An action RPG and the third chapter of the adventures of a morally unambiguous monster slayer, Geralt of Rivia. As were the parts of the cycle, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is based on Andrzej Sapkowski’s literary works, while not being a direct adaptation of any of his books. The story picks up after the events of the previous game and focuses on several plotlines, including Geralt’s lost love, invasion of the Nilfgaard Empire on the Northern Kingdoms, as well as the eponymous, spectral hunt. The gameplay is characterized by a sandbox style, giving players much freedom in exploring the vast world (an area more than 40 times bigger than in The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings) and completing hundreds of side quests. The developers from CD Projekt RED introduced many new features, including a new REDengine3 that offers excellent audiovisual quality.
The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt for Xbox One is the third installment in the popular series of role-playing games based on the prose of Andrzej Sapkowski. The game was developed by CD Projekt RED which also produced the two previous games.
The players assume the role of the witcher known from the previous games. The main part of the storyline revolves around several separate threads such as the search of Geralt’s lost love and Nilfgaard invasion of the Northern Kingdoms. The players are also going to fight the eponymous Wild Hunt which haunted the wither both in novels and the two previous games. All of these main tasks offer a branched film-quality story, impressive scenes, and carefully directed cutscenes. Interestingly enough, the players can give up some of these tasks, however, they will have to face the unpleasant consequences of their choice. There are lots of side quests available in the game which together with the main plot offer over one hundred hours of gameplay. The developers took their time to provide a large variety of challenges. During the adventure, the players will explore a wide range of areas, including caves, ancient ruins, and bustling villages. They will also hunt monsters for profit and for special rewards, while some of the quests will include investigation. Each region of the world offers its own mini-games (e.g. knife-throwing tournament) with special prizes, however, beating them is not required for the plot to progress.
According to tradition of the series, the third Witcher game offers a great amount of freedom to play as the players see fit. The story line is significantly branched so as to allow the players to make different choices. At the same time, the virtual world is highly dynamic. For example, some of the player’s actions can make a village threatened by bandit attacks completely depopulated. The world of the game is one of open structure which is forty times bigger than the one of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings. The new game engine, REDengine 3, is designed to load data in the background in order to avoid loading screens. Travelling is now easier thanks to the possibility of horseback riding. With a good steed going from one end of the map to the other takes about 30-40 minutes. The players can also fast-travel to places they have already visited.
Considerable changes were introduced to the combat system. The artificial intelligence of the opponents was completely rebuilt. Geralt now has 96 combat animations while in the previous game he had only 20 of them. The players can finally stop the attack in the middle of it and block and dodge blows even when they run out of stamina, although it limits its effectiveness. Additionally, they can perform fast pirouettes instead of the flips to evade the attack. The new camera system provides a clear perspective during combat. There will be a plenty of boss-fights, with an ice giant among other, but they will not be scripted this time. The sign system is also redesigned. Each of the five signs has a basic level, as the leveling up progresses, Geralt gains access to the the second level of a sign. For example, improved Igni triggers an explosion of fire that surrounds the protagonist. Level-two Yrden, in turn, creates a field of energy which slows down all opponents within its range rather than just trap one of them.
During combat, the Xbox One users can use the surrounding environment to a great extent. For example, it is possible to telekinetically hit a wasps’ nest which will attack Geralt’s enemies. When they turn on him, he can burn them with Igni. Expanding the knowledge of opponents allows the player to discover their weaknesses. Some of defeated monsters will be a source of components which are impossible to obtain in any other way and can be used to craft items or to brew potions. They will also enable Geralt to mutate which gives him access to new abilities. The players can also develop fencing and alchemy skills.