The Witcher 3’s Intro Cutscene Has All The Special Effects

What is a roleplaying game without an extravagant pre-rendered introductory cutscene these days, eh? One I can start playing that much quicker, that’s what. But The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt means to take its place in the RPG premiership, and it’s got the CGI to prove it. Killings! Fire! Vast armies! Decapitated horsies! Devouring earth! Tribal drums! Yodelling! Beardmen!


Shiny. Dramatic. Bit Game of Thronesy? Well, what isn’t these days?

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is out in February, by which point we’ll presumably have sated Dragon Age hunger, so good timing in theory. Devs CD Projekt are aiming really big with this one – let’s hope they can pull it off.

63 Comments

  1. FurryLippedSquid says:

    No thanks! Avoiding all further articles on this until it’s released.

  2. Laurentius says:

    Two trailers post in one day ? Eh…

    So Yennefer ? A high heel boots , seems imparctical ?

    • Orija says:

      Not if you’re gonna have her ride horses.

      • RecklessPrudence says:

        Yeah, I mean – that’s what high-heeled boots were originally created for, after all! There’s a reason that cowboy boots have high heels, and it’s because they were primarily riding boots.

        On another note, I haven’t read the books yet – does Yennefer have an ability that would allow her to take a trained warhorse, bred for aggression and loyalty and notoriously uncompromising in who rides it, to the point of killing or severely injuring riders it was not used to, and just saddle up and go? If she does, great! An eminently practical magical/mystical ability for someone who might need to be AWAY FROM HERE in a great hurry. It just stuck out to me, so I thought I’d ask.

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      Tip for a higher quality of gaming life: shut down your brain and embrace the “rule of cool”.

      It works, try it!

      • Jeroen D Stout says:

        What if you do not think it is ‘cool’, either.

        • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

          In that case your soul in unredeemable and you are forever doomed to rot in the Pits of Grumpyness.

        • Horg says:

          Then you just look at the books to see they are making a faithful recreation of Yennefer. She wears heels because she’s really short.

      • MellowKrogoth says:

        +1

        I’ll take the rule of cool and style over realism any day.

      • AyeBraine says:

        Besides making you look taller and more toned, medium-height, wide heels (like cowboy boots or Spanish and Latino men’s footwear) are super comfortable for walking. I hope somewhere in the next 10 years men’s fashion will realize that.

    • Sarkhan Lol says:

      There is no way Yennefer would be caught dead running in anything but high heeled boots.

      • Buuurr says:

        Correct. Why oh why don’t people read awesome books when they come out?

        • The Godzilla Hunter says:

          My main fear with starting the books was that I heard they stopped translating them. Have they started translating them into English again, and are the translations any good?

          • Jackablade says:

            The translations are pretty good. There’s a fair chance that it’ll be years before we see the entire series translated though. I don’t think the last two books are even announced as being in the extremely lengthy process of translation yet.

          • Slaadfax says:

            For the books that haven’t been translated yet, you can actually find some fairly not-bad fan translations. There’s some typos, and the formatting isn’t stellar, but the guts of the thing are in place.

        • Myrdinn says:

          I’d love to read some Witcher novels but I’m also considering the fact that they’re not that good (well written). This is after finishing a Song of Fire and Ice last year and being halfway through the Malazan Book of the Fallen (book 5). How does the Witcher compare? Is it worth reading if I (we) weren’t familiar with the Witcher games?

          • Jackablade says:

            They’re books that I’ve really enjoyed. Don’t go in expecting anything like the complexity of A Song of Fire and Ice, but for a solid fantasy novel series with some good characters, I think they’re worth a look.

          • grom.5 says:

            I heard some people complaining about the main character as a grumpy marie sue. But from my read, I never have any problems with this.

            It’s far more focused on action than description. A full training session in nothing but “small talk” between characters. Really interesting to see, compared to the heavy description of a Song of Ice and Fire or Lord Of the Ring.

            Basically, it’s not the same category, but it’s a nice series of books. Characters are kinda amoral, the world is interesting and it’s really easy to read.

            I recommend to give it a shot, as even if you don’t like it, it short enough so you don’t feel robbed or anything

            (Btw ; I read all of them in French as everything is translated.)

          • Gilmir says:

            In my opinion, everyone interested in fantasy literature should definitely read all the Witcher short stories. They are probably the best fantasy stuff I read. Ever. But I’m Polish, read it all in Polish and get all the cultural references Sapkowski inserts into every story. Some are global, but a lot of them are very “slavic”.
            Also, what I realised when I recently listened to a brilliant audiobook version of the short stories (actually more dramatizations then audiobooks as they are recorded by full casts of actors) – he writes incredibly good dialogue. The stories are about dialogue connected by action passages. What makes it so great is that the characters are absolutely real. Even “more real” then the GoT cast.
            What Sapkowski can’t do is politics (or more precisely – geopolitics). And that’s why I personally think that the saga books are not nearly as good as the shorts. Actually the plot of the games is way better then the saga in my opinion.
            By the way – last year Sapkowski published the next book of stories which again play before the “big war”. And – awesomeness again.
            To anyone interested – if you can get your hands on “Narrenturm” (and the rest of the Husite trilogy) in your language – this is what happens when you couple Sapkowski’s writing and characterization skills with an existing geopolitical background of medieval Europe. In my opinion that’s his best work and simply amazing to read. It’s history with a very light touch of fantasy. Beautiful!

  3. kompan says:

    I have to say I’m pretty disappointed. Every other trailer so far was way better (including W1 and W2). It could be another skyrim/da/anycrappyfantasymmo trailer without any difficulty. Boring.

    • Zenicetus says:

      Not their best work, I agree. Especially if this is the main intro cinematic for the game. Too generic, and doesn’t hold a candle to the Letho attack sequence on the ship for Witcher 2.

      I guess the best thing I could say about it, is that it does follow the theme of looking for clues and then tracking enemies and allies, which seems to be a big thing in the new game.

    • nrvsNRG says:

      I think you’re wrong, no way it could’ve been just another crappy skyrim/mmo bollox trailer. It was a good and plenty witchery trailer, maybe not as good as Letho but still fits the theme and story and looked good.

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      gritz says:

      On the contrary, showing Geralt piece together events and track his supernatural quarry is as Witchery as it gets (next to maybe the first game’s intro). The game’s even called “The Wild Hunt”!

      I thought this was a good way to highlight the investigative aspects of the character while still having plenty of GRIM FANTASY ACTION WITH MAGICAL LADIES.

  4. Frosty Grin says:

    On one hand, I really like the visuals. On the other, I can’t relate to what’s going on. I didn’t play the first game, so The Witcher 2 felt a little alien to me at first. I ended up enjoying it, but now the third game doesn’t seem familiar either.

    • Buuurr says:

      The games are a basic recreation of a book series. A very good book series.

      • Clavus says:

        They’re direct sequels to the book series actually. A lot of the key characters from the books make an appearance of course.

        • Buuurr says:

          Correct. Sorry, I meant the re-creation of the world in the books.

  5. Serenegoose says:

    So, I’m probably going to play the witcher 3, and enjoy it a lot. But at the same time, I’m getting a bit tired of fantasy being synonymous with ‘a grey world full of racist thugs’. If anything, I felt bad for the horses in the trailer, but that was all it evoked. I understand they can’t exactly u-turn on the tone in the last game in the series, but it’d be nice to see, eh… something else?

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      So what you’re saying is, it’s time someone made another Discworld game.

      • Serenegoose says:

        Heck yes.

      • Bereil says:

        Pretty sure Discworld has also covered racism and topics before. Though, it’s never been grimdark – Pratchett never is. Darkest book was The Nightwatch?

    • jerf says:

      Well, taking into account that they were the ones who more or less invented it (I’m exaggerating, of course, but the Witcher books by Sapkowski came way before the Game of Thrones books, and the first Witcher game was one of the first grey RPGs; not counting Planescape:Torment, of course), so no, they can’t make an U-turn.

      • Serenegoose says:

        Good thing I explicitly didn’t ask them to then, eh?

        • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

          I guess his point is that you didn’t give enough credit to the fact that they’re not really following a new trend but rather sticking to their roots, and not just since “the last game” but even the first one and the original books before them.

  6. DanMan says:

    I came here for the yodeling. *sadface*

  7. montorsi says:

    Marching armies is cool and all but we both know Geralt needs to go collect some flowers to level up so hop to it.

  8. OscarWilde1854 says:

    Balls…. Now February seems even further away… That raven flying through a dudes eye, though… That alone would make me buy this game; even if it has nothing to do with the game. It was just awesome!!

  9. RogerioFM says:

    Alec must read more books if he really thinks all Dark Fantasy games are Game of Thronesy. Hell, maybe even play more video games since this isn’t new.

  10. Ada says:

    It turns out that just describing certain styles of music or clothing as ‘Tribal’ is racist.

    • RogerioFM says:

      True, some people really are snowflakes to take offense in that.

  11. Buuurr says:

    This game is gonna be full on tits-in-your-face awesome. I can’t wait.

  12. kament says:

    What is a roleplaying game without an extravagant pre-rendered introductory cutscene these days, eh?

    Er, a roleplaying game with really nice graphics? I mean, Bioware long since went full in-engine, and CDProject’s got supposedly even more graphics with their latest than DAI. Why do they even bother with CGI at this point?

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      Indeed. While CG still is capable of higher fidelity since you clearly can just let your hardware render the scenes for as much time as you’re comfortable with, it still has 3 disadvantages:

      1) Video compression: It’s there, even if the video is of blue ray quality which is not a funny prospect for those wanting to install the game on a SSD. Real time rendering is pure raw video, there’s nothing more uncompressed than that.

      2) It takes you out of the game. It was more understandable back in the very old days in which you’d otherwise only have your imagination to fill the gaps, even though some people prefer that.

      3) This last point is less about high profile CGI and more about it’s most evil offspring, pre-rendered in engine cutscenes that other than suffering from point 1 also are noticeably different enough that the transition is just cringeworthy. This crap went mainstream with the previous generation of consoles, in which certain scenes were just too taxing in real time, or because they didn’t want to include in the disk certain assets that were only useful for that particular scene.

      I’d prefer having a couple of extra textures that are only used once than the whole install bloated with a huge amount of low quality video files. Hello Metal Gear Rising: The revengeancening.

      • kament says:

        Exactly, specially on subject of in-engine prerender (Deus Ex: Human Revolution, I’m looking at you and I haven’t forgotten). As for The Witcher 3, they’ve got amazing graphics that blows the mind away, as we could all see in their previous trailers. And you’re right that the important bit is you’re gonna get this in the game proper (provided you have the rig etc), which is awesome.

        This is why the CGI was… strange for me, considering. Why would they do that?

    • mlaskus says:

      They are in great relations with BagiƄski’s Platige Image, why shouldn’t they use that talent?
      So far their cinematics were all very popular and possibly contributed a lot to the series’ initial success.

      • kament says:

        TacticalNuclearPenguin summed it up nicely. And I’m not saying they should or shouldn’t do something: they can knock themselves out gor all I care. It’s just strange that they still rely on CGI when their game has visual fidelity that renders CGI redundant. Unlike their initial success, I might add.

  13. jnqvist says:

    Well,I don’t think the trailer was that bad,I kinda expected the Inception horn as well judging from your intro to it. Thank god there wasn’t any. I think I actually liked it. Going Sherlock while the Nilfgardian invasion is in progress…pretty badass. I really don’t see why anyone who played any of the first two games (especially the second one) would want to miss this one. Just hope CD Projekt Red nails it once again. Fingers crossed!

  14. Maxheadroom says:

    I bounced right off the first 2 games because I cant stand the main character. He just comes across as such an arrogant, condescending, womanising prick, like a cross between Swiss Tony from The Fast Show and an angsty 17 year old goth.
    It has its fans though and that’s great, it’s just not fr me.

    • The Godzilla Hunter says:

      No, no, no. This is the internet. You can’t just politely let people have different opinions.

      • tetracycloide says:

        Right, because that’s totally what they were doing…

    • PopeRatzo says:

      Not only is Geralt a brooding pain in the ass, but he can’t even step over a log lying in the road. I must have tried Witcher 2 ten times, hoping each time that it would be as magical as some people found it. Always kept wishing for a spring-loaded grappling hook gauntlet that never materialized.

    • RogerioFM says:

      lol, that’s a completely different Geralt than the one I know, I must have played two other witcher games.

    • Zenicetus says:

      That’s a reasonable response to this series, and as much as I enjoy it, I understand why some people don’t get into it.

      I don’t identify with the character, the way some RPG Action games want you to, like Mass Effect or Dragon Age. I’m just along for the ride. I enjoy reading original Sherlock Holmes stories too, and he’s a complete asshole.

  15. kincajou says:

    I can’t tell if it’s trying to take the piss off the “aragorn tracking the battle” scene from the battle of helms deep in the lotr films or if they just hope no one is going to notice how the first few minutes are just a copy paste of that scene with different characters….

    • RedViv says:

      Oh, that would be perfectly in keeping with Witcher tradition. Tolkien allusions are to be expected.

  16. Kleppy says:

    I really love the soundtrack. It has a great identity – I wouldn’t confuse it with any other game even if I watched it with my eyes closed. Seriously good stuff, and just brings even further to light how much further behind Bioware is when compared to CDP when it comes to world building. I can’t wait any longer!!

    • kament says:

      how much further behind Bioware is when compared to CDP when it comes to world building.
      again with this bs. ugh

      • Kleppy says:

        Why is it BS? Also, before answering I would like you to consider Dragon Age 2 thanks bye

  17. Ahtaps says:

    As fantastic as the trailer was, I couldn’t help but laugh at the crow scene because all I could think was “It’s Fabio! The most beautiful man in the cosmos.”.

  18. AyeBraine says:

    To be fair, the Witcher 2 was this way when the Game of Thrones premiered.

    – First scene/cutscene hints at otherworldly, poetic, but very brutal and nasty menace, which doesn’t get mentioned again for a long time.
    – A plunge into the local politics, sweeping tens of thousands dirty locals into killing each other, and you following the less dirty dudes who trick them into dying.
    – The sudden twist at the end of the first portion, that basically outlaws the dudes you were rooting for.

    And so on, including the exiled person inciting the exotic alien people to attack the main story-land with his/her machinations.

    Not a very good trailer, though. The back and forth parallel montage is a very cool fit for Geralt the wayfinder, but as a whole the trailer is limp and formless.

  19. stillwater says:

    If you’re suggesting that you didn’t watch the Witcher 2 intro cutscene almost every single time you launched the game, I say “bullshit!” You know you did. We all did.