The Witcher games have never shied away from depicting the more risque elements of the book the series is based on. Fans of the franchise’s penchant for frisky encounters can rest easy in the knowledge that The Witcher 3‘s sex scenes far outnumber those in the first two games. In an interview with The Guardian’s Simon Parkin, developer CD Projekt Red revealed that the game contains an eye watering 16 hours of sex scene motion capture data. It’s important to note that just because this data exists, it doesn’t mean there are actually 16 hours worth of sex scenes in The Witcher 3, or that you’ll encounter opportunities for a roll in the hay at every turn. If that sounds like overkill, consider the fact that you’re likely to chopping, hacking, slicing and burning enemies for nearly 100 hours. 16 hours doesn’t seem like so much measured against all that ultraviolence.
CD Projekt Red senior game designer Damien Monhier is quick to point out that there’s a good reason for the inclusion of The Witcher 3’s sex scenes.
Warning: Spoilers for the opening scenes of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt follow:
The Guardian reveals that the game actually opens with a sex scene, Geralt and the sorceress Yennifer “in congress”.
People might think we’re putting sex into the opening scene for no good reason. No, no, no. We are establishing that your character was intimate with this woman recently in order to plant in your mind that, at very least, he must enjoy her company.
Minutes later, it’s established that Yennifer has gone missing. The idea here is to provide motivation for the player, to make them want to find Yenniver because they understand and appreciate the bond between the two characters. “Through sex we have shown that this is a person who Geralt would be compelled to chase after if she went missing,” concludes Monhier.
Of course, this tactic raises concerns about the age old tactic of using a female character’s demise/disappearance as motivation for the male lead. It also could fall into the trap of using sex as a shorthand for affection and love, but let’s give CD Projekt Red the benefit of the doubt. It’s entirely possible that there’s a level of nuance and depth to proceedings that’ll become apparent in the context of the game.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is the latest entry in CD Projekt Red’s acclaimed RPG games based on a series of mature fantasy novels and short stories by Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski. Originally scheduled for release in late 2014, the game has been delayed twice and is currently slated for release on PC, PS4 and Xbox One on May 19th, 2015. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to load up some very specific save files on my copy of The Witcher 2. You know, for research.