Here’s Everything I Expect From The Witcher 4’s Combat

CD Projekt Red needs to overhaul the combat system if it truly wants to wow its fans again.

Story Highlights

  • While The Witcher 3 had serviceable combat, it wasn’t exactly the main attraction.
  • With a sequel on the way, CD Projekt Red needs to focus more on the game’s combat.
  • Here’s everything I’d like to see The Witcher 4 add in terms of combat. 

Even almost 10 years later, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt remains one of the greatest open-world RPGs we’ve ever seen. Its wide, engaging areas are filled to the brim with tons of interesting quests, difficult enemies to fight, and fantastic characters to meet. But despite all these pros the game has to offer, one thing I always found a bit lackluster in The Witcher 3, was its combat.

While it’s not bad by any means, when compared to some other more action-focused titles, particularly some of the ones made by FromSoftware, like the Dark Souls series, or Sekiro, then the Witcher 3’s combat does start to reveal some of its cracks. It might have been passable at the time. But if CD Projekt Red wants to make the same kind of impact as they did with the previous title, then it’s important for them to focus a lot more on the combat this time around.

In fact, I think the studio needs to focus on overhauling the combat entirely, maybe even making it a lot more widespread, featuring tons of different styles and build choices. I know not every game needs to be a “Soulslike.” But it’s a model that seems to work very well. And CD Projekt Red can definitely differentiate it enough to make it their own. And so, here’s everything I’d like to see from The Witcher 4’s combat.

About the Author: Danish Bukhari has diverse experience in various RPG titles. With over 200+ hours played in games like Baldur’s Gate 3 and Elden Ring, he is uniquely knowledgeable on the subject.

Introducing More Mechanics

The Witcher 3 presents Geralt as a master swordsman, yet the game’s combat never truly flows in a way that does justice to the character’s reputation. In a lot of cases, the weight and sluggishness of the combat got in the way of the flow, making it feel more button-mashy, instead of a careful dance that involves precise, moment-to-moment decisions.

 
Geralt Fighting A Gryphon In The Witcher 3 (via: CDPR).
Geralt Fighting A Gryphon In The Witcher 3 (via CDPR).

Redesigning the combat, and this time involving some of the tried-and-true mechanics we’ve seen from similar games in this genre can help alleviate this problem. There is room to add things like critical attacks, enemy postures, better dodging, and precise parrying in The Witcher 4. We’ve seen titles like Lies of P, and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order try out this base shell recently.

And it’s clear that even using this as a model, there is a ton that CD Projekt Red could add on top of it, to still give it that unique flair. This would help the game feel a lot more responsive and generally would help to get rid of that feeling of sluggishness that plagued the third game. 

Expanding The Possible Builds

In The Witcher 3, the specific build you played with didn’t really come into play, unless you were playing Death March with upscaling on. Besides that, it didn’t quite matter how you built your character up since almost every foe fell to your feet in just about the same way. This is why the combat can tend to feel repetitive, especially considering the sheer size of the game.

Geralt On Horseback In The Witcher 3 (via: CDPR).
Geralt On Horseback In The Witcher 3 (via CDPR).

Ramping up the difficulty by a few notches could help to make players think more precisely about the kind of build they are running, even if they’re not playing on the absolute hardest available option. This would also have to be coupled with additional build choices. That way, players would be able to play the game in the way they see fit, instead of only having a couple of options available to them. 

Players have complained in the past about how The Witcher 3 was a tad restrictive with how it handled its build system. It didn’t give much room to players who wanted to experiment and really try out all the available skills. Plus, the idea of balancing character skills through slot limits that can be freely shuffled is also rather uninspired. It’s because of these problems that I think overhauling the combat system from scratch would be ideal.

Making Combat One Of The Main Focuses

When you look at The Witcher 3, it really does feel like combat in the game was a bit of an afterthought. While it’s definitely serviceable, the real bread and butter of the title has always been its narrative and exploration. But, to really wow players again, CD Projekt Red will definitely need to invest more of its time and energy into making the combat one of the most appealing features.

Combat should take center stage in The Witcher 4.
Combat Should Take Center Stage In The Witcher 4 (via Bandai Namco).

This way, just about every moment of the game will have something fun for players to do whether they are out questing or fighting dozens of monsters out in the wilderness. Doing so will also help to give the title a lot of replayability, as players might want to go through the experience again, but while trying out different builds and abilities. 

It’s also worth noting that the landscape for RPGs was quite different back when The Witcher 3 came out. Since then, we’ve gotten tons of action-oriented titles have raised the bar pretty high for CD Projekt Red. So it’s clear the studio will have to do something truly impressive if it wants to create a title that fans will once again call one of the greatest RPGs of all time.

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Danish is an opinion piece writer at eXputer who loves sharing his takes on the industry. He is a long-time PC gamer with a passion for delving into the discussion and discourse surrounding the titles that he plays. Often eager to jump right into the fold and formulate his take on the latest topics, his noteworthy presence on gaming forums, and keen insight help him understand the gaming community in a thorough manner. This helps him provide a more nuanced look into any topic or discussion.

Writes Opinion Pieces at eXputer || Education: Bachelors in Mass Communication.

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