Real Talk By: KJ
Here is the newest chapter in the Witcher series (PS4,XO, PC). Geralt of Rivia is going on one lengthy journey. Seriously, an individual could easily clock in at 100 hours. The big picture involves a nasty group of villains known as the Wild Hunt. This Crew is wiping out anybody in their way. Witchers are well-known in this world. Sometimes that can either help or hurt. Fights will ensue because of that fact alone. Others NPC’s will reach out for help. This leads into some of the more interesting side activities I’ve come across. They happen to be so varied, and just as entertaining as the main. It is recommended to tackle many as possible. Players are warned with a red skull if they lack the experience to take on a mission. Players can disregard the warning and go for it regardless. Yep, this is what I did a bunch. After a lot of dying, pushing through is of course rewarded with experience points. A small mission involved me retrieving a goat for someone. Even that was highly enjoyable. Real Talk.
Upgrading Geralt is personalized. Fine tune the abilities you find the most important. I generally go for a brawling type of character. However, In this game you’ll need strong magic to defeat some of these foes. I find in many action RPG’s that two elements are rarely parallel. It’s either the super powers are fun to use, but the sword slashing is lacking. Or vise versa. Both are great in W3. In-fact there are rare times Geralt fights with his fists, even that was well put together. Enemies aren’t push overs, from wild dogs, to rock golems, each have their own particular attack patterns. Using the proper abilities at the right time makes all the difference. Some quests are all about hunting monsters. The first big battle is against a griffin (as seen below). You’ll learn about this beast by talking to NPC’s, fully understanding the enemy before engaging. It’s cool to play as a character who has an extensive knowledge on people, places, and magic.
A part of the main story involves Geralt’s adopted daughter Ciri who gone missing. Gain info by completing missions for people who may know of her location. They dish the info, and in-turn the players can control her during these flashbacks. She is just as fun to play, with her own set of moves. Another layer to the game much appreciated.
Collecting is a huge part of W3. Pulling various herbs and spices helps construct useful items. Gathering metal, and other artifacts can strengthen armor, and produce better outfits. Loot abandoned homes, or (populated areas, if that’s how you roll) and find health pickups. Gold coins, and Books. Reading books can train the character. Learning even more useful abilities. These passages are well written. Other games with loads of documents, I find myself skimming over it, not really plugged into what is there. All the dialogue is well written, in-text and in cut scenes. Side missions, to main. For the massive amount of time you’re guaranteed to put in, this is a big bonus.
The music overall is great. Physical copies of the game feature the original soundtrack. There is a reason for that. Some nice music during fights, and cutscenes. It really adds to the already exceptional voice work heard throughout. Sounds and some story arches felt Game of Throne-ish to me, but in a good way. Rare humor is thrown in, but when it happens you’ll really laugh. Gareth’s character has more personality than expected.
Dialogue Trees are enhanced with magic. Change an aggressor’s mindset with the wave of a hand. Avoid confrontations if you wish, getting your Jedi mind trick on. This isn’t Mass Effect deep, but players will be given opportunities to make some unique decisions.
The world looks amazing. Nice weather effects, The wind makes the trees and leaves shake realistically, Rain and lighting will hit the screen. A sunset beams down on the player. Water, and mud looks real. There hasn’t been an area explored that lacked detail. The same care was taken into every living thing. Older folk carry age lines, or scaring. Creatures look hella gross in here yo!
Fast travel across this massive map, or ride on your trusty stead. Roach can be upgraded with a bigger saddlebag to carry more stuff. If he’s near monsters, the horse will get frightened. This is something that can be reduced as well with the proper add-ons. Approaching a new area is always a thrill. However, if you’re jumping into an area with foes three times your level, that would be a good time to put the horse to use.
Enemies naturally grow tougher. Expect to die. Dying sucks, because of the long waits. Loading times are painful in this game. Even the most patient gamer will be tested. Also moments came up such as minor glitches. Geralt was alive and kicking on-screen, Yet my health bar was empty, was then sent to the game over screen. He didn’t hit the ground or anything. Falling from heights that in other areas would do little damage, yet completely kill him in others. This stuff isn’t the norm, but it must be addressed.
The Witcher is a game worth the money. DLC is still on the way. This is a scenario in-which I will gladly support future content. Free items will be sprinkled over several months too. Fun gameplay, that rewards exploration with awesome pickups, and entertaining side-missions. Exciting battles that require thinking, and rolling/dodging (So much rolling). A straight BA protagonist that plays by his own rules. These are the reasons why we certainly have a contender in The Wild Hunt.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Gets
4.5 Out of 5
+Entertaining and Lengthy Story
-Long Load Times
-A Few Glitches