The Witcher 3: My Thoughts
It is official, I have made a huge mistake for the first time in a while where gaming is concerned. I, despite having owned The Witcher 3 for over 2 and a half years, have only recently ventured on what has been an incredible journey, the amount of shame I feel at having had pushed this masterpiece aside for so long has me hanging my head in shame. What a joy to play from start to finish, I couldn’t put my controller down, after all who needs sleep when there are so many monsters to slay with many more quests to keep you occupied.
I don’t even know where to start on my thoughts about The Witcher 3, very rare that a game has me lost for words because it is too good. In fact I couldn’t tell you the last time I was left speechless by any game, bearing in mind the incredible games we have been treated to this year alone (God of War, Detroit Become Human, Far Cry 5 and Spider-Man to name a few). I suppose I should talk about the man of the hour, The Witcher himself, Geralt of Rivia. As far as a protagonist goes this guy is the total package, he is a charismatic and well thought out character with a well thought out story behind him, just goes to show how incredible the world Andrzej Sapkowski created is. CD Projekt deserve a lot of credit for bringing this character and his world to life in the way that they did, each and every character was done wonderfully, the world styled beautifully.
The vast open landscape was beyond amazing (I’m a sucker for beautiful environments or a great storm), so much to see and do, be you taking on Witcher contracts, completing treasure hunts, helping the citizens of the lands or developing the unhealthy addiction of playing Gwent, an addiction that will take many hours of your life. Not sure how I am going to cope with the lack of Gwent in my life, but that’s a problem for another time. As you travel through the worlds various villages, towns and general locations you will unlock plenty of fast travel locations so be sure to keep an eye for those to save you a great deal of travelling unless you are looking to pick some fights, perhaps find some places of power to give you more ability points.
Many excellent characters featured, in fact The Witcher 3 managed to pull off another rare situation for me, I struggled so much with choosing a romance option! Never in my gaming life have I faced such a dilemma, usually I can head into an RPG be I a male or female protagonist and near enough immediately choose my romance option, 9/10 it is so clear to me. The Witcher on the other hand made it so damn difficult to choose! I really like both Yennefer and Triss, both are fantastic characters, so different, yet that is what makes the choice so difficult. Ultimately I went with Triss Merigold, it was just too damn hard to say no to her, having said that Yen looks so heartbroken when you break things off with her that I felt guilty, since when do video game romances get you so invested.
The story is nothing short of perfection from start to finish, it runs at a smooth pace, not too rushed or too slow, it progresses nicely throughout each act. All three acts also do their job beautifully, Act 1 is a massive build up, brings in some vital characters whilst setting up the main events of the story. Act 2 builds nicely upon that as we get to the depths of the story, realising the perils we must face, we must recruit allies to aid us in our fight against the Wild Hunt. Finally Act 3 brings our story to a nice close as we go to war, fight for survival and ultimately defeat our foe in a final showdown. Each character of the main cast playing a pivotal part rather than depending entirely upon Geralt.
The crafting in this game might just be some of the best I have eve come across in my gaming career which consists of an awful lot of games including many RPGs be they Sci-Fi or Fantasy, yet the vast majority of them can’t hold a candle to what The Witcher has, it is so extensive, so rewarding that you will find yourself enjoying it rather than thinking of it as added work that you would really rather not deal with. Nothing worse than an over complicated crafting system that feels like it’s sapping the life from you, also once you have crafted a potion, oil or any other alchemy recipe you will never have to craft it again….THANK YOU CD PROJEKTS!
I have briefly touched upon ability points which can be found from places of power or be earned through levelling up. I loved the skill trees, it felt well rounded as though you really could choose your style of combat. I am a highly aggressive player, the more forceful I can be in combat the better therefore a lot of my points went into the combat window making me much more officiant with my swords or close combat in general. Perfect for someone who just wants to cut their enemy down, of course I still use potions and magic to give me the upper hand. If alchemy or magic is you preferred method of combat then you can make a very powerful build with those, don’t forget to look at the general skills you will find in most RPG games such as improved health, that always comes in handy.
In a short space of time The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt has found its way onto my exclusive list of best RPGs of all times. Incredible, awesome, amazing, triumphant, just a few words to describe what I just experienced. I can’t fault this game in any way, honestly I have to give Geralt and his story the highest honours, if you haven’t played through CD Projekts masterpiece then don’t delay any longer, 2 and a half years was way too long for me, do not make the mistake I did! Grab your steel and silver swords, grab your potions then go and slay those monsters.