previews\ Jun 13, 2013 at 9:00 am

E3 2013 Preview: Witcher 3 is looking like a better Skyrim


As someone who jumped late onto the Witcher train, I have to admit that I feel pretty invested in the series at this point. After spending half of Witcher 2 looking for Triss ("Where's Triss Merigold"), I need to get this Wild Hunt ordeal under wraps for poor old Geralt. In the Witcher 3, you'll finish the story of Geralt of Rivia and conclude his legend.

At CD Projekt Red's booth at E3 2013, I received the opportunity to watch the 40 minute gameplay demo of the Witcher 3. The absolute first thing I need to comment on is just how damned beautiful it looks. These next gen graphics are breathtaking. Watching the open world environment based on Nordic/Celtic architecture and lands, absolutely blew me away. Imagine the first time you saw Skyrim played on a high end PC - now imagine that a million times better. Yea, this is how amazing Witcher 3 looks.

On the topic of scenery and open world - Witcher 3 is literally 35-times larger than the Witcher 2. The scope of the world is previous titles is only a fraction of this bad boy. Geralt can jump and climb now which gets rid of those linear paths and environmental walls you’ve run into in the past. Oh, so when walking gets old there are horses, boats, and even fast travel to get you where you're going.

Despite the beautiful scenery and locomotion options, the game's actual focus is on story. As the conclusions to the Witcher series, lots of loose ends need to wrap up - the focus being this whole wraith rampage thing known as the Wild Hunt. Through the main story line and numerous side quests, you'll take Geralt nearly everywhere. Your choices and decisions will affect the places you visit and the lives of the communities that live there.

A full night/day system will affect where NPCs are and what monsters are lurking about. Sick of getting murdered by werewolves? Travel by day!  Random weather can make travel difficult and even unpleasant in other scenarios. Don't take your boat out in a storm, just saying.

In an open world setting as a monster hunter... guess what, there are monsters to hunt. You'll learn backstory, hunt, learn about, identify, and even have the option to fight over 80 individual monster types. No beast is safe from a Witcher.

After the demo, I'll admit I was pretty taken. The Witcher 3 is going to be good, like really good. The graphics and improved combat system seems like an enormous update form Witcher 2. How will the saga end? Will Geralt confront the Wild Hunt? Will you slay every beat you come across? Will you find Triss Merigold? We have some time to wait but the anticipation is already eating away at me.

About The Author
Andrew Clouther Human, historian, teacher, writer, reviewer, gamer, League of Pralay, Persona fanboy, and GameZone paragon - no super powers as of yet. Message me on the Twitters: @AndrewC_GZ
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