CD Projekt Red has announced that its third and final game of the Witcher trilogy is coming sometime next year, promising a richer role-playing experience including an expansive open world that measures 30 times the size of The Witcher 2. To help quantify that, we've seen estimates that Wild Hunt will be about 20% larger than The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and take around 40 minutes to cross on horseback.
The realm will be chocked full of forests, lakes, mountains, cities and villages, with each region being home to distinct cultures, and you'll be able to explore it all with few, if any loading screens courtesy of CD Projekt Red's new game engine, REDengine3. Few other details are available, though we've heard Geralt no longer has amnesia and you can expect a better combat system with no quick time events.
Additional information is expected to be revealed in Game Informer's March issue. It should be noted that although CD Projekt Red's press release reads as if this will be the last Witcher game, studio head Adam Badowski has since clarified with Eurogamer that Wild Hunt will merely conclude Geralt's story, but that the franchise will eventually continue with additional titles -- likely following a new protagonist.
It's still too early to know what PC-specific features we can expect, but The Witcher 2's "UberSampling" gave our testbed a thrashing in 2011, so we hope Wild Hunt offers similarly demanding configurations when we bench it next year -- especially since it seems to be positioned as a next-generation console release, with CD Projekt Red ambiguously claiming the title will appear on "all high-end platforms."