Watch First 1/800th Of The Witcher 3, If You Want

It may be you’re the sort that wants to go into a game cold, knowing as little as is possible. It may be that your keen to be there on day one but want all available information to guide your purchasing decision. If you’re one of the latter, IGN’s video of the first 15 minutes of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt [official site] may help. It skips the introductory cutscene but picks up right after, showing the initial quests, dialogue and combat. It’s embedded below and looks pretty authentic to my starting experience with most games, up to and including dying to a relatively weak mob of enemies after ten minutes.

As The Witcher 3 nears release, I find more of my skepticism about the game and series disappears. It’s not that I’ve been convinced by the marketing or the people of the internet yelling at me, but that it’s now close enough that I’m overwhelmed by my wanting it to be good. I want to slay monsters and trot around a fantasy world on a horse. I want to live in a world with functional, non-janky open worlds that aren’t developed with a design ethos I find stifling.

Some (or maybe all) of the above video has been seen at press events previously, including by us. If you haven’t played any of the previous games in the series, you can re-visit its good and its bad parts, or wonder whether news that the Witcher 3 is 200 hours long (if you do everything) is a good thing.

47 Comments

  1. John Connor says:

    Wow, the game does not look nearly as good as previous videos.

    • rabbit says:

      what’s put you off?

      • John Connor says:

        The lighting seems to have been significantly simplified, textures seem to be muddy as hell. Faces especially seem to be hugely less detailed than in previous trailers, they almost look like they should be in an Xbox 360 game, not a PC game in 2015.

        • lordcooper says:

          The graphical quality seems to vary widely between their promotion material. This appears to be console footage, but I really wish they’d specify.

        • Krazen says:

          I wouldn’t read too much into the graphics from this video as this looks to be the XBone version if the controls are anything to go by.

          • derbefrier says:

            it was confirmed by the IGN guy that is was in fact the PC version (though probably not on max settings)

          • derbefrier says:

            source: link to twitter.com

          • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

            All this talk about not having yet shown the Ultra settings sounds incredibly fishy to me, or at least i can’t see a reason that sounds honest. I can imagine other reasons that are less pleasing, though.

            This video surely looks smooth, but then they could have used a Titan X. They previously claimed it will run “fluid” on Ultra with a 980 @1080p, but then no one can really guess what “fluid” really means. As a rule of thumb, such a claim absolutely never means a steady 60fps, but i’d love to be proven wrong off course.

        • kael13 says:

          It seems quite similar to me, just that they changed their environmental shaders and lighting to brighten up the game and adjust the foliage to a more dithered look.

          I’ve had a look at older gameplay footage and there’s a lot more sharp lines in the textures. It looks more like The Witcher 2.

          Faces seem pretty similar between iterations, though.

        • Luciferous says:

          It is such a shoddily rendered video that it doesn’t show the true nature of the beast.

        • jerf says:

          How can you judge the sharpness of textures from a horribly compressed youtube video? It’s quite clear here that most of the muddiness comes from the compression. In still scenes where the compression is not so horrible you can actually see that the textures are quite detailed.
          And I don’t see what’s wrong with the lighting either, seems pretty impressive.

          • mattlambertson says:

            This. You cannot tell anything about the graphical fidelity from this crappy video. Nor from most youtube videos, really. Youtube is the bane of videophiles.

          • Generico says:

            Yup. This video is heavily compressed. I don’t think I’d judge the game based on that. Especially not the lighting and texture quality.

          • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

            There are some things that you can still discern even after the horrible compression, and that’s rather troubling. As a random tip, check the close rock by the start, or the ground textures filtering. The grass is severely compromised even if it’s harder to gauge with all the artifacts around it, but it still is and, by all means, you can absolutely train yourself to separate video artifacts.

            The lighting could be better aswell, that yellowish ground effect that plagues many games with bad bloom settings and shading is something not even this video can hide.

          • DrollRemark says:

            I don’t think this is entirely Youtube’s fault. The video’s clearly encoded at way less than 1080p, despite the option being there for output (this makes me so angry).

  2. SMGreer says:

    Refuse to spoil it by watching that video but oh goodness, I’m so very excited for this! Even upgraded my computer recently for it too, so I’m all set come May.

    Not sure if it can live up to my colossal expectations but I doubt it’ll disappoint.

    • derbefrier says:

      ITs pretty safe to watch no major spoilers here just a bit of running around fighting bandits and such.

  3. RQH says:

    I know how this plays out. It releases to rave reviews. I decide not to buy it because I didn’t like the previous game in the series. People keep bringing up how amazing it is. I finally pick it up on sale. A year or so later, an RPG famine hits and I think “why not?” I play it, I find it off-putting for the same reasons I found the previous game off-putting. The Witcher 4 nears release. The cycle continues.

    I’ll commend Witcher 2 on committing to significant plot-branching, but even so it was hard to feel like my choices were meaningful. Not because they didn’t have real consequences, but because the world itself is so cynical and nihilistic, I couldn’t see the point.

    • derbefrier says:

      I am the same way man. It gets me every time. I read the rave reviews and customer feedback and think “Oh man i need to buy this, this time they got it right!” then I buy it play it and am left wondering what the hell people see in this series. I am sure it will happen again just like you say. Hell even watching the video it looks pretty fun but the world just doesn’t grab me for some reason and i have never been able to quite put my finger on it. On paper I should love this game to death but when i actually play it, it bores me to tears.

    • Flangie says:

      CDP habe said that this will be the last witcher game, so you could becwaiting a while for no. 4!

    • omegajimes says:

      My friends raved about The Witcher for years, and I just didn’t get it. What really got me interested was reading the books. After that, I ate up the games.

      • pasports31 says:

        I’ve considered reading the books for this reason. I just haven’t been able to bring myself to get invested in the world, and a result of that is the world has become offputting. I feel like if I were to read the books and become accustomed to it I would probably enjoy it.

        • thekelvingreen says:

          Just don’t watch the film. It’s not a standalone film at all but a compressed edit of about fourteen episodes of the TV series and as such makes almost zero sense.

  4. sissyneck says:

    *you’re

    • Vandelay says:

      As in “you’re a big meany!”

      • sissyneck says:

        haha, yeah, I briefly debated about whether to post the suggested correction; I don’t love my tendency for pedantry, especially if it detracts from the content even more than the “error”. The correction was offered in the spirit of proofing a friend’s paper, but a comment section isn’t great at allowing for communication of intent. Even if it was, good intentions obviously don’t trump outcome.
        Is there a better way to suggest edits? Or should I just swallow away that twinge that shows up when I see your wrong?

  5. Orazio Zorzotto says:

    “I want to live in a world with functional, non-janky open worlds that aren’t developed with a design ethos I find stifling.”
    *GTA V ad directly underneath*
    Well played RPS, well played.

  6. PlKupo says:

    Never played Witcher before, but I think I might try this one out.

    One question: how’s the combat compared to Dark Souls? Is it anywhere near as deep and satisfying? Because I tried to go back to Skyrim after playing DkS2 and it was just so absolutely awful I could hardly get used to it again (in Souls I like to play mainly with light blades favoring mostly Dexterity or Strength, practically never use magic).

    This seems comparatively quite better than Skyrim combat-wise, but I dunno if it has that satisfying Dark Souls mix of defensive strategy and action.

    • Wowbagger says:

      I find the combat a bit too floaty compared to Dark Souls, I’m not sure if they have made any serious advances in combat with the Witcher 3 either.

    • fr3udes says:

      OMG, there’s absolutely nothing to be compared. Sometimes, Witcher combat can be fun, but it’s nowhere near Dark Souls combat. In Witcher, you don’t feel the hits you give, the ones you take, every armor is the same, your weapon do not have a weighted feeling, and so on. Monsters behave very simply, so it’s more like an quick action-rpg kind of combat, funny but flawed.

    • PlKupo says:

      I see. So the act of combat itself is pretty much just random button smashing. Will probably pass on this one. Thanks for the input!

      • jerf says:

        It’s actually the opposite of random button mashing. If you try random button mashing in Witcher 2 on any difficulty level but Easy, you’ll die quite quickly (and very, very quickly on Hard or Dark mode). You need to time your attacks well enough for them to be effective; you need to dodge enemy attacks carefully; many opponents can block your attacks and you need to overcome their blocks in some way, either by using magical signs, or trying to attack them from the back, or by catching them off-guard by using riposte; and so on.

        Also, we don’t yet know how the combat in Witcher 3 will turn out, the devs promised improvements upon Witcher 2’s combat.

      • Asurmen says:

        It’s not Dark Souls but it’s not random button mashing either. You need to time button presses to attack.

      • vorador says:

        It’s nowhere near Demon Souls/Dark souls combat, but it has it’s own charm imho.

        In the first game you had to follow a rhythm to chain sword attacks and three different styles of fencing (one for group battles, other for hitting hard and the last for hitting fast). Plus the magic signs.

        While i still haven’t played much of the sequel, it felt more like Batman Arkham Asylum, but slower and with far more rolling around.

        Button smashing in both games is a sure way to kill yourself.

    • Flangie says:

      If you mean ‘does the combat make me want to throw my pc out of the window with frustration’ then probably not- apart from the qte stuff in W2, witcher combat has always been about being difficult, but with a number of potential strategies that could work in a given situation. There was some talk about it being made easier in W3, but I’d rather have easier combat and a more expansive experience rather than a 60hr lesson in failure masking an 8 hr game (something that DS does very well)

    • pasports31 says:

      Really, nothing really compares to the combat of Dark Souls. The Witcher 1 is nothing like it, it’s based around timed clicks to string along a combo. The combat is fine once you get in a groove, but a bit tedious and boring considering the game is 60 hours long. The Witcher 2 is closer to DS, but if you go into the game hoping it’s anything near it in quality you’ll be extremely disappointed. The combat is servicable enough, but something about it feels off. It’s definitely a lot more fast paced than DS, and feels a bit more hack n slash than the more tactical, choose your spot combat of the DS series. Combat is fine enough for a semi-open world RPG that (although I’m not a huge fan of the series) legitimately has branching decisions that impact the story, as well as a well developed world and deep story.

  7. suibhne says:

    The visuals look great to me – at least 6 out of 7.2 Graphics – but the pop-in is bad (see the bandit around the 11′ mark).

  8. Donjo says:

    Why do they have to settle for ManVoice(™)? Surely it’s possible to find a voice actor who doesn’t exude negative charm.

    • fr3udes says:

      100% agree. Moreover, he’s whispering, with Action Man’s voice, while talking ON A HORSE. It’s so off-putting.

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      The answer is: Geralt.

    • Grim_22 says:

      I didn’t watch the video, but I assume you’re talking about Geralt’s VO? If so, then he’s not supposed to be charming. Actually, he’s barely supposed to be likeable – Geralt is a cynical, sarcastic asshat, and I’d say his voice actor conveys that really well.

      • Donjo says:

        Yeah, I get that but it’s possible to create a vocal characterisation that displays cynicism and sarcasm without resorting to ManVoice(™). ManVoice(™) is gruff, low pitched and monotone, symbolising a world weary masculinity as imagined by uninspired teenagers. Good voice actors should be able to do a bit more than this.

    • Unclepauly says:

      But “ManVoice” makes my undies do pretzel knots.

    • tiltaghe says:

      Yess. 2 minutes into the video and it is already a no-go, like the previous entries in the series. This is so badly done, I can’t bear it. The voice, the lines and the rhythm in combination… Nope, thanks.

  9. nrvsNRG says:

    I think DA Inquisition has ruined the genre for me. I was so hyped last year up until a few months ago, but after DA:I I just lost interest. It was such a snoozfest that it seems to have re-wired my brain to not look forward to Witcher3 anymore.

    • fr3udes says:

      I bought DA:I on sales last week, after a long wait, wondering how could the WHOLE world marvel at this game that looks soooooo suspicious to me. 10 minutes later, i was an ugly elf with a ridiculous body, waving a ridiculously over-sized weapon, listening to over-sized boobed ridiculously dressed women telling i’m the one (you know, the one) who could end up this ridiculously fluorescent green nonsensical MacGuffin… After my eyes drooled on the mashing RT miserable combat, i’ve praised Origin to offer me a refund if i was not happy with my purchase (listen to this, STEAM) if i was not ENTERTAINED. I wasn’t, for sure.