Will Witcher 3 Be Better Than Skyrim?

Witcher 3 promises to be amazing, but will the game truly be better than Skyrim?

Without a doubt, one of the most highly anticipated games of 2015 is CD Projekt RED’s Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. This third installment of the Witcher series continues the adventures of its main protagonist and monster-hunter-for-hire, Geralt. If you’re a gamer who likes fantasy RPGs, you really have to take note: Witcher 3 will be explosive, not only building on the success of its predecessors, but incorporating a massive, open-world environment far larger than Skyrim to explore.

Witcher 3 marks the first time that the series has opted for an open-world environment. In an interview given last week to Red Bull, level designer Miles Tost said:

We knew we had a really good RPG on our hands and a really dedicated fanbase to support that, but we still wanted more. That’s where the open world element kicked in – we always wanted to make a truly open world RPG but, for various reasons, we couldn’t fully accomplish that goal until now.

We want to combine the strong pull of closed-world RPGs story-wise, with a world where you can go anywhere and do anything you want. It makes the whole experience more lifelike.

The Witcher 3 dev team will in part make the experience more lifelike by creating a humongous open-world, 30 times the size of Witcher 2 and eclipsing the size Skyrim by at least 3.5 times. Based on real estate alone, Witcher 3 will be bigger than Skyrim.

witcher 3 be better than skyrim 2

Will the Witcher 3’s bigger, open-world translate into a better game than Skyrim? This obviously will be open to debate, with some pundits already claiming that Witcher 3 is a Skyrim killer. Even Witcher 3 game director Konrad Tomaszkiewicz claims that his game “will be [the] perfect RPG.”

But will it?

Don’t get me wrong, I believe Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will be an amazing game that will not only look gorgeous on next gen consoles, but will be a lot of fun to play. That being said, I don’t believe Witcher 3 will be better than Skyrim — despite its massive, open-world. Here’s why:

  1. Witcher 3 will lack the ability to create your own character. You’re locked into playing Geralt, a swordsman monster-hunter. Want to play a thief or mage? How about a female character or an Orc? You’re out of luck. Witcher 3 will not possess one of the most important elements that makes Skyrim so compelling and essential to role playing: a robust character creation system.
  2. In a like manner, in Witcher 3 you’re pigeon-holed into playing the writer’s story — not your own. The Witcher games are based on a book series by the same name, penned by fantasy writer Andrzej Sapkowski. What if you don’t want to play Sapkowski’s story, or what if you don’t even like it all that much (The Witcher series is a darker brand of fantasy that doesn’t appeal to everyone)? You may have an open-world to explore, but the storyline may be too restrictive for your tastes. With Skyrim, you have the ability to create and tell your unique story within the context of the Dragonborn’s destiny. With Skyrim you’re given tremendous creative freedom, and you become the storyteller.

The Witcher 3 and Skyrim are both fantasy games in the same genre, and undoubtedly comparisons will be made between the two. Skyrim was groundbreaking in its scope and has set a high mark for all fantasy RPGs to follow. Every rock group wants to be the “next Beatles,” and every scifi movie wants to be the “next Star Wars.” Based on sales numbers alone, I know Witcher 3 wants to be the “next Skyrim,” but when it comes down to it, I believe the lack of character creation and story ownership will ultimately hurt the game. Yes, Witcher 3 will be big, and yes it will be glorious. It just won’t be better than Skyrim.

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Shane Scarbrough
Shane Scarbrough

Shane Scarbrough is the founder of the Skyrim Fansite. He's a business owner, video game journalist, and role playing game aficionado. When he's not working he enjoys reading, writing, and playing video games. He's currently on his third playthrough of Skyrim, and is playing as a Templar in The Elder Scrolls Online. You can find Shane on Google+ and FaceBook.

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Brian Seaver
Brian Seaver
10 years ago

Witcher 3 does look incredible on the new systems. Makes you wonder what Elder Scrolls VI is going to look like ๐Ÿ™‚

Sunil D. Vacoas
Sunil D. Vacoas
10 years ago

Why compare a game to be released in 2015 to a game released in 2011? Come E3 2014, lets hope the comparison can shift to Witcher 3 vs Fallout 4 :p

Shane Scarbrough
Shane Scarbrough
Reply to  Sunil D. Vacoas
10 years ago

Hi Sunil,

Thanks for your comment ๐Ÿ™‚ Despite the release dates, I suppose it’s only natural to compare Witcher 3 to Skyrim due to the games being in the same fantasy RPG genre, as well as Witcher 3 being the first open-world game in the series.

Paul
Paul
Reply to  Sunil D. Vacoas
9 years ago

I understand the comparison, it is perfect.
I am itching for something to come out that even comes close to Skyrim. I am building a massive gaming PC just to replay it with mods. I was really excited about The Witcher 3, but the “lack the ability to create your own character” kills it right there. Just going to have wait until Bethesda does something new in the series and finish building my PC.

Shane Scarbrough
Shane Scarbrough
Reply to  Paul
9 years ago

Congratulations on your new PC build ๐Ÿ™‚ I built my own PC primarily for Skyrim and Elder Scrolls Online, and it was one of the most rewarding projects I ever completed. Skyrim with mods is amazing. Best money and time I ever spent. Have fun!

Kuroneko
Kuroneko
9 years ago

I certainly won’t like playing as CD Projekt Red’s character. I won’t invest 1000 hours in an open-world game where there is a predefined character and story. Much like Assassin’s Creed Black Flag. You play it once then you’re done. While in Skyrim you play it once, come back the second time and you’ll find that there are a LOT of new things you haven’t encountered on your first playthrough. Now that is what defines an open-world game/.

Shane Scarbrough
Shane Scarbrough
Reply to  Kuroneko
9 years ago

Very well said, Kuroneko!

Akash
Akash
9 years ago

Witcher 3 wont give players complete freedom in the games world.Skyrim lets players to do anything they want,for example you can kill any one you like in Skyrim,be anyone you want but you cant do that in Witcher 3 because you have to follow its story.So I dont really think Witcher 3 is going to be Skyrims Killer

George98gr
George98gr
9 years ago

Witcher 3 will be better (naturally). It is a newer game than skyrim and it is next-gen. However i agree with the dissadvantages of W3 that are posted in this article, but still it will be much better than Skyrim. Like Elder Scrolls 6 which will be much better than W3.

D3soxyn
D3soxyn
9 years ago

It’s hard to say that would be better than the other. Skyrim still has some restrictions storywise and it would be ridiculous to say that one can write *his* own story. On the other hand, the Witcher 3 may be more restricted in that sense, but the incorporation of the hero will make the game way more immersive than Skyrim. For one, your hero will have a voice, a personnality — anyone who played Skyrim long enough notices the lack of dynamism in the character creation ; any character becomes flat and lifeless, a polygon puppet after a while.

On the other hand, I think both will be restrictive on the development of skills : the problem with Skyrim is that it gives the illusion that you have many choices, when in fact you end up choosing the same ones over and over again because they’re the best ; witcher will give the possibility to develop certain skills more than others, just like in Assassins of Kings — either way, both have their limits.

Anyhow, these two games have their pros and cons, but I doubt that we can really say that one is *better* than the other — it’s two completely different games that share some genre and style elements. We could compare them to a lot of other games, but that would be useless ; an “intellectual fapping” if you ask me.

konrad
konrad
9 years ago

I think it will depend on what system it is played on. Clearly the largest market is consoles. On consoles the witcher will be newer, look better and be an exciting open world much like skyrim.
However on pc the skyrim mods make skyrim significantly better.
I have around 100 mods, including an enb and several realistic textures, fire etc that makes the game look better than most other newer games. Along with realistic ai improvements dozens of creatures, weapons, armor, continents the size of official dlcs, and other professional looking user content.
Part of this is because of the type of community on pc skyrim that spends so many hours skillfully creating mods, as well as skyrim being designed for such a level of modding.
The witcher 3 will be worth a playthrough certainly, but on pc at least would need a lot of mod capability and community development to catch up.

Just
Just
9 years ago

This article is just perfect.

Also I just want to add that Skyrim is still listed after all these years in Steam’s stats. Check it here: http://store.steampowered.com/stats/

People are still playing the game. Oh god!

Makes me wonder if Witcher 3 “the Skyrim killer” will achieve this.

Mark
Mark
8 years ago

It is better! Watch some gameplay on my new video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rb8vv5_INIE