Casual Reviews – The Witcher III: Wild Hunt

*Blink*…*blink*…”So…that’s it?” My wife turns to me as [Censored for Spoilers] and the credits roll. It is hard to believe. I’ve finally finished…well…there’s still more than 30 question mark locations and countless other side quests I have yet to get to…but I also have a job, wife, and responsibilities…so yeah…I’ve finished. I’m worried I’m too melancholy to write a good review right now. Much like finishing Persona 4 Golden, I feel like I’ve read a book that has sucked me in, and now the ride is over. I’ll go back and start again right after this review and make some changes to my choices, but as we all know…nothing beats the first time. The expectation, uncertainty, not quite knowing what to say, fumbling with inventory, and never knowing what will happen next…

And what a first time it’s been… 

Environment

As expected, the environment is staggering. There’s so much going on I failed a quest an hour in. Apparently, I walked by someone trapped under a wagon and didn’t notice…oops.

The fantasy world created in CD Projekt RED’s game is unusual compared to most. As I stated in my review of The Witcher II: Assassin of Kings, the world is still gritty, monsters are still original, and dwarves…still dwarves.

Just think Legend of Zelda as told by George R. R. Martin where Link has cat eyes…and white hair…and a thing for sorceresses.

The graphics…amazing. Cut-scenes are edited marvelously, containing some of the best scripted sword fights and middle school unicorn romance fantasy I’ve seen. I mean, when they said this game has it all, they weren’t kidding. The only detail needed to make it more complete is chlamydia.

Unlike the previous game, I feel more connected to the characters. Well, two of the characters…the only two I’m not expecting to put a sword in my back as a consequence for any lack of attentiveness. In this game, political intrigue and vying for power step aside for the more human story of a father, Geralt, trying to find his daughter, Ciri. This is complicated by the fact that she can travel through dimensions…which explains how she gets into iPhones.

The best surprise, and real star of the show (and my wife is in agreement) is Yennefer. Her presence elevates almost every scene she is a part of. And while I’m not saying she is the dawn of a new age where video games portray compelling female leads that truly feel like real, possible people, she is a step in the right direction. After all, it’s not like most video games do any better with their male leads, but this was the first time a female character’s performance outshone the rest of the surrounding cast so dominantly.

Simply put, this environment is one of my favorite game worlds to experience.

Gameplay

If you like a challenge, put the difficulty one higher than you would expect. The start might be a little rough, but if you intend to do side quests and search for every piece of gear as each section of the map opens, you will be absurdly powerful. If you’re like me, however, set it on easy and bathe in the blood of your fallen foes every time you scratch your balls/boobs. While some of the diversions become monotonous, simple to-do lists that are the same no matter the location, many of the actual side missions have a surprising amount of diversity in their stories.

The fighting is one of my favorite combat mechanics to date. Dodging just out of range and then delivering a finishing blow feels amazing, not to mention looks phenomenal. The magic signs are just as fun, complement swordplay well, and you typically need both in order to win fights. Gameplay is great; however, swimming can cause some challenges and is one of the least enjoyable parts of the game.

And then there is Roach…

Roach is always with you…always. You could swim to the farthest island and he would be there. Climb a mountain…there he is. The largest cities? Yes. You will never get away from him…and you will want to get away from him. Oh, my child, you will want it more than anything in this fantasy world.

Roach is a horse. Your horse. Roach is also an asshole. Want to turn left? How about running into this wall instead? Did you call for him? He’s at the top of the ridge. You may have to walk around the entire mountain to get to him…but he looks so close on the map. Roach even went so far as to trap me against a sign post at the very end of the game, causing me to reload from a save. In order to avoid spoilers, I can’t tell you the horrors that transpired during the loading screen recap which assumed I had already seen the cutscene I was literally inches away from triggering. Yes…my horse is such a turd that he spoiled the ending for me. See below:

All other gameplay hiccups fade in comparison to Roach, the demon horse from hell.

Replay Value

I already want to go back for more. Because of the ambiguous nature of the choices, I’m left questioning several of my decisions…or non-decisions, one of which involves alcohol, a megascope, and three horny Witchers. If this was the only game I got in 2015, I’d still be very busy come next year. With free DLCs still rolling out, it feels like the opposite experience of any EA game in recent memory. The value you get with Wild Hunt is unmatched by other games I’ve seen this year. The fact that it is the same price as the likes of The Order at release boggles my mind.

If you enjoy RPGs. If you enjoy action. If you enjoy exploring. If you enjoy open worlds. If you enjoy digital STDs…this game is worth every penny.

Online

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Conclusion

This has been a very long review, so I’ll try to keep the conclusion short. If you are planning to spend $60 on a game, you can’t go wrong. You will have plenty of entertainment for months to follow. If it doesn’t last months, it’s a good indication you are spending way too much time gaming. Go outside…visit the doctor about your carpal tunnel syndrome.

This game is a novel…or TV show/movie series to binge. Treat it like one. On a rainy day, grab a blanket, hot chocolate (peppermint schnapps optional but recommended), and take your time. Get some snacks, caffeine, and make a night of it.

And as a last word of advice…summon the bitches…always summon the bitches.

The Witcher 3

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60 thoughts on “Casual Reviews – The Witcher III: Wild Hunt

  1. Witcher III was definitely a better game (mechanics & storyline) than Witcher II at least for the Xbox. I played Witcher on the PC and was super excited when they came out for Xbox with Witcher II, then super disappointed with the gameplay. Witcher III made up for it! And, yes, those fight scenes were incredible! I am also terribly addicted to Gwent LOL. Great review, BTW.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve always been into pretty into fantasy RPGs The Elder Scrolls Series in particular (I still haven’t ‘beaten’ Skyrim…got side tracked on side quests).This game definitely grabbed my attention!

    I just have AAA game-itis super bad and never felt like I could trust the hype, or that tingly feeling I get from seeing a really good trailer…that and I’m frugal!

    I feel like I have to check this out now! It looks brilliant! Any game that plays like a book and can suck me in will get my time!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. i totaly agree that this game is nearly perfect but there is a problem with the combat system , its epic but it doesn’t give you the chance for normal satisfying battles with the normal enemies i know that fighting the monsters is great but i mean honestly one hit kill the man , for me it kills the fun and that’s my problem with rpgs they care too much about the world and the rpg elements and they forget the combat

    Liked by 1 person

    • I see what you’re saying. It never bothered me because I felt like if I can kill monsters, I better be able to kill humans with one hit. But I see your point that maybe they should have included human enemies with sword skills on the level of Geralt.

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  4. I got it as a gift from my brother, otherwise I’d never have spent that kind of money on a game. Nice to get the experience of such a game anyway. … Well, it also got me back into the early adopter experience. I’m currently on hiatus until some annoying things are fixed that should never have made it into the release version like that.
    I didn’t have that much trouble with Roach. The worst he did was park next to an interactable object once or twice so that every time I tried to mount up, I’d interact with the object. … But I’m a brony. I have +6 horse. So that might explain my mostly pleasant experience in that area.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. One of the greatest games I’ve ever played. Everything about it is so fantastic. I’ve never seen such an ambitious and large project nailed so well before, and I doubt I ever will again, at least not by another studio. I can’t even imagine the full extent of CDPR’s ambition later down the road.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Just made a start on this last night after finally picking up a copy over Black Friday.
    Combat feels a bit floaty when compared to something like Bloodborne but otherwise this game seems fantastic so far. Looking forward to putting a lot of hours into it 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I played TW 3 on PC (massive system). I can’t say enough about RedEngine 3. There is no game engine which can compare. Until TW 3 I was a HUGE fan of the Witcher series, especially the second entry. LOVED IT. ABSOLUTELY…LOVED….IT.

    I wish my feelings towards TW 3 were as positive and I’m afraid my own review is going to be a harsh, harsh, harsh one. CDPR’s target audience changed between 2 and 3. No longer are the Witcher games meant for intelligent adults and frankly, I found 3 insulting, to be among the most dumbed-down games I’ve ever played. Worse, I would hardly classify it a RPG because some decisions have no impact and others are not reflected. Worst of all, the ridiculousness of certain parts. Like in the first chapter, with Vesimer, if you start the fight with the gryphon before you can beat the gryphon, you can take off, go do oodles of quests to get leveled up, return days or even weeks later, and Vesimer is still fighting that gryphon. And the button-spamming…my gosh, and here I thought 1 was bad in that regard.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: Casual Reviews – Bloodborne | SevenFlorins

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