How The Witcher 3 Embraces Both Veterans and Newcomers

IGN had the opportunity to chat with CD Projekt RED senior writer Jakub Szamałek about the lengths they've gone to ensure that The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is approachable by both new players and existing fans of the franchise. PC gamers who have played through the first two titles can even transfer their save game, and while console players won't have that luxury, they can at least "simulate" their previous choices during the prologue:

(So, we were aware that there would be a lot of new players coming into the Witcher world to play Wild Hunt, and we worked really hard to make sure that the prologue is inviting to these new players,) Senior Writer Jakub Szamałek explains. (It unravels kind of slowly so it allows you to get used to this world and get to know the characters, so we really worked a lot on the prologue to ensure that, even if you know absolutely nothing about the Witcher universe, you can get to know this universe by the end of it.)

In that regard, (you'll know who the Witchers are, who Geralt is specifically, what are their aims, what is the world like, and what's the true state of the world right now. So, we think that, by the time you finish the prologue, you really do have a grasp of the basics of the story and you kind of learn more about it as you go.)

This isn't simply a marketing bullet point. CDProjekt Red has made a genuine effort to make The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt approachable, but never stoops to pandering or pointless exposition existing fans would find unnecessary. Having context for the depth of The Witcher's universe certainly benefits veterans, but, given the opening act's all-around newness, first-timers can jump in fresh, learn where Geralt of Rivia comes from and the company he keeps, and discover this new adventure with the same sense of discovery as anyone else.

PC players of The Witcher 2 will be able to directly transfer their save to keep their story going, but console players or anyone who may have lost their save aren't as lucky. (If you did not have that for whatever reason, there will be a sequence in the prologue that, if you have chosen that you want to simulate the choices from the previous game, you will be able to determine what Geralt had done in the past,) Szamałek says. "Geralt is eventually questioned about what happened, and his answers color your story with important history, and may have meaningful ramifications down the line."