There are some light spoilers of Witcher 3 here. Be warned.
This is hard to answer, as video role playing games have changed quite a lot in the last 10 years. Think about those games you used to love? For me it was Final Fantasy 7, way back on the PlayStation. It was the first time got truly lost in a world and it is something I still love to play to this day.
But now? These rpg’s can last over 150 hours if you have no life and just want to find everything.
It started (at least for me) with Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. That was the first game I played for soooooooo many hours. Over 150 easy. Then came Fallout 3, Skyrim, Fallout New Vegas, Dragon Age Inquisition, and lastly, Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt.
So, yeah, things have changed quite a bit, and for the better if you ask me.
But the Witcher may already be my favorite game of all time, and I have just scratched the surface of the game.
Let’s start with the company. CD Projekt Red. They are awesome. The game itself came with: the game, a map, a small compendium, two stickers, the soundtrack from the game, and a thank you note for buying the game. Really? That is so awesome. In an age where some companies do not seem to give a shit that you buy there game, they stand out Oh, and they have already had like 5 patches to fix things and you also get 16 free DLC from them. What more do you want from a company?
Let’s start with graphics, as it is the most amazing looking I have ever seen on a console (I have a ps4). I love that you can create screen shots of the game and have a few really pretty ones on my computer. Including one that is the background for my pc. There are times I have to stop what I am doing cuz what is on the screen just amazes me. Love it. Yes, some people are annoyed that it doesn’t look as good as the trailer of a few years ago, but the game loos amazing. I have to stop sometimes just to take in the scenery and that is something that doesn’t usually happen.
Gameplay. This was hard at first. I was so used to the sword and shield method in oblivion and skyrim. Attack, block, retreat, attack. But you have two swords and five different types of “magic”. Fire, shield, telekinesis, slowing them down, and confusion. They are handled well, and you can use them in most situations. BUT not all. See, that is one of things I love about the game play. It did take some getting used to, but once I did I felt like a real badass.
The setting is amazing. The world is in chaos and you can see that everywhere. Villages burnt to the ground, and people that are desperate to find anything they can to survive. You go from place to place only to find people that are starving and bandits trying to take advantage of people. The setting is handled very well in this game and they do an amazing job of making it feel like the world in the books. Love it.
When you get to Novigrad? That size of the city is astounding and i spent like 15 hours there. Crazy how big it was.
It is really hard sometimes.
I die like ALL the time. Mostly cuz you can come across monsters/bandits that are 15-20 levels higher than you. But even more that, you are always getting hit. Always. Yes, you can dodge, roll, and use your shield, but eventually they hit you. You do NOT have healing magic, but a wide array of potions, and things you can eat/drink to give you health. That was also hard to get used to, but I like it now.
The other thing is they swarm you. One or two drowners (I HATE drowners), sure no problem. Then 4 more show up and things get crazy. Same thing with wolves, bandits, etc. They just keep coming and you can find yourself dead really quickly. You have to plan sometimes and try different tactics depending on what you are fighting. This is even more shown when you fight the monsters in the witcher contracts.
Some of these creatures are HUGE. Or they cannot be hurt unless they are within small field created by one of our signs. Either way, you have to plan a bit sometimes for them. Luckily there are potions and bombs and such to help you.
The story. I really like it. You are trying to find Ciri, a woman that is like a daughter to you. The story itself is a huge portion of the game, and although I have not finished the game yet, it does a good job of keeping me interested. Which is hard to do considering how much you can just explore the world and do side quests. The characters are interesting, and you don’t really have to read the books or played previous two games. I have read the books and it does help, but nothing that I feel would take away from someone that comes into the game without having done so.
So many side quests. SO many. There are only a few fetch type quests, and the rest are very interesting for the most part. Having you make hard decisions that affect not on the quest, but the world itself. I also like that not all quests are happy ones. You can be searching for a woman’s son, only to have to tell her was hung. This is not a happy world.
This is also true in the main story line as you have to make very difficult decisions that can have HUGE ramifications in the main story. Wow, I was stunned by some of the things that happened. One decision can cause multiple changes in the world. Hell, the game has like 38 endings or something.
There is also a huge element of crafting both in weapons/armor, but also with herbal and witcher’s potions. Those are potions that help you in some of the harder fights. A lot of awesome here.
The not so good?
A lot of naked women for no real reason sometimes. I don’t care that you can have sex in the game. They aren’t the first to allow that, but occasionally the naked women everywhere was a bit awkward. I don’t go and have sex with a prostitute, cuz I don’t understand why someone would do that in a game. So, I was able to avoid a lot of that nonsense. But the interesting thing is before you think that the world is really sexist, you find out the most powerful people in the world are the sorcerer’s. They wield so much magical power, it is a bit crazy at times. So, it was a mixed bag when it comes to that.
The other thing is a game this big could just be overwhelming for some. I can see that easily. There is so much to do that it can be too much for some people.
Overall, I love this fucking game. It does everything I love right and although there are a few nitpicky things, I think it may be my favorite rpg of all time. Well, until the FF7 remake comes out. J