A translated German preview and some leaked screen shots give fans a better idea of what to expect for Witcher 3 Wild Hunt.
Source: World of Players Forum
According to the source, the "average" playthrough of the main quest is around 50 hours long. I would take into consideration that they were not rushing through the game, perhaps making full use of the interactions with the world, doing some related sidequests, etc. Even so, 50 hours for the main plot is impressive, but with the game still over a year away from release, we are still in the stage where developers are talking what they want to give us and not what we are actually getting. So take these rumors with a grain of salt. Here are the notes translated from the link:
- Witcher 3 will be available on all high end platforms, already announced for PS4. Plus the game will have different interfaces for consoles and PCs.
- Game will have 36 'world states' to end with, which will lead to one of three different epilogue chapters.
- World is 30% larger than Skyrim, towns are larger and denser, world is more populated.
- No loading sequences, no invisible borders (free roam)
- Geralt's backstory will be the same regardless of your previous games, but your prior saves will decide which characters will return.
- No Alignments, no factions for Geralt.
- You can buy horses or tame with the Axii sign.
- Animals can be hunted for fur and resources by tracking markings in the wild. You activate a sense system to determind the creatur and track it.
- Weather cycles and time of day will factor into when areas can be accessed and what beasts you encounter.
- Smarter AI: Townspeople can report you if you break the law, enemies can surrender to you.
- Character development will be more complex and offer hundreds of options and specializations.
- Experience will come from quest completion with hunting and fighting used mostly for monetary rewards.
- The economy will be more dynamic. Different prices in different places and the player's interaction can effect the economy.
- The character can climb and jump.
- There will be fast-travel.
- Magic is more impactful and complex.
- You can target specific parts of the body in combat.
- Mini-games like card playing in bars or target practice.
- Level cap of 60.
- Areas of the world mentioned so far: Novigrad, Skellige Islands, and wasteland wilds.
And, last and most unfortunately:
- It will still involve full cinematic, dialogue and cutscenes.
Oh well, it was sounding good up to that point. Hopefully most of the 50 hours of main plot playthrough doesn't consist of sitting through cutscenes. I'm also a bit skeptical being how far the game is from completion. Any players that lived through the release of the Fables video games are well aware of the difference between what developers say they want to give you and what you actually get. CD Projekt RED has a good track record though, so I'm hopefull, but think they should be mindful of comparisons to Skyrim. There is more appeal behind Skyrim's "open game" concept than just an open map. I'm sure Witcher fans will be day-one buyers regardless of what news comes out in the coming months, but the question remains: Will CD Projekt RED make the game a day-one purchase for RPGers? Only time will tell.