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The Witcher 3: Can A Great Story In An Open-World Exist?

Open-world games will continue their rapid rise in popularity, as technology keeps getting better and better over time.

So, we shouldn't be surprised to hear a developer say they're going to try to reach another level of sandbox gaming. Specifically, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt game director Konrad Tomaskiewicz told The Examiner that they will try to implement linear storytelling greatness into a sandbox setting:

"Think about closed-world games. Their storytelling is usually quite good because fewer possibilities for gamers mean that developers can plan more and concentrate solely on the finite number of locations in the game.

We want to take that quality and extend it to an open world. We want every inch of the world you'll traverse to be interesting and believable. That's our way of redefining [the open-world genre]."

Developer CD Projekt Red will attempt to bring gamers new experiences they've never had before. Traveling the wide open terrain of The Witcher 3 will have to be something special; it can't just be about missions and general exploring. Tomaskiewicz says it's critical that there can't be "nothing to do in between:"

"There was a time when open world gameplay meant that you just had to travel from point A to point B with nothing to do in between. Nowadays, there's like a second game between point A and B. If you want, you can forget that point B even exists."

Yep, that's the way most open-ended games are. But can these guys really take the next step and give us the best of both worlds?

Related Game(s): The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Tags: the witcher 3 wild hunt, the witcher sequel, cd projekt red

7/30/2013 10:35:59 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (25 posts)

xenris
Tuesday, July 30, 2013 @ 11:08:49 AM
Reply

If any dev team can pull it off it is CD Projekt red. These guys are in my opinion the best devs out there period. They care about the people who buy their game, giving them free updates, DLC and patches for years after they release them. On top of that they know how to make excellent gameplay, and tell a great story and they don't cave to mainstream expectations.

If someone can make a story work in an open world its these guys. Hopefully I'm not overhyping the game for myself but despite being super hyped for the Witcher 2 I was still blown away by it. Its probably my favourite overall game of the generation followed by other unique games like NIER, Rayman, Valkryia Chronicles and Folklore.

Can't wait for this game.

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Clamedeus
Tuesday, July 30, 2013 @ 11:44:25 AM

I need to play the other games, it looks really good. And I agree with that as well.

Last edited by Clamedeus on 7/30/2013 11:44:44 AM

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Beamboom
Tuesday, July 30, 2013 @ 11:48:25 AM

I agree.
I had totally missed the Witcher due to me not being a PC gamer at the time they were released, but I've played them both later and they really are fantastic RPGs. I did encounter the same problem with these games as I do with *all* fantasy themed RPGs, namely that they are fantasy themed. :) But had these games had a different settings they'd both rocketed straight into my all time top 10.

This game surely is the headliner of next year, no doubt about that.


Last edited by Beamboom on 7/30/2013 11:49:58 AM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, July 30, 2013 @ 11:52:30 AM

Not a fantasy guy eh Beam? Do you prefer the sci fi?

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Beamboom
Tuesday, July 30, 2013 @ 1:00:30 PM

I'd rather say I prefer anything but fantasy, World. :D

I am a sci-fi buff, no doubt about it. But really, *any* setting but the traditional fantasy setting is what I ask, beg, cry for.

Fantasy setting is really a cheap way of creating a story, imo. Practically the entire universe is set, the character characteristics (classes) are set, the races, the landscapes, the features... It's all building the frame around the cookiecutter-storymaker.


Last edited by Beamboom on 7/30/2013 1:00:54 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, July 30, 2013 @ 1:38:48 PM

That's one thing I really loved about the former Final Fantasy games. The unoriginal fantasy settings died after FFV and then became these more original worlds, aside from FFIX which was a bit of a throwback.

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Beamboom
Tuesday, July 30, 2013 @ 3:38:07 PM

Ah yeah that'd be great if that happened in other fantasy RPGs too. "Add some fantasy to Fantasy", sort to speak. :)

But I discussed this with a fantasy fan at work and he was strongly against the idea. It would not be fantasy then, he claimed. Fantasy is supposed to be like that, that is the genre.

That's one of the reasons I like sci-fi, I guess. There's very few rules, with the natural consequence of a vast variety of subgenres ranging from hard sci-fi to biopunk, steampunk, cyberpunk and post-apocalyptic as some of my favourites.


Last edited by Beamboom on 7/30/2013 3:39:17 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, July 30, 2013 @ 5:52:04 PM

I'd say that's more like a sub-genre when you limit fantasy to sorcery and elves and dwarves ya know. I tried to write my own non traditional fantasy once, it was insanely hard. Maybe that's why so many creators lean on that built-in stuff.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, July 30, 2013 @ 11:51:30 AM
Reply

Haven't played a Witcher so I can't comment on if they can do it, I'll be interested to see if they succeed though. I don't think anyone has done it yet, the two concepts just don't merge.

If I could wander off the main story in Uncharted (a solid linear example) and just start getting involved in the troubles of the locals in all those beautiful locations around the world it would just shatter the intensity surrounding the main narrative and create incredible pacing problems not to mention undue pressures on gameplay depth.

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LimitedVertigo
Tuesday, July 30, 2013 @ 12:53:17 PM

I thought RDR had a compelling storyline with great characters and great acting. The fact that it was an open world didn't take away from any of that.

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Beamboom
Tuesday, July 30, 2013 @ 1:05:13 PM

I totally agree, LV!
Also, RDR is the first open world game where I felt like I played the main story at all times. Everything just fitted so well into the totality.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, July 30, 2013 @ 1:40:26 PM

meh

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kraygen
Tuesday, July 30, 2013 @ 12:36:02 PM
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I've just started playing the original witcher and I'm only about 5 hours in but so far not real impressed. Not real big on the gameplay, but I know it's early so maybe it will get better.

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Beamboom
Tuesday, July 30, 2013 @ 1:03:42 PM

The second is better in every way, and I had some issues with the battle system in the first game.
But as the story unfolds and you see more of this world, things start to get interesting. At least, that's how it was to me, and I'm not even into fantasy at all.

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xenris
Tuesday, July 30, 2013 @ 3:03:38 PM

The second is better period. The first hasn't aged so well, and the combat is a little meh. The story and the sheer amount of things to do and choices to make give the game great replayability though.

If you really can't handle the first one and don't find it get better play the second one, it trumps the first one.

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Axe99
Tuesday, July 30, 2013 @ 6:30:49 PM

Bear with it, it'll grow on you. The original Witcher's combat is very much old (well, mid, unless you're very old) school PC RPG, think the old Neverwinter Nights games - and not for everyone. Game design very enjoyable though, and story and world excellent.

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kraygen
Wednesday, July 31, 2013 @ 11:19:36 AM

I'll definitely give it another 10 hours or so before I make up my mind one way or another. When it comes to rpgs I feel if you give it less than 10-15 hours, you haven't really given it a chance.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, July 30, 2013 @ 2:10:16 PM
Reply

This dev needs a new name.

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Beamboom
Tuesday, July 30, 2013 @ 3:21:57 PM

Hehe - I agree. :)

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MRSUCCESS
Tuesday, July 30, 2013 @ 2:13:35 PM
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Yes it can. It's called Metal Gear Solid 5.

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Miister47
Tuesday, July 30, 2013 @ 6:29:39 PM
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Not everyone liked this game but Deadly Premonition was a fine example that it's possible indeed to have a great story in an open world!! not the biggest open world...but still, it's an open world.

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Axe99
Tuesday, July 30, 2013 @ 6:31:31 PM
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I thought Red Dead Redemption did a pretty good job of a story in an open world. Not perfect by any stretch, and I expect Witcher 3 to be a cut above, but it can be done.

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PlatformGamerNZ
Tuesday, July 30, 2013 @ 11:07:35 PM
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i think this cud be a great game and i might get it some time but it's not on my first round buys or 2nd it'll be later on.

happy gaming =)

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___________
Wednesday, July 31, 2013 @ 5:41:00 AM
Reply

of course it can, in fact theres tons of games out there that have done it already!
all im worried about for this, is really the only problem i had with 2, which was the mission structure.
there was just FAR too much sh*t to do in the game, so many side missions and the like, and side missions were almost more fun and engaging so you always found yourself doing the side missions ignoring the main quests.
problem with that is you end up spending 50+ hours in the game and oh sh*t i have barely progressed!
a friend of mines spent 10 hours in the game and is further into its story than i am, at over 100 hours!
how the flying &^%$ is that possible!?

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Maruf
Saturday, August 03, 2013 @ 1:09:53 AM
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What interests me about Witcher 3 is that the action/concequences aspect. But I'd only see it if I play the game more than once and each run is 100 hours and I like to play thoroughly. I'm just concerned about time with so many huge open world games coming up.

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