The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt which I will abbreviate as TW3 in this post, is an open world RPG game. A Massive one. I won’t go into details of the story to avoid spoilers and mostly cover mechanical aspects and core game play. So far I’ve had the pleasure of playing and completing all 3 games in the series.
The core game has plenty to do, including the main quest line, side quests, contracts (killing difficult monsters for coin) and treasure hunts. I’ve clocked in over 160 hours in my quest to obtain the Platinum trophy all while still skipping a good number of optional side quests. Content wise the game doesn’t lack and CD Projekt Red have put a lot of love into the 3rd installment with a sharp eye on things to do in game.
The graphics are beautiful and the world is rich with npc’s, a wide variety of monsters, nests to destroy, boss fights, optional (tougher) boss fights, caves, ruins, mountains, an ocean to sail and swim (above and below the surface), and random npc houses to invade. Most places you explore you will be rewarded with loot, including new gear, blacksmith diagrams and other goodies to aid you on your quest. Considering the sheer scale of the game the visuals are outstanding. However, I played PS4 pro’s version and noticed a slight latency here and there, mainly in the in-game menu which could be frustrating as you will spend quite bit of time in the menu applying oils and concocting potions if the game is played on a higher difficulty.
Pam Pa Ram! The Voice acting is top notch all throughout the game, including the main characters and npc’s. Whether you like a character or not, credit must be given as they all seem fitting and very, very well done throughout. I had good chuckle to a few random passing by villagers like the infamous Pam Pa Ram tune – watch it here.
The characters models look fantastic. CD Projekt Red does a great job with creating interesting male and female characters. Unlike Final Fantasy 15 (yes I’m hinting at Cindy) there are no female characters that are excruciatingly painful to talk to. Though at times my own Witcher senses could pick up the scent of a horny male developer’s mind, but it never goes too far. I’ve read a few articles on how TW3 relies on the whole “damsel in distress” formula but I didn’t feel that way about the game, the main women are sexy but they are also smart, capable and with a good amount of back story and character. My one issue with the character models was Geralt himself, he’s been given chicken legs and looks awkwardly “top heavy”.
The Gwent card game is fun when you get the hang of it and makes for a pretty neat addition to the game. The main game incorporates Gwent well, pitting you up against random npc’s or if you really want to get serious you may compete in Gwent tournaments and other rewarding side quests. One thing I regret doing while going for the Platinum trophy was not inspecting every merchant’s inventory for cards. It would have helped a lot to have written down on a notepad which towns I’d already cleared so I didn’t have to double check later on down the track if I had missed any in the area.
There was a bit of repetition with the use of the Witcher senses eg. Pick up a quest, find a bloodied corpse, follow some foot prints and fight the culprit, be it a group of Bandits or a Werewolf . Though its understandable that some repetition is inevitable, there is definitely a time where you will notice a “trend” so it pays to mix it up by doing some quests, play some Gwent, visit a brothel (lol) or look for gear upgrades.
Bugs are pretty common throughout the game, some being funny (yes that picture is Geralt inside a house merged with a piece of wood) and some inexcusable. Id say there is a 90% chance you’ll run into a glitch or a bug in your play through, the game is littered with them and begs the questions: what were the testers doing? and was the game rushed?
While i’m on the topic of bugs – Your trusty steed “Roach” is completely incompetent. Calling for Roach often lead me to increased moments of face palming and frustration as he tried to find a clear path to Geralt. Id whistle for Roach and see him a short distance away stuck in the middle of a bush trying to figure out a way to get to me when there is a clear path just to his right… If I could I would avoid whistling for Roach and either run to a fast travel sign or run to my destination.
All in all, tw3 was an epic game with a roller coaster story, well directed cut scenes and memorable characters both good and evil. Overall I enjoyed the story in the Blood and Wine expansion the most but I guess story can be a very subjective thing. The combat is OK and can be marginally rewarding but doesn’t deserve a special mention, Id have enjoyed the combat more if there was a bit more to it, as on Death March it was relatively easily to exploit even the toughest of bosses. Sonically the game sounds awesome. I played in 5.1 surround sound Dolby Digital set up, and could hear the wind blowing through the trees in front and behind me as well as the rainfall too. There were some nice tunes throughout the game, the most memorable for me being the scene with Priscilla performing in a pub. It broke up the game perfectly and set a lovely mood, one of my favorite moments in the game by far. If someone were to ask me if they should play tw3, id say if you can see past some of the technical flaws of the Witcher 3 or perhaps play it on a high-end PC, the game is a masterpiece. Watching the 10 year anniversary video CD Projekt Red upon finished the main story line gave me goose bumps along with a nice warm feeling when I finally put the controller down.