CD Project RED has announced the final game in its Witcher trilogy.
Via a feature in GameInformer Magazine this month, RPG developer CD Project RED has confirmed it is currently working on the conclusion to the Witcher trilogy, Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. The third game in the franchise will revisit Gerralt, and follow him through the world as he, once again, tries to retire from the monster hunting game, and finally settle down. A great evil threatens the entire world, and only Gerralt stands between humanity and its greatest foe.
While the second game in the series was a bit of a disappointment (mostly due to engine issues rather than the back story), many fans of the franchise are looking forward to this conclusion, especially since it introduces a new engine along with some grand new features.
The primary new element of the game is open-world exploration. The explorable world of Witcher 3 will be 30 times the size of Witcher 2’s environments, making it larger even than Skyrim, which has become a sort of benchmark of open-worlds. Players can tackle the story in any order they come upon it, and can even abandon the main quest-line in favor of more interesting side-quests.
The other big features the designers are talking about is ‘Monster Hunting’, which we are left to guess at the nature of, though one can imagine, from the name and context, that it is likely a quest system which will allow the player to take on a series of increasingly difficult, semi-random monster-hunting quests, which are independent from the main quest-line.
These new features will be implemented by a new engine, REDengine 3, which is being specifically designed to run Witcher 3, and focuses on open-world exploration as well as semi-random questing. Hopefully, it will also fix the controls and camera problems of its predecessor, those aspects of Witcher 2 were panned critically, as that game allowed, mysteriously, less freedom of control and exploration than the original Witcher.
This video from GameInformer offers us a brief glimpse at where the team is currently in the development process, and talks to them a bit about their design philosophy. The March issue of the magazine will have yet more info about the upcoming game.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is planned for release on all major platforms sometime in 2014.