The Witcher remake studio says it plans to "remove" the parts of the original game that "are simply bad, outdated, or unnecessarily convoluted."
The Witcher remake was announced in October 2022, and is being developed by Fool's Theory, a studio of CDPR veterans. Those veterans include CEO Jakub Rokosz, who worked on The Witcher 2 and The Witcher 3. Speaking to Edge, however, Rokosz expresses his disappointment that he never got to work on the first game in Geralt's trilogy; "it always bothered me that I missed the first. I wanted a chance to give it the justice it deserves."
The Witcher does hold some degree of cult classic status - and has some genuinely excellent storytelling sections - but it's certainly difficult to recommend it in 2024 (personally, I'd opt for The Witcher 2, but The Witcher 3 is also a perfectly fine starting point). Those difficulties are multi-faceted - there are aspects of the game's visuals, gameplay, and pacing that definitely don't hold up, as well as tonal elements that raised eyebrows in 2007 and are almost certain to not be included in the remake.
Rokosz is already taking aim at some of those aspects, stating that "first and foremost, we need an honest, down-to-earth analysis of which parts are simply bad, outdated, and need to be remade." That will come at the same time as "highlighting the parts that are great, should be retained, or are direct key pillars that can't be discarded," but it's not hard to work out which aspects he's hinting will likely be removed.
Fans of The Witcher were quick to bid farewell to its most controversial feature - within a day after the project was announced, they were already bidding farewell to its 'sex cards', a bizarre spin on the romance options that helped shape subsequent games, in which players would collect artwork depicting Geralt's many, many paramours in various states of undress. Even the system's creator has expressed their regret over the system.
The Witcher's romance options aren't likely to be the only thing that gets left out of the remake. The confirmation that the remake will be open world is also likely to fix the notorious swamp section in the game's second chapter - some excellent storytelling marred by the need to travel, via a cutscene, back and forth between a large and broadly featureless stretch of marshland. I'll also posit that combat is in for an overhaul, the timing-based melee-fighting system pretty much guaranteed to be removed in place of something akin to The Witcher 3's combat. For all the "removing the bad parts," that Rokosz has pledged, however, Fool's Theory will also be "rearranging the good ones to create something that is both satisfying and still resonates with the feel of the original."
We're still some way off from The Witcher Remake, which we know is set to come out after The Witcher 4. That's because CDPR and Fool's Theory will be sharing "the same base technologies" between the start of the new Witcher saga and the remake. That's not stopped one fan from coming up with their own imagining of how The Witcher remake might look.
The list of upcoming CD Projekt Red games is pretty long, so here's a refresher.