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It sure seems like you hear the words “next-gen” a lot these days, and for good reason. The “next-gen” consoles are upon us and you have a host of amazing looking games coming with them.

But what do those terms really mean? What does it mean to be “next-gen”? It doesn’t mean just having pretty graphics or hardware specs or a massive open world. To me, what best represents “next-gen” is a game’s ability to build a cohesive, living experience that really immerses a player. So far, there are only a handful of games that look like they are going to do that. The Witcher 3 can sit proudly at the top of that list.

CD Projekt Red and The Witcher series received a massive amount of attention when the second Witcher game launched to massive critical praise – including that of us at SlimGamer. The first game had become somewhat of a cult classic for fantasy RPG fans but The Witcher 2 really brought the series into the limelight. Based on a series of books by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski, The Witcher is a dark-fantasy series set in an intriguing world plagued by war.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Preview photo

Story has always been the focal point of the series, and its interesting blend of dark fantasy with royal politics and, of course, weighty world-influencing choices created an amazing role-playing experience. The Witcher 3 looks to continue on that tradition in a big way. A mature game cast in the dark shades of good and evil,  The Witcher 3 features a non-linear story with touch choices that produce real consequences” the description reads.

This past week at E3, I had multiple opportunities to sit down and take an exclusive look at many great games but The Witcher 3 was the one that impressed me the most out of all of them. Set in a massive, open world with added features and a continued storyline from the second game, the demo that I saw of The Witcher 3 was certainly impressive. Right now, I’ll walk you through it – taking breaks to focus on some of the bigger points of the game.

The Witcher focuses on Geralt of Rivia, who is – as the title suggests – a Witcher. These Witchers are humans who use mutagens and intense training to become the most powerful monster hunters around. They are seen as monsters by normal folk – almost as bad as the monsters they hunt. That’s a basic description of Witchers.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Preview photo

Now, The Witcher 3 picks up after the second game. The mighty Empire of Nilfgaard has now ravaged the Northern Kingdoms and the forces that once tried to use Geralt are now gone. However, a new threat has appeared: the Wild Hunt. “These ghastly spectral riders have plagued the world for ages, plunging it in misery and despair. Yet this time the Wild Hunt seeks one person in particular: the one bestowed upon Geralt by Destiny itself, the one soul Geralt considers kin.”

So, with this setup, the demo begins. The opening cutscene has a man witnessing the arrival of the Wild Hunt in his village as all of the villagers are wiped out.  We then cut to a later date as Geralt arrives at the village, looking to find a man who claims to have more information about the Wild Hunt (which Geralt is now tracking). When Geralt arrives at the town, he finds the man that summoned him; he – a man by the name of Bjorn – is the sole survivor of the town that was destroyed and has sought refuge here.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Preview photo

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