Massive open worlds are the rule of the day for fantasy RPGs of late. Skyrim set the bar at the end of the last console generation, and then Dragon Age: Inquisition did its best to raise it even further. Now The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is taking its stab at transitioning into an enormous open-world franchise.
The first next-gen Witcher adventure is huge, with developers claiming it will take players around 200 hours to complete everything in the game. It might be handy to take a map.
Gamers will be able to do just that if they opt to pre-order the Wild Hunt Collector’s Edition Strategy Guide from GameStop. The weighty tome will provide The Witcher 3 players with walkthroughs for every quest, as well as combat tips, an atlas of all the locations in the game, and a bestiary guide to the assorted creatures Geralt will face off against in Wild Hunt.
The guide also includes a copy of The Witcher Grimoire, a 96-page book created by David S. Hodgson and filled with “rare knowledge about the lands, monsters, people and pastimes of the world of The Witcher.” Finally, gamers who pre-order the strategy guide from GameStop will also get an exclusive world map that beautifully previews Witcher 3‘s expansive open world. You can see the map below.
The world of The Witcher 3 has been described as 20% larger than Skyrim, and a whopping “30 times” the size of the one gamers explored in 2011’s The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings. The map above gives a good feel for just how much territory there will be to explore in Wild Hunt, ranging from cities to mountains to large tracts of water. Thankfully Geralt won’t have to walk it all.
The titular monster hunter will be able to travel on horseback or by sailboat, and there will even be underwater areas to uncover. The latest Witcher sequel will also add climbing and jumping to Geralt’s skill set, further expanding the exploration possibilities.
Fans coming late to the series may not realize that the Witcher games are actually built on a pre-existing foundation. The games are based on the works of Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski, who wrote six novels and a series of stories about Geralt of Rivia, beginning in the early ’90s. The Witcher games take place after Sapkowski’s tales, but for fans of those books, Wild Hunt has got to be a dream come true — a chance to explore the author’s fantasy world in unprecedented detail.
Strategy guides seem like something of an anachronism in this age when anything gamers could hope to know about a given game will turn up online sooner or later, but there’s clearly still a market for them. For die-hard fans of The Witcher, and the world in which Geralt resides, there are plenty of goodies packaged into the Collector’s Edition Strategy Guide. But with a purchase price of $39.99, many gamers will likely opt to just wait for solutions to any tricky quests to pop up on YouTube. The guide is also available — without the pre-order map — via Amazon, where it’s currently listing for $26.48 (34% off).
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will release May 19 on PC, PS4, and Xbox One. If that seems too long to wait, check out the first 15 minutes of the game.