The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt map will be bigger than ever. Many other games we have played so far stated that, and indeed offered huge maps we could explore and do various activities in, but this time around CD Projekt RED has worked really hard on the dimensions of its incoming open world game.
As we learn on NeoGAF, in fact, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt map will be 136km/sq, and to this number we should add four to six additional regions whose size is unknown.
Other beloved open world titles didn’t include such huge maps. For example, let’s take a look at the latest games by Rockstar Games:
- Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas – 36km/sq
- Red Dead Redemption – about 41km/sq
- Grand Theft Auto V – 81km/sq
Those games were huge and, more importantly, they had a diversity in locations that is still now surprising. GTA V itself is at the top for what concerns not only graphics, which are great especially now that the game is available on PC, but the variety of activities you can embark on in Los Santos.
Perhaps it’s not a case that first-person open world title have world maps a little smaller than third-person. Take a look at these two other games:
- Far Cry 4 – 46km/sq
- Skyrim – 37km/sq
What is interesting to note is that you never feel like you are in a small sandbox while playing these games. Instead, sometimes you feel like they are too big to explore in a single run and you are somehow forced, if you are a completist gamer, to go through the games multiple times in order to discover all or at least a good part of its secrets.
I think next-gen open world games are not going to be a matter of dimensions. With the arrival of greater memories, it’s obvious world maps will get greater and greater, too, but the true challenge now is to make those maps interesting to both discover and explore.
GTA V is a good example in that extent: Rockstar Games has crafted a title that doesn’t waste any single meter in its 81km/sq map, since it’s filled with interesting activities to make alone (tennis, flight, car races, etc.) or in online multiplayer modes.
So what I hope CD Projekt RED is actually caring about is the quality of the entertainment offered by such a big world map. It will be a tough challenge to fill 136km/sq + (for a map that could be bigger than GTA V, Red Dead Redemption and Skyrim combined) with interesting activities and situations, but I trust the Polish developer, and look forward to play the game and judge it by myself. What’s your opinion on that? Share your thought in the comments section below.