First game review on this blog and could be the last. As a lover of stories I just felt this game definitely deserves to be mentioned. And praised.
The Witcher 3 is great at explaining stuff and re-telling background information so it’s possible to play it without knowledge of the novels and previous games. However, since this game takes place after the novels and two other games, there will be spoilers.
After years of searching, Geralt of Rivia – a witcher – is only a few steps away from finally finding Yennefer – a sorceress and his lover. It’s been a long and hard road, but the real trouble is still ahead. Ciri, a child of Elder Blood and their ward, has reappeared in their world and is in trouble. More than that, Ciri’s at the center of a prophecy that tells of the world’s end and now, as the Wild Hunt is right at her heels, it seems that prophecy is about to be fulfilled…
To start off, I’m a huge fan of the Witcher series and I loved this game. I couldn’t be more disappointed that the English translation for the novels is taking ages, because I’d love to read them. Geralt is one of my favorite characters and the other characters in the novels/games don’t fall far behind.
The best aspect of the Witcher 3 is the story. It’s powerful, moving, meaningful and gripping. The main quests take us all across the countryside and swamps of Velen, the rugged and icy islands of Skellige, and the streets and sewers of Novigrad, along with a few smaller areas. The places are all vast and filled with quests and points of interest that offer anything from monster guarded treasure to bandit camps to places of power. Wandering off the road will more often than not land you in the middle of monsters but, fortunately, handing monsters is what witchers do best.
Aside from the more plot-driven main quests and secondary quests, there are also Witcher Contracts and Treasure Hunts. Their names are pretty clear: in the former you’ll hunt down a big bad monster causing trouble, and in the latter you’ll trek across the areas searching for better witcher gear. I liked even those quests. Yes, they’re repetitive and yes, there’s a lot of bouncing from place to place, but they’re also very rewarding.
The only content that felt more like a filler than anything else were some of the points of interest in Skellige. Smuggler’s caches, all I’m saying.
The game did an amazing job with the characters, starting from voice acting and continuing to their gestures and expressions. They all feel unique. Alright, there are not-so-important NPCs who share faces with a couple of others down the line, but it didn’t bother me too much.
I completed the game in roughly 87 hours and I completed every quest I got, save for collecting all the Qwent cards (a highly addicting and oddly exciting card game) and one quest that bugged out. Speaking of which, there were some bugs along the way but except that one quest they didn’t affect my playing. Mostly they were cosmetic bugs and sometimes I had to meditate for a couple of hours to trigger an event that should’ve started, but other than that I had no problems.
I could definitely play this game again. Not only because it was so amazing but because the choices you make along the way affect the outcome. It’s easy to look at some Wikipedia article and figure out which choice affects where, but I enjoyed traveling the world of the game so much I’d still give it another go, just to see for myself.
If you haven’t played or read any of the Witcher series, I highly recommend you do. The first game in the series can seem a bit unpolished and I know not everyone gets into the fighting style in it, but its story is well worth playing. Same with reading the novels. It helps if you’ve read them but you don’t need to. The most important bits are re-told in the games.
I’ll give this game the highest score on any scale. It went straight to the top of my list of favorite games. The amount of content is great and even the secondary quests all felt like main quests. They all had their own, exciting plots. And let’s not forget all the free DLC you can get to the game – yes, free. A few new quests, some armor sets and alternative looks for certain characters. Of course if you want, you can also buy the upcoming Expansion Pass, which is supposed to bring another 30 or so hours of content. So be prepared for getting lost in this amazing, beautiful world.
And that’s about it. I did remember to mention I loved it, right?