The Witcher 3 saga from CD Projekt Red has grown into a magnificently brilliant open-world video game saga. It is truly a game of epic scale of which has managed to display an eye for detail in every single minute of the game. It’s one that sees, Geralt of Rivia, the game’s hero transform from a sword-wielding lover boy to what is now a reflective and mature hero. Much greyer and older as well as much wiser, Geralt seems to understand himself and the world around him a little bit more. The lore, action music, art, systems and story have all blended together resulting into one dazzling whole.
It’s safe to say that it’s simply one of the best Role Playing Games (RPG) of its kind, especially in this next-gen world we currently live in. It has certainly set a new benchmark for the games in its genre. In fact, if we ended right now, right here, that’s really all you’d need to know. Anyway, of course, we know you obviously want to hear a little more. The Witcher 3 is basically the best of Red Dead Redemption, Legend of Zelda and its predecessor, Witcher 2 mashed all into one. Yeah, it’s that good. This game is playing in the big leagues, my friend.
Okay, the Red Dead Redemption might seem a little strange, however, the game’s free-roaming gameplay brings to mind what Rockstar did in their western masterpiece. It’s not only because Geralt spends a large amount of his time with Roach, his loyal steed, but it’s the focus on exploration, discovery and the missions themselves.
A Huge World
Wild Hunt is as deep and dense as its other two predecessors in the fantasy series when it comes to the RPG mechanisms. The massively overwhelming open-world environments have only helped make the depth and deepness of the game that much more intimidating. Which means it’s more rewarding in the long run. It’s hard to really accurately express in words how open and huge this fantasy world really is. Peasant filled ramshackle townships are separated by rolling verdant fields dotted liberally with swaying foliage of all shapes and sizes. Dynamic weather and a full night and day cycle pull everything together.
All the above help manage to cement Wild Hunt’s landscape as being one that feels the most authentic of any open world game of its kind, especially in today’s world of next-gen gaming. The directions you need to go are pointed out by a handy mini-map. At first, it just might feel like a crutch, however, as the game progresses you realize how important it is. There are some situations you might have gotten lost if you didn’t have it. The fact that a world of this magnitude is full of things to keep busy with and still feel so purposeful is an outstanding achievement in itself.
How It Plays…
The Witcher 3 offers endless possibilities. However, the game is smart enough to avoid swamping you with them at one go. The game’s initial section threatens to give you that mild disappointment similar to when you discover Dragon Age (Inquisition) isn’t giving you that one seamless open-world, but a set series of large-scale, linked landscapes. That withstanding though, even the starter area of Wild Hunt is loaded with story missions, side-quests and beasts to slay. This all on a map that would’ve been considered humongous even ten years ago. Although, sometimes the game feels a bit constrained in some situations.
You can kind of tell that CD Projekt Red is getting the hang of their new systems. From taking pest control contracts from the different noticeboards you’ve found to using your horse, Roach, to get to point A to B and discovering the hidden treasures and perils that lie en route. The game eases you into its combat, which is tactical, smart and fast, The crafting and research part of the game which many other games of this kind make feel like a chore, Wild Hunt has managed to make a fun and integral part of the overall game.
Many people in the gaming world have had concerns about the systems at play and whether they engage players more than the story-line. But, the game eventually blends the two things together in a way that inevitably makes that concern in itself seem nonsensical. Geralt’s transformation into a father-like figure hero is just but a few of the things that have transcended this fantasy RPG into greatness.
Geralt’s Long Journey
The new map obviously has a few ramifications for the story’s structure, and though flashes of greatness come about here and there, the main story-line ultimately becomes the least fulfilling. The game’s tale starts with a multi-continental search for Yennifer, a long lost lover of Geralts and his surrogate daughter, Ciri. The one sad thing though is that it never really gets much better than that when the main story is concerned. The main story that seems overly long sometimes is essentially Geralt just running errands for more information on the whereabouts of Ciri.
It effectively manages to maintain momentum and focus. Unfortunately, the game ends up feeling like you’re on a wild goose chase rather than an exciting and intriguing mystery you need to unravel. Thanks to a lot of magnificent voice acting and excellent dialogue there’s some emotional payoff as you go along. Sadly, as we’ve mentioned before, it has been padded with a lot of collectathons and meaningless fetch quests. Every time you think you’ve happened upon an interesting revelation, you have to search for a lost dwarf or escort some goats.
One over-looked thing of this installment is that they designed in it a way whereby you can get along just fine even though you may have not played the two previous installments. The story is just exciting even though it’s your first time playing the Witcher.
As the Gadget Gang, we strive to give you the most authentic reviews, especially when it comes to gaming. So, with that said, this game is simply one in a million. Other RPGs are now to be judged by this new installment right here. It’s the golden standard. Not only have CD Projekt Red come up with the most convincing as well as largest fantasy open-world ever, but that’s also not all they did. The storyline and quests are what take this game to the next level. If you haven’t played this game, I’m sorry, but you’re missing out big time!