E3 2014: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (Impressions)

by: Travis -

After seeing a preview of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt at last year's E3 I was excited to see how the game's development had progressed in addition to more of Geralt's adventures. The team at CD Projekt RED did not disappoint at this year's E3 presentation that was around forty-five minutes of jaw-dropping gameplay that makes the wait for release even more difficult.

The presentation's premise revolved around Geralt searching for a white-haired lady that has been traveling the lands and believed to be associated with the wild hunt. After showcasing one of the game's largest cities with various town folk going about their own business, Geralt enters a tavern to gather information about the white-haired lady's presence.

The developers then previewed the fast travel system which is used by finding sign posts in the game's world. This was also one of the first times we caught a glimpse of the game's map which can be described as massive. The game's world was described as containing no invisible barriers in that Geralt could travel to anywhere that he could see in the distance. To help with traversing the environment, Geralt now can scale certain sections of the environment to reach higher locations.

Following along with the freedom of exploration, Geralt can also decide which quests to pursue or even ignore if players want to adventure elsewhere in the world. Soon Geralt was involved in battle and the presentation demonstrated how combat has been improved both in regards to fluidity and brutality. The act of controlling combat as well as how Geralt moves in battle is far more fluid compared with previous games. In regards to brutality, sword swings now result in more dismemberment with limbs and such flailing across the screen.

Along with Geralt's steel and silver swords, he now has access to a crossbow that can be used to deal with flying enemies or even ones at a distance. The crossbow ammo is finite and can be customized with various poisons and such. The game's form of magic titled Witcher Signs also make a return with stunning visual effects.

Another new feature includes a meditation screen that is used to adjust the time of day that plays a new importance with slaying monsters. The game's monsters are affected by the time of day in that some may only appear at night for example or ones that are stronger during the day. The preparation screen also returns in which Geralt can brew potions and poisons.

It was easy to notice during the presentation that the team at CD Projekt RED was proud of their game and committed to offering the best Witcher game yet. We'll only know how well all the various gameplay elements and open world work together when the The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt launches on February 24 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PC.

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