Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt Review

  The story follows witcher, Geralt of Rivia as he travels from White Orchard to Skelliga in search of his long lost ward, Ciri, before the Wild Hunt can get to her. Along the way Geralt will face many obstacles, get side tracked... a lot, have tons of relationships, and meet an impressive line up of characters. Among those characters are Triss and Yennefer. Geralt will have to choose which one he wants to be with. Both having their own unique personalities making the choice a difficult one. Just don't try to be with both, because, trust me, that won't end well! Triss and Yennefer are good examples of the diverse set of characters you will encounter. All of them will effect the player in a meaningful way and remind you of how good the writing really is. The dialogue is spot on and can be humorous, serious, and heartwarming. A stand out scene is when Geralt gets drunk along with his Witcher friends( You will never forget Geralt's drunk voice: " Eskel chop chop"). What follows is a very funny scene that also solidifies the bound between these characters, only to be caught by Yennifer who tells them to go to bed. This is an example of how the writing is so smart and makes you care for these characters. Speaking of characters, Geralt is a stand out. At the beginning you are thinking: Oh No not another batman replica. Throughout the course of the game you will find Geralt to be a sarcastic smart ass(in a good way) who really cares for the people he loves. This shines through with his hunt for Ciri. You can see his determination as Geralt thinks of Ciri as a daughter. The game does a good job of making the player invested in Ciri by giving her missions of her own. These missions offer a new set of powers and introduces you to the person the plot revolves around. You may be worried that the whole game is just a scavenger hunt for Ciri, and your right. The main plot isn't that complex, but it does some great things. One of those is that it doesn't get overshadowed by the numerous side activities and quests. In many RPGs the main quest gets bogged down by the vast open world. When you decide to resume the main quest you will always be clear on what's going on. The other thing the main story does well is the impact of different moments. From great Uncharted style action pieces to small character moments, the impact of the moment is always great. This all comes together through a strong set of choices. Anything can change the course of the plot. Choice is what the Witcher 3 does best. It is never a  decision between bad or good. Everything you do will have some sort of consequence. Even if the main quest isn't that complex, what it manages to accomplish is.

  The Witcher 3 offers a vast open world and many locations to explore. White Orchard is the beginning section that gives you a good taste of whats to come. Velen is the biggest area and is the swampy no man's land area. Novigrad is the city area that offers a change in setting. Lastly Skelliga is a set of islands that brings snow and mountians. You will find life anywhere you go. It is amazing how much is packed into this game. Monsters and animals roam the wild while a variety of individuals roam the cities, each with their own story. There is always something to do in this world. Contracts lets you haunt monsters for coin, but you will have to prepare in order to survive. This includes using your Witcher senses to find out the type of monster then craftimg the appropriate bombs, potions, and oils. Side quests are scattered across the world and bring a story just as meaningful as the main quest. There are no fetch quests here! Not to mention all the small activities like destroying monster nests and finding treasure. Just like the main story your choices will have a huge impact. Individuals to whole towns can be effected by your decisions. If you get tired of killing things and having the weight of the world on your shoulders, play gwent. This is yet another thing to side track you in the form of a card game. I usually don't partake in things like this in video games, but I fell in love with gwent and encourage you to give it a try. I do have a few small complaints about the open world. One is that in side quests sometimes it's not clear what do do, and the mini map can be a big distraction. You can't always embrace this world if your eyes are clued to the little circle in the corner. This is when I found myself missing the compass in Skyrim. Those are small problems when you look at what this game has achieved. It is probably the biggest and vast world ever created in video games.

 The graphics are stunning complete with an excellent day/night/weather cycle. You will constantly want to stop to take pictures of this beautiful  game. The only problem is that the foliage can be choppy, but ,once agian, that's me being picky. Now one thing that's not minor is the bugs. There are tons of bugs from small problems all the way to game breaking problems. I can manage the small things ,but when you have to load an earlier save and choose a different route just because the game doesn't work properly, that's a problem. There was one main quest where I had to pull a lantern to open a hidden path, but Geralt kept on wanting to extinguish the flame instead. That's when I reloaded a save to take a different path, therefore missing that portion of the quest. This doesn't happen enough to be that big of a problem, but it's worth knowing that it may occur.

 The Witcher 3 offers the best combat in the series. It is always fun and easy to execute, but requires some skills. You can't constantly press the attack button, because you have to parry or dodge at the right moments. Signs are magic that consists of fire, a telekinesis blast, sheild, slow down time, and a jedi mind trick. Once you upgrade different signs they become extremely powerful and fun to use. There are tons of upgrades but few slots to use them in. That means you will have to pick and choose the appropriate one for the upcoming battle. Each upgrade slot can be enhanced by matching mutegens of the same color. It is an interesting concept that works well. What doesn't work well is the inventory, because it can get very messy. There is no way to organize your stuff and it gets tiresome looking through it. You can use that inventory to gather materials for alchemy and crafting. This is easy and rewarding. The only time it gets troublesome is when you are missing a few ingredients and have to spend hours running around trying to find said ingredient. This can be fixed by dismantling or shopping, but there always seems to be one thing you can't find. There is a variety of enemies and mix of gameplay elements. What there isn't a variety of is playstyle. I understand that Geralt is an established character, but I want more choices in the way I fight. If I want to use two swords or no swords at all, I should have the option to do so. I still can't ignore the fact that The Witcher 3 brings some of the best combat I have ever seen.

  There are small problems in the Witcher 3 but nothing strong enough to effect it's score. I also want to take a moment to acknowledge CD Projeckt Red for caring about the players. I loved everything that came free with the game, even a thank you note for the consumers. It's hard to forget the long list of free DLC, and reasonably priced expansion packs that bring 30 hours of additional gameplay( their not out yet). The Witcher 3 sets the standard for any open world game and is one of the best in its genre. The game deserves our best score a 9.9!

1 comment:

  1. Girls like Playing Games Too.July 4, 2015 at 6:21 PM

    I love this game but I think I like Skyrim a little better!Plus I can get on the site now.