CD Projekt Red, the Polish development studio for the critically acclaimed Witcher series, is no stranger to innovation in the realms of RPG narrative, graphics, and gameplay. The first two games of the franchise, The Witcher and The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings (based on Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski’s dark fantasy Witcher saga) met huge critical and financial success—a feat that enabled the developer to limit the size of their dev teams and build games at their own pace with an almost unheard-of level of autonomy in the industry. CD Projekt Red is currently hard at work on the trilogy finale, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and they’re looking to end the franchise with what they hope will be considered the greatest modern RPG to date.
What can we say about an RPG that aspires to create an open-world environment larger, prettier, and more alive than Skyrim’s, but without the busywork and fetch quests? A game that places an emphasis on meaningful stories as a means to explore the world, rather than picking 16 blue flowers or hunting 20 elk? A game whose target audience is mature, adult gamers, and doesn’t try to pander (too much) to the teenage mindset? A story that allows for the possibility of up to 36 unique endings? There’s not much to say, really, aside from hoping that this game turns out even half as well as projected. The developer’s commitment to excellence certainly can’t be questioned—The Witcher 3 was originally scheduled to release this year, but CD Projekt Red pushed the launch date to 2015 because they were unhappy with the level of polish on the game.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt launches February 2015 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
In other gaming news this week, Destiny’s getting a beta, Bill Gates talks selling Xbox, Nintendo gets hit hard, and forgotten classic No One Lives Forever re-emerges. Read on!
- Activision has confirmed that Destiny, Bungie’s latest offering and the studio’s follow-up to the massive success of Halo, will receive a public beta in July.
- Speaking of Halo, Showtime is reportedly close to a deal with Xbox Studios to pilot a live-action Halo series.
- EA’s Need For Speed franchise will not enter the marketplace this year—racing fans can expect the next NFS title in 2015.
- Titanfall pretty much hit the million sales mark in three weeks. Impressive.
- If early screens are any indication, Telltale’s next project, Tales from the Borderlands, is looking pretty spiffy.
- Rumors of Microsoft selling off Xbox have been swirling for some time, but this week it was Bill Gates adding fuel to the fire, damning Xbox with faint praise, so to speak, and stating he would “absolutely” support a decision to sell the product line, were it made.
- Yeah, streaming movies and TV shows is cool, but what about being able to stream video games to your TV with no console involved? Comcast and EA may be partnering up to make this happen.
- Avengers fans, take note. Marvel’s hard at work trying to find the right partner to make an Avengers game the best it can be.
- Murdered: Soul Suspect, a new IP from Square Enix exclusively for PlayStation, puts you in the role of a murdered detective in limbo, chasing down the mysterious Bell Killer on the streets of Salem. Have a look at the latest trailer.
- File this in the unsurprising column. Nintendo’s Wii U sales absolutely tanked last quarter as the company lost nearly half a billion dollars. Nintendo’s tenuous hold on hardware creation continues to slip…
- Finally, an old favorite of ours, No One Lives Forever, resurfaced the other day as Night Dive Studios filed trademarks for the franchise, possibly with plans to republish the games.