E3 2013 Preview: The Witcher 3 redifines next-generation RPGs
In the upcoming next-generation of consoles, there are two RPG games that are on everyone’s radar: Bioware’s Dragon’s Age III: Inquisition and CD Projekt’s The Witcher: The Wild Hunt. Out of those two upcoming RPGs, The Witcher 3 only gets the spotlight this year at E3 as it’s the only game that’s available for presentation behind closed doors with the press. For someone who has played both The Witcher 1 and 2, getting to know what to expect in the third entry of the series is pretty exciting.
In the Witcher 3, the story will revolve on Geralt’s personal journey instead of some political power like in the Witcher 2. Not much info was released to the press except for the fact that Geralt is on the hunt of the dark forces. The Wild Hunt of these ‘dark forces’ will be Geralt’s main focus and going into towns to learn more about the monsters will be his daily routine in the game. Think of the ‘Wild Hunt’ as the ‘white walkers’ of Game of Thrones, where it was a myth and legends that everyone is scared of. Unfortunately not a lot was shown in the demo but the brief gameplay they showed depicts some supernatural forces lingering around the plot.
Newcomers to the series will not be required to play the previous two to enjoy the Witcher 3. The story alone stands by itself as I mentioned earlier, it’s a personal journey of Geralt. However, those who are fond of the two Witcher games will be pleased to hear that the third game will retain its mature storyline. For this third game, CD Projekt’s main focus will still be developing a well written story since the Witcher series has been known of its phenomenal plot and story. Thanks to its wonderful dialogue system, players will engage into some pretty interesting conversations with other characters where it’s guaranteed to shape up the overall story.
Visually, The Witcher 3 got some visual upgrades. More details can be seen in the environments especially the lush trees and the scope of the places that you will get to see in this game. With the game’s focus on open world, players can expect to trek long fields and areas where they can do sidequests and enjoy every beautiful sight it has, equipped with its new weather system where it changes as you play the game. Lighting and shadows have improved big time and depicts realism. Smoke that comes out from fire, and the raging fire of a burning village is magnificent to watch. Comparing it to the Witcher 2’s visuals, I must say that the Witcher 3 receives 50% boost.
Gameplay wise, fans can expect slight improvements and new additions. With the game’s focus now on open-world gameplay, expect a lot of sidequests to do like helping villagers with requests or taking down monsters. This time, Geralt will be using horses or other means of transportation to move from one place to another. There is now a world map where players can fast travel to via a boat. With so much scale in the new open-world gameplay, the variety of things that players can do may feel overwhelming. Players are expecting to swim or even climb mountains, which pretty much shows that there will be no artificial barriers. Compared to the world in the Witcher 2, I must say it’s much bigger.
In the demo that they’ve shown, we see Geralt doing a sidequest where he is tracking down a monster. The game introduces new skills that Geralt can use in taking down monsters: he now has a special attack where he cloaks himself up and sneak behind the enemy during a fight. This time around, every monster that Geralt fights will show a pattern of attacks. Learn the pattern and players can easily take down enemies. It’s imperative that players should master the speed and precision that the game requires.