The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Hands-on Preview

IGN had the opportunity to visit CD Projekt RED's offices in Poland and check out The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt firsthand, and that's led to the first installment in a multi-part preview to disseminate everything they learned during their six-hour session with the RPG. This initial article focuses on whether you need any previous experience with the original two games and its grand, open-world scope:

If you spend time in its towns, you'll find social segregation, slums and grotty streets set apart from wealthy districts with opulent bath houses. Step outside the town, and you'll find the people who keep the town alive merchants, labourers busily baking bricks or dying fabrics for export. It's pretty easy to give yourself over to The Witcher 3's convincing fantasy.

It's also easy to see how the beauty and breadth of this world will beguile novice and seasoned Witchers alike, but the problem of story and character and the accumulated lore of two lengthy games not to mention the series of novels on which this is all based poses a more significant obstacle. A lot of it can seem impenetrable, especially since the game assumes a degree of familiarity with its world and its central characters, but through a mixture of spectacular, pre-rendered cut scenes and stylish animatics, Wild Hunt relays some of the key plot points you have missed and highlights the things you really need to know. So if you're a Witcher babe, it's easy enough to take the story at face value and become invested: Geralt is looking for a woman he loves. That's it. What more motivation do you need? But if you're au fait with the series, and Geralt's past, that woman being Yennefer acquires much more resonance.