June 16, 2014 by Ryan Ward
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is a story-driven, next-generation open world role-playing game, set in a fantasy universe full of meaningful choices and impactful consequences. In the Witcher 3, you play as Geralt of Rivia, one of a dying caste of monster hunters, and embark on an epic journey in a war-ravaged world that will inevitably lead you to confront a foe darker than anything humanity has faced so far – The Wild Hunt.
We got a chance to check the game out again at this year’s E3 and found that this time around Geralt has his work cut out for him with a giant, fully-explorable world 35 times larger than that of The Witcher 2. Sail through the seas, dive in search of long lost artifacts, or gallop your mount into combat – the world of The Witcher beckons to be explored.
With over 100 hours of core and side-quest gameplay, Wild Hunt combines the intense, plot-driven pull of traditional RPGs with the freedom of choice only open world games can offer. Develop Geralt to your play style through distinct skill trees and weave your own storyline through the power of choice and consequence.
In our hands-off preview, we were shown just how Geralt could explore the open lands and roam freely wherever the player chooses, and we were amazed by how much freedom CDProjektRed is giving players, even considering how open the last Witcher was. Fast travel is now a necessity as our preview displayed Geralt taking a quest that called for him to travel across the map to an area that would have taken 20 minutes to ride on horseback according to the presenter.
The Witcher’s combat seems faster and more fluid than in its predecessors. In our preview Geralt’s new ability to dismember and decapitate his foes was displayed. Once an enemy unit is weakened, the player can use a powerful strike to literally cut his enemies to pieces. CDProjektRed has also added the ability to jump (finally) and a ranged weapon in the form of a hand crossbow, which is useful for bringing down airborne combatants.
Wild Hunt will not be available on last-gen hardware, and it benefits greatly from this choice. Built on CDProjektRed’s proprietary RPG engine, REDengine 3, Wild Hunt looks absolutely gorgeous.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is already a multi-award-winning title even though its release date is over six months away, and it’s our choice for E3 2014’s Game of the Show. This goes to show how much promise dwells within the new title from CDProjektRed. February can’t come soon enough.