The Witcher 3 may not be in stores, but it hasn’t stopped developer CD Projekt RED from announcing two expansions that will be headed to the open world RPG once it releases next month.
With the development of Wild Hunt coming to an end, the team has embarked upon the creation of two new really big adventures set in The Witcher universe,
says Marcin Iwiński, CD Projekt RED co-founder.
We remember the time when add-on disks truly expanded games by delivering meaningful content. As gamers, we’d like to bring that back. We’ve said in the past that if we ever decide to release paid content, it will be vast in size and represent real value for the money. Both our expansions offer more hours of gameplay than quite a few standalone games out there.
The first of the two expansions, Hearts of Stone, is penned in for an October release. A 10-hour campaign awaits Geralt as he takes on a contract from the ‘mysterious Man of Glass. The second of the two expansions doubles the gameplay time to 20 hours, has a release window of the first quarter of 2016 and is set in a new region called Toussaint.
While we’re offering the Expansion Pass now, we want to make one thing clear: don’t buy it if you have any doubts. Wait for reviews or play The Witcher and see if you like it first. As always, it’s your call,
If I was a Bioware writer during the release of Dragon Age: Inquisition I’d have been scared as hell. Mass Effect 3 was the end of one of the biggest RPG franchises in the last 10 years but was met with major criticism because of its ending. Then there was Dragon Age II, which although I thoroughly enjoyed, it was also met with quite the backlash from fans for being too different to the original game. Dragon Age: Inquisition however is a spectacular RPG that will keep players coming back for more, months after they first load it up.
Without giving away any spoilers, the game starts off with the Mages and Templars attempting to find peace with one another, the Chantry are caught in the middle brokering the deal. Something goes horribly wrong and during an explosion delegates from all three parties are killed. The Templars blame the Mages and the Mages want revenge against the Templars, it looks like Thedas is about to fall once again into a bloody war zone. Oh and did I mention the big gaping green hole in sky? That’s a tear in the Fade and through it demons are spilling out across Thedas killing indiscriminately. Members of the Chantry’s delegation pull you (the player) from out of the rubble and through a series of twists and turns you are chosen to help resolve the mess all while being labelled ‘The Herald’. The Inquisition is born from chaos and it is down to you and a chosen few to restore order across the land. As with all RPG’s nowadays, who you recruit and how you choose to play is completely up to you. Keep in mind however that your decisions directly affect the world around you. Not always for the better.
There is an incredible amount of history and lore in the Dragon Age universe and it can be a daunting task trying to absorb it all, let alone remember what had happened during Dragon Age I and II. Bioware have you covered here and released the Dragon Age Keep prior to the launch of Dragon Age: Inquisition. With no save game import feature present for the latest title, Dragon Age Keep allows you to go back and enter all the choices and decisions you made during the first two games (including all DLC) and then save this against your profile on the Dragon Age servers. Start a new game on your console and import this file and the world around you is shaped to your choices. Of course this also gives you the chance to alter decisions you made in the previous titles to see a different set of results and lore unravel in Dragon Age: Inquisition.
Inquisition’s world is, for the lack of a better choice of words, bloody huge! You start in an area known as the Hinterlands. Those that played the first Dragon Age will be familiar with this part of Thedas as Redcliff is based here. I spent around 12 hours in the Hinterlands exploring, completing side quests and missions before I released this was just the beginning. As The Herald you lead the Inquisition’s War Council deciding what missions take place across both Thedas and Orlais, directing troop movements, espionage missions and diplomatic envoys. The more areas you send your scouts to explore, the more of the map you open up for yourself. From seizing control and rebuilding large fortresses to exploring arid deserts and snowy peaks, Dragon Age: Inquisition has enough content in the world to keep you occupied for 60 hours and beyond. Perfectionists can expect to reach triple figures.
Taking a break from the main part of the game, let’s discuss the multiplayer, which is very different from the main game. You and three other friends team up to explore dungeons and areas of the main game in smaller bite sized chunks. Your progress doesn’t have any effect on the single player campaign but can be fun due to the limitations in place. These limitations are there to ensure you work together as a team. For example, you will have limited access to weapons and potions and you can only succumb to the enemy three times before it’s game over. I spent a limited amount of time with multiplayer. It’s OK, but you’ll soon find yourself bored and craving the single player.
Gameplay is split into three main areas; exploration and combat, narrative and decision-making and management of your Inquisition and troops across the game world. Bioware have mixed these three elements perfectly, ensuring that no single type gets boring too quickly. There is a fantastic story line branch in Orlais which will see you in the Royal Court having to dance, spy, gather clues and impress the aristocracy to complete the mission. The pace is slower than the rest of the game but the gameplay is well thought out and keeps you engaged throughout. Completing missions like this and others will increase the Inquisition’s power and influence, which opens more areas for you to explore and more missions to undertake. Some missions/areas require you to spend your accumulated power points whilst others only open after certain prerequisites have been met.
I particularly enjoyed the combat mechanics in Dragon Age II and Bioware have improved these further for Dragon Age: Inquisition. You get to pick from two combat modes; either real-time or tactical mode. You can of course pick how you play through combat but I strongly suggest experimenting with the tactical view, there are particular missions that become a lot more manageable while using this view, which allows you to pause, scan the battlefield and assign specific orders out one stage at a time. Co-ordinating attacks like this when storming fortresses later in the game makes things a lot easier to control.
We all know the power of the Xbox One by now and visually Dragon Age: Inquisition is gorgeously detailed and stunning to look at. Character customisation is deep and detailed, the frame rate is steady throughout and there appears to be no obvious evidence of tearing on-screen.
One of my favourite bits of Dragon Age: Inquisition is the music. Trevor Morris was brought in to replace Inon Zur, the composer of Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age II to compose the soundtracks for Inquisition. The tone the soundtrack sets is just right; from the opening cut screen through to dancing in Orlais, battles along the shore to just wandering around the Inquisition’s stronghold – the music helps place you in this world and fits right at home.
Dragon Age: Inquisition may have had a lot to put right for Bioware fans, but Bioware didn’t shy away from the challenge. The final result is a fantastic title. If you’re an RPG fan then this isn’t to be missed, especially while you sit around waiting for The Witcher 3 and/or The Elder Scrolls Online.
Thanks to Xbox for providing TiX with a download code
The Board of CD Projekt SA has taken to the internet to provide an open letter to fans explaining the state of The Witcher 3 and to apologise for their over ambition. It seems the project is certainly a huge task and even though the team are confident in their ability, they don’t want to release something they aren’t 100% happy with.
Now, before you take to your favourite social media outlet to convey your dismay in yet another delay to what’s shaping up to be one of the hottest RPGs of this generation, let me remind you that a broken game can cause more damage than getting it out to retail as proposed – anyone remember Assassin’s Creed Unity’s rocky launch! Ok, so you can patch a game post release but in a culture where it seems acceptable to release a broken game with the view to patching it, CD Projekt should be applauded for their honesty and willingness to get the game to a state that everyone can be proud.
Good luck guys and let’s hope the new date is when we will finally get our greasy hands on this awesome looking game. For now guys pencil in May 19th, 2015.
CD PROJEKT RED, the developer behind the Witcher franchise of games, is gearing up to unveil the opening cinematic from the studio’s flagship open world RPG fantasy adventure-The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
On the 24th of October, 15:45 BST, tune in to the Golden Joystick Awards Ceremony and be among the first people on the planet to watch Geralt of Rivia following The Trail, in an epic intro foreshadowing the main storyline of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. After the world premiere at Golden Joystick Awards, The Trail Opening Cinematic will also be made available on thewitcher.com/thetrail for everyone to enjoy.
Additionally, the studio is proud to inform that The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has been nominated in the “Most Wanted” category. Gamers eager to help the game win can cast their vote here.
Wild Hunt is a story-driven, next-generation open world role-playing game, set in a graphically stunning fantasy universe, full of meaningful choices and impactful consequences. In The Witcher, you play as Geralt of Rivia, one of a dying caste of monster hunters, and embark on an epic journey in a war-ravaged world that will inevitably lead you to confront a foe darker than anything humanity has faced so far—the Wild Hunt.
The game is scheduled to launch February 24th, 2015, on Xbox One, PC, and PlayStation 4
As one of our most anticipated titles for Xbox One in 2014 (we can barely contain our excitement) since the E3 reveal and the dev’s stated “there’s a lot of magic between the third Witcher and Xbox One” they wanted to usher the potential of the next generation with a new kind of RPG experience! As you can tell from the recent VGX trailer it’s shaping up to be one of the best looking games for 2014 so far!
This is one review we’re really looking forward to. Roll on 2014!
Inspired by a series of extremely popular novels translated into 19 languages, the comic series introduces a new adventure featuring Geralt of Rivia – a Witcher, one of the few remaining monster hunters known from the hit video game franchise.
Travelling near the edge of the Black Forest, in the land of the Angren, monster hunter Geralt meets a widowed man whose dead and murderous wife resides in an eerie mansion known as the House of Glass. With its endless rooms and horror around every corner, Geralt will have to use all his witcher prowess to solve the manor’s mystery and survive.
With two games already available, fans can get to know Geralt even before the release of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt in 2014 on PC, and next-gen platforms. The Witcher games were collectively granted over 270 awards and sold more than 5 million copies worldwide!
Witcher #1 will be available for purchase March 19th, 2014 in comic shops everywhere!
If you forget we’ll send a reminder or will do a review closer to launch!
CD Projekt RED is proud to present The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt “Killing Monsters” cinematic trailer to the public for the first time, offering a thrilling glimpse into the morally ambiguous universe of Geralt of Rivia.
“Killing Monsters” portrays the cruel and gritty world of The Witcher and foreshadows the mature mood of the upcoming story-driven RPG, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, set for release on Xbox One in 2014.
CD Projekt RED today during E3 unveiled its plans to release the genre-defining threequel of the critically acclaimed franchise – The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt on Xbox One.
“We’re really thrilled to be able to participate in this industry-defining moment and be among such critically acclaimed developers” – said Adam Badowski, CD Projekt RED Studio Head.
“There’s a lot of magic between the third Witcher and Xbox One – we felt it since receiving development kits some time ago. A lot of effort on our side was made to usher the potential of the next generation with a new kind of RPG experience – for the first time we could open the world to the extent we wanted and tell the story with the flair it deserves. I’m confident that we’ll deliver something groundbreaking and I hope, based on what we’ve released today, you’re seeing this as well.”, Badowski added.
“Microsoft delivered some pretty amazing technology and we’re extremely excited that we’ll be able to show the full potential of REDengine 3. No boundaries, no technological limitations – the hardware’s pure power and our creative vision will produce some outstanding visuals and unparalleled gameplay.” Said John Mamais, Head of Production at CD Projekt RED.
Bolstering the initial Xbox One games line up, CD Projekt RED believes that it can help set the course for next-generation RPGs on the next generation games and entertainment system from Microsoft.
The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt, scheduled for release during 2014 has been confirmed to have more than 300 different endings based on the choices that players’ take on their journey through the 36 different world states in-game. Each of the 36 different states has hundreds of different ending variations based upon tracking player behaviour – developers CD Projekt RED stopped counting at 300, there’s likely hundreds more!
The game is quite complex… We didn’t mean to develop something special for the endings; it’s a natural consequence of the storyline. The story has hundreds of different branches and sub-plots. We have to just sum all of those elements up in the epilogues. Some of those elements are taken from the very beginning and some from other moments of the storyline. All of them will connect in the epilogue.
The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt is said to contain more than 50 hours of gameplay – if you wanted to read our review for The Witcher 2, you can via this direct link.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is described by CD Projekt RED as an unprecedented combination of story-driven RPG and a vast, living, open world. Here’s some more info on how the studio achieves this union of different RPG approaches.
“The Witcher 3 is full of impactful decisions, and gamers will choose between storylines that exclude one another in a single playthrough, ensuring extensive replay value. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt crowns the trilogy with the main narrative, revolving around Geralt’s search for his loved ones and his conflict with the Wild Hunt. As players travel through the game, they visit lands with their own unique atmosphere, communities and memorable characters. CD Projekt RED didn’t create an open world with a singular theme, but concentrated on delivering diversified and engaging environments, 30 times larger than those in The Witcher 2,” said Adam Badowski, head of CD Projekt RED studio.
This setting changes depending on gamers’ actions not only when completing Geralt’s personal storyline, but also because of his involvement in major local plotlines in each land visited and many other carefully-designed side quests. All threads of this player-crafted tale interact with each other and the world, creating an even more nonlinear experience than ever before. The main narrative accounts for around 50 hours of gameplay in one playthrough, and the additional stories add another 50 hours of role playing, giving around 100 hours of total gaming time.
The Witcher 3 will be available in 2014 for all high-end platforms, including PlayStation 4.