The Witcher 3 is an action-adventure RPG set in a fantasy world. Looking at the game’s website, it boasts over 100 hours of gameplay, and that’s not including the side quests or the New Game + mode. It feels like a very long game with a lot of content, but I’ve already put 70 hours into the game. I’d say that the main story took me around 40 hours to complete, but it was easy to spend more time doing other things. For example, I spent 30 more hours trying to find every monster trophy in the game so I could craft better armor and weapons for Geralt—the main character you play as.
Genres: Open world, Action role-playing game, Fighting game, Action-adventure game, Nonlinear gameplay
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The graphics are awesome. They make even small villages feel like real places with lots of personality. The combat is fluid, but can be challenging if you’re not used to playing RPGs. It’s just as fun when you’re fighting enemies one on one as it is when you have to fight 20 of them at once.
The music is great and helps set the tone for many scenes throughout the game. It sounds medieval and really fits with the setting of this game.
I’ve been a fan of the Witcher series since about 2008, when I finished The Witcher and started reading the second book in Andrzej Sapkowski’s series of fantasy novels. I haven’t played any of the games yet though, so when I was given the opportunity to review The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt on my blog, I was pretty excited.
When I started playing the game-which is set in a medieval world full of magic and monsters-I was immediately impressed with how good it looked. The soundtrack is also superb and goes well with gameplay (and most importantly, Geralt’s voice actor). Things even got better when I started playing the game for myself. The gameplay is challenging but not overly difficult, which keeps me motivated to keep playing so that I can get better at it (and also for fun). It’s been a couple weeks since I started playing, and I’m still enjoying every moment of it.
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I’m very glad that I accepted this review opportunity and am now able to play one of my favorite books’ video game adaptations!
The Witcher 3 is the first game in CD Projekt RED’s series of RPGs based on the works of Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski, in which you play as an amnesiac Witcher named Geralt of Rivia. Having already played through the first two games, it was nice to see the evolution of the series from a more simplistic character-based game to one with a complex plot and interesting characters.
The Witcher 3 is set on the Continent (the part of the world not dominated by humans), which has been ravaged by war for many years. The Northern Kingdoms have been at war with Nilfgaard for decades, and their leaders are now trying to end it once and for all. The Empire of Nilfgaard, however, is not about to give up its territory so easily, so it comes down again to your character to make all the difference. The game begins during a bloody battle between the two armies that sets the tone for what is yet to come: a constant state of war and horror that persists through many parts of the story.
The gameplay starts out fairly simply, but as you progress you’ll notice that there are layers upon layers of complexity that become more evident as you get deeper into the game.
The Witcher 3 is a masterful example of how to create an engrossing gaming experience. It’s more than just a mindless hack and slash: the combat is complex and requires tactical skill, the storyline is immersive and keeps you invested in your character’s growth, and the world itself feels alive with multiple stories happening in many different locations all at once.
While there are some technical issues to be worked out, I found myself so wrapped up in the story that I almost didn’t notice. The only significant downside is that there is a lot of dialogue (with great voice acting) and it can take some time to get through which might turn off people who don’t care for lots of reading. But if you’re looking for a game that will keep you coming back for hours every day, this one is for you!
While the story itself is engaging, what really makes the game stand out is its attention to detail. The graphics are gorgeous; in fact, they’re so beautiful that my computer struggled to run them at maximum settings. The soundtrack is also great—it’s immersive and emotional without being distracting from the action on-screen. And then there’s the combat: visceral and fast-paced, but with an elegance to it that makes every battle feel intense and meaningful—there’s something about pressing your sword against your enemy’s neck and watching his blood spill out onto the ground that just gives you this thrill of victory. One of my favorite things about this game is that when you’re faced with certain death (and you will be), you only get one chance to save yourself—there are no checkpoints here.
As the concluding chapter in a trilogy that began with 2007’s The Witcher and continued in 2011’s The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, The Witcher 3 takes place after years of relative peace for Geralt of Rivia (with whom you’ll be spending quite a bit of time). While the game does an excellent job setting up the conflict early on, it’s difficult to express just how huge and open this world is: verdant, rolling fields liberally dotted with swaying foliage of every shape and size fill the space between loosely connected, ramshackle townships where people struggle to scrape by. A full day/night cycle and dynamic weather pull it all together, cementing this epic as one of the most beautiful games ever made.
The most striking aspect of the game is its presentation. It was clearly designed with next-generation hardware in mind, as evidenced by jaw-dropping vistas that stretch for miles in any direction, drawing your eyes away from the main path and into a world that feels alive with activity. The effect is magnified when you take into account the sheer scope of the environments—you can see distant villages in the distance that you can choose not to visit, but they give an added sense of scale.
Geralt of Rivia, the game’s main character, is a professional monster hunter, known as a witcher. Witchers are trained from birth to be able to use magic in order to help them fight monsters that plague the land. The world of The Witcher 3 is very much affected by monsters; some towns are built on top of ruins for safety (and to give you access to treasure chests), and people regularly go missing in the woods.
The game starts with Geralt waking up from what appears to be a significant amount of time in a ditch, without his memories or his trusty steed, Roach. He has to figure out what happened and why he can’t remember anything, all while trying to find out who he really is. Along the way, you’ll meet several people who know him—and some who despise him—and you’ll work your way through side quests as you try to figure out exactly how Geralt got into his current situation.
This is an open world game, so you can expect to spend a lot of time exploring the vast lands that constitute the Northern Kingdoms. If you’re not familiar with The Witcher series, this is a fantasy world where dragons and elves coexist with humans and dwarves in an uneasy alliance. That’s all well and good, but here’s the problem: there’s a lot of fluff distracting from the main story in this game, which is full of great characters, memorable moments, and rewarding combat. I found myself spending more time on side quests than I wanted to in order to level up enough to face the next big baddie.
There are also a ton of collectibles to find—you can use them by turning in sets for some extra goodies or by crafting special items. It’s an interesting system that rewards players who want to explore every nook and cranny of the game world, but it can also feel like busywork if you aren’t into that sort of thing. It was hard for me when I was playing to get too invested in these activities because they didn’t advance the story—I just had to keep doing them because I needed more experience points.
With the freedom to explore an enormous map full of villages, dungeons, and monster nests, you’d think there would be tons to see and do. The main story doesn’t take long to complete, but most players will spend well over 100 hours just completing all the side quests. This is thanks in part to the way the game pushes you into doing as many side quests as possible by making them the only way to earn money once your purse runs out.
Once you’ve hit level 30 (which takes about 45 hours) this mechanic goes away and you can freely explore the world without any restrictions on what quests you want to do. If you want to stay under level 30 for as long as possible so that enemies don’t chew through your armor like tissue paper then you may feel compelled to focus on side quests simply because there aren’t any other good options for earning money once you run out.
As I’ve stated before, the Witcher series has always been a bit of a strange duck. Its titles have always managed to mix action and RPG elements in ways that are uncommon and create a unique experience for players. On one hand, Geralt is a hero who can rambo his way through armies of monsters and soldiers alike. On the other hand, he frequently finds himself having to do an awful lot of tedious quests, like hunting down an angry dwarf’s missing daughter. The developers at CD Projekt Red balance these two aspects of the game with varying degrees of success.