letho in there. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen Letho. I liked Letho.

        • udat says:

          Where did you see him? I thought I heard his voice, but I’m a bit crap at recognising voices. I *did* let Letho live in W2, so I’d be happy for him to show up again :)

          • tobecooper says:

            I let him live too! He’s a nice guy despite some of his dubious life choices.
            At 0:31-0:32, there’s that shot of many witchers, and Letho’s arm and legs are on the right :D
            I think it’s him because of the pants and overall size.

    • Ravenholme says:

      Well, that answers why the Wild Hunt is… well… hunting.

      Oh god, I hope my computer can run this… because… I NEED IT IN MY LIFE

      • HothMonster says:

        Yeah, I figured if the wild hunt was involved it really had to be about Ciri. This trailer certainly solidifies that, not just the female witcher but all the other little nods to the last couple books as well.

      • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

        Well, worst case scenario you’ll have plenty of time to upgrade, which probably also means good deals.

    • Michael Fogg says:

      Mildly dissapointing that they use the damsel in distress framing for the story.

      • Ravenholme says:

        Ciri isn’t really a damsel in distress. She tends to do the distressing, in fact. This is more about Geralt being along for the ride in her story.

        • Henson says:

          Geralt: “This is my story! It’ll go the way I want, or I’ll end it here!”

      • golem09 says:

        No damsel, or pretty much anyone else for that matter could just flee from the hunt. I think we might really play parts of the game as Ciri. Or if not, her own story during Geralts adventure could really serve as the first proper expansion pack for a Witcher game.

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        Joshua says:

        Ciri is basically the equivalent of a renegade FemShep. Can probably not be described as a damsell. Most certainly is not in distress.

        The reason why the emperor in this story wants Geralt to get her is probably because she is a causer of big ruckus.

        • tuxfool says:

          Well, she is his biological daughter….which he wanted to marry

      • Keyrock says:

        If you think Ciri is a ‘damsel in distress’ then you know very little about the Lion Cub of Cintra. Ciri is the personification of badass.

        • MichaelGC says:

          She still keeps phoning people when I ask her to play music, though. :(

  4. Ansob says:

    Did you spot Game of Thrones’ Tywin Lannister?

    No, but I did spot Lord Vetinari.

    • Asurmen says:

      I spotted a bloke who seems to be in fine shape, despite an Alien biting off a fair chunk of his head.

    • deniedoperative says:

      Oh no, it’s not like Lord Vetinari would actually sit on his throne in such a relaxed pose. More likely a body double while the real lord is the guard 3 paces to the left.

  5. dsch says:

    The first two games didn’t really do anything to make me optimistic that it’ll escape the busy vacuousness of open worlds.

  6. zerosociety says:

    I want to be excited for this, but I just can’t get into an RPG where you can’t customize the main character, any more.

    • Polifemo says:

      Its kinda the oposite for me. Im tired of “insert yourself here/this could be anyone you want” main characters. I want main characters with clear and rich personalities and designs to explore and expand upon.
      I dont want to be “hey Hero Title” I want to play as Geralt of Rivia, Link, Samus, etc.

      It ends up being much more memorable. Diferent strokes I guess.

      • Ryuuga says:

        Sure, Link is great, especially in his more girly/neutral-looking incarnations. It’s just in most cases where we don’t get to choose, we’re saddled with dull mr grumpy action man with a bit of stubble and generally brown hair and so on and so forth. Ok, Geralt has white hair. But he’s no Alucard.

        • green frog says:

          Link is always fun to play as, because while he doesn’t have much personality, he’s so easy on the eyes.* But male protagonists that I find attractive are so hard to find in Western games, because as you said, it’s all grizzled macho stubble guy and that’s not my type. Thankfully we also have games made in Japan where the gender tropes are much more flexible!

          *Talking about Adult Link here obviously

          • Ryuuga says:

            Well, in a third person game, you’re gonna be looking at that lil feller a lot, and it helps if said feller’s fun/cute/interesting/personable. Attractive, sure, that’s one way, but cute/personable works too. Somehow Link just works for me there, even in his squat, pointy-nosed first incarnation.

            Alucard in Castlevania – Symphony of the night, now there’s white-haired guy done right! Dang, if we could have some more games with proper flamboyant protagonists. Or just morose sickly-looking red-eyed Elrics, that works too.

      • FriendlyFire says:


        I mean, what is one of the most common criticisms of Bioware’s “Make your own character” games? Shepard and the Grey Warden suck as characters. They’re faceless, genderless husks without any form of personality beyond a few quips you get to pick. In contrast, Geralt is a fully fledged character, and the vast majority of iconic characters in gaming are well-defined, with clear archetypes, characteristics and personalities.

        • JFS says:

          I liked making my own character in Baldur’s Gate and Fallout NV just fine. They had lots of personality, and I got to choose! Dragon Age and Mass Effect aren’t great proponents of that type of game, though.

          • Tacroy says:

            Yeah I think that’s the problem with Mass Effect and Dragon Age – they don’t do the “create your own character” thing properly, because all they really do is give you the illusion that you’re creating your own character.

            They’re basically The Witcher, except you get to play dress up with bodies and voices; the character that comes out is just as constant as Geralt, it’s just the developers make that character super generic and pretend that means “it’s your character!”.

        • InternetBatman says:

          Shepard, Hawke, and to a lesser extent Grey Warden are boring because they don’t give the player enough options for characterization or their options are stupid, not because they have choices. Geralt is the exact opposite, a boring character (bargain basement wolverine) that has interesting choices to make; neither is ideal.

          • jerf says:

            Geralt is far from boring, and certainly not a “bargain basement wolverine”. You didn’t pay a lot of attention to his character in the games, did you? And you haven’t read the books, of course?

        • Yglorba says:

          I don’t think it has to be like that, though.

          Saint’s Row 3 and 4 did a very very good job characterizing The Boss, regardless of the fact that you could customize them in extreme depth. I still feel a moment’s cognitive dissonance when I see ads for SR4, since my first thought is “wait, that’s not what The Boss looks like!”

      • scatterbrainless says:

        I agree in principle; however, despite loving W2, I find Geralt to be the insufferable power fantasy of a 14-year old boy’s idea of “badass”

    • Ryuuga says:

      This! When I saw the picture up top, I thought for a moment, “ooh, female witcher”? But no, we’re gonna be forced to be someone else again, aren’t we, if we wanna play this game..

      Dang, I’d love to be a short, bad-tempered, huge-haired witcher girl.. I just dont wanna play as mr grumpy action man.

      • zerosociety says:

        Yeah, I’d be pre-ordering this if you could play as that female Witcher – or any female Witcher, instead.

        But I am so done with Grumpy Asshole Action Man.

        And Geralt of Rivia is Lord Grumpy Asshole Action Man with a great hairdresser.

        • PopeRatzo says:

          I AM grumpy action man!

        • Ptosio says:

          Well, there WILL be a female Witcher in this game, so there’s a chance you’d get to play her if only for couple of minutes:)

      • pepperfez says:

        I feel so conflicted about that inevitable piece of DLC…

        • Ryuuga says:

          Yeah, that Jem and the Holograms hairdo DLC.. I mean, I am all for a more outrageous Witcher, but is this really the way to go?

  7. dr4gz0r says:

    For those who want to watch the trailer in the highest quality possible, here’s a link to the full HD source video:

    link to gamersyde.com

    I had trouble downloading it from gamersyde’s own servers, but the torrent works just fine (more than 300 seeders and it pretty much capped my bandwidth).

    I really recommend watching it from the source video, the trailer is just stunning!

  8. db1331 says:

    I will be pre-ordering this on gog.com as soon as I can get my product key from the first Witcher from Steam and activate it on gog for the 20% off discount.

    • udat says:

      Can you explain a bit more about this? I couldn’t see any mention of it on GOG. I own both Witcher games, but I bought Witcher1 on DVD, rather than from GOG.

      Edit: Found the place on GOG to redeem my key. Sweet – 27% off. Preordered!

    • suibhne says:

      GOG.com doesn’t recognize my TW product key from Steam, and the workaround is unbelievably inconvenient. CDPR apparently think you still have your email purchase confirmation from Steam, potentially years later.

  9. Hydraulic Meercat says:

    I’ve played the previous games and i’m still not sure exactly what’s going on there. Maybe Yennefer has white hair now? Become a Witcher herself?

    Was thinking of doing a digital download, but he makes a good case for owning the box.

    • golem09 says:

      No, they finally put the basically main character of the Witcher Saga books into the game. Yennefer is the black haired on later standing besides Geralt and Triss (probably)

      • Hydraulic Meercat says:

        Yeah, that’s almost certainly her on the boat. Maybe i should finally read the books.

        • golem09 says:

          Sadly they are not fully translated into english yet.

          • Clavus says:

            You can download high quality fan translations from the CD Projekt community forums for free though. Just one google away.

          • SillyWizard says:

            Oh really? Do they have a fan translation for Blood of Elves? The official translation for that one was awful — one of the few times I’ve ever really been turned off by the obviously shoddy work put in by the translator. I’d love to read it again translated by someone who gives a fuck.

          • HothMonster says:

            They were asked to remove the books that were released in english, but surely they still exist somewhere. The fans translations are not perfect. Some slightly confusing pronoun switching or bad OCR but they are completely readable and awesome. They might have even improved by now, I know I gave up on them about 3 years ago and then came back to them about 9 months ago and they were waaaaaaay better.

            Actually never finished the last 60 pages or so because I didn’t want the series to end, guess I should probably go ahead and do that one of these days.

            link to forums.cdprojektred.com

          • Hydraulic Meercat says:

            Excellent. I’ve got some reading to do.

          • AshEnke says:

            In which order should I get starter with the books if I’m completely unfamiliar with every piece of witcher lore ?

          • Jackablade says:

            Wait, Baptism of Fire is out? Why am I not reading it right now?

  10. Auldman says:

    I want to get really excited about this one but the second game’s clunky combat really put me off. This is one where the reviews and the players vids are really going to matter to me. I will not preorder it.

    • Easy says:

      I have the exactly same issue with the W2, the combat system drives me nuts. I am told you just have to get used to it and it clicks, but 4 hrs in I still hate it. Also I love DS’s combat, so maybe that explains why I can’t click with it.

      • Enkinan says:

        I initially was very put off as well, but once you get used to it is pretty good. There is still room for improvement however. I’d like to try this mod.

    • kael13 says:

      There is an unofficial mod for the Witcher 2 which fixes up the combat and movement something nice, which was made by one of the CDPR staff. I’m pretty sure that mod’s popularity turned some heads at the studio.

      • gunny1993 says:

        Actually it was an official mod made by the staff, i believe the idea was to test out new ideas for witcher 3 and are a large improvement over the basic combat.

  11. Freud says:

    You can’t play as a female? Chauvinist developer pigs.

    • SillyWizard says:

      You want to censor the free speech of the game’s developers?

      Fascist asshole.

    • J. Cosmo Cohen says:

      Chauvinist developer pigs? More like…Polish sausage fest.

      …I’ll see myself out.

    • JimK. says:

      I can’t watch a version of Game of Thrones where Tyrion and Ned aren’t female? Chauvinist writer pigs.

      • Freud says:

        I like your thinking. A little person that is also female is very politically correct. Good suggestion.

        • scatterbrainless says:

          Personally I won’t be happy until I get a stage production in which Tyrion is a trans-gendered, gay, dwarf cripple in a wheelchair. Then I will laugh and laugh and throw tomatoes like it is the happy old days of the 1930’s geek show, when all was right with the world.

  12. Pich says:

    Inquisition never stood a chance.

  13. J. Cosmo Cohen says:

    It looks like you also get a copy of Neverwinter Nights for pre-ordering. Not that I’m pre-ordering, but I thought that was a neat bonus.

    I guess I should really finish 2, then.

  14. VCepesh says:

    Yennifer. Emperor Emhyr var Emreis. Ciri. Hell yes, Ciri. Honestly, I would’ve preferred that she was made protagonist – If not of the entire game series, then at least supplanted Geralt in the third game. Or maybe they’ll give her a playable episode? Honestly, I like Geralt, but old White Wolf deserves a rest.

    • RedViv says:

      Well, they said this would be the final act in Geralt’s story. So how would you then continue using the brand?

    • Darth Gangrel says:

      Is this trailer spoilerific/confusing if you haven’t played The Witcher 2 yet? People mention lots of stuff here that I can’t remember from the first game. I’ve read The Last Wish and Blood of Elves and Times of Contempt, so I recognise the names mentioned here, but not why they would be present in this trailer.

  15. Laurentius says:

    What a horribly bombastic, pulpy trailer without any glint of self-awareness. Great distanace they covered not only from Sapkowski’s books but even from first game, and not in a good direction.

  16. Shieldmaiden says:

    I just hope I can change that ridiculous figure-hugging chainmail sooner rather than later.

    • RedViv says:

      The armour design in TW3 is strangely lacking indeed. More fantasy than medieval.

      • HothMonster says:

        Well it is more of a fantasy world than a medieval one so I guess that makes sense?

        • RedViv says:

          We don’t have enough fantasy with art styles inspired so much by historical medieval looks as in TW2. It’s a bit sad to see that go.

    • GrumbleDorg says:

      I definitely agree. Although, there is a concept art of armor floating around that looked good to me. A large portion of them looked Norse/Celtic inspired to my eyes. Hope some of them make it in to the final game.

  17. theworm says:

    May I be the first to say “CROWFACE”

    • DedlySpyder says:

      ^ My favorite part of this video. If that is a spell then, oh my.

  18. Carra says:

    It’s a pleasure to see their game priced at €35. Compare that to the €60 that a lot of new games ask and it’s very cheap.

    If only more publishers would give a fair price to us, Europeans, the world would be a slightly better place.

    • LTK says:

      Wait, where do you see €35? With the discount for both Witchers included, it costs €43. Or are you subtracting the GOG credit from the price?

      • Carra says:

        You’re right, it’s €43.79. And then you get another €9 in the form of coupons for their shop. So: €44 – €9 = €35.

    • Stellar Duck says:

      It’s 60€ though, for me.

      So I’ll pick it up in a couple of years for a fiver. Not going to support Activision prices.

      • LTK says:

        They’re making it a pretty good value package, though. Even if you do wait until after release and ignore the €10 pre-order discount, and also don’t have the other Witcher games on your account, you still get a wad of store credit that buys half a dozen additional games on a good day.

        • Stellar Duck says:

          Store credit isn’t money.

          I can get 27% off if I order the game and get it for 44€, but I’m not going to. Don’t want to support Activision prices.

          Aside from that, when they did this precise same thing with the second game they said it was.a one off thing forced on them by Namco Bandai. And then they do it again.

          No. A fiver in a couple of years. Can’t support these practices.

          • Phinor says:

            I hope they don’t actually use the Namco excuse again because Namco has set an RRP of 49.99€ (in Europe) for the retail PC copy, while GOG is selling the same game for 59.99€. If they wanted to use Namco as the reason for regional pricing, they should probably then follow Namco’s pricing instead of increasing the pricing over Namco’s.

          • Stellar Duck says:

            Huh! Then it’s even worse.

            Fuck ’em then.

    • DanMan says:

      That’s actually really nice. Gotta luv CDPR.

    • fish99 says:

      Price seem pretty high to me. £41.49 dropping to £36.49 if I register Witcher 1&2 on gog. And yes you get nearly £10 worth of codes, but it doesn’t say anywhere what that actually means. Is it 10% off codes for 20 games I’m not interested in, or is it £10 in gog store credit?

      Standard price for PC games these day is more like £20-30. I got Dark Souls 2 for £19.99, and I expect I’ll be able to get W3 cheaper than £36 through other digital retailers.

  19. Premium User Badge

    Earl-Grey says:

    I believe the appropriate response lies somewhere between “holy shit” and “bloody hell”.
    Bloody shit!

  20. amateurviking says:

    Am I allowed to skip ‘1’ and go straight to ‘2’? The QTE combat makes me want to claw my own face off, but I think I like it otherwise?

    • DanMan says:

      I started with 2, and I must admit that I didn’t really get the story at the beginning. I’m now 2/3 in and I’m still not sure I grasped the whole story leading up to the 2nd one.

      • Lukasz says:

        if you enjoy the story just set the game to easy and have fun slaughtering things left and right.

    • Jazzyboy says:

      It’s not really necessary to play it before 2. It’s a good game on it’s own if you can get used to the weird combat system, but The Witcher 2 doesn’t really continue much of the story from it so if you can’t be arsed to play through 1, you don’t desperately need to. Any continuation is hints at most.

      I actually played 2 before 1 and found no problems with doing so. I still understood 2 just as much before and after playing 1.

      (Though the books are a much better way to understand both games, if you don’t mind reading)

  21. Carr0t says:

    Oh dear God. Do they have any indication of the minimum/recommended specs for this yet? I expect i’ll need to be buying another PC before I can run it reasonably…

  22. Sjatplat says:

    And I thought I´d become immune to fantasy-rpg-trailers. This must be the most impressive one I´ve seen in years. I usually don´t use the word wow. But I did right now.

  23. ran93r says:

    I love GOG. Added my keys from W1 and 2 for a hefty discount, plus I get two codes for a $5.99 game on GOG by way of consolation for living in the UK. The amount of pre-order content they are throwing at us is astonishing, and I thought my boxed W2 was full of fancy shit.

    My body is ready (my PC, probably less so).

  24. Keyrock says:

    I watched that trailer in glorious 1440p and I could feel my 780Ti salivating… Then it paused, looked at me, and whispered I may need a partner for this job.

  25. Golden Pantaloons says:

    Oh my gawds.

    This looks amazing. I can certainly understand the fear that the ambition of the project is going to drag it down into mediocrity, but I have total faith in the CDProjekt guys. They were very committed to the previous Witcher games, patching and fine-tuning the first one long after it stopped making any serious money. Witcher 2 was a better game in almost every single way, without sacrificing what made the first one good.

    And let’s not forget the story. While the Witcher books (I haven’t read them) may not be the pinnacle of fantasy litterature, they are still books and not video games. I’m sure I don’t have to explain why litterature has higher demands for the quality of the plot and characters than a video game. To me, this was very evident in the first two games, and I’m sure the third will not disappoint in that department either.

  26. Megakoresh says:

    Looks like a lot of favourite characters are making a return! Hopefully with more to their personalities this time around! Will Vesemir also make an appearance? I really liked that one from the first Witcher, he is cool, like the Stranger from Bastion :P

    The Witcher franchise has never been so hyped :D, this game will be awesome!

  27. neofit says:

    “use all of that time to apply its special brand of Polish polish”
    Oh, THAT level of polish? See you in 2016 for a playable Director’s Cut then.

  28. PointyShinyBurning says:

    I know we shouldn’t pre-order shit and I never generally would, but damn it I am pre-ordering this as soon as I get home.

  29. platvoet says:

    Yeah, pre-orders are the dumbest thing ever. There is no shortage of stock, since it is all digital these days. So unless you really care about pre-order bonuses you might want to pre-order, but don’t get me started on those… However, having just recently finally finished The Witcher 2 and after watching this trailer I feel an incredible urge to pre-order the damn game, it is ridiculous.

    But now I am doubting if I should still get The Witcher 1 and play that to better understand the whole story arc (I was a bit lost in the Witcher 2 from time to time, too many people and places to keep track of). Story wise it is great but I believe the game mechanics don’t hold up very well.

  30. Wut The Melon says:

    For anyone that’s been following the books, the previous games and the discussions on the Witcher forums until now, this trailer is so full of delicious SPOILERS it’s ridiculous. Pretty much every 2-second scene in this trailer answers some earlier discussion on the forums:
    -Ciri & Yennefer confirmed (though Yen seems to have the wrong hair colour to me?)
    -Yen & Triss aren’t fighting eachother over Geralt at some point; Triss confirmed as romance option
    – Combat crossbow! Swimming! Horseback combat!
    – The other witchers from TW1 confirmed, as well as (almost certainly) Letho… can you spot him?
    – Some minor combat things that got big in the forums: Igni flamethrower causing opponent to panic, decapitations and mutilations…

    I am hyped