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The Witcher 3 – CD Projekt RED Comments on Game World Size, Could be “even bigger” by Release

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Yesterday a news story about the playable world size of The Witcher 3 was posted online containing information from a set of slides from a presentation that showed dimensions for two of the locations in the game, the city of Novigrad and Skellige.

According to the information presented in the slides, the city of Novigrad is 8.5 x 8.5 km and Skellige 8 x 8 km. When added together and converted into miles, this comes out to be 52 miles, which is absolutely enormous and these aren’t the only locations in the game. However, when we contacted a PR rep from CD Projekt RED, Tracy Williams teased that she wouldn’t be, “surprised if it ended up being even bigger” due to the development team’s “conservative” nature with their resources.

CD Projekt RED prepared an official statement on the matter due to the amount of questions they received yesterday regarding the world.

The world of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is really big and entirely open–this is something we’ve been saying from the very beginning and that hasn’t changed. However, what we think is really important, is what can you do with and within that space, and not the size of it in square miles. Game worlds would be nothing without the stuff that makes games magnetic–the intensity, diversity, the magic behind what makes RPGs awesome. Characters in this world are real, you could believe they exist. The stories here stick with you and your choices are meaningful–this is what counts!

As Dualshockers noted, the named locations in the game are already 3.5 times the size of the entire world of Skyrim, and you all remember just how big that world was. It’ll be very interesting to see if CD Projekt RED can really fill up the world with content without things quickly getting stagnant too quickly and offering worthwhile quality quests etc. Hopefully we’ll get to see the game at E3 and have a better idea of just how big the world of The Witcher 3 has become.

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198X Review — A Nostalgia Trip Without a Destination

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198X

Some short stories feel more like chapters—snipped out of a larger work—that struggle to make sense on their own. 198X represents a translation of that ethos to video game form. As a result, the game feels unfulfilling, though that does not detract from the overall quality on offer. Ultimately, the player’s appraisal of 198X will depend on whether they place more stock in story or gameplay because while the former leaves much to be desired, the latter will be a hit for anyone with fond memories of the 8- and 16-bit classics.

In the framing and overall structure, 198X is decidedly modern, but everything else pulses with a retro vibe. At its core, the game is a compilation, weaving together five distinct experiences under the auspice of a story of personal development. From the Double Dragon-infused ‘Beating Heart’ to the turn-based dungeon RPG ‘Kill Screen’, each title feels slick, if a little undercooked. Those old-school originals could only dream of being as smooth as these throwbacks. However, the two-button input methodology results in the games feeling just a touch too simple, though their brevity—each clocking in at a maximum of 15 minutes (depending on the player’s skill level and muscle memory)—makes that less of an issue than it might have been. If more depth is present, it is hidden well, as the game lacks any sort of tutorial to guide players. Nevertheless, the stellar presentation goes a long way towards papering over the cracks.

The pixel art aesthetic of 198X is staggering. Each of the worlds that players make their way through is pitched perfectly to fit the mood it evokes. From the grungy brawler of the first game to the more melancholic mood of the open-road racer, the screen is drenched in lavish colour and far more detail than one might expect from such a seemingly simple art style.

Easily a match for the visuals is the audio. The in-game sounds of a car engine or bone-crunching strike are low-key, which allows the music to come to the fore. Those tunes are all from the electronic genre, simple, yet layered with enough depth to not feel tedious or tiring. Easily overshadowing all the rest though is Maya Tuttle’s voice-over narration as The Kid. Her tone is one of pervasive resignation that works to reinforce the same mood within the script.

That melancholia will surely strike a chord with anyone who has grown up on the fringes. The Kid speaks of once loving and now hating the Suburbia of their childhood, where memories of happiness collide with a contemporary feeling of entrapment. The words and lines are powerfully evocative—made even more so by the connection between the gameworlds and the prevailing emotion at that point. The problem is that they amount to nothing. The story comprises of these snippets—these freestanding scenes of life lived lonely—that never coalesce into anything. The Kid may find an arcade and speak of finding some sort of home and a source of strength, but it goes nowhere. The game ends just as things start to get interesting. Setting up for a sequel is no sin. Plenty of other games and media products—from Dante’s Inferno to Harry Potter—have done just that. However, to be effective, such first parts need to offer a story in and of themselves, not just the promise of a story to come, and that is where 198X falls apart.

With each game in the compilation being a straightforward, one-and-done affair and the overarching narrative feeling like a prologue at best, 198X is wafer-thin. The presentation is simply remarkable, and the package has enough variety to be worth a look, but the unmistakable impression is that something is missing.

OnlySP Review Score 2 Pass

Reviewed on PC. Coming soon to Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

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