OXM (well, Google) have today been hard at work translating the details from a number of previews for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt which went live in German gaming magazines Gamestar and PC games.
The biggest revelation of the whole lot is that the newly open-world focused title will take you fifty hours to see through from start to finish and in doing so can result in the player being sat on one of a possible thrity-six different world states. Furthermore, completion of the game depending on these world states, will influence the behind-the-scenes decision making process that shows you one of three very different, one hour long endings.
Another big detail that OXM translated was that, in Mass Effect style, save games from previous Witcher games will decide which characters return from your earlier adventures, but regardless will not affect Geralt's backstory.
As The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings only came out on the 360 (and the PS4 version of the game will have no predecessor), I imagine this feature will be best leveraged by PC gamers who have had access to all three games in the series.
In terms of game mechanics, it would appear that our Geralt is a regular old horse whisperer, as the new "Axii" spell allows our protagonist to tame horses in their natural habitat. Of course, the option to just buy one of the things remains a viable option if you don't go in for all that taming malarkey.
Another spell that makes its debut in the third game is a riff on the fire spell called "Ignii". This nasty little variant on traditional fire spell allows Geralt to set the enviornment alight with gorgeously rendered dynamic fire; manifested as a stream of pure flame. Impressive stuff.
Hunting also plays a prominent role in The Witcher 3 as Geralt is able to not only hunt and harvest animals for fur and meat, but intriguingly, he can increase the chances of cornering his quarry by tracking colour-coded markings that abound throughout the wild.
In addition to that, the sort of beasts that you encounter are dictated by a night and day cycle which runs concurrently with a brand new weather cycle; meaning that different times of the day and whether its sunny or pouring, will dictate the sort of animals you'll be able to hunt.
Going back into the hustle and bustle of towns and cities, the translated details appear to suggest that the local citizens are quite switched on and won't just be the idling NPC's you might come to expect. Indeed, if one of them catches a glimpse of you commiting a crime, they'll sell you out to the guards without a second thought.
The richer city and town locales also apparently promise the return of mini-games; chief among them playing cards and axe-throwing contests to name just two.
Level 60 is now the cap for progression in the game and as you might expect, that all important XP can be accrued through finishing both side-quests and quests tied into the main storyline.
One key development that the game has seen has been the strides that the development team over at CD Projekt RED have made with the combat system. As well as all of the usual timings that need to be mastered for you to be effective in combat, you can now apparently target individual limbs; with damage to selected apendages causing the enemy to slow down, deal less damage or be disarmed altogether.
Fans of the series might also be happy to hear that not only have QTE sequences been entirely scrapped, but that, at long last, Geralt can jump! These are revolutionarly times that we live in indeed.
As soon as we hear more on this promising title, we'll be sure to pass it along.
Source: OXM, Gamestar, PC Games