The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt announced

Coming to PCs and "high-end platforms" in 2014.

February 4, 2013 / 11:50 PM EDT / (@salromano)

The latest issue of Game Informer confirms The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, “a must see next generation RPG” from CD Projekt RED.

The game once again stars Geralt, his memory now restored, who is done fighting for others. His new missions include everything from solving mysteries to slaying monsters. And there will be no chapters, acts, or artificial break-points to slow him down.

Wild Hunt is set in a world 20 percent bigger than that of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and 40 times larger than that of The Witcher 2—one so large that it takes 30 to 40 minutes to cross on horseback. (Boat, foot, and fast-travel for previously visited locations are also travel options.)

According to the mag, Geralt can ‘seamlessley’ cross the game world with no loading screens to disturb him. This is because the team felt it missed the freedom of open-world games such as Skyrim.

When traveling, points of interest will always be in sight. Players will explore dark caves, embattled villages, decaying ruins, and other areas. Based on where you are in the world, you’ll come across certain mini-games, too. Skellige, for example, has a knife toss mini-game through which you can earn exclusive rewards.

The game’s narrative is said to offer three forms:

  • Lowest Level: Free-form activities such as crafting, monster slaying (which seems to be more extensive in the third iteration), and going on quests. (There are over 100 hours of hand-scripted quests. These include helping villages and engineering the succession of the Skellige kings. Though, I think the latter would apply to the Next Level.)
  • Next Level: The political situation of the Nilfgaardian invasion is resolved through a core plot line for each area, including Skellige, Novigrad, and No Man’s Land.
  • Final Level: Geralt’s main storyline, his search for his loved ones, and the chase of the Wild Hunt.

Players will be tasked with making choices, and naturally, can skip things if they’d like, but will face whatever consequences if they choose to do so.

Each land in The Witcher 3 will have its own storyline. Major events in the main storyline are said to be “gates” for the state of the world. For example, a village threatened by bandits might be abandoned after certain events if the player doesn’t step in with a helping hand.

Weather effects are also a big part of the game. This time, they’re dynamically generated and fully modeled as real, volumetric clouds. They’re not a simple paint on the skybox anymore.

On the field, monsters, bandits, traders, animals, and others will attack anyone they determine to be hostile. But enemies won’t scale to your level. Enemy AI has been completely rebuit, and scripted boss sequences are a no-go.

When monster hunting, players can gather clues to build up information. Books hold information on monsters and townsfolk can also provide insight. Potions and similar items are important when going into battle. Depending on the time of day and other conditions, monsters may appear in different areas and boast different abilities.

In combat, you’ll be able to perform critical strikes on a monster’s weak point depending on how much you’ve learned about it. When fighting a vampire, for example, you can negate its poison attack by hitting its venom gland. Or, you can strike at both its hearts with a thrust attack for an instant kill.

After they’ve been defeated, monsters will drop loot such as normally unobtainable chemical and crafting materials required for unique potions, mutagens, and other forms of item crafting. These allow Geralt to gain special abilities and upgrades in the new mutation development tree. Monster kills provide income as well (orens drop?).

Crafting is a critical part of maximizing Geralt’s potential, but weapons and armor can be found in many other ways, as well. Players will be able to customize their crafted weapons with additional components like monster scales for leather in armor. Each armor piece will have a unique appearance through the game’s new cloth simulation tech. Also in line with customization, players will have access to a barber to change Geralt’s hairstyle. But you won’t be able to dye his hair.

The “flow of combat” and “backward difficulty curve” of previous games is being reworked. In comparison to The Witcher 2, which had 20 combat animations, The Witcher 3 will have 96. When fighting enemies, a new “weighting” system will make sure the most threatening of enemies are always in the frame. These changes were made to make sure players wouldn’t get locked into animations.

Players can strike enemies with a single button press, and each move takes “roughly equivalent time to execute.” You can always interrupt your attack in order to dodge or block, even when you’re out of stamina, but you will be staggered. Your attacks are very fast, though, as are your opponents. In place of the former dodge roll, Geralt has a new pivot move “that retains its defensive utility without game-breaking mobility.”

Proper mounted combat is still in the testing stages, but at this point is not a definite part of the game. Horses are, however, as mentioned earlier, as they’re an important tool for navigation. It’s merely on-horse combat that’s unconfirmed. Outside of combat, one idea is that players can access their long-term stash from their horse and at inns.

Regarding inventory management, the team understands it was frustrating in The Witcher 2 and are aiming to improve it in The Witcher 3.

The Witcher 3, which is being developed by a team double the size of the previous game, uses CD Projekt RED’s new REDengine 3 technology and will launch for PC and “all high-end platforms available” in 2014. A next-gen hint it is, then.

“This is the conclusion of the trilogy.”

Watch a video featuring the CD Projekt RED staff below.

Thanks, NeoGAF.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/wtfits.gardner Cat Flames

    30 to 40 minutes to cross it on horseback…. WOW!! does that even fit on a blue ray?? …I think it should right? …FEB 20th COMMON xD

    • http://twitter.com/Muckfumble Stoffe Haag

      What you should remember is that CD project is first and foremost a PC dev. wether it fits on physical media or not is probably not their first priority.

    • http://twitter.com/fre1gn Mihail Fuks

      It’s only 20% larger world, than Skyrim, and it’s weight was 6.5GB if I’m not mistaken. In short, while vastness of the world is a factor in game’s weight, it is certainly not the biggest one.

      • Bilbo Swaggins

        Skyrim also used a new compression method though that allowed them to keep the file size so small, while maintaining a large open world.

    • Zancrow

      One layer of a Blu-Ray has 25 GB, so yeah, probably. ;)

      • http://www.facebook.com/wtfits.gardner Cat Flames

        Yeah I figured as much but… Tekken Tag on WiiU is almost 25GB right? LOL eh it will be fine I do play on PC and have tons of games on steam they are all 7GB – 9GB size so no big.

    • rockman29

      Size of storage does not determine world size.

      See: Morrowind, Skyrim, etc (all less than DVD size)

  • KIngpigeon96

    Didn’t care for the other two games.

    • Bloodios

      But this one piqued your interest, yes?

  • Prodigy-X

    OMG come to PS4 Feb 20th 2013.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bob-Obb/100001994017630 Bob Obb

    Why does ever single piece of promo art these days have to be blue and orange? Other than that, I’m anxious to see some footage

  • Himiko

    Holy snit.

  • Bloodios

    I wonder if it’s going to have DX11.1 support…

  • syaznifaiq

    They should re-release the others two game on others platform too before release this game .. don’t want to buy a game which i didn’t understand the story and the character

    • DrForbidden

      Not gonna happen, man. Also, re-release implies a new release of previously-released content. The first game was only released on PC while the second one never saw PS3 release.

      • syaznifaiq

        if true then this game is not a day one purchase for me, maybe i buy it after this game get good feedback from major reviewer .. I’m already did the same with DMC

    • Solomon_Kano

      You’ll be alright without them. Game Informer’s article says this one has a standalone story, so everything we need to know will come from the game itself. Getting the first two on other platforms sure wouldn’t hurt though. I still want to play the 2nd game.

  • http://gematsu.com/ Sal Romano

    Continuously adding info to this, btw.

  • Skerj

    Hooray a Western medieval fantasy RPG with combat that won’t suck ass!! GG Bethesda and Bioware.

    Thus is the end of my short comments, I’ll be back with the 3-4 paragraphs next time.

  • Solomon_Kano

    Now THIS is a western RPG I can get behind! I’ve always wanted to play the first two, but they were never available on PS3. Well, looks like I won’t have to worry about this one not making it to PS4!

    Good combat, a world bigger than Skyrim’s, CD Projekt’s ever-impressive visuals, tiered levels of story involvement, choices with consequences! This is literally everything I’ve ever wanted in an RPG, whether I knew it or not.

    The tiered story has me most interested. That’s brilliant. It combines what I love about JRPGs with the kind of choice WRPGs are championed for. They’re actually letting you choose how much of the story you want to experience. That’s incredible to me.

    30 to 40 minutes to cross the map is still getting me. Good golly gosh, I’m hyped right now. Come on, let’s get a trailer running CDP! Perhaps we’ll see some of this on the 20th? I sure hope so! If I was interested in what next-gen had to offer before, I’m now excited for what next-gen has to offer!

  • http://gematsu.com/ Zero

    It all sounds promising. I need to play catch up on the previous entries.

  • http://www.facebook.com/retsmot Tommy Ong

    ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. i want! :)

  • http://gematsu.com/ Sal Romano

    I think the updates are done. I’m shot. Going to sleep now.

    • 浪黒雷 (ro-kurorai)

      お疲れ様!

      • http://gematsu.com/ Sal Romano

        どういたしまして!

  • AnimusVox

    :’D

  • Raiyu

    PS4/PC it is then.

  • http://twitter.com/RaiuLyn Raiu

    All right…That’s a tough choice… PC or PS4? I can’t decide….

  • s2n08

    Mommy, I had an accident….in my pants!!!!!

  • NCloud

    What about PS fans who haven’t played the first or the second game? something like ME2?

    I hope my gtx680 can handle this game :)

    • Solomon_Kano

      Game Informer said The Witcher 3′s story is standalone, so that’s good for those of us who only have PS3s.

    • DrForbidden

      I’d say it’s highly unlikely for them to invest the time and money into porting over two games to the PlayStation. Not unless there is a massive demand, but even then the sheer logistics and undertaking would make it a project several years long. So, unlikely. Hell, they even canceled the first port for the PS3, demand or no.

  • Locksus

    “The only people who should tell us how the game should look like, should be the consumers.” Man, I really love their attitude. Don’t you people just love CDPR?
    Aaand it’s coming out next year!

  • http://www.facebook.com/luisedgm Luis Eduardo Guedes Martins

    GET HYPE

  • http://twitter.com/Kinbushi Richard Tooth

    The only reason I haven’t played The Witcher 2 was because my pc is crap, and I don’t like the idea of needing to change disc on the Xbox….. Was it any good?

  • Zancrow

    “His new missions include everything from solving
    mysteries to slaying monsters.”
    Sounds like the last two games. xD

  • rockman29

    And it will be GLORIOUS.

  • 浪黒雷 (ro-kurorai)

    Hope this will be the biggest and best WRPG for years to come. Maybe BioWare will design DAIII to fall more in line with Origins than DAII.

    • quincy jones

      I actually preferred the way the Combat was in DA2 over the point-click-cue of DAO, although the level design was better in the first one

      • 浪黒雷 (ro-kurorai)

        DAII was more combat oriented but narrative and characterization went downhill. I loved the Origin Stories in DA:O and the writing is still one of the best WRPGs have to offer. DAII’s, not so much.

  • Speedo Redempteur

    This is something unexpected but so welcome..

    If they deliver that will be a revolution in many ways

  • PrinceHeir

    The Witcher 1/2 for PS3 please!