Game Informer has informed us (Ha ha! Do you see what I did there? Surely I am the first to think of that clever wordplay.) that The Witcher 3 is like… a real thing. I guess we already knew that, but now we’ve got screenshots to prove it, plus some (likely overblown) claims about what the game is actually going to play like.
Now, CDProjekt Red often likes to claim they’re innovating. Usually, they’re not. Just making really stellar, finely crafted RPGs, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. If they hold to the mission statement of bringing their unique brand of storytelling into an open world, though, I really do think they’re doing something new this time. Not fresh, per se, because all the ingredients have been lying around for ages — but those ingredients haven’t really been put together yet with much success.
I don’t know if I’ve ever played a truly satisfying, well-rounded, story-driven, modern open-world RPG. There are the old Fallouts, of course; Might and Magic; Exile and Geneforge, but not much that could be considered modern, at least in a graphical sense. Bethesda is the crowned prince of open-world RPGs today, which they should be praised for, but at the same time their worlds tend to be empty and devoid of interesting characters or tales to tell.
The world of the Witcher games is one of the most real, the most tangible out there, and it’s populated by complex, human characters. But it’s also been relatively small, confined, up until now. The second game of the series especially. If CDProjekt Red nails the emotionally engaging story and tough choices the series is known for together with a real sense of freedom, The Witcher 3 is almost certainly going to take it’s place on a very short list of games I’ve totally lost myself in. And there’s no joy more pure in videogames than losing yourself in them.
And I can’t deny that this part of the article sounds like everything I want from a Witcher game:
…the detective work that precedes deadly combat when monster hunting, storylines that weave and twist together between political intrigue and otherworldly menaces, and a tired hero who wants to set things right but can’t put down his swords until his conscience allows – if it ever does.
Alright, CDPR; you had me at hello. There isn’t much else to say. Just — you’d better not screw this up! Don’t promise me the world and then break my heart!
(Thanks, RPG Codex.)