Could Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Be The First Great PS4 RPG?
A video game series created by CD Projekt RED, The Witcher, based on the books of the same name, has quickly grown in popularity since the first title was released for the computer in 2007. Just a few hours after Sony's announcement of the PlayStation 4, the Polish developer announced that its third game in the series, titled The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, would be released on the next-generation console in 2014.
Though the game still has quite some time to go, there are still plenty of rumors and discussions flying around about what the upcoming game will include. Perhaps most interesting is the fact that the CEO of CD Projekt, Adam Badowski, announced that the third game would be the final iteration of this particular trilogy; however, he did state that there would be more titles for the franchise, which means we may have more Witcher games available on the PlayStation 4 in later years as well just staring a different main character.
Cited as a next-generation role-playing game, the Witcher 3 will offer players the ability to traverse the world in a similar vein to Bethesda's Skyrim: without loading screens. This is possible with the developer's newest engine, RED Engine 3, designed to improve upon Skyrim's Creation Engine. This is an especially impressive feat considering the world will be 30 times larger than the Witcher 2.
There will be more than enough time to enjoy the huge new world as well. CD Projekt has gone on record that players will need upwards of 50 hours in order to finish the game the first time. However, the Witcher 3 retains the mechanic that made it so popular and warranted multiple playthroughs: time-delayed consequences and grey-area morality choices. In fact, the world can wind up in one of 36 different states depending on the choices the player makes, prompting a great amount of re-playability.
In addition to changing the world into one of 36 different states, there are three possible endings to receive; CD Projekt has also confirmed that each epilogue would last about an hour a piece. Ultimately, this safely ensures a unique experience depending on the kind of player you are. Someone who kills without abandon will have a much different experience than a player who strives to save every life.
Perhaps another interesting part of the Witcher 3 is the return of the save game import mechanic. Much like from the original title to the Witcher 2, players will have the ability to import Witcher 2 save games to Wild Hunt on the PC. However, because previous Witcher games were never released on the PS3, it's unsure how CD Projekt would use this feature for Witcher 3 on PS4.
Overall, players can expect the world within the Witcher 3 to feel more alive. For example, townies will undergo their own separate daily routines and are more likely to summon a guard if they witness you stealing someone else's property. Wild animals are prominent in the woods as well; players can hunt down animals using a color-coded trace system to collect fur to sell for money. However, hunting will not give you experience; only completing quests will help you reach the maximum level of 60.
Players can interact with the lively world in other ways as well, such as lighting the environment on fire with the appropriately named Ignii spell. Rather than appear as a small burst of flames, the spell will emit a jet stream of fire to produce a very fiery, and graphically impressive, result. Finally, the world will undergo a day and night cycle as with previous games, with the one difference being that Witcher 3 also comes with a weather system. Certain weather patterns will restrict areas in the world and change what monsters players can encounter in the wild, adding a new element to the series.
Morality is just one factor that can affect the world as well. It's not uncommon to see players offloading one type of good in a town to try and make some quick and easy money, but this will have an effect in the Witcher 3; selling off too much of one product can impact the economy and drive down prices for that product.
In another form of inspiration from Bethesda properties, the Witcher 3 features a new combat mechanic similar to the VATS system of Fallout 3, which permits players to choose specific limbs or appendages on a target and which the actions play out in slow motion.
With this information, it's easy to get excited for the upcoming Witcher title. While it will be a tough wait until 2014 to see the game that CD Projekt has come up with, Witcher 3 should show off the power of the PS4 nicely. PS4 Experts will update this page on a continual basis so check back often for the latest news on Witcher 3!
Article by - Joshua Phillips
Insert Date: 3/1/2013
April 26th, 2013 Update: No Multiplayer, No QTEs
Though it was rumored that Witcher 3 would in fact include a multiplayer element, Konrad Tomaszkiewicz, project lead for the game, has now confirmed with Forbes that multiplayer will not be featured in any way, shape or form and that Witcher 3 is purely a single player tale.
In addition, Tomaskziewicz has stated that Quick-time Events, or QTEs, will also not be in Witcher 3 despite their inclusion in the past two games. Tomaszkiewicz tells Forbes that QTEs are often a source of frustration and that "there is a small number of games where it is fun, like, for example, in the Uncharted series, where you don't even realize that you've just finished a QTE sequence. And I think that only this way of using QTE has any kind of future in games."
Update by - Joshua Phillips
Insert Date: 4/26/2013
Previously, we reported that CD Projekt RED was taking the approach of "adapt, not port" with the PlayStation 4 version of Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and the studio is certainly living up to that promise. In an interview with Softpedia, gameplay producer Marek Ziemak confirmed that each system would have its own unique interface tailored to the system the game is on. What this means is that for PS4 players, the interface and gameplay will be adapted to use the DualShock 4 to create the best experience possible for PS4 players. While Ziemak didn't go into detail about how exactly the interface is tailored to PS4 players, this is a good sign that the game is on the right track.
In addition, it was revealed that the game's ending will be tailored to each player's specific gameplay experience. While the company had already mentioned there would be 36 different world states possible, each one of these contains numerous minor variations to separate your world from other players. In all, the total number of possible changes rounds out to just over 300 possible endings. With this in mind, it is safe to say that The Witcher 3 will have a giant deal of replayability.
Update by - Joshua Phillips
Insert Date: 4/14/2013
When a game is released on multiple systems, one of the most disappointing outcomes is when the game is simply ported without taking full advantage of a console's hardware. In speaking to NowGamer, CD Projekt ensures its fans that The Witcher 3 on PS4 is not just a straight port:
" The Witcher 3 will be available on all high end platforms at the same moment. As with The Witcher 2, we won’t port the game, we will adapt it. That means that each build will be prepared for to use platform specific features."
It seems we can fully expect The Witcher 3 to take advantage of all of the PlayStation 4's social features.
In other Witcher 3 news, the game will support save game imports but not on the PS4 version; this is due to previous Witcher games not appearing on any Sony console. Currently, there are no plans to port the first two games to the PS3 or PS4, similar to how Electronic Arts ported the first two Mass Effect games to PS3 long after their release.
Update by - Joshua Phillips
Insert Date: 3/19/2013
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