In a time when the word "franchise" is commonly associated with "annual release," waiting four years for a sequel to The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings has been somewhat refreshing. Developer CD Projekt RED has delayed the game's release multiple times, with the most recent delay announcement citing a need to finish polishing the game and rid it of remaining bugs.
One of the dangers of delaying games for too long is that, upon their release, they can end up looking graphically dated (especially in extreme cases like I Am Alive, which began development in 2003 and wasn't released until 2012). The aesthetics of the Witcher series have been one of its strengths so far, staying comfortably at the head of the pack in terms of what can be achieved on PC rigs, and many fans are hoping that the next installment will continue the trend.
CD Projekt RED has now revealed the minimum and recommended requirements for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and players with older PC rigs may have to think about spending a bit of money to upgrade them. The OS, RAM and hard drive space requirements are more or less standard for current PC games, but the CPU and graphics card requirements are where some people may end up getting caught out. Here's the full list of specifications.
MinimumProcessor: Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3 GHz or AMD Phenom II X4 940Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 or AMD Radeon HD 7870RAM: 6 GBOS: 64-bit Windows 7, 8 or 8.1DirectX 11HDD Space: 40 GB
RecommendedProcessor: Intel Core i7-3770 3.4 GHz or AMD FX-8350 4 GHzGraphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 770 or AMD Radeon R9 290RAM: 8 GBOS: 64-bit Windows 7, 8 or 8.1DirectX 11HDD Space: 40 GB
Cross-platform games like The Witcher 3 have become more demanding since the arrival of the new Microsoft and Sony consoles, and The Witcher 3's requirements are roughly in line with what should be expected of AAA open world fantasy RPGs in 2015. For comparison's sake, Dragon Age: Inquisition's minimum PC requirements were 4GB RAM, AMD Radeon HD 4870/NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT and a quad-core CPU @2.5 GHz.
The Witcher 3 will continue the adventures of flaxen-haired monster hunter Geralt of Rivia as a new mission sends him once again hurtling into the path of the Wild Hunt, a supernatural army that is enjoying a bloody rampage across the Northern Kingdoms. The game will also introduce Ciri, a pivotal character from the books upon which the series is based, and CD Projekt RED has revealed that at certain points in the game players will control Ciri instead of Geralt.
Based on what we've seen so far, The Witcher 3 is almost certainly going to be worth an upgrade. Bring on the monsters.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will release on May 19, 2015 for PC, PS4 and Xbox One.