E3 2013: The Witcher 3 Preview | STFUandPlay

E3 2013: The Witcher 3 Preview

By Tony Polanco Fri, June 28, 2013 - 12:16:25

The first two games in The Witcher saga brought the gaming world robust, high quality, modern RPGs that won acclaim from the press and gamers. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is taking what people love about the series and refining it for a new generation.

The Witcher 3 is set in a massive open world. The game is a fantasy RPG with a character driven, non linear story where choices have actual meaning and consequence. Combat will be tactical, intuitive and take place within rich, living environments. The Witcher 3 promises to offer everything that RPG fans could want.

About the story to The Witcher 3:

“The world is in chaos. The air is thick with tension and the smoke of burnt villages. The fearsome Empire of Nilfgaard has struck again, ravaging the hapless Northern Kingdoms. The once-mighty who tried to use Geralt for their own gain are now gone. In these uncertain times, no one can say what fortune holds in store, who will bring peace to the world and who will cause it only misery. But a force darker and deadlier emerges. The petty men and women commanding tin-plated armies fail to understand that their conflict is child’s play compared to the Wild Hunt, the otherworldly threat which now looms. These ghastly spectral riders have for ages plagued humankind, bringing misery to the world. Yet this time the Wild Hunt seeks one person in particular: the one individual Destiny itself bestowed upon Geralt, the one soul Geralt considers kin.”

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Although this is the finale to The Witcher saga, it is a stand alone adventure. If you’ve never played a game in the series, fear not. You can jump into The Witcher 3 fresh without any prior knowledge of past games. A cinematic introduction will help to ease new players into the story as well as be a handy catch up to those who’ve played previous Witcher games.

The Witcher 3 will be brimming with main and side quests that can be completed in any order that the player desires. The quests are all tied into the main story and were careful crafted to immerse gamers in the world of The Witcher. The choices that you make in the quests will have actual consequences that will change the story and the game world. These choices will result in 36 different final gameworld states and three different playable epilogues.

Helping to facilitate the open ended nature of the game is the world itself, which is 35 times larger than that of The Witcher 2’s. There will be many regions that you can explore and each will be culturally distinct from one another. You can move around the world freely and without any loading screens. This might be one of the biggest environments ever seen in a video game.

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The world will actually feel like a real, living place. Thanks to new mechanics, you’ll encounter intelligent beings that are realistically animated. There is a day and night cycle with dynamic weather effects. You’ll have to endure torrential rains or blistering heat as you traverse the world. You’ll see animals hunting each other, villagers defending themselves from monsters and all sorts of other unexpected and unpredictable things.

The world’s economy is dynamic as well and will change depending on where you are. The price of fish, for example, will be different in a town that’s far from a lake or river as opposed to one that is closer to a body of water. If you come along a trade route with merchants selling items for trappers and hunters, you’ll notice that the prices of your crafting components and armor are different from places without these types of merchants. A game like this lives or dies by how genuine and believable the world is. The Witcher 3 is taking author Andrzej Sapkowski’s original ideas for this world and truly making them come to life.

Combat has been overhauled to make it precise like a fighting game, while still retaining traditional RPG elements. Thanks to the new responsive combat engine, gamers can become master swordsmen that are able to slay anyone or anything that stands in their way. The game wants you to really feel like a Witcher, the ultimate monster slayer. Monsters won’t be easy to defeat and they’ll respond to you and the environment around them. If you’ve played The Witcher 2, then you’ll definitely appreciate how combat has been upgraded, refined and polished in The Witcher 3. There are no button prompts here, all of your actions are your own to execute.

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Let’s not forget that The Witcher 3 is at its core, an RPG game. Geralt’s stats, abilities and equipment will all affect his character growth and progression. Certain weapons will be useful for battling a swarm of foes for example, while an enhanced Axii sign can help when negotiating with merchants. These systems will be easy to understand thanks to the game’s smooth learning curve. This will help gamers master of all the intricacies of the RPG mechanics. You’ll be able to use your Witcher Senses during investigations or during hunts. The Sign casting system has been expanded and now includes two modes for each of the 5 signs. This will open up combat by allowing players to use magic in creative ways. There is also an intuitive alchemy system, enhanced crafting mechanics and expanded character development system.

Last but not least are the graphics. CD Projekt is aiming to make The Witcher 3 one of the most visually stunning RPGs out there. The graphics are built from the ground up for modern PCs and for the next generation consoles. The Witcher 3 will have beautiful visuals that have only been previously seen in high end shooters and action games. The game will have dynamic lighting and shadow effects that will enhance the atmosphere and ambiance of the game world. The locations will be highly detailed and will boast a large number of polygons to bring them to life.

The Witcher 3 is looking to be THE RPG of the next generation. CD Projekt has been working hard on this title to ensure that it becomes the new standard for RPGs. On paper, this game appears to have everything in place to deliver a truly immersive and memorable experience.

The Witcher 3 will be released for the PC, Playstation 4 and Xbox One sometime in 2014.

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