At E3 this year The Witcher 3 garnered hundreds of different awards and accomplishments, not to mention the viewing party gave away free polish beer and high fives!
Subsequently you should already be abundantly clear of exactly what was shown to the public at E3. Geralt fought a monster then he met some towns people and fought a different monster. The action was perfect, the visuals awe inspiring and the capacity for choice bonerific but it did leave me with several questions.
How big exactly will the world be? How are you implementing on the “Open World” Concept? And most importantly can I play dice with a king after banging a buxom mage thrice times?. To help us decipher between fact and folly Marek Ziemak, Gameplay Producer from CD Projekt RED joined the show to talk all about The Witcher 3.
Before we get into the coverage we are giving away several copies of The Witcher 2 + 1 in this week’s show.
As streams of eager E3ers filter in and out of the theatre Marek and I find a quite place to chat all about The Witcher 3. The interview starts with an overview of what was seen at E3 from the developers perspective- have a listen if you’re not familiar but the real gems come later.
The most striking thing about the game is the scope. The open world of The Witcher 3 will be 35 times larger than previous iterations and according to Marek it will be ripe for exploration:
“There are no artificial limitations. You will be able to travel across the world with out loading any sub-locations.The Skalegic(?) area is so far from the main continent you do have to use a ferry to get there. We could let you travel but it would just take too long. Whatever is realistically attached to the continent you can travel too. The last time we measured it took 40 minutes on horseback to get from one side of the map to the other.”
Oh yes, Geralt this time can ride a horse although if you’re hoping to swing your sword atop a trusty stead that isn’t the cards. Either way a world this big needs a good transportation system, so if a 40 minute jaunt across monster infested territory isn’t your thing Marek says you can fast travel to any location you find. If you do happen to misplace your horse (always in the last place you look) Geralt has the ability to summon a horse (through signs) and it will magically appear before your very eyes!
Anyone who’s had the pleasure of taking a stroll in the world of The Witcher knows the key to it’s success is the variety of quests. Well Marek says for this iteration, players will NOT be disappointing.
“Throughout the game most of the quests will involve decisions, because there isn’t a clear distinction between good and evil- it makes the decision more difficult. You’ll often be forced to face the consequences later on, creating this feeling of coherence in every elements of the game world. That’s why the quests are often connected or related and intersected in many different ways.”
Fortunate, considering one of my biggest gripes with The Witcher 2 was the lack of resolution. 9-10 different decisions all precipitated on the notion that the story continues. Marek has an answer but a hesitant one.” We are exploring the possibility of importing saves from Witcher 2 to 3. It’s a bit platform specific. We don’t know if we can do it for the Xbox One and we have NO idea how to do it for the Playstation. The PC is much simpler and we will try to implement the feature. It will affect the game somehow but since the Witcher 2 was a final ending, The Witcher 3 is a new story.” So grain of salts all around but it does seem like the concept is at least being toyed with!
Story lines and magic boobs aside- the combat system from The Witcher 2 NEEDED an overhaul- it’s not only getting a new coat of paint but a whole new engine.
“In terms of combat, we redesigned the system again because we wanted to create an impression that its a system that combines RPG heavy elements and the precision and speed of a dedicated fighting game. When you press a button it launches a series of attacks now (in the Witcher 3) one button press will be one quick attack giving you much more control over Geralt and how he moves. They’ll be more moves and options making it easier to move between signs, sword strikes and alchemy. The combat is a bit more personal- the camera works in a different way. Geralt is a bit slower and is trying to analyze the situation. Geralt is a panther! He’s trying to prepare his strikes then after launching them he’s very fast.”
Visually the game is absolutely stunning, one of the most impressive feats was the focus and detail of Geralts face! This studly sterile silver fox has a new look that is sharper and frankly pixel porn. I mentioned to Marek that Geralt’s eyes seem to have this unbelievable intensity and detail…turns out IT WAS INTENDED! “His head is now a tool for us, it’s a way of marking the enemy you are actually targeting. it’s part of a new user interface (pun)”
Now we know the game will be pretty and combat promises to be more fluid but any game that promotes the destruction of devious beasts HAS to have a strong pokedex. Marek says, ” You can expect over 80 different types of monsters in The Witcher 3, most have a complex and amazing back story that’s based on Slavic mythology.”: (He couldn’t tell me what his favourite monster was- wait and see)
Of course there was talk of Mini-games as well, in addition to the Romances, they will be making a triumphant return in The Witcher 3 (Have a listen, we cover that in our previous interview). In the end The Witcher 3 is rightfully on several must have lists for 2014- when we do eventually get to the ending of this odyssey- expect A LOT of options
“There are 36 different endings, more of the states of the world. Of course the expediences will be different and mainly because of the non linearity of the questions themselves. I promises the experience to be personal and will reflect the different choices you’ve made in the world“
Keep listening every week and don’t forget about our contest!