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Seven Wyvern-Murdering Minutes Of The Witcher 3

Geralt, pictured right, about to receive the world's largest hug.

What a wonderful trip it has been for The Witcher [official site]. From dodgily translated, shoe-string original to vastly improved re-release, hotly appreciated if flawed sequel through to one of the most anticipated RPGs of all time. The idea that it might now rival, if not surpass, the likes of a Dragon Age or Planescape would have been unimaginable in 2009. Yet here we are, with the added bonus of it possibly being the prettiest game to grace our hard drives. A new commentated trailer from PAX East below.

Phwoar, look at all those pixels. Hopefully it’s optimised or scales well enough for graphics cards that aren’t large enough to beat whales to death.

On the hack’n’slash front it’s looking more dodge-rolly, action-RPGy than Dragon Age’s tactical party positioning or the first game’s by-the-numbers clicking. Tom found the combat lacking in his otherwise very positive preview for us in January and I can see what he means. There’s an awkward half-way-house look to it, somewhere between Dante’s ludicrous combo builders and the slower, methodical pace of the Soulsian. Will need to wait to go hands-on myself for final judgement, of course.

Meanwhile the chattier side of things is going from strength to strength. For a side quest, the voice acting and writing were great – so glad to be living in an age where video games have the budget for fully acted casts – while Geralt himself is sounding wonderful. Monster-slaying extra bits with some depth, like looking for the brother, will be good for staving off the plot fatigue I’ve had with earlier games in the series.

After a slip, release date is now set for May 19th on Steam, GOG and probably elsewhere.

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