The latest issue of Game Informer has confirmed that the concluding chapter in CD Projekt Red’s Witcher franchise is The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. The game is scheduled to release during 2014 for PC and ‘all high-end platforms’ which we can only assume will be Sony and Microsoft’s new consoles.
Right, let’s get into the details covered in Game Informer’s feature, some of which sound completely insane (in the best possible way). Firstly, according to CD Projekt Red, The Witcher 3’s world-size is 20 percent larger than that of Skyrim’s; meaning that it will take players 30-40 minutes to traverse on horseback. That fact alone blows my mind but let’s continue.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is a truly open-world game and thus will no longer be divided into chapters like previous games in the series. Geralt has finally regained his memory and players can explore the world at their own pace and choose when they want to tackle each mission. CD Projekt explained that the game’s narrative is told via three different forms which are described below:
- Lowest Level: Free-form activities such as crafting, monster slaying, and going on quests (There are over 100 hours of hand-scripted quests).
- 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.
Monster hunting in The Witcher 3 will be a much deeper experience for the player. Geralt will have 96 combat animations (Geralt had 20 in The Witcher 2) and information regarding specific monsters can be acquired through a variety of means. The time of day and other conditions can affect where monsters appear and their abilities.
The enemy A.I. has been rebuilt for The Witcher 3 and bosses will no longer be scripted. Furthermore, Geralt’s skill trees have been overhauled and will include lots of new skills. For example, the Igni sign now has a flamethrower effect and can be upgraded to omit a 360 degree blast.
Horses can be used to traverse The Witcher 3’s vast world and can also be used to store items much like Inns. Mounted combat is being tested but is not yet a confirmed feature. The game’s inventory system is also being improved in order to offer a less ‘tedious’ experience.
Finally, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is being developed in CD Projekt Red’s REDengine 3 and will feature new streaming technology and new cloth simulation technology. Expect the game to be pushing the envelope in-terms of visuals just like The Witcher 2 did and straining the latest hardware, when the game launches in 2014.