Everything You Need To Know Before The Witcher 3

Aw, that's adorable. If I gave you five years, you might even hurt me with those little sparklies.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt [official site] is only a couple of days away! The final adventure of Geralt of Rivia, and CD Projekt’s chance to prove that they can take the RPG skills they’ve honed in the first two games to a sweeping open world. We’ll have a review up for you as soon as possible, but until then, here’s some CliffsNotes to get you up to speed on what’s happening, where to buy it, and why you haven’t already seen a WIT.

The Witcher 3 review. Where is it, you lazy people?

Irritatingly, CD Projekt has yet to send out PC review code. Any review you’ve read or seen has been based on the PS4 version of the game. Since I’ll be doing the review, I’ve yet to actually read any of them, though it’s currently floating at a Metacritic of 92. That means that according to Science, it’s not as good an open world game as Grand Theft Auto V, but is at least a better movie than Sex Tape. Not being a fan of the former or having seen the latter, I cannot comment. Still, a promising start.

What Witcher 3 versions are out there to buy?

There’s the basic game, of course. Currently £40 as a pre-purchase on Steam, shooting to £50 after release, £32.99 on Amazon in open mockery of the fact that digital distribution should be cheaper, and £41.50 on the creators’ own GOG.COM just to be confusing – thanks, regional pricing! That said, you do get £6.20 off a future GOG purchase to offset that. Please do not spend it on a copy of Jack Orlando: A Cinematic Adventure. You just don’t want to do that.

As far as DLC goes, everyone gets 16 free DLC packs, including new beard and hairstyles for Geralt, a new look for his sorceress love Yennefer, and a set of Temerian armours good for man and horse alike. There’s also going to be two ‘epic’ expansions, and for those you need to pay. One is set to be 10 hours of game, the other 20 – Heart and Stone set in Oxenfurt, and Blood and Wine, set in the region of Toussaint. Heart and Stone is due for October, Blood and Wine for next year.

The expansion pass to get both of them is £20. There’s a package on Steam that lets you pre-purchase both at once, but don’t do that right now. If you buy the base game and then the DLC, it comes to £60, if you buy the pack, it’s £65. Unless my maths fails me, that’s another £5 that could have been better spent actively not buying a copy of Jack Orlando: A Cinematic Adventure.

For the rich, the Collector’s Edition comes with the soundtrack CD, a book on the Witcher universe, a map of the world, a set of stickers, a wolf medallion, an art book, a steelbook cover so that if the lights go out, you can find your copy of the game with a magnet and hug it in the dark, and a 25cm tall statue of Geralt fighting a griffin that looks to be shouting “Oi! Get off my back!” This version is about £140, though seems to be out of stock everywhere now. Still, if you shop around… This version doesn’t come with the expansion pass though, which seems distinctly tight-fisted.

Should have been called The Witcher 3: Witchest Edition

The Witcher 3 system requirements?

Quite a beefy PC! The biggest holdup is going to be RAM. It’s one of the first games to demand 6GB and ask for 8GB, as well as a good looking graphics card and a 64-bit OS.

The full, official specs go like this:

Minimum:

Intel CPU Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz
AMD CPU Phenom II X4 940
Nvidia GPU GeForce GTX 660
AMD GPU Radeon HD 7870
RAM 6GB
OS 64-bit Windows 7 or 64-bit Windows 8 (8.1)
DirectX 11
HDD Space 40 GB

Recommended:

Intel CPU Core i7 3770 3,4 GHz
AMD CPU AMD FX-8350 4 GHz
Nvidia GPU GeForce GTX 770
AMD GPU Radeon R9 290
RAM 8GB
OS 64-bit Windows 7 or 64-bit Windows 8 (8.1)
DirectX 11
HDD Space 40 GB

How long is The Witcher 3?

Second-hand, we’ve heard from other reviewers that you’re looking at 60-100 hours.

I’m new to The Witcher universe. Uh. What’s a Witcher, anyway?

Witchers are well trained, heavily mutated monster-hunters who travel the world as a freelance weapon against inhuman prey. They’re far tougher, faster and sturdier than any normal man, able to shrug off the worst diseases and freely quaff magical potions that would outright kill a normal person when they need a little extra boost. They’re also able to use basic magic in the form of Signs (which are like firecrackers next to a nuclear bomb when compared to what Sorceresses can do) but come in very useful in all manner of situations. They’re not popular people, but they’re handy to have around, identified easily by their cat-like eyes and magical medallions.

Their weapons of choice are swords – on the surface, a steel sword for men, a silver one for monsters, though as is often pointed out, both are for monsters. They’re not unkillable. They are, however, very hard to kill. Except at the start of The Witcher 2, where Geralt was quite unbelievably shit at fighting for a while. (Hopefully that’ll have been smoothed out a bit…)

Right, right, but “Witcher”?

Yeah, it’s a slightly odd word. The original Polish word is ‘Wiedźmin’. It’s been translated as both ‘hexer’ and ‘warlock’ before. Warlock is probably closest, a man with witch-like magic, though doesn’t really jibe with Geralt being more of a martial fighter with a few extra tricks up his sleeve.

Either way, Witcher is now the accepted translation.

Okay. And what’s going on?

Long story, and until playing the game it’s tough to know exactly what pays off and is relevant. In a nutshell though, Geralt was a legendary witcher… until he died. Waking up with amnesia, he found himself caught between two factions – a protective order of knights called the Order, and a non-human resistance movement called the Scoia’tael. Searching for his path brought him into contact with a strange child called Alvin, who turned out to have a rather dark future, as well as the sorceress Triss Merigold, with whom he’d soon develop a relationship even if the player decided against it. Defeating a larger threat to the world also put him in the good books of King Foltest of Temeria, who he promptly saves from an unknown assassin – one who has witcher eyes.

The sequel, Assassins of Kings, doesn’t go very well for Foltest. Another witcher, Letho, manages to kill him, and Geralt takes the rap for it. Sprung by Foltest’s spymaster, smart enough to spot when bullshit is going down, he escapes and finds himself in the middle of a war for a strategically important valley and a Sorceress scheme to seize power. Things can develop in many ways, but the consistent part is that he starts having flashbacks of his former love Yennefer, believed dead. As the game ends though, he discovers that she’s still alive. Cue something of a cliffhanger.

Look, the next person to ask me to add something to their iPhone calendar gets a silver sword up the anus.

Who’s this Yennefer then? And to save time, this Ciri person?

She’s a powerful sorceress, about a hundred years old but using magic to look like she wants to. She’s also something of a mother figure to Ciri, a princess who… okay, buckle down a bit. Within the Witcher universe is a concept called the ‘law of surprise’, which Geralt uses a few times. Essentially, it’s “We’ll let fate work out what you owe me for this” – the promise of something found at home that wasn’t expected, which typically turns out to be a child. For the Witchers, it’s a fairly standard way of getting new recruits for their rather unpleasant training regimen – Geralt himself just for starters.

Ciri was one such prize, though in the end Geralt didn’t actually claim her. Ciri ended up orphaned and moving around quite a bit, with her life and Geralt’s reconnecting a few years later after she gets kidnapped. After that, he gives her some Witcher training, Yennefer shows her the ways of magic, and everything else you need to know should be in the game. She’s a playable character in it, so we’ll probably be spending quite a while on her story. Enough, anyway. She also has a connection with the titular Wild Hunt, so we can probably assume she’s not in it just for the heck of it.

And what’s a Wild Hunt?

Bad news. It’s an army heralding death and misfortune, led by the King of the Wild Hunt. In real-world mythology, it’s been said to be led by the Norse god Odin (leading to one of the most badass parts of the almost universally badass Dresden Files books). In The Witcher universe, it’s full of spectres and doom. Geralt had run-ins with the King of the Wild Hunt in the first game, most notably at the end. They were only mentioned in passing in the second game though.

Can I import The Witcher saves?

Apparently so, though doing so in the second game made very little difference.

Can I see a few trailers?

I want to read the books!

Splendid, though they haven’t all been translated into English. There’s a short-story collection called The Last Wish, plus three novels – Blood of Elves, Times of Contempt and Baptism of Fire. Another, Sword of Destiny, is due next week. The games take place after them, in their own continuity.

I want to watch the TV series/see the film version!

You really, really don’t…

When does The Witcher 3 unlock?

If all goes well:

May 18th, 4.00 pm PT (Los Angeles)
May 18th, 7.00 pm ET (New York)
May 19th, 00.00 am BT (London)
May 19th, 2.00 am UT (Moscow)
May 19th, 8.00 am JT (Tokyo)

What are those plastic bits on the end of shoelaces called?

Aglets.

78 Comments

  1. Trenchdog says:

    So, aglets it is. The stuff you learn on a sunny Sunday in May…

  2. Orija says:

    I know Kotaku is one of the worst sites out there, but they did actually do a decent piece on “know everything before witcher 3”.

    link to kotaku.com

  3. gunny1993 says:

    As a Dresden files fan myself, soon as the wild hunt was mentioned for this game I entered full fanboy mode.

    Just remembered that my save files for Witcher 2 have been lost in the maelstrom of PC reformatting, gives me 2 days to replay it and get my favorite ending.

    • Orija says:

      The game also gives you a chance to state those changes in-game in the prologue section, just in case.

    • MacPoedel says:

      I was in the same situation for a playthrough of part 2, lost my savefile of part 1. Fortunately someone uploaded some savegames on Nexusmods, for TW1 and TW2. There are several versions that cover most of the important choices, and since no stats or equipment get transferred, I wouldn’t really worry about playing off someone else’s savegame, it’s basically the same as yours.

      Here’s the link for the TW1 savefiles: link to nexusmods.com?

      And here’s the link for the TW2 savefiles: link to nexusmods.com?

  4. Premium User Badge

    Der Zeitgeist says:

    I actually bought a physical copy of this game yesterday, only to find out I have to wait until it “unlocks” on Tuesday. I was quite proud of myself having not “preordered” that game, instead waiting for the “release” before buying it, and now I find that supposedly buying a released game doesn’t mean you can actually play it, even though you are actually holding the physical copy in your hand.

    I think I’m just getting too old for all that crap.

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      Because the “released” physical copy you bought is, well… Not released. It is “shipped to the shop” at most.

      The fact that some shops can get away with this kind of stuff doesn’t mean that it’s in any way normal.

      • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

        Bear in mind that my response was not perfectly tailored to your particular case, on the PC version requiring some extra form of activation the case might be slightly different, but i’m pretty sure it’s still not supposed to happen.

        If a shop is able to sell you something before another shop only because they’re not respecting the proper regulation is still not right.

    • Orija says:

      They just released the game before the day of release.

    • Orija says:

      They’re just selling the game before the day of release.

      • Premium User Badge

        Der Zeitgeist says:

        Sure, I totally understand what was happening there. I just find it totally mind-boggling, the stuff that people put up with to play PC games in 2015. I mean, I’ve been in this since 1992, and it’s just crazy.

        • Iskariot says:

          I have been gaming for at least 30 years and I am surprised at what young gamers are willing to accept too.

          Most likely, even though you own a physical copy, you will have to download a 20 Gb patch at day one too.
          That is how things are done these days.

          Having said that… CD Projekt is one of the best devs around as far as their consumer friendliness is concerned.

          • Orija says:

            Well, the day one patch for the XBONE and PS4 versions is around 500mb in size.

      • Raoul Duke says:

        Are you a bit slow, or just deliberately ignoring the point being made?

  5. axt09673 says:

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    • WinterlightSong says:

      So after you’ve made all this money, after you’ve bought the wife a second home and succumbed to an expensive second mistress…what do you do? Are you happier? Have you fulfilled your hopes and dreams? Have you felt the joy of love, the thrill of romance….the ecstasy of dodging, rolling and stabbing your foe in the spleen and watch him crumple to the ground in sustained agony? No?
      Well you should stop all this advertisement nonsense with all it’s lies and deceit, and go buy ‘The Witcher 3’

  6. TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

    This free DLC is slightly confusing, since it apparently be readily available from launch.

    Is this some sort of new advanced PR stunt? We strip some part of the base game, offer them as DLC and… HAH! Gotcha! IT’S FREE!

    • MacPoedel says:

      The free DLC will be released over the span of a weeks. It’s possible some of it will be downloadable from day 1, but I thought most of it was going to be released in weekly bits.

      But you’re right, CDPR announced this DLC in November, the game was set to ship in February at that time, but with the delay to May, obviously this DLC has just been lying on the shelf for months now.

      I find CDPR’s position in this very double. On the one hand they’re acting high and mighty about day 1 DLC and how it should be free, but on the other they have announced two very expensive DLC packs already. I totally understand and respect their position, I’m also glad to know beforehand that they have some idea when the expansions will arrive and what they will cost, but they should have communicated this better, maybe they should have held the free DLC announcement off a bit to be able to announce it together with the paid DLC.

      • Lanessar says:

        I dunno, the game is supposed to play over 50 hours just getting through the main story.

        Adding 30 hours (20+10) of content does feel like an expansion pack (which was pretty common back in the Baldur’s Gate/NWN days) rather than a couple of new quests or what I’ve seen recently posing as “DLC”. At $20 it’s pretty comparatively priced, too.

      • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

        Yeah, also don’t get me wrong; i never advocated against solid DLC/expansions plans, because to this day is still firmly believe that sound planning is the best way to tackle a big project, and since this is the reality of what they’ll do regardless at this point i indeed prefer to know their intentions beforehand. Off course this only applies to meaty and well thought out pieces.

        Basically, the only thing i am against is that this kind of free launch DLC ( we’re talking a couple outfits and beards, easy things compared to a new campaign ) suffers from the same logical fallacies of other scenarios we’ve about heard before. Sure, this time around is free and not a preorder bonus, especially not one linked to whichever shop you choose, but it still makes no sense as something separate and just reeks of a clumsy attempt at looking good and holy.

        • pepperfez says:

          Or it’s something they finished between the game going gold and its release.

    • kament says:

      As I understand it, they only finish DLC after game goes gold, in those two or three weeks before launch (there’s this great blog askagamedev, you can read more about it there). CDPR just don’t charge extra for that effort, which is mighty generous of them, considering. But maybe this strategy pays off, I don’t know.

  7. Lizergamid says:

    Check the books people, they’re really, really good. Sapkowski in Poland is popular like George R.R. Martin.

    • Premium User Badge

      serioussgtstu says:

      The fact that they have yet to release PC versions is highly suspect.

    • revan says:

      Books are some of the best fantasy novels I’ve read. Especially liked the collection of short stories one (The Last Wish). Makes me want to learn Polish and binge through the entire series instead of waiting for English translation, which, by the way, is excellent.

      Tried reading Serbian translation, even picked up two of the books when I was in Serbia, but their translation is atrocious. So, waiting game it is.

      • suibhne says:

        I could not disagree more strongly re. the English translations – they’re execrable. Gollancz has done a major disservice to some great books. The English translations are so bad, in fact, that the fan community translations of the unreleased books are only marginally worse than the official published translations.

        I hear the forthcoming translation of the fourth book is better, but that might still be damning with faint praise.

    • Horg says:

      The Witcher books are probably the best fantasy fiction i’ve read so far. Very concise prose that focuses on character development and the human drama. Games of Thrones fans should appreciate the brevity after Mr. Martins tendency to meander between dozens of plot arcs. Everyone else should appreciate the books avoiding so many of the fantasy fiction tropes that plague the genre.

    • Geebs says:

      The Witcher books are great; and in them Geralt has a much more nuanced reactionship with the creatures he’s paid to kill.

      Also, the first bit of Witcher 2 is reasonably accurate wrt Geralt’s fighting skill; in the books he always ends any fight with a significant number of humans badly wounded and in need of several months’ R and R.

      I just wish they hadn’t decided to turn Geralt’s “pirouettes” into rolling along the ground. That ends up looking ridiculous.

      • MajesticXII says:

        You do understand thats a spoiler for those who havent read the books right? -_-

  8. Premium User Badge

    mecreant says:

    The books have all been translated into french, which has given me the opportunity to read them all.
    There are two short story collections followed by a series of five short novels.
    They aren’t bad, but aren’t anything special. I preferred the short stories to the novels.
    The games borrow characters, events, and dialogue from the books, but rework them into an entirely new story.
    Chronologically, the first two games mostly take place before the novels. Ciri is a major character in the novels so The Witcher 3 probably takes place during the novels.

    • Eight Rooks says:

      The games all take place after the books. They all reference the thing that closes the last book as having taken place in the past. (Well, 1 and 2 definitely do, and the trailers for 3 seem to.)

    • Horg says:

      Your chronology is wrong, all three games are set after the events in the books.

    • Premium User Badge

      mecreant says:

      You’re both right, what I should have said is that the first two games draw more from the short stories for inspiration while it looks like the third game will probably do the same with the novels.

      • Radthor Dax says:

        Not so. All of the events taking place in the games reference (mostly) the novels, as both deal with the repercussions of the Great War. The reason nothing specific to do with Geralt, Yennefer or Ciri has appeared in the first two games is that Geralt suffered from amnesia after ‘dying’ in Rivia during the riots.

        All of the books have either official english translations or english fan translations for those that are interested.

  9. Clavus says:

    There are pretty good English fan translations of The Witcher books to be found on the web. Just google around, really great books.

    • Eight Rooks says:

      Conversely, I read The Last Wish and Blood of Elves, then read the translations for the last two (the translators pulled the others since you can get them in English) and now I don’t think I’ll be buying any more of the novels. Absolutely hated the way the series ended up. It still bugs me how reviewers talk about the games, and refuse to address that Triss is a god damned horrible person in the books (with Yennefer not far behind) as far as I’m concerned, an arrogant, manipulative shrew, and Geralt would have to be a lunatic to want anything further to do with either of them. To say nothing of the tone the sexy, sexy sexual content took in places. And I’m saying that as someone who’s already pre-ordered the game off GOG, has pre-loaded it and is wondering whether he can manage an all-nighter on Monday.

    • MattMk1 says:

      I checked out some of the English translations, and I would say they’re so-so. Most of that is hard to blame on the people trying to do the work – Sapkowski just writes in a way that really does not lend itself well to translation.

      The language used is neither archaic nor modern Polish – it’s an attempt (largely very successful, IMO) to blend them together to convey the feel that things are happening far away and long ago, but the people populating it are speaking naturally.

      There’s also tons of dry humor, as well as a lot of references to Polish or at least Slavic culture and myth that can’t possibly make sense in translation. And also some thankfully very rare bits where the jokes fall flat and are awkward even in the original, but once translated, they just look like something got lost in translation…

      Actually, the games – especially the first one – had even more of that. In the Polish original (which was actually pretty good) they were trying really hard to copy Sapkowski’s voice and weren’t always very good at it, and then the English translations of those bits accounted for some of the most painfully awkward lines in the pre-Expanded Edition dialogue.

      • Horg says:

        Sapkowski allegedly fell out with his first official English translator, which explains the delay in translating the last two books. I’ve been waiting ages for them to drop, so was very relieved to hear that we get no.4 next week. Reading your explanation of how he wrote in Polish makes it sound like the translator had an impossible task. It’s a shame I will never get to read them they way he intended, but the quality of the story and the world he created hold up on their own, even if some subtleties are lost in translation.

  10. golem09 says:

    Just to elaborate a bit more on the backstory:

    Geralt did not became a Witche by Law of Surprise, his mother was a sorceress that gave him away.

    Ciri is the result of a lot of generations of breeding to get the right strain of DNA from one of her elven ancestors, which enables her to travel between worlds, for example to ours. The elves came to the world of the witcher by this method and now that this world is almost at the time of an ice age, they want Ciri’s power to get all the elves the hell out of there. Guess what, the few humans that now about that want that to.
    For example the emperor of Nilfgaard, who wants to have a child with Ciri that is prophesized to almost be an messiah type figure. He wants in on that. While… errr, at the same time being her father. Yes.
    Ciri has been to the original world of the elves, and was supposed to have a child with their king, but managed to escape. After that she sought to kill everyone that was after her for her powers, and in the end, when Geralt was mortally wounded, brought him and Yennerfer into the world of the elves to let them recover there. That’s where the books end, that and her settling down in our world, probably joining Arthur’s knights of the round table in england.

    A bit more world lore:
    The humans and monster came to the World of the Witcher about 1500 years ago, when there was a great cataclysm, throwing all kinds of stuff through several worlds. Human were actually on another continent, and the elder races, like elves and dwarfs only noticed the monster at first, until a few hundred years later humans came to the continent by ship. And of course they started conquering every, heavily diminish the numbers of the elders races, and build their cities on the ruins of old elven ones.
    Now there is an uprising of elder races who wan’t take shit from humans anymore, most prominently the Scoiatel, or “Squirrels”, who classicaly elven but recruit just about everyone into their ranks because they don’t give a shit, since all they want is kill humans. Not make the world a better place for the elder races, but just to spread terror. They’re terrorists and will gladly kill innocents.
    Nilfgaard is an expansionist kingdom similar to the roman empire that has waged several wars against the northern kingdoms that finally stand united against the threat, also with the help of the Mages, of whom several died to protect the kingdoms. The mages in return now form a lodge that wants to spread their influence on the politics of the kingdoms extensively.

    • Orija says:

      Hey, hey, hey! The Squirrels in The Witcher 1 were fighting for the all the non-human blood being spilled on the streets of Vizima, and Iorveth was fighting for the idea of Saskia’s egalitarian society where both humans and non-humans could peacefully reside.

      I keep hearing Nilfgaard be compared to the Roman empire, but are they really that similar outside the expansionism? The Romans had to contend with the tribes not other European kingdoms anyway. I’d say that the Black Ones have more in similar with the Ottomans.

      • golem09 says:

        They are also compared to the romans because of their efficient bureaucracy and their tight grip on the market and industry that seems to benefit everyone. They are a weird kind of bully good guys, while the kings of the northern kingdom plot against each other at every corner.

      • suibhne says:

        The Ottoman comparison makes sense, too, because the Nilfgaardian Empire is a mix of liberal/enlightenment political freedoms, moral stricture, and military autocracy. I can’t speak for the Polish wording, but the Roman comparison among English writers may be persistent because Sapkowski’s translators keep using titles like “Imperator”.

    • Slazer says:

      I think it is unclear how Geralt actually ended up becoming a Witcher in Detail.

      Visenna admits that she gave him away, but the druid from Skellige (Mäussack in German, forgot the English name) mentions that Geralt was a result of the rule, and that it is the reason he insists on keeping up the deal between Duny and Calanthe’s late husband.

  11. montorsi says:

    Yes, let’s hope they’ve taken their skills at crafting games so incomplete they need an enhanced edition months and months later to make any sense of the damned narrative. Let’s also watch as the gaming press fails to report that this is the case, because oh it’s pretty.

  12. ribby says:

    I already knew about aglets

    • caff says:

      I didn’t. But now that I do, I feel like something important might have been pushed out of my brain to make space for it.

  13. tormeh says:

    I heartily recommend Last Wish. Blood of Elves is shite, though.

  14. L3TUC3 says:

    There’s still bundle deals for GPU’s where you can get the Witcher 3 with the purchase of a shiny new pixelpusher, so that might net you some savings for those looking to upgrade.

    I’ll not be reading/viewing any Witcher 3 things until I can actually play it and finish replaying 1 and 2.

  15. Christo4 says:

    Will it run on a laptop?
    WIth 1366×768 and GTX460, corei5?
    Will it run?

    TELL ME IT WILL RUN!

    please…

    • Darth Gangrel says:

      My laptop’s specs are below those of the Min Req for The Witcher 2 and so I only tried it after Steam gave me a free weekend of it. That was a bit more than two years after the Enhanced Edition came out. I ran it on medium settings without a hitch and perhaps The Witcher 3 will also run well on something a little below the Min Req, but I can’t say for sure. If that’s the case, one might have to wait a while for them to patch and optimize it first. I’m looking to get a new computer and am aiming for something that’s about the same or higher than the Min Req for The Witcher 3. Apart from that game, I don’t have that many new games that I want to play right away. The backlog beckons…

      • Christo4 says:

        Well, i was thinking that the reqs were for 1920×1080 so i thought it would work on a lower res.
        Witcher 2 worked at medium settings for me pretty good, didn’t have a problem finishing the game.

    • Juan Carlo says:

      By most accounts, the spec for this are greatly exaggerated. Everyone’s saying it runs fine on ultra on a GTX770, which makes sense as CDPR used the same exact build for XBONE, PS4, and PC. The only difference is that PC has the option for longer draw distances, NVIDIA hair physics, more random NPC crowds, and a few other minor additions like SSAO and HBAO. So the requirements shouldn’t be all that much steeper than they were in Witcher 2, although Witcher 3 is Directx 11 which automatically eliminates some older cards that could run Witcher 2 fine. And since WItcher 3 doesn’t seem to have ubersampling at all, maxed Witcher 3 will probably be less demanding than maxed Witcher 2 (with ubersampling on),

  16. Darth Gangrel says:

    “I want to watch the TV series/see the film version!” “You really, really don’t…” I actually DO want to watch it, though, and your PC Gamer article has only made me more enthusiastic about doing so (I loved the wonderful badness of the Dungeons and Dragons movie). Since the movie is just the tv-series squeezed into 2 hours, I’ll watch the whole 13 episodes to fully immerse myself in this adaptation.

    I had previously read that the little bits of plastic at the end of shoelaces were called aglets, but forgotten about it until I read it here, so thanks for that, as well as your tv-series “recommendation”.

    • Bereil says:

      The series was actually fun, and full of fantasy camp. I watched them with subtitles after reading the first couple Witcher books. Some of the nuance from the books is gone, and a stories were changed for those reasons that TV shows always change plots from sourced material. Also, there’s only one season, so it’s easy to binge watch them over a weekend.

    • demicanadian says:

      TV Series is good. It does not have a wow effect of big budget ‘murrican productions (that were inexistent back when this series was filmed). Close your eyes in the dragon episode, and you’ll be good.

      • demicanadian says:

        I just realised that article was about the movie. Movie was bad – creators were apologizing for it before it was even in the theathers.

    • Provender says:

      Thumbs up from me also for the series, if you enjoyed Robin of Sherwood in the 80s you’ll probably like it. It’s slightly silly and the special effects are low budget even by the standards of the era (don’t get me started on the striga) but its heart is in the right place.

  17. Akbar says:

    Everything I need to know before The Witcher 3: it won’t run on my computer

  18. KwisatzHaderach says:

    “All you nee to know” and not a word about the downgrade of the graphical fidelity… I know it is not hip to complain about the mere visual presentation of a game, but considering that RPS still uses footage from the “old” version that looked about 4x better than the actual PC release version and that CDP are continually lying about that a downgrade ever happened, I would think people deserve to know what is going on.

    For my sources just check the German game site GameStar and click on every news with Witcher 3 in it. They have comparisons between the PS4 and the PC final release version on ultra (and there is hardly any difference) and between PC low and PC ultra details (again, hardly any difference…).

    What makes me a little upset is not that the game doesn’t look its finest on PC, but that CDPR kept lying in the face of the part of the community that made it what it is, the PC core gamers. I do know they were never saints and always a business, but a business with a PR department that actually pushed the right buttons in the right way, mostly delivering on their promises. With the recent events I feel the last big publisher/dev has fallen off from caring about the PC-gaming segment… Makes me sad.

    (just to clarify; I’m not whining about the graphics, but about the way this whole thing was communicated)

    • jacobvandy says:

      Yup! It’s just more salt in the wound when all these gaming sites keep using their years-old stock screenshots on every related story, when the game simply does not look like that. Being so complacent is almost being complicit.

      Go here if you want to read what is supposed to be an anonymous CDPR dev’s explanation of the whole thing: link to whatifgaming.com

      tl;dr – They sorely overestimated the power of next-gen consoles when they put together that E3 2013 demo and were forced to make significant compromises.

      • gunny1993 says:

        Its a real misstep for them, if they just outright went and blamed consoles most PC gamers would totally understand. Consoles for their many, many, many sins are a huge market, with the general good press and palyerbase CDPR has they don’t need to fuck us around and say there were no mistakes made, its not like watchdogs where it was a new IP and they needed to sucker people in with fancy graphics.

        I mean I daresay M$soft and Sony have contracts that say “You cant say our pieces of shit are pieces of shit, our shit is just unformed diamonds”, but they could have quietly leaked some anonymous info on the side and they wouldn’t be getting as much backlash.

        To me worrying about graphics in a witcher game is like whining that a lost shakespear play has a reduced vocabulary, its not that important but it is disappointing.

    • Juan Carlo says:

      I agree it’s awful and an awful sign of things to come that arguably one of the last major pro-PC developers with a series that was designed to push the limits of PC graphics in the past are basically now just releasing a direct console port.

      CDPR has been pretty good about releasing massive, free, overhauls of their games in the past, though. So I still have hope that we might yet see an “enhanced edition” that restores some of the graphical stuff they gutted from the game. But, by all accounts, the game wasn’t anywhere near complete when they made the original DX9 2013 gameplay video. So I imagine redoing the game to match that quality might require a huge amount of assets to be completely reworked, so I’m not sure if an enhanced edition that brings the entire game up to that level of jaw dropping quality is feasible in the future.

      And, if my hunch is correct, they are going to make more money than they ever dreamed of with this release, just from console sales alone. Which probably won’t make them any more indebted to pleasing the more niche PC market.

      Not that the game at present is ugly or anything, but it’s hideous relative to the 2013 demo. And from the leaked screenshots and (very few) PC gameplay videos that have leaked, it doesn’t even look as good, in many respects, when compared to stuff like “Assassin’s Creed Unity.”

  19. Phantom_Renegade says:

    I pre-ordered the special collecters edition last year in July, and just got the call yesterday that Namco didn’t make enough of them and that I’m fucked. Was really looking forward to that artbook.

    • Horg says:

      I say pretty good odds they make another batch, it sold out everywhere.

      • Jalan says:

        That and it won’t be too long before the more cunning folk take to the likes of eBay and begin selling off pieces from it (alongside those re-selling the entire kit).

  20. Deathshadow says:

    I cant wait for the HBO series version!

  21. Ovidiu GOA says:

    why use this FAKE “screenshot” in the article, the game does not look like that

  22. racccoon says:

    Any further reviews I won’t be hitting “Read the rest of this entry »”

    I will be playing..:)

  23. Stone_Crow says:

    The little metal surrounds for key holes in doors are “escutcheons”. Together with aglets they make up the short list of every “what do you call the…” question in the traditional British pub quiz.

    • Jac says:

      What do you get if you cross Tiffany from Eastenders with a little metal surround for key holes in doors?

      Martine Mcscutcheon.

  24. zat0ichi says:

    I was expecting to have my eyballs lovingly fallated for 100hours and now its more of a matter of fact tug and told to use the curtains on the way out.

    I guess the overall result is the same.

  25. Darth Jimmi says:

    Damn it, Richard!
    I know this is mostly a PC gaming website, but ffs you could’ve at least clarrified that the unlock time you put here are only for the pc version!
    I’m a pc gamer and all, but i pre-ordered the game on Xbone. I was all excited to be able to play today at 7 pm!
    Now, i checked on the xbox marketplace, and oh, f**k you jimmi, the game’s coming out tommorow at 12, because you’re on a console, and nobody cares about you!

    Okay, that’s slightly exagerated, but still, would’ve saved me the anxiety to at least clarify that the unlock dates here are ONLY for pc.
    I’m upset now…