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The Witcher 4 will channel the “freedom” of CDPR’s Cyberpunk 2077

The Witcher 4 is set to continue a CD Projekt Red trend from Cyberpunk 2077, and it's all about how we interact with the studio's stories.

The Witcher 4 Cyberpunk 2077: a close up of a man with a black hood, white stubble, a scar on his cheek, and yellow eyes

The Witcher 4 is well underway at CD Projekt Red. The Polish developer behind both the colossal fantasy RPG series and the recently redeemed Cyberpunk 2077 has a lot on its plate going forward; both a sequel to Cyberpunk and an entirely new Witcher saga are in the works. So anything we can learn about the upcoming games is worth diving into, and the new saga’s game director has just given us a lot to stew on.

While we at PCGamesN will keep you up to date with The Witcher 4 release date, we will be waiting a while for the new RPG game. In the meantime, the game director of the next CDPR trilogy Sebastian Kalemba talks about what to expect in The Witcher 4 during Milan Games Week 2023, and it has a lot to do with the approach to Cyberpunk 2077.

We’ve run the below quotes through a machine translation and edited them in places for clarity.

“Our trademark is the freedom given to the player, but always with limits,” Kalemba tells Lega Nerd. “I’ll give you an example: in Cyberpunk 2077 you can choose your character’s background, whether to be a man or a woman, but you are still always V. There is always something that has already been written beforehand that we need to create that path that the player will then have to take.”

With the next game in the series reaching over 300 developers, and a Witcher 4 update explaining how CDPR expects that number to grow to over 400 by mid-2024, it’s full steam ahead. CDPR is even using Unreal Engine 5 over REDengine for The Witcher 4, and the team thinks it will help them “push boundaries.”

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“This pre-definition puts you in front of very specific situations, because all our characters and our videogames have stories and they align very adequately with what we decide at the beginning,” Kalemba continues in the interview. “But the player also has to be able to have freedom, to feel that they are free, starting with the character build: our pressure point is immersion, it’s about being able to choose your own path.

“The Witcher will follow this structure: a lot of freedom, but there is a specific path to follow from a storytelling point of view.”

This might not come as much of a surprise then, but The Witcher 4 aims to continue balancing CDPR’s knack for giving you a lot of freedom to do as you see fit, while locking you into a character that can interact with the world and other stories in specific ways.

Kalemba also mentions balancing longtime and newer fans of the series with the next trilogy that starts with The Witcher 4, codenamed Polaris, even going so far as to talk about how the newer games want to appeal to those fond of “Geralt’s exploits.”

I couldn’t tell you if this means we’ll be playing as Geralt, Ciri, or some entirely new character, but we do know that The Witcher 4 is taking place in the same universe. So unless we’re looking at a prequel trilogy, Geralt will likely exist in the universe as we play in it at the very least, meaning we could see him.

If you just can’t wait for The Witcher 4 and want to get lost in some similar experiences we’ve put together lists of the best open-world games and fantasy games currently available on PC. Just don’t be surprised if you see Geralt pop up.

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