The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is an amazing marriage of stunning graphics and an exceptional story. Originally penned by Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski, The Witcher Series has been brought to life in game form by CD Projekt Red.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is an immersive open world experience where you play primarily as renowned badass, The Witcher: Geralt of Rivia.
Set in a medieval fantasy world, The Witcher 3 is laced with RPG elements, gorgeously smooth combat mechanics and savage finishers which enlighten you as to how Geralt gained the title “The Butcher of Blaviken.”
“Witchers” are boys who are conditioned from a young age to fight mythical beasts and demons using crude magic, potions/decoctions, body mutations, sharp wit and an even sharper silver sword.
With a well thought out skill tree, alchemy system and Bestiary you are well equiped to take out just about anything the game throws at you; providing it doesn’t have a red skull next to its health bar (or isn’t a drop off a high cliff).
Knowledge is just as powerful as your swords… yes swords… plural.
Throughout the game you develop relationships with the story’s main characters that help flesh out Geralt’s persona, learning of his past, his friends, his lovers, and the war that divided them.
The decision making system allows many alternate endings to story-line related quests. I would be lying if I said I didn’t still lay awake some nights wondering just what might have been had I made a different choice…
In the third and arguably the best installment of this series, theoretically endless possibilities await from dialogue to combat and everything in between as the decisions you make narrate your story while you battle man and monster alike in an epic quest to save not only the war-torn world, but also the closest thing to a daughter a Witcher can have… Ciri, who is being hunted for her extraordinary abilities by the Wild Hunt.
Whether you want to experience just the story, the story and some sword action, to spill some blood and break some bones or to head out on a death march, you can easily clock up 100+ hours of gameplay in the main story line alone. A downside to this can be that if you aren’t prepared for a game that is built heavily on a quest system that consists of “go here and kill this” or “go there and talk to that person.” You could easily begin to lose interest in such an expansive commitment.
If that last statement makes you cringe, fear not. Fast Travel points are included for all your countryside roaming needs; and If that isn’t enough to persuade you, there’s always Roach… The best horse a Witcher could ask for… He can climb houses.
My first play through took me approximately 200 hours on the “sword and story difficulty” which consisted of me completing every quest and witcher contract that was not directly related to the games’ in-game card game (Say that 10 times fast) GWENT.
If you are a Card game aficionado, GWENT is a well designed battle card game that might just pique your interest. Nicely integrated into the main story, there are many cards to collect, people to beat and even a quest or two to test your metal as a seasoned strategist or even a rowdy newcomer.
CD Projekt Red have also since developed a standalone GWENT game with slightly different rules that is also a lot of fun, unless like me… you’re not great at card games
Being an open world game, I made sure to explore every unmarked location on the map, resulting in hidden loot to find, monsters to vanquish or places of power to draw from.
I will admit that I started into one of the expansion story lines; “Hearts of Stone” before finishing the main game and was pleasantly surprised by CD Projekt Red’s ability to seamlessly stitch these two pieces of game play together like two pieces of fabric to create an elaborate but gorgeous ball gown.
What I mean when I say this is that if you play the alternate story lines, they wont directly affect your decisions in the main game… just maybe your appearance… a little.
Crazy I know but I was actually sad to finish the game, but delighted to find that a new game plus mode is offered.
What? I can play again…? In my swanky armour and with all my awesome skills! Death March here I come…!