by Preston Dozsa
previewed on PC
After some time traversing the swamps, we came across a young humanoid creature that goes by the name of Johnny who happened to know some information on our target. Unfortunately, he had lost his voice some time before, and it was up to Geralt to find it again. Evidently it turned up on the edge of a cliff, which helped showcase how Geralt can maneuver through the environment. Geralt can easily climb up the hillside to reach the cliff, but he can also jump for the first time ever to help expedite the process. Later on in the demo, Geralt also swam and dove, a first for the series as well. It really seems that the developers are trying to maximise every possible way that you can explore the world.
After recovering Johnny’s voice and listening to him talk about how much he likes to void his bowels every morning, we were guided to a small run-down village populated by orphaned children. There, we met the mysterious Crones, three beings who lived in a tapestry that wanted us to take care of a problem before telling us anything useful. As it turns out, a nearby village that the Crones protect is experiencing some sort of trouble with an evil spirit. Reluctantly, Geralt went out to see what he could do.
After engaging through several creatures and critters, Geralt eventually stumbled across a spirit that had possessed the inside of a great tree. It didn’t outright attack at first, instead repeating that it had to be freed in order for the children to be saved. Instead of listening to it, Geralt decided to destroy it along with the remaining monsters guarding the place. What happened afterwards perfectly illustrated the grey and grey morality system that the Witcher series is known for. Upon leaving, the elder of a nearby village cut off his ear as a form of payment to the Crones. What’s worse is that when Geralt returned to the tapestry where the Crones were located, they had emerged from the tapestry in all their disturbing, filth and blood covered bodies. And more importantly, the children that were running around earlier? All traces of them had vanished...
Another aspect of the game that deserves special mention is the music. Throughout the demo, the music helped immerse me into the world, with pieces that can be only described as epic radiating throughout the game. Whether we were riding through a city or engaging some undead in the swamp, the music consistently stood out. And that's just - watching - the game.
Thus concluded our demo of what easily became my personal favorite game at this years Gamescom. With dark choices, intense and fluid gameplay and a truly massive open world with no invisible boundaries, The Witcher 3 looks to be hitting all the right targets as it prepares to release next February.