The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt aims to be a groundbreaking and enormous role-playing game, but one newly revealed feature has us more excited than anything else: dynamic beard growth. According to a developer interview with the German GameStar magazine (helpfully translated and bullet-pointed by NeoGAF user His Majesty), protagonist “Geralt’s beard will grow over time.”
Eurogamer, rightly stoked by the prospect of this revolutionary mechanic, followed up with Polish developer CD Projekt Red for more details. “The beard grows as time passes and when Geralt moves between locations,” communications chief Michal Platkow-Gilewski explained. “The beard has several ‘states’ and these states determine its length — the longest is really long but it’s not Gandalf long.”
The developer’s informative response raises so many more questions: Can Geralt stroke it? Can he braid it? How does he shave? Does he have to go from full beard to clean shaven, or are there intermediary grooming options, like strategically scruffy stubble, or a jaunty mutton chop? Not since Don’t Starve has facial hair been this mechanically exciting.
It is possible, however, to stop the relentless growth of Geralt’s whiskers with a free Beard and Hairstyle DLC: “When you download the free Beard and Hairstyle DLC the growth of the beard will stop because we decided that when players want a predefined look, it would be weird to require from them to reapply it time after time.”
Rest easy, traditional gamers — you can still have an avatar with a fixed appearance. The rest of us can look forward to gaming’s bold future of dynamic facial hair.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt arrives on May 19, 2015, for PlayStation 4, Windows, and Xbox One.