People constantly come up to me and ask me what I think is the best game to get currently, I have a few normal suggestions but I always end my list with Witcher 3. When they ask me why Witcher 3 I simply answer with “3 months”. It took me Three months to beat this game 100% on the hardest setting and I loved every moment of it, a feeling I haven’t had since playing some of the best RPGs back in the day.
First of all lets just get some of my gushing out of the way. You do not need to play Witcher one or two prior to playing The Witcher three. The developers at CD Projeckt Red did a fantastic job making sure the world and story line made sense no matter when you jumped in on the story. This is quite possibly the best looking most dynamic game I have ever played in my entire life, even with over 200+ hours logged in this game I never felt like the story became too bland or repetitive even well into the final moments of the game. For example I was still excited to explore new areas and was always amazed that I would run into an enemy Ive never seen before unlike other games where dungeons and caves always seem to have the same process and enemies (looking at you Skyrim). Combat, while not overly complicated is delightfully simple, sure you can beat anybody by just pounding away at them with your sword, but true joy comes from using your potions, oils, skills, effectively creating a typhoon of damage. While I was able to get more powerful I never felt too over-powered, one hit kills are almost never possible and even a group of low level Ghouls could still pose a problem if I didn’t go into a battle with a plan.
Graphics: Despite any console blocks, dumb downs or any other Reddit drivel you have heard this game is abso-fucking-lutely beautiful. From the intricate details in Geralts armor down to the open valleys filled with flowers this is truly a game where no detail was overlooked. Seriously, it honestly feels like every square inch of this huge game was lovingly crafted, no basic copy and past mechanic was used (and if it was they did a great job hiding it) Running through the forest actually looks and feels like a dense forest, monster infested areas are dank and look like they have been abandoned (because they are) and populated cities feel alive and manicured unless you look in the seedy underbelly. As I stated before enemies are varied and detailed as ever, from the basic Bear to mammoth Fiends each monster is beautifully detailed and deadly. I can say without worry that The Witcher 3 is hands down the best looking game on any platform to date.
Sound: Voice acting is top notch Geralt sounds just as sarcastic and salty as ever and NPCs are wonderfully done. My only complaint would be that the character Dandelion, who also works as the games narrator, has a bit of a How I Met Your Mother complex going on where his in game voice is nowhere near his narration voice. voice acting aside the real star of the show is the games music, oh how I fucking love this stupid music. I listen to it at work, I listen to it in my car, I listen to it all the time and I still cant get enough. When I have to pause for whatever reason I go to my gwent collection screen so I can listen to the “tavern” songs. The music even changes depending on what reagion of the map you are in so desolate areas sound downtrodden while cities or lively forests sound spirited or alive.
Gameplay: This is what a free roaming free choice game should be like. Every other Action RPG needs to get out their notebooks and take some fucking notes as this shit is what will make me remember The Witcher for the rest of my life. #1 (guess I’m doing a list) the choices in this game are ACTUALLY GOD DAMN CHOICES. One choice is literally to decide if you will save a savage demon that will kill people, but will save some orphans OR kill the demon and condemn the orphans to death. Haha there is no right or wrong decision, just what in your mind you need to do to justify your actions..(fuck the orphans).
#2 Side quests actually matter. Every Action RPG game has its fair share of side quests, shoot in Skyrim it was infinite, however most of the time the side quests were their own small story or were just silly fetch quests. Here in the Witcher most of the side quests were necessary for the best ending and even had implications to how the rest of the game world reacted. Yes there were still sill fetch quests but I found myself always intrigued by the side quests especially when one would tie into the main storyline if for no other reason than to remind you that the main quest is still going on, just well done in game design and storytelling.
Patches: Can we just take a moment to talk about how awesome CDPR is for making such a fantastic game and that they released it with no DRM and released a crap ton of DLC for free? Granted the DLC is mostly cosmetic changes but there are a few full on missions, each one well done and even fun. Over the coarse of my 3 months playing the Witcher almost all of my initial complaints were patched and fixed even major changes like a global storage system or new game plus were added only because gamers asked for it, awesome stuff.
Gripes: Yes I have some. With a game this big its come to expect that there would be some glitches, I’m happy to say there are not nearly as many as anything Bethesda has made but they are still around. Geralt’s glass ankles were one of the biggest pain points for a long time, they finally made a patch were you could “roll” from a higher drop to limit damage done but even still walk off the slightest of edges and you will die, this is only really an issue as its super easy to walk off or dodge off an edge just off camera. Easily the biggest gripe I would have is that a lot of the decisions you have to make in the game are not 100% clear on the effect it will have in the game, this will result in a lot of “good intentions” leading to murder and, in some cases, destruction of entire villages, I understand that in life you don’t always get to know how your decisions will effect the world around you but in life you are not just locked down to two decisions. While it is awesome that there are a TON of side quests, and missions, and Witcher hunts, and treasure hunts, and gwent players to find… the only way to find these things is to check your map…one….at…a….time. Lord do I wish I could just have a marker to show all active missions on the map so I could easily do 5 quest in one swoop rather than do one and find out later on that I was standing right next to another one. Finally my faithful companion Roach the Horse…Sigh…. while riding him was easy enough, calling him and getting him to work exactly like you wanted was another story. Sometimes it even felt like He was purposefully fucking with you when you would call him and he would spawn behind a fence or in a group of trees….ugh.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is easily the best game ever made this current generation, and is close to being the game of the year and then some with continuing DLC to be coming out. If you have not yet purchased this game DO IT NOW you will not be disappointed.