The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is shaping up to be one of this year's most anticipated titles. Featuring a dark fantasy world in the same vein of Game of Thrones combined with a massive open world ala Skyrim, Witcher 3 sounds like a dream come true for RPG fans.
The wait until the game's May 19 release will be a long one, but not to worry: we've gathered all the best tidbits of information about the game in one place to make the wait a little easier.
It's Going To Be Beautiful (But More Beautiful On PS4)
The Witcher 3 looks absolutely gorgeous. CDProjekt Red has always prided itself on achieving top visual performance, and the Witcher 3 is no exception. The game is breathtaking, whether in screenshots or in motion. PC players with powerful machines (and I mean powerful) will be getting the best looking version of the game, though the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions will still be one of the best looking games on either console. PS4 players, however, will have a slight advantage, as the game will be running at 1080p on Sony's console, as opposed to 900p on Microsoft's. Ultimately though, no matter what your gaming platform of choice, Witcher 3 is guaranteed to set a high bar for all other open world games to come.
You Can Import Your Witcher 2 Save (If You Played On PC)
The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings featured plenty of world altering decisions, putting the lives of numerous characters in Geralt's (and the player's) hands. It would be a shame then if players didn't get to see how those choices alter the landscape of the Witcher's world. Thankfully CDProjekt Red understands. Witcher 3 will allow players to import their Witcher 2 save files if they played on PC, transferring their decisions over to the world of Witcher 3. For console players, the Witcher 3 will include the ability to "simulate world states," allowing players to custom pick choices from Witcher 2 to be imported into their game world.
It Will Have 16 Pieces Of Free DLC
It's common practice for modern video games to sell additional maps, quests and items as downloadable content alongside the main game. What's not so common is for a developer to give all of that content away for free. CDProjekt Red is doing just that in Witcher 3, which will include 16 pieces of free DLC with the purchase of the game. Most of the DLC isn't major -- additional items, hairstyles and the like -- but getting it at no extra cost is a welcome change. The content will come in bundles of two each week after the game's release, for eight weeks in a row.
Combat Is Challenging, But Not Punishingly So
Witcher 2 is known for being difficult. Combat requires sound positioning, timing and proper use of all of Geralt's various tools. The game's first several hours proved to be especially punishing, as players don't have the option of upgrading their character through skill points and new gear, features that make later areas in the game far easier. CDProjekt Red is giving special attention to the game's difficulty balancing this time around, promising to better introduce the game's various mechanics before scaling up the difficulty. Don't believe for a second that will make Witcher 3 easy: CDProjekt Red promises that those who like a challenge will find plenty to enjoy.
It Has Another Playable Character
For the first time in the series, players will be able to play as another character over the course of the Witcher 3's story in addition to Geralt. That character will be Ciri, Geralt's apprentice and the key to saving the world from supernatural specters of the Wild Hunt. Geralt is attempting to find Ciri before those who would do her harm, and players will occasionally take control of Ciri during certain story moments before jumping back to Geralt, adding urgency to Geralt's mission.
It Is 35 Times Bigger Than Witcher 2
Unlike Witcher 2, which was broken down into three quest zones, Witcher 3 will be a fully open world RPG. Players can travel from one side of the continent to the other, exploring every cave, mountain peak and dense forest in between. CDProjekt Red says the world of Witcher 3 is 35 times larger than all the areas of Witcher 2 combined.
It Will Be A 50GB Install On Consoles
That "35 times bigger than Witcher 2" doesn't come without consequences. Console gamers are no longer strangers to installing games on their hard drives, but you might need to clear up some hard drive space for Witcher 3's massive install size. CDProjekt Red recently confirmed the game will require 50GB of free hard drive space on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 in order to play, making it one of the largest games in terms of sheer size to appear on the consoles.
It Will Take Anywhere From 50 To 120 Hours To Finish
A game's length is often subjective. Some players are more skilled than others and will progress faster. Other players like to zoom through a game's story mode, while others still like to take their time and explore every nook and cranny of the game world. For what it's worth, CDProjekt Red co-founder Marcin Iwinski says Witcher 3 will take anywhere between 50 to 120 hours of play time. He says players who just want to play for the story will be on the lower end of that spectrum, while those who do the majority of the game's side quests will be closer to 120. Either way, that's a lot of bang for your buck.
There Are 36 Different Endings (And Maybe Even More)
The Witcher is all about making hard choices and seeing how those choices affect the game world. It's only natural then for Witcher 3 include multiple endings according to how you play the game, but 36 endings? That's taking choice to a whole other level. We still don't know what exactly will be changing in each ending, but Iwinski says that the team internally debated whether or not the game actually had more than 36 endings.
It's likely some of the differences in these endings are minor changes and not major, game-altering choices, but 36 seems like mighty large number even when that is taken into account. We will just have to wait and see what CDProjekt Red has in store when the Witcher 3 launches on May 19.