The Witcher 3 Announced, First Details Emerge
CD Projekt RED’s The Witcher series has become one of my favorite roleplaying game series of all time through its two entries. I loved the first one for being unabashedly hardcore, all isometric viewpoints and point-and-click interfaces. The Witcher was not ashamed of what it was or where it had come from. It had sought to take what Baldur’s Gate and others had done before and improve upon it, but it had not come to change the game. I even loved its quirky, rhythm-based combat. The Witcher 2 was another matter entirely. Not in that I didn’t love it, as well. I did. Maybe even more than the first. It felt bigger, with its cutting-edge graphics and over-the-shoulder camera. It felt, maybe, a little more intense with its faster-paced combat. Still, it had depth and it had sole. The potion systems in these games are truly magnificent and I found the story-branching in the second game to be more interesting than the first, although I understand that is up for debate. It was not content to follow in the footsteps of its RPG godfathers. It was a thoroughly modern game with the soul of an old school RPG.
Now, the folks at CD Projekt RED have officially announced The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and, apparently it will take place in a world 30 times larger than that found in the The Witcher 2. Now, mind you, The Witcher 2 was not Elder Scrolls big. It didn’t need to be. It went for dense-and-interesting over expansive-and-awe-inspiring (I happen to like the Elder Scrolls series as well, in any case). “Imagine playing a dark fantasy game with the same great nonlinear tory as the previous Witcher titles, but now told in a world you can explore freely with no artificial boundaries,” reads the quote from Adam Badowski, head of CD Projekt Red, in the announcement press release from the developers. The second Witcher was a little on the linear side (except for the story branching) but, as I said, it also encourage replay by being condensed. I’m interested to see if the folks at CD Projekt RED can keep up that level of denseness in this new, nonlinear world. I hope so, especially since they have announced this will be the last Witcher game. The Witcher 3 has a current release date of 2014, we won’t have too long to be bummed, with their take on Cyberpunk 2077 with an estimated release date of 2015. For those looking for more information on The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt you might check out the official web page or the ongoing Game Informer cover story.