CD Projekt RED have been listening to their fanbase. With a number of Geraltfollowers a little unhappy with the more arcadey feel to combat in The Witcher 2, the developers are changing things up for the third game to present the player with more control on the battlefield.
“What we wanted to do with Witcher combat is that we wanted to show how Geralt uses the sword. He’s the master of the sword. Geralt’s true mastery comes out in the crowd fights, where can take on five or six enemies on his own,” said marketing executive Michał Platkow-Gilewski, chatting to RPS.
“What happened in Witcher 2 is that people were telling us that the combat was just a little bit too arcade. The rules were a bit too arcade, to be honest. What we decided is to go a bit more over to the tactics side, to give you the feeling of having absolute control over the battlefield. That’s what we aimed for.”
“For example, we improved the camera. We’ll always show the fights from the right angle or perspective or distance so that you’ll be aware of all the enemies around you. If they communicate among themselves and decide that it’ll be a good idea to surround you, you’ll see everyone who’s going around behind you,” he said.
“There won’t be any situation where someone attacks you and you won’t know what’s happening. The enemies will move around you and you will move as well, but it’s not wild and frantic. It’s a slow walk, like a slow dance. With swords. For all the enemies, we’re using real fighting techniques, many valid techniques. We have a few experts on our team, and we’ll be using stuntmen with huge experience for that as well. But Geralt’s fighting technique, it’s like sword dancing. He’ll have cool movements that you wouldn’t see in a real fight.”
Instead of canned animations - a button press triggering multiple swings of Geralt's sword - the control system will reportedly be a lot tighter this time around.
"When you hit a button, you won’t see a sequence of a few swings that tend to get interrupted. Each press of a button will correspond to one swing, a swing generated out of 96 different animations that we’ve prepared for the fights. That means that when you’re in combat, you can create almost unlimited chains of swings – from the left, from the right, from different poses. You can change your target freely at any given moment. You can attack two times in front of you, then pierce the guy who’s approaching you from behind. If you know the technique for it, that is. You can chain those moves together without stopping. It all gives the impression that you’re the master."
Given that I subscribe to the Dick Valentine philosophy of exterminating everything around me that restricts me from being the master, that's rather pleasing news.