A few more details have emerged on The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, without having to read the scans of some store-owned magazine or other to which they've inanely restricted their promotional material. (Oh, gaming industry, you are infinitely idiotic.) Wild Hunt will be CDPR's last ever Witcher game, they've declared, but this time in an open world "larger than any other in modern RPG history".
30 times bigger than The Witcher 2, the emphasis here really does seem to be on an open, freely explorable massive world. We're promised woods, lakes, mountains, cites and villages, all at our disposal, all offering quests and adventures. Although whether access to them all will be restricted by the stupidest opening section of a game imaginable has yet to be announced.
CD Projekt Red's bossman Adam Badowski emphasises the point further, in his press release puff:
"Imagine playing a dark fantasy game with the same great non-linear story as in the previous Witcher titles, but now told in a world you can explore freely with no artificial boundaries. The war-ravaged world is so huge that to reach farther places you will need to ride a horse or sail a boat to get there. A world where your choices have truly epic consequences."
So, yes, we've heard such claims all before, from every RPG developer since the dawn of time. They're not original words. But I rather get the sneaking suspicion that this time they may actually be true. And of course there's the obvious comparison with The Elder Scrolls to draw - it'll be interesting to see if they handle such scope in the same way.
It'll be on their freshly revealed REDengine 3, and they promise an improved combat system, and "no Quick Time Events", so that's good. The only hint toward any actual purpose to it all so far is that Geralt will be rescuing loved ones, and ultimately tying up the story of the witch hunter. Badowski emphasises that this really is the final chapter for the character, and the Witcher series. "We believe that we should end the series on a high note. Technology has progressed to where we can finally tell the story the way we want, with the visuals we want, in the world we imagined. This will be the ultimate fantasy RPG experience, and while we're hardly out of stories to tell, we believe it's time for us to look to new worlds and new horizons to keep pushing the boundaries of what we can create."
Obviously they're promising that it'll be accessible to people who didn't wade through the tortuous tedium of the first game's first ten hours, and those who were so incredibly pissed off by the second game's moronic beginning that they swore to never play it for another second. There's no mention at this point about collectable tits. But it's coming as soon as next year, which is impressively speedy for a game of the scale they're describing. Sadly we don't get to show you screenshots of it, because they're stuck behind a paywall of a website for a magazine owned by a shop that sells games because everything is stupid. (We could post the watermarked versions like every other site will, but then their editor might start threatening to sue our readers again.)