First things first, this is not a review or preview of this game. If you are looking for the preview, I suggest you to have a look at The Witcher 3 preview. Now that I have gotten in out of my chest, let's move on.
Witcher 3 is going to be one hell of an amazing game for sure. There is no doubt that the guys at CD Project Red have been working day in and day out on this game. That's why they have delayed the release date and pushed it forward to sometime in February from September 2013 to give it some time for more polishing and additional content. After all, it's one of their first open-world projects which could lead to other amazing prospects for them if they succeed in doing this.
The pressure is mounting, the heads are pounding and the baggage is almost too heavy to carry for a medium-size studio, but they are somehow going to pull it off. There are a lot of things that needs to be taken care of when you are making a discrete product such as Witcher 3. One of those things are getting the open-world mechanics right so that it neither feels empty nor overcrowded. They need to nail it and find a perfect balance among these two facets. It's easier said than done though. Let's talk more about Witcher 3 in the context of game world here.
Not like Skyrim or GTA V
If you were thinking that they are going to attempt something like Skyrim or GTA V where you could go nuts killing anyone at your own wish, you are wrong. They are not going to give that such amount of freedom despite it being an-open world sandbox experience. The freedom is going to be limited in narrative sense so that the story wouldn't suffer from your naive actions. Put simply, you can count out your guilty pleasures before getting your hands in this game as it's not going to happen at all. It seems as if they have something else in mind for this project.
World filled with a lot things to do
It seems that CD Project has taken a leaf out of Skyrim's books. What good is a massive world without anything intriguing enough to worth wandering around? If there is nothing to do in a vast open-world setting, then all the effort you put in to create the game world just turns futile. But it's not going to happen in Witcher 3 as they have ensured that there are lot things for you to do at any point of time.
You can plunder a ship, go hiking, enter a drinking contest and do a lot of other fun stuff at your own discretion. It's your world with so many things to do in it.
The world is going to be filled with distractions. Their purpose is not to fed you up with usual kill and fetch quests. No, the Witcher is not serving anyone but himself this time around. It's his own fight. So, don't expect to see generic quests in here. What you can expect on your way to redemption, though, is a lot of distractions on the path. For example, if you are doing a main quest, you'll find someone in need of your help along the way. It's at your now discretion as to whether you want to help him or not. It's totally your choice. If you help him, though, he will take you to his boss and they will hire as a mercenary. And there you go. A new series of quest will uncover upon you. If you hadn't helped the boy, you wouldn't have gotten these quests. That's how this open-world mechanics works. You are free to do things at your own will whenever and however you want.
There is no doubt that CD Project Red, the studio behind this game, is aiming really big and ambitious this time around. Although they haven't showcased much, they have assured us that the game world is going to be much bigger than what we have experienced in the previous installments. It's going to be 35 times bigger than Witcher 2, their previous game. Heck, they are proclaiming that it's even bigger than Skyrim by some margin! Now, isn't that a dream feat to achieve.
While it still remains to be seen as to how they can morph their ambitious plans into something tangible and worthy of appraisal, I am pretty sure that these guys can't put any foot wrong. They have already had their feet wet and have tested the waters. They know what and how to do a game that appeal to a large fanbase. That's why they have a huge fanbase ready to swoop on the game as soon as it will be released.
We already know that Witcher is a respectable character. He has a reputation among the citizens and can't go around killing innocent people ruining their lives. It might be possible to do so in other open world games, but The Witcher 3 doesn't allow you to kill off any random NPC you see. If you are unreasonable with your kills and are going too far, city guards will confront you and fine you. If you won't stop there, you need to brace yourself for one of the most difficult combats of all the time as beating a guard will not be easy at all.
So as far as violence goes, you can only take out your wrath on your enemies, not on your friend as it will sabotage the narrative based gameplay which is the whole purpose of doing this game. And it's needed as well. If they let you run around going frenzy, this wouldn't serve the purpose of the game. They wouldn't be able to tell the story they want us to experience. If you kill an important NPC, for instance, you wouldn't be able to progress any further in the game. Hence the boundaries. These boundaries are placed there for your betterment and not to betray and annihilate you. So as far as this facet is concerned, it's not that sandboxy experience after all. You could kill off anything in GTA V or Skyrim, but not in this one.
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