Well, as you no doubt have all heard, CD Projekt RED did in fact announce The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt yesterday, as expected, hot on the heels of their announcement of REDEngine 3, the latest version of their powerful 3D game engine.
And it would appear that The Witcher 3 will take full advantage of that engine's power:
CD Projekt RED has officially announced the title of their next upcoming game: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt...Further, they've announced that this, the ultimate game in the series, will also be the final Witcher game from the studio. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt combines CD Projekt RED’s trademark decision-based storytelling flair with a living open world larger than any other in modern RPG history.
“The captivating and nonlinear story of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt takes place in a rich, truly open world environment. A world which is thrilling to explore, full of daring adventures, momentous quests, memorable characters, and unique monsters. Players will freely travel through woods, lakes, mountains, cities, and villages. Each region is inhabited by distinct populations with their own customs, legends and problems. The world of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is 30 times bigger than The Witcher 2," said Adam Badowski, head of the studio.
“Imagine playing a dark fantasy game with the same great nonlinear story as in the previous Witcher titles, but now told in a world you can explore freely with no artificial boundaries. The war-ravaged world is so huge that to reach further places you will need to ride a horse or sail a boat to get there. A world where your choices have truly epic consequences. From the development side, this goal is extremely demanding. Our team had to make significant design changes and our tech had to be rebuilt. But we believe that this will lead to a completely new level of nonlinearity and a whole new, richer gaming experience. As a gamer, I would love to play this kind of RPG and I think this is what many players are waiting for. This is our dream come true at CD Projekt RED, and we hope it will be the same for you!” adds Badowski.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is the final episode of the award-winning RPG series and the last part of the legend of Geralt of Rivia. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is the most robust and breathtaking game ever created by CD Projekt RED. Open world free-roaming exploration is an adventure in itself as the player will gallop through war-ravaged lands, sail misty waters and track down dangerous beasts for money. An improved combat system will allow players to feel like a real monster-hunter, a witcher who uses his superior senses and fighting skills to survive in a dark fantasy world--while he embarks on a quest to save his loved ones. The new core mechanics of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt immerse the player in the experience completely, with no Quick Time Events, only intuitive RPG gameplay.
Takeaways from the GameInformer launch trailer/interview with the CD Projekt RED team are many: Geralt is older and bearded, the world is substantially larger (perhaps even bigger than the game world in Skyrim!), and the game is being designed for open-ended exploration and gameplay (and will thus presumably feature a mostly non-linear plot). And this will be the final game in the saga of The Witcher.
To celebrate this announcement, CD Projekt have put The Witcher and The Witcher 2 on sale for the next day or so, so if you haven't had a chance to play either game...now's the time! I mean, come on...The Witcher 2 for $10? You can't pass that up.
No release date has been set yet for The Witcher 3, although 2014 seems to be the target release year. Which just goes to further prove my earlier thesis, that 2014 is going to be a heavy -- but awesome -- year for RPG fans.