The Witcher 3: What We Know
In case you missed the roaring buzz last month around the Cyberpunk 2077 teaser, CD Projekt Red, the developers of The Witcher saga hinted at something big: The Witcher 3? Hidden in the C 2077 video was a message from CDPR about a completely different game to be revealed February 5th. Well, rejoice. The Witcher 3 could be released within a year. And what else? It’s been inspired by Skyrim.
The Witcher 3
Face it. If you’re here you enjoy the hype. But it’s important to stay above the rumors and understand the facts. With the announcement – trailer, teaser, whatever – hours away, let’s examine what it is we DO know and what that means for the next big title from CD Projekt Red.
Cyberpunk 2077 Teaser and The Witcher 3
The Cyberpunk 2077 teaser introduced a bold new RPG to the gaming community and concealed a message to CDPR’s fans. You can find the message on YouTube near the end of the teaser – through precise tapping of the space bar.
-The message said the “other project which is much closer to being completed” would also be a fully open-world game with an intense story and that we “can probably guess the game” they’re talking about. “On the 5th of February it will all be clear.”
If it’s not clear that they are referring to The Witcher 3, this is what you’re missing.
-According to CDPR’s main website, CDPR are currently working on only two big projects, Cyberpunk 2077 and an “RPG in a dark fantasy world.”
-CDPR earned worldwide fame through their previous titles The Witcher and The Witcher 2, which were RPGs set in a dark fantasy world.
-The Witcher enhanced edition was released in 2008 in the US. The debut trailer for The Witcher 2 came out in May 2010 two years later. A year after that, The Witcher 2 was released in May 2011
It’s been two years since The Witcher 2’s release, just in time for the debut trailer for their next installment. Remember the “you can probably guess the game” comment? So there, the game is The Witcher 3. And if they stick to their formula we can expect to see the game released within a year of its trailer. (Of course, it’s done when it’s done.) And here comes the interesting part.
With the announcement of Cyberpunk 2077, CDPR has been all about the open-world variety of RPGs, which is a new concept for them. The Witcher and The Witcher 2 are defined by their nonlinear, nearly flawless stories – a characteristic that had appeared to depend on a controlled environment. Yet, in a recent developer’s blog, they said an inspiration for their open world development is Skyrim – “one of the best implementations of an open, sandbox world.”
Making The Witcher 3 a fully open-world game with any story like the previous titles seems a little far-fetched. One of the fundamental characteristics of open-world RPGs is the freedom to go anywhere whenever you want. In other words, it is the freedom to abandon. This often sacrifices the urgency of plot and eliminates consequences of decisions altogether. For a series defined by the consequences of your actions, making The Witcher 3 an open-world game could be a tragic decision. Then again, making the game open-world means a whole new kind of gameplay. It means more exploration of the fascinating world, and, to be honest, if there was anyone to transfer a compelling and mature story into a diverse and open-world, it would be CDPR.
What can we expect for Tuesday? No matter what, CDPR will produce something for us that gets us talking. Mark your calendar and spam the refresh button. It will be stunning. It will be innovative. Whatever it really is.