While the standards may have been raised for open world RPGs in recent years – with Dragon Age Inquisition earning particular praise for outdoing prior installments – there’s no question that fans of the genre are anticipating The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt like no other. And the developers at CD Projekt Red have made it clear time and again that they’re taking that pressure seriously.
They admitted previously that the game was delayed into 2015 (like so many others) because the open world simply wasn’t as polished as the famously-detailed story and choice systems. But it is’t the open world taking center stage at The Video Game Awards – it was the titular villains and their quest for the mysterious ‘Elder Blood’.
It’s surprising to think of just how little has been revealed about the Wild Hunt, considering the horrifying band of supernatural warriors is deemed important enough to be named in the game’s title. The intention is obviously to keep their motivations and talents veiled in secrecy until the game is closer to launch, but familiar faces and mystic powers are strong in the new trailer; and Geralt seems as poised as ever to let his blade do the talking.
To those who may not know, ‘Elder Blood’ plays a particularly strong role in the fiction behind The Witcher series, as part of the novel series upon which it’s based. The story goes back to the legendaray Lara Dorren, an elven sorceress who, as the story goes, fell in love with Cregennan, a human mage. Though the pair didn’t live for long, their half-human, half-elf daughter did, spawning a line of powerful magic-users.
The white-haired woman in the trailer happens to be Ciri, one such descendant and possessor of the Elder Blood, apparently making her a prime target for the forces of the Wild Hunt. Given Ciri’s past tutelage under series star Geralt of Rivia and his trusted ally Triss Merigold, it looks like Geralt will be caught up in whatever trouble she’s gotten herself into.
How successful the developers are at making the most of that existing history – while apparently crafting a game that doesn’t alienate newcomers to the series – remains to be seen. But if an epic story is what fans are hoping for in what looks to be the concluding chapter of this story line, the trailer looks promising.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will release in February 2015. Stay tuned to Game Rant for the rest of the announcements coming from The Game Awards.
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