This morning Polish developer CD Projekt RED officially announced the existence of The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt. While the company will only say that the game is to be released in 2014 on “all major high-end platforms,” it is unexpectedly candid on the game’s tone and what it hopes to achieve with this latest title in what has recently become one of the top roleplaying franchises around.
“The captivating and nonlinear story of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt takes place in a rich, truly open world environment,” claims CD Projekt RED head Adam Badowski. “A world which is thrilling to explore, full of daring adventures, momentous quests, memorable characters, and unique monsters. Players will freely travel through woods, lakes, mountains, cities, and villages. Each region is inhabited by distinct populations with their own customs, legends, and problems. The world of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is 30 times bigger than [the world of] The Witcher 2.”
“Imagine playing a dark fantasy game with the same great nonlinear story as in the previous Witcher titles, but now told in a world you can explore freely with no artificial boundaries,” Badowski adds. “The war-ravaged world is so huge that to reach further places you will need to ride a horse or sail a boat to get there. A world where your choices have truly epic consequences.
“From the development side, this goal is extremely demanding,” Badowski says. “Our team had to make significant design changes and our tech had to be rebuilt. But we believe that this will lead to a completely new level of nonlinearity and a whole new, richer gaming experience. As a gamer, I would love to play this kind of RPG and I think this is what many players are waiting for. This is our dream come true at CD Projekt RED, and we hope it will be the same for you!”
Stereotypically diplomatic developer-speak aside, it’s difficult to avoid excitement about this announcement. The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings was one of the best roleplaying releases of 2012, arguably eclipsing even the somber Mass Effect 3, and if we’re to base our expectations for The Witcher 3 on its two predecessors, this latest sequel should prove to be something very special. We’re eager to rejoin Geralt of Rivia for another hundred-plus hours of dark political intrigue, monster hunting and the occasional sexy romp with an unrealistically busty supporting character. Sadly, it seems that The Witcher 3 is going to be the last time we get to experience Geralt’s adventures. According to the official announcement, The Witcher 3 will conclude CD Projekt RED’s Witcher trilogy.
“People may ask if this is really going to be the last Witcher game. Yes, it is,” states Badowski.
“Why? Because we believe that we should end the series on a high note. Technology has progressed to where we can finally tell the story the way we want, with the visuals we want, in the world we imagined. This will be the ultimate fantasy RPG experience, and while we’re hardly out of stories to tell, we believe it’s time for us to look to new worlds and new horizons to keep pushing the boundaries of what we can create.”
Those of you who pay close attention to gaming industry news are likely aware that the “new worlds” mentioned by Badowski currently include that of CD Projekt RED’s upcoming Cyberpunk 2077. Any further projects the company might be working on remain a mystery. We’ll bring you more information as it develops.