Announced in February 2013 it was released worldwide on 19 May 2015 for Microsoft Windows PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The game is the third in the series preceded by The Witcher and The Witcher 2 Assassins of Kings which are based on the series of fantasy novels by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski.
Played in an open world third person perspective players control protagonist Geralt of Rivia a monster hunter known as a witcher who seeks to find his adopted daughter on the run from the Wild Hunt an otherworldly force determined to capture and utilize her powers. Throughout the game players battle against the world many dangers using weapons and magic interact with various non player characters and complete main story quests, side quests bounty contracts and treasure hunts to acquire experience points and gold used to increase Geralt various abilities and equipment. The game central story features multiple endings that are determined by Geralt choices made by the player during certain points of the story.
The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt was met with widespread critical acclaim upon its release with praise directed toward its gameplay narrative world design combat and visuals. It became the most awarded game of 2015, receiving numerous Game of the Year awards from various gaming publications critics, and award events, and is regarded by many to be one of the greatest role playing games of all time. The game was also a commercial success selling over six million copies within six weeks of its release. Two expansion packs for the game were also released Hearts of Stone and Blood and Wine with both receiving further critical acclaim. A Game of the Year edition which includes the base game its two expansion packs and all additional downloadable content was released in August 2016..
The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt is an action role playing game set in an open world environment described as being thirty times larger than the previous Witcher games necessitating players sail by boat to some locations and ride on horseback to others. Fast traveling to already visited locations however is also possible.The open world in The Witcher 3 was described before release to be 20% bigger than Skyrim.Many actions the player performs affect the world with many of the quests having a number of options on how to complete them and differing outcomes. CD Projekt RED anticipated approximately 100 hours for the completion of the game with half of them belonging to side quests and the other half belonging to the main story
While similar to the previous Witcher games Wild Hunt improved on several aspects from past games. Combat revolves around an action role playing game system alongside the use of magic. Wild Hunt introduces some new mechanics such as the ability to sense nearby objectives people and resources combat on horseback and at sea swimming underwater and the use of a crossbow. Additionally Geralt can jump, climb and vault over smaller obstacles. The climbing mechanics were described as being not exactly like Assassin’s Creed but instead similar to the mechanics present in Uncharted. Item creation and potion brewing still remain as in previous games, but were modified from The Witcher 2 to be more forgiving. Traps from The Witcher 2 were entirely omitted. The same five Witcher signs returned from the previous games although slightly modified with each one having an alternative form that can be used.
The game features responsive advanced artificial intelligence AI and dynamic environments. The day and night cycle influences some monsters and their powers similar to the common mythological motif of a werewolf gaining powers during the night of a full moon. The game also features a dynamic beard growth system in which the beard of the playable character Geralt grows as he spends time in the world. Ciri, the adopted daughter of Geralt, is a playable character in the game with her own unique combat mechanics.An in-game collectible card game known as Gwent is playable by Geralt which replaces the dice games from the previous two Witcher titles.
The game was officially announced on 4 February 2013 via Game Informer with a 2014 release on PC and all high end platforms available the latter was then clarified to mean the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One whose release dates were on 21 February 2013 and 10 June 2013respectively. According to the official information from Microsoft, The Witcher 3 was originally not going to be available on the Xbox One in Poland, the country in which the games development process took place, but this was later changed as regional restrictions were later entirely removed from the Xbox One. The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt was developed over the course of three and a half years with a total of 240 in house staff working on it. Majority of the staff were Polish, while 1500 people were also involved in the games production globally.
On 11 March 2014, it was announced that the games release date was delayed from Autumn 2014 to February 2015. According to an official statement released by the development team, they had successfully created a story that flows naturally cinematically rendered it in amazing sound and visuals while preserving full freedom of choice suggesting that the core game and its main story were practically finished however the statement then goes on to cite the main reason for the delay was manual fine tuning of many details and thorough testing of the final product to bring it up to the desired standard of quality. On 8 December 2014, the developer officially informed about postponing the release date to 19 May 2015. On 16 April 2015 CD Projekt RED confirmed that the game had been declared gold indicating it was being prepared for duplication and release.The development budget for the game was 306 million Polish złoty.
Game director Konrad Tomaszkiewicz and senior game designer Damien Monnier cited Dark Souls and Demon Souls as influences on the games combat system. Level designer Miles Tost and senior environment artist Jonas Mattsson cited The Legend of Zelda series and Red Dead Redemption as influences on the games level designs and environments.