Posted June 18, 2014 by Jeremy Jastrzab in Feature

E3 2014 Preview: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Since bursting onto the gaming scene with their debut title, The Witcher in 2007, CD Projekt Red have burgeoned their reputation as being one of the boldest and most exciting developers around.  From their advocacy of DRM-free releases and free DLC, this sense of generosity and fun also permeates into their E3 presentations.  While Warner Bros. will be publishing The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (and Namco-Bandai will be distributing in Australia), the media room that CD Projekt Red holds at E3 is always more intimate and enjoyable.  Oh, and The Witcher 3 looks pretty damn good too.

Set for release in February 2015, and having already been shown at last year’s E3, the game is shaping up extremely nicely.  Following up from the presentation during the Sony Press Conference where protagonist Geralt of Riva had defeated a griffin, you return to the town of Novigrad to collect your end of the bargain for defeating the griffin.  Geralt is looking for an ‘ashen-haired woman’, and according to the individual who wanted the griffin downed, she was last seen in Valen, otherwise known as No Man’s Land.


The developers had pointed out that the town of Novigrad had a lot of hustle and bustle, including a fish market that essentially worked like a black market.  There has been a lot of effort into making sure as many NPCs as possible had their own personalities.  Now, having the information of the next destination, the developers fast-travelled to the relevant location.  It was mentioned though that, on horse, riding to the destination would have taken around 20 minutes, in an attempt to help visualise just how big the game world is.  Again, the usual emphasis on ‘if you can see it, you can go there’ was trawled out.

The new area was more of a swamp land that showed off new characters and enemies.  Here, you ran into a creature called a ‘Godling’, who needed you to recover his voice.  And when he started talking, his language was rather colourful.  Upon doing so, where you’re assisted by Geralt’s Witcher powers in being able to find relevant trails, he took you to a nearby village which had you sent on another quest, at the behest of some creepy witch-like ladies.  This time, you’re sent to another far flung area being haunted by a mysterious evil.


The werewolf that you battle on the way turns out to NOT to be the source of evil, though it was used to point out how different enemies will have different powers and strength depending on time of day.  You probably want to avoid fighting werewolves at night.  Also, the environment can be used to your advantage.  For example, using fire in the swamps may ignite the gases there and apparently numerous enemies in that area are weak to fire.

Eventually, the source of evil is found to be some sort of spirit that attached itself to a tree and was unable to get out.  This sequence demonstrated how the famed choices of the series came into play – the spirit did it’s best to talk its way out of being destroyed.  If you did destroy it, the witch ladies would give you the information you want.  If you didn’t, this would impact how your overall quest would go throughout the rest of the game.

One concern from the demo was the ‘fetch’ nature of the gameplay.  That is, go and find this (or kill that) and return, then repeat.  However, that could have just been the nature of the demo.  After all, you’ll spend time in between these main quests on side quests and exploration.  Overall, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is shaping up just as well as we’d all want it to, as it looks, sounds and plays extremely well.  Come February 2015, the hunt begins again…

Jeremy Jastrzab

Jeremy is the former executive editor of PALGN, and freelance journalist.


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