The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt First Impressions



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Roaming the lands as one of the most hated people in the world has its pros and cons but seriously what is up with everyone having a problem the whole "Witcher" title. The world is vast and open and ready for your exploration just the way we were promised and...it's a bit overwhelming to be honest. but before you continue to read this First Impression, I've only put in about 12 hours into the game. Don't expect me to know too much. I'm just trying to give you a general idea of what kind of understanding I've gotten in those 12 hours. Truly a love/hate relationships with this game.



Summary: 

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is the third and final game detailing the story of Geralt of Rivia. The world is in chaos after the events of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings. Darker and deadlier forces emerge this time around with the intention of threatening the world with their otherworldly powers. The Wildhunt are a group of ghastly spectral riders who have plagued humanity for ages but this time seek one individual in particular. One individual Geralt himself considers kin. Most of the game, it seems like you're pretty much playing detective.


Story/Missions: (Mini-Spoiler Alert)


I'm not here to lie to you, I've played through half of the first Witcher and completely skipped the Witcher 2. I'm coming into this game as new as you could possibly be. Now I want to start with the fact that this game does refer to previous games for back story. It even asks you in the beginning of the game if you want to recreate a Witcher 2 save which I obviously said yes to because who would want to start on a completely blank slate. The game starts off with an amazing cut scene which truly displays the ability of this new generation of consoles. In the cut scene, you see a woman dressed in black riding through a battlefield tearing soldiers apart with some kind of mystical power. As the moon rises above her in the background, she creates a giant pit where at least 10 soldiers lost their lives (RIP SOLDIERS) and she rides of into the mist of the night. Not a bad introduction to a game I knew nothing about but it's mostly downhill from here.

 I want to really start talking a bit about the missions in this games. So far I've seen regular story missions, secondary missions, and contracts. The regular missions have become boringly similar in the game. In order to advance in the story, you must acquire/find an item or person or complete a task in exchange for information which you use to get to your next objective or person of interest. I wasn't expecting the meatiest of all plots after reading reviews from IGN and GamesRadar but this was almost a complete disappointment. I've put this many hours into the game and have yet to understand a minuscule amount about the Witcher Universe. I've read most of the books I've picked up, Gwent card descriptions, and even most of the signs but I still couldn't really tell you any of the lore behind the Witcher. I do have one question though. Why aren't there anymore Witchers? Are there any left? If you could enlighten me, please do so in the comment section and it would be greatly appreciated. It's one of the most uninteresting story lines I've attempted to follow. The Secondary missions, Contracts, and massive open world exploration was this games saving grace. The world is full of breathing life which includes animals, people, and otherworldly creatures. The trees and water move in the wind, the sun shines of the side of wine glass, and people inhabit their environment so realistically. Everything seems natural and alive. CD Projekt RED did an amazing job of creating a world that I would want to explore for hours. I feel like I've strayed off the main story path at least two dozen times simply for the fact that there was some kind of question mark on my mini map. Exploration is key in this story but can quickly get over whelming. With hours of game play packed into this Universe, It's kind of difficult to pick a starting point. Completing all the Witcher Contracts, collecting all the Gwent cards, going to power marks are all some of the things you could decide to do in the Witcher 3. I know there are a few people out there are a few people out there


Graphics/Visuals

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The Witcher 3 is a visually jaw dropping experience. With day and night cycles, dynamic weather system, and NPCs that react to their environment, the Witcher world truly feels alive. The Witcher 3 plays close attention to detail such as Geralt's hair bouncing while riding his horse or air bubbles rising from Geralt's mouth when submerged in water. Those tiny details are what gives this amazing title it's life. The character models are some of the best I've seen on next generation consoles. Almost every mission begins with a cut scene that truly makes it feel as though it is vital to the story. Each character gets a close up and that's where the visuals truly shine. The details in this game are amazing and could probably be one of the best games to come out visually. There have been complains that this game was being visually downgraded and locked into 30 fps. That's not necessarily a bad thing. People care so much about graphics and visuals that they let that single reason keep them from playing such a fantastic game such as the Witcher 3. Being locked into 30 fps means less frame rate issues which is definitely a decent reason to not want to bring it any higher. Given the size and magnitude of the Witcher world, frame rate drops and game glitches would plague even the best hardware and keeping it a such a steady level just makes it a better experience for us gamers. Do you think graphics should triumph over game play? Does that affect your experience significantly? (let us know in the comment sections)

Of course I have a few minor annoyances (yes like everything else) that can be quickly looked over but their things that could really enhance the experience. One of those annoyance being the really really awkward transitions in those cut scenes. I've counted upwards of 7 transitions in a single cut scene. The transitions seem awkwardly placed and lazily done. Kind of like a shortcut for the developers so that they wouldn't have to make anything to fill the void. Every time I see one, I cant help but turn my face in shame and think about all the mistakes I made in my life. There was definitely a scene where all the NPCs died in the same way though. Just thought I'd put that out there. 
"Okay. Everyone on the count of three, play dead. One...Two...THREE! DIE!! "

Mechanics

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Lets just get this out of the way. The entire combat system of this game is based on how well you can sidestep your enemies without getting torn to pieces. All the flashy flips and unnecessary turns look nice and all but you're nothing if you cant side step. It took me about 30 straight deaths to get used to the combat system to be honest. It's probably my biggest issue with the game. Incorporating your parry, rolls, sidesteps and combos all into a single battle is pretty difficult at first but feels so satisfying when you finally get the hang of it. The combat system isn't good but it isn't bad either. It took me a good 3 or 4 hours into the game before i actually started having any fun because of the amount of times i died and the frustration of the mechanics which brings me to a few complaints. Geralt's movements feel so sharp and blocky that his sudden stops frustrate me at times. It's not a smooth character movement and that goes for when you're riding Roach too (Geralt's horse). My idea of a smooth character movement is GTA V where everything seems natural and rhythmic. I noticed it within the first thirty minutes of playing the game but it gets particularly frustrating when confined to small spaces such as cabins or rooms. Not a big complaint at all but just a little detail that irks me.

The world is vast and open. the options of exploration and discovery seem almost endless but are they really? I'd like to discuss a little bit about the RPG mechanics of the game. The customization in this game is amazing in almost every way. With an amazing skill tree where most skills can be upgraded up to three times or more to the weapons upgrades and item dismantling. THIS SHIT IS DOPE. SO MANY OPTIONS. You can customize and alter most of the things you see on Geralt too. Anything from the shoes that he's wearing to his hairstyle. It truly impressive and I appreciate having that kind of freedom with my character. The loot and reward system exemplify what a true RPG world should look like. Everywhere you go you can steal or loot something. Anything from a silver cup to someone's sword. The options are there for you. This is the part where my expectations clash with the reality though. Dialogue options give the player a false sense of choice. The choices presented in the game have very little effect on anything significant except for the maybe the next few seconds. The choice/consequence system is not as good as I had hoped it was. It could get better the more hours I put into the game. Different cut scenes can play out in different ways but I never felt like the choices i made really mattered. I'm sure games like Mass Effect and Dragon Age have spoiled me but it would've been nice to see more change come from the decisions you make. I read that there is a possibility of the world ending in 36 different states based on your decisions but i have yet to be faced with any kind of moral dilemma. Hoping Project RED really pulls through in the end. Now as open world as the the Witcher is, my freedom seems limited sometimes. It's the little things that take away from my feeling of freedom such as trying to ride my horse off a tiny cliff or attacking the people of a village. People already hate you, you should at least have the option to give them a reason to hate you. Again, probably spoiled because of Fable but I was expecting those kind of things in the Witcher.

I'm going to be completely honest with you. THE GAME STARTS OFF SLOW. It's seems like there's so much talking and dialogue but it does get better. It is worth the investment. Does anyone remember how slow Mass Effect started? The people that made it through that period of two hours where they wanted to claw their eyes out, were rewarded with one of the best experiences in gaming history. It's going to feel a but boring sometimes and honestly I cant help and think that's it's gotten a bit repetitive but give it a chance. Hopefully after about 80 - 100 hours, I'll have my review ready for you guys.




Written by: Bryant Del Toro


1 comments:

  1. I agree with this 100%. It's not an a game that deserves a 10/10 but you definitely highlighted some of the best points. :)

    ReplyDelete

 

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