Set in Craite this time around, the world of The Witcher 3 looks immense. The developers are on record saying the world is 35 times bigger than The Witcher 2, but we should probably take that quote with a pinch of salt, as a lot of the map is made up of oceans.
Still, the main island looks huge, and there are a number of smaller islands surrounding it. Which brings us to one of the most exciting features of Witcher 3, no artificial barriers. You can travel wherever you want in the game world, whenever you want. CD Project RED have gone for a completely open-world approach this time around, which is fantastic news to those of us who played the original games and wanted more exploration and freedom in the game world. You can take Geralt for a swim, row a boat to a neighbouring island, or jump around mountains to your heart’s content. Exploration really is key in The Witcher 3.
Quests no longer feel linear, and side-quests are picked up through the main story arch, as well as exploring. It’s less directed, and much more natural.
With the open world and numerous islands, comes an improved trade system. Items will always be cheaper nearer the source, for example fish will cost less at the bay, and meat near a farm. These are the small details you’ll want to take into consideration on your journeys.
Then there’s the whole monster-hunting aspect of the game. This is massively expanded upon from the second game, with monsters having behaviour patterns that are affected by things like the new day/night cycle. There will be a bit of investigation involved in the monster-hunting process, so you’ll need to research your foe before being able to take them out successfully.
Combat looks great, with a combination of RPG/statistics-based combat, and live action fighting. The animations are smooth, and this is another area the development team have really visually improved upon since the last title.
The Witcher 3 is a piece of art to look at; it really is. The game is looking fantastic, and CD Project seem to have improved on all the major elements from The Witcher 2, and added the much requested community features, such as open world exploration, with an estimated 100 hours for completion. We’ll definitely be keeping an eye on this one. Is The Witcher 3 on your day-one purchase list?
You can get more impressions on The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, in our day three E3 wrap up video, below.