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    The Witcher 3: Tadeusz Zieliński, creative analyst Speak About The Game

    To fans of PC role-playing games, The Witcher needs no introduction. Steeped in the rich lore of Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski’s fantasy series, the first two Witcher games effortlessly managed to pull off something most games are happy to tip-toe around real morality choices. It’s the very universe that allows this, because these aren’t tales of good versus evil. Witchers are monster hunters by trade, and don’t let a whole lot get in the way of that. For gamers, this translates into the ability to forge your own path through the fascinating world built by CD Projekt; where you could be a saviour to humans wherever you go, or be the self-serving outsider that’s always looking out for number one.

    But that’s only part of what makes The Witcher games unlike anything else out there. With intriguing characters, great writing, stunning visuals, memorable locations, and perhaps the best combat in the genre, The Witcher and The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings are a treat to play even today. CD Projekt is now about to unleash upon us the conclusion to Geralt’s trilogy, so we spoke with Tadeusz Zieliński, creative analyst at the studio, to tell us what we can expect from The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.

    The Witcher 3 will be releasing on two new platforms PS4 and Xbox One. How will you be catching new players up on what has transpired in the previous games? Is there anything extra that those familiar with the first two games will derive from this one?

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is a story of its own. We want new players to be able to get into it without having to play The Witcher and The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings. So you can play it without knowing who Geralt is and what his motives are. That being said, the game will come with a compendium a kind of almanach of all the information required to understand how the Witcher world functions and what has happened so far. So not only should you not feel lost, because the game is designed in a way for you not to, but you will also be able to explore all the lore you need to get into this dark, involving universe.

    The Witcher games have thrived in Geralt’s moral ambiguity he’s not quite the good guy you see in most RPGs. Will that theme continue in The Witcher 3?

    Witchers, by trade, try to remain as neutral as possible. Their task is simple to kill monsters that pose a danger to people. Geralt always tries to uphold that rule, and it will be the case in The Witcher 3 as well. He is neither good nor bad; he usually acts trying to choose the lesser evil the outcome that will hurt the smallest possible number of people. He doesn’t consider himself entirely human Witchers are mutants but in his actions, he acts as humans would. So the short answer is yes, Geralt will remain as he was, and his choices will be as ambiguous as they were in past games.

    The Witcher had a darker tone and seemed to revolve more closely around Geralt, while in The Witcher 2, Geralt felt like part of a much larger scheme of things. In this respect, which way will The Witcher 3 lean?

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is a story of Geralt trying to chase after his loved ones. In this aspect, the game will be more personal and focused on the Witcher’s personal life. But in the Kingdoms of the North, it’s really hard to stay away from the politics, especially now in times of war, when Nilfgaard invasion is a fact. So it will be a personal story of Geralt set in an epic background, where the world’s fate is at stake.

    One of the biggest changes between The Witcher 1 and 2 was in combat mechanics, with the latter being much more like a hack-n-slash. Are there any additions or changes being made to combat or spellcasting this time around?

    We've completely redesigned the combat system, giving the player much more freedom and much better feedback on their actions. Now every button press will seamlessly transition into an attack, dodge, parry or counter. You will be able to entwine witcher Signs into combinations of attacks, making the whole system a unique blend of magic and physical attacks.

    With The Witcher 3 being set in an open world, should we expect a conventional sandbox progression style sequential unlocking of story quests, with lots of side quests, collectibles and other activities scattered around the game world?

    Wild Hunt is set in an open world, but it’s not a sandbox game. It’s a story-driven fantasy RPG, where the whole focus is placed on choices and their consequences, where everything you do will have an impact on your later adventures. When you play, you are constantly reminded that there is something important you need to tend to; that there is a storyline to follow. You will be able to travel wherever you want from the very start of the game, but since we don’t have scaling monsters, you have to be mindful of your surroundings, and react accordingly. If you venture too far, you might encounter creatures that will dispatch you with ease.

    Side activities will come in several different forms, the most important being Monster Hunting mechanics. As you know, hunting monsters is Witcher’s first and most important occupation. We wanted to reflect that in the game, so Geralt will be able to undertake those side missions track, investigate and finally kill some of the most vicious creatures that populate the world.

    Another thing worth mentioning is the Point of Interest system. At any given moment in the game, you will always see at least one POI a place worth investigating. It might be a tower looming over the area, or smoke from a fire set to a village by some soldiers. If you decide to stray off your path and investigate, you will find something to do.

    Do side quests and other activities tie into the main plot or story progression of the game? Can they be avoided if a player wants to focus solely on the story?

    As the side quests don’t tie in the main plot directly, they are giving you a wider scope of the whole story. You will discover small bits of information that will explain the background better and allow you to better understand the delicate relations between Geralt and the rest of the world. Witchers are not among the most liked people around, and you will discover that first-hand.

    With The Witcher 3 being set in a vast open-world, how does the player get around? How much of an impact will the day-night cycles and weather changes impact travelling the world?

    Except for walking and running, you will be able to travel by horse and by boat. We also introduced a fast-travel system you now can quickly jump to places you already visited, which is really important in game of this scope. As for weather changes, we don't advise sailing when there’s a storm. Bad things might happen.

    Will PS4 and Xbox One players get an identical experience to what’s available on PC?

    Yes, we’re going for the same experience across all platforms.

    With CD Projekt’s roots being in PC games, what’s your take on brand-specific PC technologies like Nvidia’s GameWorks or AMD’s Mantle? Will The Witcher 3 on PC be associated with either Nvidia or AMD hardware?

    We are cooperating with Nvidia closely, but I wouldn't call Wild Hunt a PC-oriented game. As I’ve said before, we’re going for platform parity all across the board.

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