Once again we are able return to the world of Witcher Geralt and immerse ourselves in the ever expanding storyline that CD Projekt Red has been giving to us.
While not considered canon, the Witcher 3 continues in its precursors to further the story that Andrzej Sapkowski gave us when he first began penning the story of Geralt.
Fans of the series have eagerly awaited this final chapter in Geralt’s story with bated breath, especially since it seems these days the new installments in our favourite series have been plagued with disappointment.
It seems like a Franchise finds a modicum of success, causing the developers to feel like it is invincible; and then before we know it, we have a flaming ball of turd raining hell down upon us broken peons.
This is far from the case with The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt.
This finale came out of gates like a cannonball and blasted the bar miles into the air. From the visual presentation down the the musical score, so masterfully woven throughout the game, I’ve found the game to be a well deserved addition to this series.
I will admit, my experience with the game covers the main story with minor detours for supplies and quests for coin. Even then, my playtime still clocked in at just shy of 50 hrs.
I started out with my plan to do everything so I could give a review based on every little thing I could, but before I even finished the first Act it became very clear that it’d take over a 100 hours to get through and I needed to pare it down if I wished to be able to write anything anytime soon.
As it stands, by the time I completed the main story you could see the map littered with points of interests and untouched quest boards; which perfectly illustrates the vast wealth of a story to interact with in the Witcher 3.
CD Projekt Red truly delivered a game well worth the price based upon content amount alone.
Do not make the mistake of thinking that all the quantity meant that the quality of the content suffered. Sure there were some performance issues, even some absolutely amusing graphical glitches, but the depth of the story and the impact the choices have on the game is impressive.
Choice awaits at every corner. Most of the time it is in the dialogues as you progress, but even something as simple as trying to talk to someone one too many times can be a choice that will affect you for a long time to come.
Half the time you make choices where you know no matter what, you will get bit in the ass; it’s just a matter of how, and how long will it take for the teeth to sink in. There are no easy choices in this game. While choice does not change how the game plays, it does affect the story and can aide or even hinder your progress.
As with the other Witcher games, Geralt once again finds himself with a plethora of romantic choices to make. I don’t think it could rightly be considered a proper Witcher game if this were not the case.
Amusingly, CD Projekt Red showed its own mischievous streak as deceptively slip of a buttery smooth leg was revealed to be none other than Geralt splaying himself in a washtub. Well play CDPR, well played indeed.
That said, it was fun watching the relationships bloom and develop as the game proceeded. The stories easily snag you, bringing equal amounts of joy and sorrow, adoration and loathing, and more as you pursue them.
However, I will say that it helps if you’ve followed the stories of the previous games or even know the plot from the books.
While it is true that you can pick up and play The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt without playing the previous games; or having read the novels, it really does help if you have done at least one of those.
So much is referenced that really needs a good wiki visit to truly understand. In The Witcher 3, Yennifer sends a missive to Geralt requesting to meet.
After chasing her down he discovers who she is working for, as well as why. Soon after it is revealed that Ciri, who is practically their adopted daughter, has been seen again and he tasked to find her.
Much of the game is spent travelling all over trying to find Ciri. By the time you finish you might find yourself banging your head on a desk as you realize what you’ve just done.
I’ll leave that bit for you to discover by playing the game! Interspersed throughout are short segments where you play as Ciri, but more on that in a bit. Once you find Ciri, the story hits full steam ahead and you find yourself hurtling on a freight train of action and heartache.
The game’s ending has multiple elements with a few different outcomes for each aspect. Only one of these endings is actually played out, the rest pretty much are little voiceover segments as stylized art paints its way across the screen to the story segment being woven.
While I would have liked to see more segments actually played out in the end, the little vignette segments were a nice touch. These are mainly for the wrap-up of certain choices that you’ve made.
Let me get one thing straight, as with every title these days, Witcher 3 did not have a pristine launch. Yes, it has its own list of bugs and things that needed to be addressed. Admittedly, the performance issues weren’t really one I experienced.
However, of all the things that could be nitpicked on the game, the graphics are not one of them. Really guys? Squabbling over a so called graphical downgrade because it did not look like it did at E3?
Are you seriously going to tell me you’ve forgotten the things we were taught ages ago? What was that one thing you ask?
Well I’ll be glad to enlighten you.
E3 is a bloody trade show. A song and pony dance for the media and industry. The machines they use for showcasing these things are beastly, far more than even your average gamer. Oh and they sometimes show concept and tests.
Guess what? Not everything works out and you have to adjust. So get over yourselves, and find real things to nitpick about. The game is still visually engaging and full of eye candy.
If you want to gripe about the game focus on something more meaningful, such as the control scheme. It got better over the course of the patches, but as with the previous titles the controls were lacking in a number of areas.
Maneuvering Geralt is a feat in and of itself, much less trying to control Roach. The game definitely seems to be designed with a controller in mind, and once I switched to using a controller the experience became much better. Unfortunately, that didn’t fully alleviate the feeling that Geralt was a few brain cells short of intelligent.. or just perpetually drunk.
A much announced aspect of the game was playing as Ciri. Oh yes, this was there, and those pieces were absolutely fun, but I expected more honestly.
You already play as a badass Witcher, but playing as Ciri made Geralt seem like a child. Sure she doesn’t have the Witcher capabilities, but she out maneuvers him in every way. That said, I do not understand why they revoke your access to the inventory.
Everything you collect went straight to Geralt’s inventory for later. My biggest gripe with the addition to play as Ciri was that it was not enough. All the talk over it and you get maybe two or three hours of playtime with her. Each of the segments is really short and leave you wanting more. CD Projekt Red, please for the love of all that is holy, give us more Ciri content.
There is one aspect of the game I did not touch, and that was the mini-game. I’ve never really been big on mini-games, even if they are quite well designed.
Gwent is a card game that can be played in The Witcher 3. It’s pretty much a Collectible Card game that’s taken the world of the Witcher by storm. Yes, you even get to chase down rare cards like the fans of games such as Magic: the Gathering.
These are simply not something that interest me. If you do like such card games, then I do believe you will find a card game with a surprising amount of depth for a little minigame.
Overall the Witcher 3 has been the best gaming experience I have had for many years. Truthfully I rarely finish games these days. Too many of them fade out at the end of the road and I lose all interest.
However, the Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt kept me riveted from start to finish. I found myself not wanting to step away from it. It is now well within its place as one of the best games I’ve ever played.
So what’s my verdict on if the game is worth getting?
Go add this to your collection now. What are you waiting for? Have you bought it yet? You have? Well then stop reading my opinion and go enjoy the hell out of your new game!