The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Review

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is the third installment in the Wither series by developer CD Projekt RED. The series has always been famous for offering game altering choices to players, even at times when this kind of gameplay was unheard of. However The Witcher 3 goes above and beyond the gameplay of previous games, in fact the Wild Hunt goes above and beyond the content offered by most games even to this day.

Gameplay

Geralt handles relatively smooth throughout your adventure. From walking to running to navigating battle with jumps and rolls, the animation and handling runs nicely throughout all aspects of the game. However you will run into problems when you try to start jumping and climbing through the wilderness and dungeons. The jumping mechanic feels to jerky and quick and often makes the handling feel clunky.

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Geralt handles very smooth while traversing the landscape of Velen.

The Combat system for The Witcher 3 is surprisingly good for an exploration heavy RPG. This was a crucial element for Projekt RED to nail because the narrative dictated Geralt was a masterful warrior, thus he had to feel and handle like one. Dodging is realistic looking, and runs smooth. You might run into problems with the camera keeping up with teleporting enemies such as the Wild hunt soldiers and Leshens. I must admit the confusion I had with the camera might make sense though, as an enemy which teleports around you will cause confusion in a realistic setting as well. Verdict 30/30

Visuals

Absolutely gorgeous. Holy crap. The rolling landscapes, whether it be the windy forests of Velen or the snowy valleys of Skellige, are filled with life and adventure. Gorgeous water falls, mountains, bridges, cities, and harbors fill this rich world. People Project RED has constructed a massive game here. I cannot say enough about the visuals.

Clipping is a bit of a problem. It’s not enough for me to take away points from the visual category, but it was still a minor problem throughout the game. The problem was not with the clipping, but rather the lack of clipping. Almost every object in the game is solid and interacts with your character, meaning the console you’re playing on (unless you play on PC) has to render all of this and the physics that apply to it. This can be a huge strain on the system and causes a few glitches.

The characters appear to be wearing actual clothes, clothes which can be removed (and often are) not clothes that are morphing into your skin like older games. Everything looks separate and textured and real. Geralt’s beard will slowly grow back over time and his hair flows in the wind. The details the developers put into the game are just mind boggling. Crashed wagons can be found near battle fields, warriors wear unique armor sets, just too much for me to describe. Wait did I just say warriors wear unique sets of clothes? Yes I did. Look.

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The Skellige guards are a loose coalition of warriors under the authority of the ruler of Skellige. Due to this the soldiers do not wear uniform armor sets. While on the other hand the Nilfgardians are a massive empire with a strong centralized government, so their soldiers wear uniform armor sets, observe.

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These are just examples of the extreme detail the developers took in creating this gaming experience. Unbelievable. Verdict 20/20

Story

Now I came into the Witcher 3 as a past fan of the series so I was already familiar with the characters and most concepts that are present in this game. However I found that the game does a good job of introducing the characters, their relationship to one another and their relationship to the general populace.

The Withcer 3 does an amazing job making you really care about the characters, to the point where you actually want to save them. Not really with Geralt, he’s too dang emotionless for me to care much about him, but with characters like Ciri, Yeneffer, and Vesemir. Specifically Ciri, you watch her mature and change throughout the story and really start to care about her. Verdict 30/30

Online

I refuse to deduct points from the score of this game because of it not including multiplayer. I have always thought of this as an optional feature for a game. Would it make the game more fun if you could play with your friends? Maybe? It is just so hard to pull of a good multiplayer, especially one that isn’t a AAA franchise shooter. I can only really credit Dark Souls for that honor, and to be honest I can’t blame Projekt RED for not wanting to pour time and money into a multiplayer for this game, it would be a huge risk, and ultimately they were able to produce a fantastic game without any multiplayer. My point is, that a lack of online experience in this game does not subtract from the overall experience.

Immersion

It is easy to get lost in the massive world. I have already discussed at great length the attention to detail in this game, so I will spare you hearing it again. Gameplay features attribute to the immersion of this game in many forms such as, sailing boats, riding horses, sharpening swords. There are many realistic actions the Witcher will need to perform if he wants to do his job well and to do it in a timely manner.

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The developers have created a sandbox actually worth exploring. The wilderness is full of adventures and secrets.

Glitches are the only aspect of this game that prevents me from saying it is a flawless masterpiece. The physics and rendering of small objects I mentioned earlier contributes to a fair number of glitches. It really kills the immersion level when a huge glitch jumps out at you while you’re playing. For the most part though I was able to over look this because of the huge success the developers had in other departments of the game. Verdict 8/10

Difficulty

Chosen, but high. Players are able to choose the difficulty they play on, something I now consider to be an obsolete function, however perhaps I am spoiled by Dark Souls. I played through on a relatively low difficulty of the game, but still found areas of the game quite hard. All difficulty in the game is fair though, when I performed poorly in battles it was always due to my aggressive and foolhardy play style. Verdict 8/10

Final notes +2

I could probably go on for another two pages about why this is the best game I’ve played in years and how it sets the bar for RPG’s to come, but I need to wrap things up here. All aspects of this game were fantastic. I constantly found myself lost in the lore, the monsters I could fight, the islands I could explore, and the scenery upon which I could gaze. The story was rich and intriguing, it had me guessing right up until the last second. Bravo.

 

Final Verdict

98/100

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