Geralt is a swarthy looking guy. He makes stubble look good. But word is spreading that his chin hair, often referred to as, a beard, can grow over time.
There will be a handful of beard hair lengths that his facial hair can grow to. The longest is apparently very long but we are informed that it will not reach Gandalf length. These beard lengths will appear as Geralt moves from location to location, to help represent a passing of time.
Furthermore, you may be unaware, but there will be a free Beard and Hairstyle DLC, that allows the player to apply a set look for Geralt. If a look has been chosen from that DLC then the beard hair does not continue to grow, and remains as the player has chosen from the DLC.
A few other points of interest have been identified following some hands on gameplays. Lets go through some of them. there appears to be no level scaling. So what you encounter will be of a particular strength, so during the early part of the game you had better not venture too far off the beaten track or the higher level monsters will one hit kill you.
The Witcher 3 sees fist fighting return, but CD Projekt Red have removed the cumbersome quick time events that we saw in the previous Witcher. One thing that often pollutes "roleplaying games" is the mindless fetch quests. Well the play throughs so far are reporting that these are pretty non-existent. The Witcher 3 will be released with 4 difficulty levels, each of which will alter the skills of the monsters you face, but their hit points will not change across the different difficulty settings.
As the player explores the open world, Geralt will be offered up contracts, to remove the area or land of certain beasties. Upon completion of a monster hunt contract you have a chance at negotiating for some extra pay. In the later levels Geralt is going to need to lean on his potion making skills a lot more. This time, you only need to learn and brew the potion once and from then on you can create as many of that or any of your potions, as long as you have a suitable amount of alcohol in your stash to make the potion with.
The map is said to contain a large terrain and a number of settlements of similar size and detail to the town of Flotsam, the main town we saw in the Witcher 2. There will also be a couple of very large cities called Novigrad and Oxenfurt that the player can explore. The Witcher 3 will be spread over a lot of locations. With No Man's Land and Novigrad on just one single map. For reference, this single map is reportedly larger than the Skyrim map. There will be about 6 other significant areas that will feature in the Witcher 3, including Kaer Morhen and The isles of Skellige, which form a large part of the story locations. One of the annoyances of The Witcher 2 were the load times between areas as a player clicks to interact with a door. These transitions have been removed and the doors open automatically, with no loading times to enter buildings and rooms.
On top of that the player will experience a rather non linear story arch, which is refreshingly original. The conversations and story that the player explores will not be earmarked for the player as good or evil, as we have seen in other games. And so the player will be pushing their own boundaries and making their own judgements based on their gut feeling. There will be some in-game mini games, in particular a card game called Gwent.
The items that the player uses or wields in game must be found, purchased or crafted by Geralt or NPCs. Geralt himself will be capable of making the most powerful items in The Witcher 3. An example of the practicallity behind crafting, with the right materials and skill you can craft saddle bags for your horse which in turn provides you with additional storage. All the equipment Geralt has on his person will be visible on the players character model, for the added touch of immersion.
To help players feel more comfortable with the game the HUD will be completely customisable. icons and quest markers can be switched on and off. The game menus can be navigated by controller or mouse and the Witcher 3 will allow the player to switch between both control methods freely.
Some of the top levels of graphical goodness that the witcher 3 has to offer are presented by an incredibly versatile and dynamic weather system, possibly one of the best ever implemented, although that might be a little too bold claim at this stage. The ultra settings will also provide some superior visuals across the vegetation and character models found in game. We are expecting a day one patch, possibly used to minimise pirating, while also removing last minute bugs. Not for the squeamish as we also hear the levels of gore is increased over those we saw in The Witcher 2, while the XBox One resolution will be set to 900p.
Oh and in case you are wondering, the playable Ciri's part of the game will be between five and ten hours, and deliver the experience of an action-adventure game, rather than roleplaying game, like the rest of The Witcher 3.
How pumped are we getting for this enormous release? I know we can hardly wait until May 19th for the Witcher 3 release. Who is picking it up and who is going to miss this RPG and why?