The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Preview

While I'd be inclined to call this The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt preview "less positive" than most we've read, it has to be said that PC Gamer's Tyler Wilde still sounds pretty impressed with the title, which certainly helps put things in perspective. Previews are previews, but it seems there are good reasons to look forward to the release of CD Projekt RED's first open-world title.

Oh, and before I forget, here's a snippet to give you an idea:
In line with the rest of the series, Geralt's quest includes a morally gray decision. Once he discovers that a Leshen is to blame, he can choose to take the elders' side or talk to the young upstart. We take the latter choice, and here's the catch: the monster has marked someone in the town, and can't be killed unless that person leaves or perishes. Using Geralt's magic Witcher sense something like Batman's detective vision to find the marked one, the player discovers that it's an innocent girl. Before he leaves for the hunt, Geralt makes it clear that she's not to blame for being marked, but that she has to go.

I hoped the player would now be trusted to figure out the monster's weaknesses using Geralt's encyclopedia, but everything except the actual fight is directed by on-screen prompts. We know from reading about Leshens, for example, that they create totems which must be destroyed to reduce their power, and we're instructed do this as soon as we enter the forest, following a murder of crows to each of the monsters' trophies and burning them it's possible this is just the player's first introduction to the beast, though.

Once that's wrapped up, the player is instructed to find the monster, and a few steps later we're introduced to the creature, a gloriously creepy slender biped made of bone and bark. The fight is brief, again with great variety of animation as Geralt spins, swings, and burns the Leshen's bark, but with some of that action RPG awkwardness that comes from misplaced combo chains.

With proof of the Leshen's death, Geralt returns to the town and. uh oh. The kid did a bad thing not only did he kill the marked girl, he killed the elders, too. We decide to condemn his actions, and Geralt gives him the most obvious line possible, paraphrased: There's another monster in this village. It seems odd that any of this surprises Geralt, who saw the youth's conflict with the elders, and pretty clearly, if not absolutely explicitly, told him to kill the girl.