Remember the old video games that only gave you three lives, and when he ran out of those you had to put another quarter? Well if you're playing the Witcher 3: Wild Hunt on dark difficulty you get one life, and that's it. Don't die or you get to start over. And that's no mean feat this is a long game!
The designers explained that they wanted something completely different from other difficulty modes. Diablo threes nightmare level was a move in this direction, and although the highest levels of Diablo three eventually did contain permanent death of the character it's not quite the same as what's going on here at the Witcher. As with most great things, so says the developer, the dark difficulty will be easy to pick up but extremely difficult to master.
No saves, no checkpoints, no hints, and no mercy. Dark difficulty is going to provide an exciting and possibly infuriating experience for most players. The software developer said in an interview, "if you die 5 min. before the ending it's over".
This is from a game that is going to take many hours to complete. In fact the developer has stated that they estimate it will take approximately 50 hours for the average user to complete the main storyline. The main storyline. This means that there's actually more to it but if you ignore all side quests inside content and go straight down the middle to complete the story, and if you're not some kind of super being, you be doing it for about 50 hours. So 49 hours in, you're pretty tired coffee is worn off, and your dog runs and he steals the last pop tart off your desk. You jump up to grab it and your character dies. Well he's going to stay dead and if you want to see the rest of the game on this mode you get to start over. Sound good yet?
It is not clear if the Witcher 3 will offer dark difficulty from the beginning or if this will be an unlocked after completing it on a lesser difficulty. Diablo three did offer a similar difficulty level but it required you to complete every difficulty level leading up to it before you could unlock it. I guess a better question would be if it is available at the onset, should you play at that level? Perhaps if you're a crazy person, or aspiring crazy person, this might be a perfect fit.
The Witcher 3 will be released for PC, Xbox One, and PS4. By the way if you complete all of the site content the developer believes it would be over 100 hours to completion. If you want to be truly psychotic play on dark difficulty and get 100% completion. Someone will probably come to pick you up shortly after.