[PC|PS4|XB1] The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Review

DoctorFinger

Editor in Chief
Joined
Sep 25, 2008
Likes
0
Location
New York City
#1
Witcher 3 Review

Title - The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Platform - PC. Also available on Xbox One and Playstation 4
Developer - CD Projekt RED
Publisher - CD Projekt RED
ESRB Rating - M (Mature)
MSRP - $59.99
Editor - Michael "DoctorFinger" Chauvet
What's Hot: Contender for best graphics ever. One of the deepest and most engrossing stories you’ll ever see in a game. Tons of side quests with a lot of variety. A very vibrant open world. Gwent.

What's Not: Combat can get a bit repetitive. Inventory management is problematic. Some performance hiccups. Gwent
As with previous Witcher games, you play as Geralt of Rivia, one of the titular Witchers. Through a combination of magic and exposure to chemical mutagens, Witchers gain the physical strength and tools needed to hunt the myriad monsters plaguing the world. While these powers make you useful, they don’t make you popular, and Witchers are by and large hated by the populace. But he’s been at this a long time - and you can import saves from Witcher 2 to specify what he was up to previously - and knows how he’s perceived. His voice is gruff and slightly world weary, but he’s still a force of nature when motivated. And his motivation in this game is finding his lost love, Yennifer, and their adopted daughter Ciri. In his quest to see them safe, he’ll traverse the world, and maybe even save it from the titular Wild Hunt.


The first thing which jumps out at you are the visuals, which are among the best I’ve ever seen in a game, particularly a game of this scope. Geralt’s animations - facial, ambulatory and otherwise - are just amazing. The faces in particular are masterpieces, and they’re all done in-engine. The environments sway in the breeze, peasants stroll through town, and birds fly through the forest with a level of verisimilitude that truly draws you into the experience. But the wonderful graphics are only a part of a world which really feels alive. Open world games always try to sell themselves on the vibrancy of their world, but few manage to maintain the illusion for long. Witcher 3 presents an open world which feels more naturalistic than any other I’ve played, and it feeds into the story being presented.


But this is an RPG, which means no matter how good the graphics and story, it still lives and dies by the combat. I can confidently say that the combat in Witcher 3 is good. That sounds like damning with faint praise, but it really isn’t. In battle you have enough options to provide variety in combat, but not so many that you feel lost. It can get a bit repetitive towards the middle of the game, but it never becomes burdensome. On the other hand, the combat isn’t revolutionary either. You fight with a sword (silver for monsters, steel for everyone else), magic and grenades, slashing, parrying and igniting as you go. Enjoyable, but not exceptional.


I don’t want to go into much detail on the story for obvious reasons. But I can say that this is a game where even the side quests have weight. Decisions you make in the course of your quest WILL have ramifications, and a lot of the choices you’re tasked with making are not the clean sort you expect in these games. I’ve long lamented the lack of real choice in games. Most choices you’re presented with are either inconsequential (do I steal the blue gem, or the red?) or absurdly biased (do I murder the innocent babies, or save them?). Witcher 3 presents you with quandaries where all of the choices are just shades of bad. This moral and ethical ruminations may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I love them.


There are a few hiccups. Playing on a decently powerful PC, I’ve suffered a few crashes (albeit thankfully not at critical times) and seen a few framerate stutters. The inventory management system also seems to have been designed by an escaped mental patient. You also have Gwent, an in-game card game which ranges from addictive to annoying and every emotion in between. In the days it took me to write and edit this review I went from loving to hating to tolerating the game. At this moment I’ve settled on it being a decent diversion, but one which I’m not all that eager to return to. All of these are relatively minor quibbles about a truly great game which all of you should play.

Score: (4.5 out of 5 Cogs)


Michael says, "Witcher 3 is a masterpiece of the RPG art. The few tehnical issues won’t keep you from enjoying a truly great game.â€
 

Xerxes

ONE FUCKING BOX
Joined
Sep 30, 2008
Likes
0
Location
HTX
#2
GWENT! Is the best. Love when a new game comes up. The guy at the castle was a bitch to beat tho.

I wish there was a bank or something for items. There may very well be one later on. I'm still in Velen and constantly weighed down by my looting, but mainly this Upgrade-able Witcher gear. I've actually resorted to just destroying some of it. With the diagrams, I can just remake the base version later.

On the decisions; When Geralt gets involved, he always was gives me that "dont get involved" option and I wonder. Should I walk away? What would happen if I do. One time I did and it said the mission failed. How is it a failure if I decided to let things play out. Wild dogs ate me short there after and when I got back I did save the dude although he could have been a piece of shit. Will that come back on me later in the game who knows.

I mean I love this game though. I normally play in like 6-12 hours on weekends but I still have hope I'll finish it. So vast and Velen is still so large. Can't wait to get to the next area.
 

Lekon

Indie Prophet
Joined
Sep 30, 2008
Likes
0
Location
Las Vegas
#3
I'd just like to add a few things playing on the PS4 Version of the game.

Throughout the entire game, I've had zero crashes, no major bugs, and next to now slowdown outside of a few of the bigger fights. That in itself is pretty damn impressive to me on the PS4 hardware for such a beefy game. However, the load times do get a bit on the nerves whenever you bite it due to a monster. Those inventory annoyances seem magnified on the PS4 as well, with having to jump in and out of the menu screens a few times a fight if you're someone who likes going the "chemically enhanced" route.

My own rating for the game would be the same as Dr. Fingers, a 4.5 out of 5 for the PS4 version. If you don't have access to a gaming PC, it's totally worth it to get it on the PS4. You'll get a great looking game, a hell of a story, and a clunky as heck fighting system, but all in all, you're going to be happy you went for the ride.
 

Grifter

The Witchiest
Joined
Oct 1, 2008
Likes
0
Location
Reno, Nevada
#4
I still don't see how the fighting system is in any way "clunky". The inventory system is shit (though it's a bit better with a mouse than with a controller) but the combat is about as smooth as I've ever seen in an open world RPG.
 

OldeWolf

Being Hearing's overrated
Joined
Oct 7, 2008
Likes
0
Location
Twin Cities, MN
#5
I have the options of playing on a PC and Xbox 1. Which would be best recommended? Is the Witcher known for player mods on PC like Skyrim?
 

Shai

Colonist
Joined
Jun 8, 2015
Likes
0
#8
I wish there was a bank or something for items.
Agreed. I know it isn't very witchery, but I'd love to have a base of operations with an upgradeable smith and armorer and a bank. They could have done this with Kaer Mohen and had the first witch you sent there unlock it for you with her teleportation magic, but. . . you know, whatever. It's not there and live goes on.

My only criticism of the game is one I've read other people mention too. . . I don't like that the Witcher's level number is so much more important than your skill level or how you've developed your character. If a monster is 6 or more levels above Geralt then he is monster food. . . it's the game designer's way of steering the player away from "endgame" content and rewards, but I really dislike it. My suggestion to avoid this is to ignore the exploration content and focus purely on story and sidequests that are level appropriate until you are about level 15. Then you should be able to do about 90% of the exploration content, so it won't be as frustrating.

What makes this one of the best games ever is the amazing world-building and attention to detail - especially in the quests. The sidequests are not phoned in but are interesting adventures often with twists. Even the short quests you run into as you travel are there to tell short little stories that effect the world-building.
 
Joined
Sep 30, 2008
Likes
0
Location
Frigid North
#9
Agreed. I know it isn't very witchery, but I'd love to have a base of operations with an upgradeable smith and armorer and a bank. They could have done this with Kaer Mohen and had the first witch you sent there unlock it for you with her teleportation magic, but. . . you know, whatever. It's not there and live goes on.
Agreed. However I've heard that you can dump items on the ground and they will stay there forever, so technically you could find a little shack somewhere and store items. I haven't tried this yet so YMMV.

My only criticism of the game is one I've read other people mention too. . . I don't like that the Witcher's level number is so much more important than your skill level or how you've developed your character. If a monster is 6 or more levels above Geralt then he is monster food. . . it's the game designer's way of steering the player away from "endgame" content and rewards, but I really dislike it. My suggestion to avoid this is to ignore the exploration content and focus purely on story and sidequests that are level appropriate until you are about level 15. Then you should be able to do about 90% of the exploration content, so it won't be as frustrating.
Yesterday I beat a level 29 Golem with my level 21 Geralt. You can absolutely take on tougher enemies if you are clever with combat, potions, oils and bombs. Where I find this doesn't work as effectively is with groups of monsters who are difficult to separate.
 

Shai

Colonist
Joined
Jun 8, 2015
Likes
0
#10
Yesterday I beat a level 29 Golem with my level 21 Geralt. You can absolutely take on tougher enemies if you are clever with combat, potions, oils and bombs. Where I find this doesn't work as effectively is with groups of monsters who are difficult to separate.
Oh. I know you CAN do it. My gripe is in that it isn't a very interesting character development mechanic. I would much prefer if levels didn't have the damage mitigation or amplification modifiers they have now, so that levels weren't about gating content but were just levels.

Character development is going to be a tough row to hoe for them with Geralt because he already has all his abilities. He's an established character and you can't really give him amnesia AGAIN. . . or you could, but that's a dick move. . . so it's kind of "meh". I haven't beaten the game yet, so I can't confirm this and I don't want spoilers, but I heard someone suggest that the next game will allow us to make our own Witcher. Once they do that, then they can give us more options about the kind of Witcher we want to make and how that kind of Witcher plays.
 

muddi900

Blasphemous Outlaw Ranger
Joined
Oct 1, 2008
Likes
16
Location
Houston
#12
Necro and also spoiler:

In Hearts of Stone did you guys save Olgeird or let it go?

Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk
 
Top Bottom