The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Preview

There's a short preview for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt over at PC Gamer, based on a hands-off presentation. Not much new in it, but here's a snippet anyway:
The Witcher's monsters are inspired by mythology from around the world, from Eastern European ghost stories to creatures of Celtic legend. They're far more interesting for it, and somehow more believable. Hunting will be an important part of Geralt's day-to-day activities, so CD Projekt Red have spent time developing different types of enemy AI, including swarm behaviour for tiny foes, pack AI for wolves, and monster AI for bigger beasts that'll let them alter the environment. The Leshen has a neat way of avoiding monster hunters, for example. It can mark a living creature and regenerate from their essence when slain, a trick it's used to mark an inhabitant in the village Geralt's trying to protect.

There's the catch, then. To kill the beast, the marked one has to die first. Geralt returns to town to investigate. His young employer is certain the beast has singled out one of the elders, suggesting that their pray-and-hope approach might be a symptom of the Leshen's influence. Geralt activates his Witcher sense again to find the marked citizen, but it doesn't take magic powers to see the spiralling tower of black crows over one of the houses. This isn't going to end well.

The Witcher 3's dynamic weather system has conjured up a storm at this point. Wind lashes the trees of the surrounding forest. Every branch whips in the wind, and the tall grass is caught in flurries. Weather will affect monster behaviour just as certain beasts will only come out at night but it also looks terrific. When Geralt meditates, the world goes into timelapse. The spinning sky, shifting light and skittering shadows show off the new engine's considerable abilities. The Witcher 3 is exceptionally pretty.