The Mean, Green, Open World Machine :The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt Review


The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Review

Apply those oils and ready your blades because you’ll need them in this upcoming battle. The Witcher 3 is a vast and wondrous single player RPG. You start off your journey in White Orchard searching for your love, Yennefer of Vengerberg. When you finally complete the introduction of the game you’re reunited with Yennefer and are given the real task of the game to find Ciri (sort of like your daughter) and to stop the Wild Hunt. So after playing The Witcher 3 for over 100 hrs here’s our take on its gaming experience.

Story and Gameplay:

The Witcher 3 has a plethora of amazing aspects to it but it's Main story line is sadly not one of them. The story isn't the worst but its not captivating enough for me to want to delve further into it's mysteries and narrative. It seemed rather repetitive and even sometimes bothersome. I saw no real "wow" factor when it came to the story and I usually pushed it aside to do other side quests. The game might have dropped the ball on the story side but made up for it when it came to the side quests and random events that occurr throughout the game. I spent the majority of the game exploring pretty much every nook and cranny I could find on the map. Traveling around on the back of my steed,“Roach”, I went from city to city discovering new places to loot, new Gwent opponents, and monsters to slay.  There was even an instance where I meditated in a village not knowing that by nightfall it's citizens would turn out to be lvl 20 werewolves!!!
The amount of loot in the game is enormous and all the stuff that you pick up during your travels can be converted into something useable. With this giant library of items also comes with a large selection of crafting items as well. From monster decoctions to give you that boost you need in the midst of battle, to powerful witcher gear that will protect you from those high level beast that roam the lands, to even changing your character’s hairstyle. Now exploring all these areas and fighting these numerous amounts of monsters was fun but it would get frustrating at certain points in the game. The difficulty in the Witcher 3 seemed very disorganized. There are many times where you are in either a mission or even just walking around where you are ambushed by 5 or more enemies at a time and fighting them can take a while, so getting overwhelmed is pretty simple. Playing on Death March was probably the wrong choice for a newcomer to The Witcher series but I decided to try it out anyways, and this only amplified my frustration, even more so when it has been awhile since my last save. One of the most frustrating experiences I had with the Witcher 3 was the three minute wait it takes to reload the game after a death. In this day and age, there is not reason for me to have time to cook dinner before I can play the game again.
Another great feature of the game would be the strategic card game Gwent. To be honest at first I found this card game to be pretty pointless. As I progressed and played more games, I started to really enjoy the challenge it gave me. Although it’s not really an important part of the game there are time where I stopped traveling and decided to battle a traveling merchant to obtain a rare card to improve my deck.

Mechanics:
As mentioned earlier I am a newcomer to The Witcher series, so as far as the controls and mechanics of the this game's other two predecessors, I’m not entirely sure if they play the same. This games mechanics made me feel a little skeptical of how game play would be but after learning the controls during the tutorial I found the fighting mechanics to flow great with the way the game plays. I thought the controls were very responsive. What I enjoyed the most about the fighting mechanics is that they weren’t too difficult to pick up but still challenging enough to not take any difficulty away from the game itself. With a bunch of different enemies to fight you need to use all the weapons in your arsenal as you progress in the game.
Other great features that are helpful in the game is the bestiary and meditation tabs on the main menu. These two tabs are extremely important and helpful, meditation especially. Every time you need to replenish your potions just meditate and Voila replenished. If playing on lower difficulties, it restores your health as well. The Bestiary I found was a great tool as well. Since I wasn't familiar with the majority of the enemies, it helped me prepare for battles and gave me a little insight into the world and lore. Even after facing so many beasts I still go to the bestiary to see what my opponent's weaknesses are.
Two other useful mechanics are the Fast Travel points and Witcher Senses. Fast Travel is a plus in any open world RPG and without them this game would have gotten tiresome very quickly. The Fast Travel points are placed in very convenient places and there's  a lot of them scattered all around so whenever you need to revisit that abandoned town or cave, you can make it there in 1 min as opposed to 30. The Witcher Sense, I thought, was a cool component in the game. It gave the game a detective feel at times and also was helpful when trying to go around and loot my fallen enemies.

Visuals/Graphics: 

Now if your main concern in the games that you play are graphics then you have nothing to worry about when playing The Witcher 3. This game has mastered it's graphics. Every texture, from the trees, to the water, to the people walking in the streets, this game has it all. With day and night cycles, a lively weather system, and NPCs that react to their environment, the world of the Witcher thrives. The Witcher 3 pays close attention to detail such as the trees swaying back and forth in the wind, down to the rainfall dropping onto the ground, and even the saliva that drips from the tongue of a noon-wraith in the forest. Those tiny details are what gives this title it's life. The character models are amazing and actually make the cities and villages in the game seem realistic. Of course there are a few minor hiccups when it come to the character models as I made my way through the game I found that more and more of the characters looked extremely similar, although not major to any significant missions, it still seemed awkward at times because I felt as if there was this group of NPC’s were following me throughout my travels. Besides that the only other problem that I experienced were during some cut-scenes the conversation would end and I would not be able to move just forced to stand there locking eyes with a person that i have already finished talking to. 

Final Verdict:

As with any game, The Witcher 3 has its ups and downs and that is inevitable. Yes there are a few slip ups here and there but those minor bad experiences don’t compare at all to the endless amount of fun one can have roaming the world. With an okay story-line and bountiful amounts of side missions, as well as fluid controls and beautiful visuals all throughout, this game is truly an amazing title. With all that said I give The Witcher 3 a 8.7/10. 


Written By Samuel Dorsainvil

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