The Witcher Remake: What should it be like?

There are several ways to do a Remake as demonstrated in the last few years. There's the carbon copy (Medievil, Shadow of the Colossus) and the reimagining (Resident Evil 2 Remake, etc). Some would say there's also the Requel according to current theories of FF7R.

The first step to imagine what The Witcher Remake could be like is to settle this question. Since W1 is a good game but with huge flaws or let's say design aspect that did not age well, we can almost certainly say it won’t be a 1:1 Remake like Medievil. Since The Witcher has some kind of time travel and a notion of different worlds, it could go down the road of the Requel but that's also unlikely since CDPR is probably aware that most people didn't play OG Witcher and therefore it would kill the very idea of the requel that rely on its viewers/player to know the base game to imagine where it’s going.

So by default it would be a reimagining. To which extent, though? That's what I want to explore in this thread and I hope you will join this fun mental exercise. I will organize my thought as follows: Story, combat, level design, artistic direction but will expand on it in future post and discussions with all of you. I write this in hope CDPR reads it so I kinda speak to them when I write. But this is an open discussion.


- What should stay the same

I think the global story should stay the same overall. Witcher 1 has a great story and since the plot already exists it should follow the FF7R path and identify the best moments or those dear to fans and turn them to 11. Abigail being threatened, the detective work, Geralt vs the professor, Yaevinn and Siegfried civil war, lady of the lake, Geralt educating Alvin…

- What should change:

Don’t remove content if it’s not fedex quest. Again turn the content to 11. Add to it. Rethink the continuity of the story where it was lacking before. Since we are going back to Witcher 1 Geralt will have amnesia again but play with the fact that now your audience knows Witcher 3 and the books. Geralt should recover his memories sooner so you can recreate parts of the books in cutscenes when characters evoke the past of Geralt as long as it isn’t memories that would alter The Witcher 2 and 3. Although you should definitely set up for a Witcher 2 Remake that would better take into consideration W1 choices. The idea is to retell the story in a way that enriches the canon and make it more cohesive. Even if it does not happen set it up. Geralt story will entirely be remade eventually we all know it lol. Things like the origin of Geralt scars should not be confusing. It's important lore.

Expand, Leo. Make it more important before his death.

Expand Yaevinn and Sigfried

Make Triss copying Yennefer something directly talked about in the game to make her redemption arc in 3 even more satisfying.

Introduce Jacque de Aldersberg sooner and better flesh out his involvement and the theories around its origin.

Flesh out more Eskel, Lambert and Vesemir. They all go somewhere to look for Salamandra. Find a solution to make this relevant somehow to the end game. They should discover something on their own and help resolve the plot. Otherwise those characters just disappear.

In short take inspiration from what FF7 Remake did best. Whether you like the ghost thing or not Square perfectly selected moments that mattered to fans and made them something more.


- What should stay the same:

As much as I like the peculiar gameplay of this game, we all know that most of it has to go. But I think that the notion of preparation is important to the series and Witcher 3 did not do it justice. Preparing the potions meditate and preparing oil before fight should come back to the forefront but more fun this time. Meditation should be more than a way to pass the time like in Witcher 3. Maybe add a system to drink potion early but activate the effect later. Preparing for fight is essential to feel like a Witcher.

The combat styles should return. Take inspiration from a game like Nioh that can switch styles on the fly.

- What should change:

Almost everything. As much as I love the original system myself, I am aware of its flaws. Abandon the different camera perspectives. But don’t reuse Witcher 3 system either or greatly expand on it to make it more interesting. Bring the camera closer, make the game feel more personal and violent in close contact. Even W3 is lacking in this department, I think.

Actually expand The Witcher move set and builds. Make the silver chain usable. Why not have a Geralt fighting with it or use it as a new tool in the arsenal? Would make a great new skill tree. From gameplay perspective there’s no real reason for Geralt to use it only on the striga and in a cutscene.

Level design/world building

- What should stay the same

Main areas. But with newer places. Why not add white orchards as well as an Easter egg?

- What should change

You should go to semi-open worlds in order to better preserve the flow of the story. Or open world but with controlled areas that open or close progressively. In that regard it would suffice to follow the original plot and don’t be afraid to make content temporally unavailable to players. Chapter IV is already this in the first game but in the case of an open world structure you could take inspiration of RDR 2 with the island segment. As space is more concentrated than in W3 it should 1:1 scale (so maybe no White Orchard^^).

Artistic direction:

- What should stay the same:

The music. Do not disregard it. It is so good and is part of the atmosphere. It’s as good as W3 and it needs to stay. Rerecord it, but be careful with new arrangements. It must feel new but stay close to the original.

Gritty atmosphere is a must stay

Really Personal thing here but... Please no famous actor in a mo-cap like Keanu Reeves. Video games are art. You can create everything from scratch. Why ruin the fantasy by having the player go “Hey I know that dude”. Charles Dance as Emyhr is awesome in Witcher 3 but it’s also the limit for me. If you need a mo-cap do it like they did with MGSV and Kiefer Sutherland. Record the performance, reinvent the face. Geralt must stay Geralt with his particular side. Find new talents and make them big not the other way around. Famous faces diminish the quality of fantasy as different worlds.

Raven Armor must have theirs W1 design. Not 2.

- What should change:

Clear visual differences between silver sword and steel. More amours, of course, but find a middle ground between the aesthetic of 2 and 3. Common armor should be there but Witcher 2 Armors are unique and help distinguish The Witcher from other franchises visually. In addition, they are super cool. This Remake is most likely a first step with a new trilogy even if a remake of 3 only arrives in 15 years. This is a first step towards a better unified trilogy.
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I have never played the whole game. But having seen some parts of the first game I'll say...
  • Obviously improved graphics - I think this is a given.
  • Modernized, fluid combat that doesn't have to be best in class, but that is a lot more enjoyable. Something simple and easy to learn - getting people into what matters most in CDPR type games - the characters and story.
  • Sticking to the roots of the first game in terms of characters, stories and design. Meaning... there is no reason to turn it into an open world extravaganza if it wasn't one in the first place.
  • Touch up some of the dialogue and things like that using the CDPR writing staff. The Witcher 3 and Cyberpunk had pretty masterful dialogue compared to just about any other game I have played... do minor rewrites to help the flow of conversation - but don't actually alter anything being said.
I think a reimagined remake, coupled with many more contents would be the way they would go. Improved graphics & polished performance are a given requirement for the remake. Meanwhile, there is no denying CDPR will definitely go with a more modern "action RPG" combat system. I do hope there is some improvements on this aspects, not just for WItcher 1, but also a more evolved version from Witcher 3. As for narrative & story contents, I believe there are a couple of story stuffs that CDPR unable to add in the OG game, alongside expansion & alternative version "Rise of The White Wolf." Also, something like a much more deeper romance system would be a welcome changes, add more layers (& scenes too LOL) for relationship with partner characters. Simply said, personally, I highly doubt "romance cards" is making a come back, although it would be better to actually provide good romance scenes & maybe easter eggs for OG fans.

Also, maybe I am just way too greedy here, but I would really love some kind of flashback "hazy memory" quests, that may very well involved The Wild Hunt. The untold stories of Geralt became one of the riders of The Wild Hunt. That would be an interesting take that could bridge the trilogy series as whole.
Yeah I really want that kind of story enhancement. We could see how Geralt really got the scar since the most logical moment he got it would be with the wild hunt. What he says to Ciri in Witcher 3 makes no sense (I guess in an eventual remake of Witcher 2 that would requiert to change the flashbacks on the island to edit out the scar). I think Witcher games must play a bit more with temporality. Also even if the story follow Geralt we could see more scenes with characters without Geralt to enhanced the storytelling and sens of cinematography.
I know a 100% what it shouldn’t be:

It shall not have greedy monetization (Loot boxes and micro transactions).

it shall not be a buggy mess like CP77.

Because these three things are a recipe for disaster which have plagued this industry for the last decade. And I don’t want to see this remake fail.

It should be like the Resident Evil 2/3 remakes.
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Touch up some of the dialogue and things like that using the CDPR writing staff. The Witcher 3 and Cyberpunk had pretty masterful dialogue compared to just about any other game I have played... do minor rewrites to help the flow of conversation - but don't actually alter anything being said.
I would not want to change the dialogues, the whole game is already saturated with atmosphere, soulful dialogues and jokes. for that matter, add new dialogues
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what I'm waiting for is a slightly modified combat system so that the core of the three fighting styles remains but modernized.

make playable signs, axia, quen, irden, there is no point in using them.

and remove annoying moments, such as meditating only by the fire, like yes, but no, running around the floor of the vizima (and Geralt doesn’t run very fast anyway), just chatting with some character, such a pleasure
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- Combat system like TW3/TW2.
- Tasty sex scenes like in those games.
- Normal gear like in TW2 AND Witcher gear from TW3 (Griffin armor needs a better design though).
- The three chosen Paths, Witcher/Neutral, Human and Scoia'Tael should alter the game like in TW2. In fact, due to this the game should have the same narrative system as TW2 (different Acts 2 and 3 depending on chosen Path).
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