Archives for posts with tag: Geralt of Rivia

CD Projekt RED have torn the veil from a new trailer for upcoming dark fantasy epic The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. In it, we see Geralt of Rivia on horseback (along with a companion) collecting payment for a monster contract. His employers, Nilfgaardian soldiers, are a bit busy sentencing a young woman to death, and Geralt initially decides to take his coin and go on his way. But deciding that “evil is evil”, no matter to what degree, he intervenes.

Our white-haired hero also makes note of his famous neutrality (“If I’m to choose between one evil and another, I’d rather not choose at all”), suggesting we’ll again have some tough decisions to make in the third and final chapter of The Witcher saga.

It’s interesting to note that the Nilfgaardian soldier remarks to Geralt, “knew you witchers wouldn’t scorn Imperial gold”, suggesting that the other rider is also a witcher. Listening to him telling Geralt not to meddle, I think it might be Vesemir, and it’d be good to see he and some of the more minor characters from across the first two games return in Wild Hunt.

I recently finished The Witcher 2 (yep, I’m finally making some headway on my backlog), and I have to say it’s one of the best games I’ve ever played. Having reminded myself of some plot points from the first game and reading up on a little lore on the Witcher wiki, I feel confident I know what the main thrust of the third game’s plot will be. I can’t wait to get my hands on it, but seeing as it’s not due out until sometime next year I’ll have to content myself with reading Andrzej Sapkowski’s books – a couple of which I’ve just ordered from Amazon.

Who else is excited for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt? What do you make of the trailer?

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Game Informer magazine have shown off their March cover, and with it revealed a big new title in the works. That game is the third in Polish studio CD Projekt RED’s monster slaying, politically-minded fantasy RPG series The Witcher.

The third game in the series sounds as if it will be just as impressive as the previous two titles, but in different ways; The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will be an open world game in the vein of the Elder Scrolls series, and its world is said to be 30 times larger (!) than that of the previous game, 2011’s Assassins of Kings, and also larger than the realm of Skyrim from TESV.

There is also a short video introducing The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt from developers at CDPR, which I have embedded below. In it, we can see some of the motion capture sessions for Geralt’s swordwork, and we hear that the story this time around will be more personal, less political, and that Geralt will have a “personal nemesis” who will be a threat to the Witcher and those he holds dear.

Now, I’m still only about halfway through the first game, but I’m not entirely sure how I feel about The Witcher as an open world game; it’s one of the main things I love about Skyrim (160 hours and still going strong!), but The Witcher is a rather more focused experience, and while the environments are quite large, I wonder how transposing the gameplay of a Witcher title to a full, expansive, streaming open world will affect the narrative flow. I’m hopeful that CDPR won’t really have to sacrifice too much (going by how much back-tracking I’ve had to do so far in the first game anyway), but I usually find myself returning to the main quest sooner rather than later, whereas in Skyrim I abandoned the main quest halfway through and eventually returned to it after about a hundred hours. What facilitates this is the ability to explore for hours and always come upon something new, something that catches your attention and leads to you crawling through a dark cave for half an hour to see what lurks inside.

I’m really interested to see how The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt handles similar instances, even with my handful of doubts – put me down as cautiously optimistic. I think it’s great to see that CD Projekt RED are willing to take risks in order to build up the scope of their already-impressive games, and I have faith that they will be able to do so while retaining the unique flavour expected from their work. That they are currently working on both this and Cyberpunk 2077 shows how far they have come since the days when they were all about localising games like Baldur’s Gate for the Polish market.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is due to launch in 2014 on PC and “all high-end platforms available”, so I think it’s safe to say that the expansive RPG will be a next-gen console title at this point. While we know very little of the new machines from Microsoft and Sony (and even less of what games we can look forward to), it’s comforting to know that we have a massive, involving RPG to get stuck into, hopefully fairly early in the new console cycle. Follow the link to see the full cover image at Game Informer.

Image and video courtesy of Game Informer:
http://www.gameinformer.com/b/news/archive/2013/02/04/march-cover-reveal-witcher-3-wild-hunt.aspx

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I haven’t been terribly active on here recently (thanks, build-up to Christmas!), so as I sit here, up early with nothing to do but await a UPS delivery, I decided I’d relate another tale of my epic (read: ridiculous) backlog. This one’s a two-for-one deal.

Like a good many gamers out there, I have a Steam account, and any Steam member knows what a dangerous proposition the Steam sales are. For the uninitiated, games frequently go for little more than £1 in these seasonal extravaganzas – I’ve previously bought games like Knights of the Old Republic, Mass Effect, Amnesia: The Dark Descent, BioShock, and the subject of this piece, The Witcher, for between £1-£3 each. Unfortunately, and also rather stupidly, I don’t own a PC with even a half-decent GPU.

Now, before you double-facepalm, hear me out: about four years ago, I bought a Core2 Quad-based desktop with a cheap GPU, intending to replace the graphics card at a later date for something a bit beefier. Obviously, that didn’t happen, and the PC went mostly unused, save for loading music onto my trusty iPod Classic. More and more, I’ve not wanted to sit at a desk staring at a monitor for any length of time, and seeing as the desktop came with only a DVI output, I can’t simply link it to my living room TV without also needing to set up an array of speakers.

My main PC for the last 18 months has been an Asus EP121, a 12.1″ tablet PC running Win7, which is great for daily use, but awful for gaming, given its Intel HD Graphics solution. It’ll run Half Life 2 pretty well, as well as Portal at an acceptable frame rate, but Source Engine games tend to be fairly lightweight, and HL2 itself is now pretty old. Attempting to load up The Witcher on the EP121 (an exercise I fully expected to end in failure) resulted in a slide show at even the lowest settings. So I went temporarily insane and ordered a laptop.

Based on the work of Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski, The Witcher was released back in 2007 to positive reviews, and a sequel, The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings followed on PC in 2011 and Xbox 360 earlier this year. As I’d wanted to play the original title for some years, I eagerly pre-ordered the 360 version of Assassins of Kings (getting a signed version into the bargain), intending to YouTube the major events of the first game. As so often happens, it ended up on ‘The Shelf’ and has not been touched since.

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So what makes me suddenly want to play these games? And badly enough to buy a new PC? Well, I’ve been reading George R.R. Martin’s ‘A Game of Thrones’, the first book in his A Song of Ice and Fire series. I’ve been meaning to watch the HBO adaptation, Game of Thrones, for a while, but decided I’d read ahead and then see how the television series fares. I’ve been wholly sucked in to its world of clouded morality, medieval intrigue, double-crossings and ruminations on honour, loyalty and the divine right of kings, and The Witcher series seems like a pretty good gaming companion piece to it – especially the sequel, which apparently revolves around the mysteries surrounding the murders of kings.

My new plan is to play through The Witcher on my new laptop before settling in to enjoy the sequel on my 360. I’ve almost knocked one game off of my backlog (Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, which I’ll be finishing up this morning), so by the time that UPS van arrives I should be about ready to dive headfirst into the adventures of Geralt of Rivia.

Are you a big fan of The Witcher? Or do you have an equally stupid backlog? Leave a comment below and let me know.