New The Witcher 3 information from Gamestar

#1
Folks from the German gaming magazine Gamestar.de recently got the chance to play The Witcher 3 for two days straight, no limitations. You can find their impressions in the latest edition of their magazine. The journalist played for 12 hours and reached level 7. He seemed to be very impressed.

"My two days with Geralt were one of the most beautiful, most exciting and overwhelming experiences I have experienced in my 33 years gaming life"

New information:

Gameplay
  • There are 4 difficulties (easy, medium, hard and dark) which differ in the skill of the monsters you face. Hitpoints remain the same.
  • You can bargain for more money after finishing your monster contract through some sort of minigame.
  • The side quests are extremely well made with great writing and branching.
  • Potions are a necessity on higher difficulty levels. You only need to craft a potion once and you can refill it if you have enough alcohol present. Potions are upgradeable for stronger effects. Stronger potions will increase your toxicity more
  • Novigrad and No Man's Land are indeed one single map, much bigger than Skyrim. The isles of Skellige form the other big part of the game. Next to that, there are 5-6 other separated locations, including Kaer Morhen.
  • No enemy respawning or at the least not very frequently
  • Best items in the game must be crafted
  • They were very impressed with the story branching and how it is not always obvious. Correcting 'wrong' choices by saving/reloading will be very difficult if not impossible.
  • Contrary to BioWare games dialogue options are not good or bad, this you will have to figure out for yourselves.
  • They really liked the in-game card game Gwent, praising its design.
  • The game features two really big cities: Novigrad and Oxenfurt, both very lively.
  • The are of No Man's Land features 25 smaller towns, some of which are the size of Flotsam from The Witcher 2.
  • Geralt can rob people, although the system is too easy and feels a bit lacking.
  • Journalist (level 7) was one shotted by a wyvern (level 24). No level scaling.
  • Ciri sequences will be (in total) 5-10h and feel more like an action-adventure game than an RPG
  • Extra storage can be made by crafting saddle bags for your horse.
  • Many small details such as Roach stopping to eat apples from a basket
  • All equipped items are visible in-game on Geralt
  • Fist-fighting is back, this time no QTE
  • World never felt empty
  • Journalist didn't encounter any simple fetch quests

Technical
  • The HUD is fully customizable. Icons and quest markers on the map can also be deactivated. Audiovisual hints (e.g. people screaming for help) will be present if you wish to do so.
  • Journalist encountered no clone NPC's
  • Controller feels superior to keyboard+mouse.
  • The extremely annoying doors from The Witcher 2 are gone. Doors are now opened automatically, no button pressing. No loading times for entering buildings either.
  • Day 1 patch confirmed
  • Xbox One resolution will stay at 900p
  • Geralts beard will grow over time
  • Switching between controller and mouse (for menu's) is easy and fluid
  • Most impressive dynamic weather system in any game he has ever played
  • They encountered very few bugs, no crashes of freezes.
  • Ultra seems to have a big effect on the quality of vegetation and character models[
  • No slider for LOD
  • Visual gore more prominent than in The Witcher 2
 
#6
His Majesty, you did forgot many things from Gamestar though

Anyway, some new screens from GS: (I think they are from the pdf. version - maybe ?)




 

Sn4ke_911

If I ever post something in Japanese which I don't understand, please BAN me.
#8
This was very informative. I saw the live stream a few hours ago.

Good stuff.
 
#10
Translation courtesy of users on the Witcher 3 official forums:

  • journalist played 10-12 hours, had full access to the game and reached level 7
  • game is already at Sony & MS for admission
  • resolution on Xbox One will definitely stay at 900p in order to offer a stable performance
  • fluid gameplay on 1080p with everything on maximum +nvidia hairworks on GTX 980 -> looks
  • - Ultra settings are impressive, especially the rich vegetation and character models; there can be scenes where difference between high and ultra won't be that noticeable; lighting is impressive: for instance evening light falling on vast flower fields of a parfum-maker
  • Looks insanely good for an open world game
  • two big cities with Novigrad and Oxenfurt (which is really big as well)
  • you cannot enter every house in Novigrad but it's cleverly masked if you can't enter one
  • Novigrad and No man's land are connected, only seperated maps, only loading time between main land and Skellige
  • Novigrad+No man's land are much bigger than Skyrim alone
  • no button for opening doors anymore, all doors are swinging doors
  • extremely lively interiors, every interior tells a different story
  • There are around 25 "villages" in No mans land and Novigrad
  • there are towns in the game of the same size of Flotsam
  • cities have a realistic eco-system and surroundings with real suburb parts in which craftsmen are located like in medieval times
  • last active skill-slot (12th) at level 50, level cap could be even higher
  • whole world feels quite realistic and organic
  • Combat with gamepad very intuitive and fluid
  • diving is still not optimal in terms of controls, but you can dive everywhere
  • gamepad controls are apparently much better than mouse/keyboard according to the journalist (m/k on TW2 level)
  • it's still too easy to rob people, robbing system in general is lacking
  • whole game is consequently open world so pacing could be difficult for some
  • passages with Ciri are like a linear action-adventure, not like a RPG, plays differently and more action-fueled than Geralt's passages (no inventory, no skill tree, depending on the scene Ciri has certain skills)
  • side quests are great and each tells its own story with people actually reacting to Geralt
  • sound and subtitles can be combined freely from different available languages
  • there will definitely be a day-one patch
  • high grade of visual violence with dismemberments with a higher gore-level than TW1 or TW2, but still feels organic and consistent
  • items can be crafted and decomposed
  • best items in game must be crafted
  • game world can change based on your decisions
  • there was indeed no slider or adjustment option for the draw distance/LOD but according to the journalist he was happy with it
  • there is the cleverly constructed illusion of a realistic world but traveling is never boring and there is always something to discover
  • even if you disable markers for quest givers on the map the game gives you audio-visual hints like people screaming for help
  • the journalist never had the feeling that the world is "empty"
  • no sudden changes of environments (e.g. desert to humid regions), organic and consistent world
  • "sandbox elements" and random stuff is limited, so no fights of townpeople against dragons like in Skyrim, you can only influence the world to a certain level
  • as far as the journalist has experienced it there will be little to no enemy respawning, enemies haven returned during his two days in the game
  • the game is open world but actually almost everything is "controlled" and "planned" by the developers
  • The Quests aren't randomly generated, they appear on the same spot
  • He did not encounter any simple fetch quests
  • many things are commented by Geralt e.g. when he tracks down leads with the Witcher senses
  • mutagens can be very powerful, like 40% damage enhancer for signs
  • very different enemy types that feel and play differently
  • no "clone" NPCs, every NPC in Novigrad for example looks differently
  • every potion and bomb must only brewed/crafted once
  • potions have different quality levels, can be improved, e.g. Swallow can offer more healing and more slots
  • crafting is extensive
  • you can for example increase the inventory limitations of your horse by crafting bigger saddle bags but you must actually go to your horse to be able to have access to these bags
  • every region has its own color setting and feel
  • Most dynamic/impressive Weather System the reporter has ever seen.
  • clouds cast shadows
  • bad weather like storms can happen everywhere
  • game loading time is extremely short on the high-end PC
  • saving and loading times are also extremely short
  • some huge buildings and story-relevant special areas have loading times, normal buildings do not
  • story branching in quests is excessive and impressive with not always "transparent" or easily visible effects, for example one quest had six "decisive" elements that could have gone down in a different way if the journalist behaved differently
  • "it will be impossible to play Witcher 3 two times in exactly the same way"
  • different to Bioware games dialogue options are not "obvious" and every possibility makes kind of sense, no sign whether an answer is "good" or "bad", only quest relevant options are marked (opposite to chatter and non-quest related dialogue options)
  • due to the complex way of story branching it's difficult to find times and locations where "things went wrong" if you want to develop your game in a different way
  • Ghwent is awesome according to the journalist, great design and entertaining
  • fist fighting is without QTEs now, it's just like normal fighting with hard and fast strikes and such
  • there are now negotiation minigame for quest rewards like bargaining for a monster hunt (before and after quests?)
  • there are horseraces similar to RDR, biggest focus on stamina management during races, you can even buy better saddles for horseraces
  • every item you choose is visible on Geralt's ingame model
  • Geralts beard will grow. You have to go to a barber after a few days
  • you can enter and play whatever region you want but you get hints where to start by your main quest (e.g. search Ciri in Novigrad's surroundings) if you want enemies that are on a similar level to yourself, but it's up to the player how he wants to progress
  • Level 24 Wyvern one-shotted level 7 Geralt
  • soundtrack was good, but neither really negative nor outstanding, but dynamic and decent, fits to the situation and location
  • some reactions from NPCs to things you did, but rather small comments, journalist admitted that he didn't play the game long enough for probably bigger reactions
  • tutorials are integrated into the story/progression and worth the effort due to good dialogues
  • the game is really immersive and "drags you in", feels and plays a lot more fluidly than the predecessors without being less complex
  • there is a chance that they won't be able to hold the level until the end of the game (speculation since two days were surely not enough to get to the end) but the journalist was truly and deeply impressed by what he saw and played
  • potions are quite important, especially on harder difficulty settings
 
#28
Combat with gamepad very intuitive and fluid.

Diving is still not optimal in terms of controls, but you can dive everywhere.
Wish they'd directly compare the combat here with TW2's. ie, what aspects they felt were improved upon.

As long as diving controls are manageable then that's good enough considering everything else the game is aiming to do at once.

Sounds excellent so far. The next couple of months will be fantastic for RPG fans.
 
#40
Whats the Ciri stuff (5-10 hours)? Going to be new to the series sorry if its a dumb question.
Ciri's the girl you are looking for, who's being pursued by the Wild Hunt. You'll get to play as her for a bit to get her perspective, hopefully preparing us for the inevitable Witcher 4 where she's the main protagonist.
 
#43
Sounds good. Although, no respawns or not very frequently kind of bugs me. What do they mean with not very frequently? I don't want to wander trough a lifeless world.
 
#44
The main story takes about 50 hours, and you think that playing as Ciri for maybe 5 - 10 hours is too long?.. some breaks from Geralt from time to time are probaly going to be needed
the action-adventure talk makes me kinda go meh

I like Ciri but im not too big a fan of when games do these kinda things. Specially in a game where you're character-building throughout and suddenly you play as someone else.

I mean im barely projecting, im sure it'll be fine
 

Totobeni

An blind dancing ho
#45
Novigrad and No Man's Land are indeed one single map, much bigger than Skyrim. The isles of Skellige form the other big part of the game. Next to that, there are 5-6 other separated locations, including Kaer Morhen.
Lets hope it's not soulless map like DAI. bigger maps in WRPG is not always a good thing.

No enemy respawning or at the least not very frequently
Good. but lets hope they make every fight count.

Ciri sequences will be (in total) 5-10h and feel more like an action-adventure game than an RPG
Post book Cirilla should be god-mode. I hope these liner levels do show her badassery and awesomeness.

Contrary to BioWare games dialogue options are not good or bad, this you will have to figure out for yourselves.
uh CRPR is doing this since the first game.

Extra storage can be made by crafting saddle bags for your horse.
We should have infinite inventory in rpg.

Controller feels superior to keyboard+mouse.
This sucks, TW2 was better with K&M so I hope his don't mean they ignored the Pc controls and focused on improving the gamepad only because this will be really bad.

The extremely annoying doors from The Witcher 2 are gone. Doors are now opened automatically, no button pressing. No loading times for entering buildings either.
I don't like this.

Geralts beard will grow over time
I guess this is using Nvidia Hairworks?

Whats the Ciri stuff (5-10 hours)? Going to be new to the series sorry if its a dumb question.
Ciri is the protagonist of the books, She is a super powerful source (and many other things as well). we'll be able to play as her in liner levels in the Witcher 3.

to know how of an ultimate bad ass she is
She killed a Witcher Hunter (yes a dude who hunt a kill witchers) when she was 15 years old
 
#46
day 1 patch confirmed even though 2 months away and delay after delay

What in the fuck
The game is already in certification at MS/Sony and they are still working on optimizing it further and squashing bugs. Of course there will be day 1 patch, work never stops.