Gamescom 2013 was a whirl of a week, but one of the games that managed to stand out among the chaos was The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
CD Projekt RED’s upcoming sequel is set to expand upon the critically-acclaimed predecessor, and with the technology and power of next-gen gaming machines, it’s looking to do so with ease.
MyGaming got to view a 45-minute gameplay demo of Wild Hunt and there are 5 things that highlight just how brilliant the game is looking.
The game is clearly of the level you’d expect from a next-gen Witcher game. Geralt has been given a visual upgrade; he’s looking a bit more weathered than before but just as badass.
The character models are beautiful and even though it was still in alpha form, they moved and acted naturally.
The environment is the real star though; detailed, diverse, and downright gorgeous. There’s also no loading between any areas and the game runs seamlessly, which gives players a great sense of immersion while in the world.
Scope and scale
The promised size of the game is an incredible ambition. The scope is so vast that it’s said to be 30 times the size of The Witcher 2, and is packed full of points of interest.
During the gameplay demo, we saw Geralt travel on horseback to a giant castle, then hop in a ship and sail to another island, which he then travelled right across until he encountered a huge camp, all without loading.
The draw-distance and size of the battle areas are not confined to walls and certain locations; the entire open world is your playground.
The enemies have always been a highlight of The Witcher series, and Wild Hunt is taking the Norse-inspired Mythology and nightmares to a whole new level with some incredible backstories and AI.
We got to see encounters with two different primary enemies – the Fiend and a Lesher.
The Fiend is a giant minotaur-esque creature which used really interesting illusions and psychological tricks to try and kill Geralt.
The Lesher needed to be tracked down before fighting.
The Lesher is a frightening scarecrow-like creature that can evaporate into smoke and a conspiracy of ravens. It can also put its branch-like hands into the ground to impale Geralt if he comes near.
Not only were the enemies of The Witcher 3 really interesting, but we also saw a moral choice with fighting the Lesher.
Without giving away any story details, the player had the choice to take on the Lesher or leave it, which would each have very different influences on the nearby village.
The diversity in the story extends to the combat, which showed that Geralt’s magic and swordplay abilities will be used together in a much more organic way.
There were some great finishing kills and fighting manoeuvres that not only look stylish, but help you move around the battleground while switching from an offensive to defensive position and back very quickly.
One aspect of The Witcher 3 that stood far above its predecessor was the quality of the dialogue and character interactions.
It’s not to say that the Witcher 2 was weak in this department, but the third game is so far superior that its immediately noticeable.
The characters’ facial animations and lip-synching matches the dialogue excellently, and they also interact with objects in the environment while talking, making much more realistic and believable scenarios during these story moments.
After seeing The Witcher 3 in action, I’ve become immensely interested in the upcoming title. The first two games were daunting to me, but seeing how the third is really making it accessible for newcomers while also pleasing veterans, The Witcher 3 is on my must-play radar.
The Witcher 3 is will be available in 2014 on PS4, Xbox One and PC.