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.
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.
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.