The wait continues for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, as the developers at CD Projekt Red are hedging their bets – now setting release for May 19, 2015. Yet the studio remains adamant that not only will the finished game deliver a satisfying end to hero Geralt of Rivia’s story, but also offer newcomers a welcome entry point into the series without overwhelming them with lore or mythology.
Given what we know about the story of The Witcher 3, it’s likely there will still be characters and personal history that flies over the heads of new players. But to make sure that casual fans aren’t frightened off, the studio has released a new animated trailer bringing them up to speed on the world, the factions, and the many forces at play against the titular hero. Not to mention preparing them for a time of war never before seen in the series.
More than anything else, the trailer helps explain why walking in the shoes of a Witcher – a highly-trained, mutated killer of monstrous beasts – is a worse deal than gamers are generally used to. Following the Conjunction of the Spheres (which transformed the game’s world into the hotbed of magic and supernatural fans have come to know and love), the everyday citizens required a specialized defender: enter the Witchers.
Selected at a young age due to their innate talent for magic, the Witchers are trained in the use of weapons, potions, traps and magical ‘signs’ to hunt the magical beasts tormenting the innocent – and due to some alchemy, mutated into caring about little else. Over time the Witchers became outcasts, until fanatics rose up and put a bloody end to their organization. Yet Geralt remains, and may be the only one capable of standing against the titular Wild Hunt.
For those un-versed in Witcher lore (started with author Andrzej Sapkowski’s book series), the setting is relatable enough for anyone familiar with fantasy RPGs. But exactly what the developers meant when they claimed Wild Hunt would bring an end to Geralt’s journey is becoming clearer. Because while Witchers no longer took successors following their slaughter at the hands of paranoid mobs, Geralt of Rivia managed to pass his wisdom and training onto Ciri; a former princess turned sellsword and magic user.
With Ciri confirmed to be a playable character in The Witcher 3, it seems bringing closure to their relationship will be a major plot point. As Yennefer, the former love of Geralt and mother figure to Ciri is featured prominently in the game’s opening cinematic, it also seems that the former lovers will be reunited by their efforts to protect Ciri from the mystical ‘dark raiders’ of the Wild Hunt.
It’s unclear just how satisfying these plot twists and turns will be for those taking their first steps into the series with The Witcher 3, but this trailer does a solid job of showing why the unrest of the game’s world is compelling for any fantasy fan. Will you be trying the game out, and have you previously played a game in the series?
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will release for PC, PS4 and Xbox One on May 19, 2015.