The highly anticipated The Witcher 3 on XBOX.

Ho! What news from the PAX East panel? Oi, what did you call me? Well, during CD Projekt Red’s panel it showed off a juicy seven-minute gameplay demo in which Geralt takes to the sprawling No Man’s Land to dispatch a phantom harassing a trade route.

This phantom, it turns out, is a Royal Wyvern, which gets its scaly ass kicked by fire spells, crossbow bolts and swordplay.

What’s all this talk of ice skating, then?
The strangest moment came when senior game designer Damien Monnier revealed a feature sadly cut. “At some point we had the idea of ice-skating,” he said. “You were going to skate and fight, and you could slice heads and the blood goes on the ice and it’s beautiful.”

Apparently you could even control Geralt’s legs with the left and right triggers. Any details on the world? Wild Hunt’s world simulates things even when you’re not around to witness them. Monsters, for example, spawn miles away from you. If you kill an animal, the scent might draw roaming monsters.

If two monsters go for the same kill there’s a chance they could clash, regardless of your involvement. The engine can calculate random NPC dust-ups, too.

What other cool things are there to do? CD Projekt Red confirmed rich customisation options for the UI, where you can enable and disable elements according to how much you like meters and bars and stuff. And bad news for you Annie Leibovitz types, because there’s no built-in photo mode. But we won’t bemoan that too much thanks to Xbox One’s new screenshot functionality.

Enough! Tell me when it’s out immediately. There’s not long to wait now, you lucky thing. After two high-profile delays in which CDP released a shoe-gazing apologetic statement, it’s finally announced the official release date: 19 May– so close you can almost taste the Griffin sweat.

Actually don’t do that. Yes, it’s almost a year late, but we’re willing to forgive this epic-looking RPG.

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