Why The Witcher 3 could be 2014′s biggest PS4 game – huge RPG aiming for 100-plus hours

The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt PS4 screens

It’s not the visuals or size that impress most in CD Projekt Red‘s The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt on PS4 – though both are remarkable. It’s the attention to detail and production values that have gone into what is only a side-mission. With multi-part objectives, a cast of supporting characters, cutscenes and an ending cinematic, this is more effort than most games put into their main quests.

Why The Witcher 3 could be 2014′s biggest PS4 game

Perhaps we should be surprised rather than shocked, as The Witcher comes to PS4 with a stellar reputation in the role-playing world, combining gritty tales with high fantasy, player choice, and freeform combat. But when you find out that Wild Hunt – the conclusion to Geralt Of Rivia’s tale, due out in 2014 – is 35 times bigger than the previous game, it’s hard not to be taken aback.

The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt PS4 screensEqually so while that optional quest is playing out. The background to Geralt’s journey this time is fairly simple – intentionally on developer CD Projekt RED’s part, so that new players can get onboard without feeling like they’ve missed out. The Wild Hunt, a mythical and deadly force, has appeared and is laying siege to villages. Hearing of one survivor of such an attack, Geralt follows the trail and tracks the fellow down in the settlement of Fayrlund (awkward spelling is a Witcher staple). But just as the two are wagging chins, interruption strikes.

The Witcher comes to PS4 with a stellar reputation in the role-playing world,
combining gritty tales with high fantasy,
player choice, and freeform combat

A townsperson has been killed by an evil dwelling in the woods, and the residents can’t decide on how to tackle it. Geralt, man of action that he is, decides for them, and takes on the task in exchange for payment (he may be on the side of good, but a Witcher’s got to make a buck). And so begins – should you choose to undertake it – an optional mission that involves tracking and researching the beast, negotiating with the villagers about how to tackle it, discovering its sinister intentions, and ultimately striking it down by the medium of massive sword to its ugly skull head. And that’s just one side-quest. With one of the largest environments we’ve ever seen and 100-plus hours of high-quality action, this could already be next year’s game to beat.

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