This game is mind-boggling good. It’s not often that I dish out such high praise but truly, The Witcher 3 is incredible. I deliberately picked it up a few weeks after it’s release; I’ve had mixed experiences with the Witcher series, finding the first to be so-so and greatly enjoying the second. So, I waited for the first reviews to trickle in.
I’d heard the praises about the versatile story as well the praises about the superb world, ripe for exploring yet I still remained skeptical. To be totally frank, many games claim to have a versatile, “up-to-you” story but many actually don’t. Sure, we’ve seen games like Mass Effect that offer a few various possible story arcs, but rarely does the gameplay plot greatly vary depending on your decisions. Even The Walking Dead, renowned for this gameplay element, often just subs one character in for another based on your choices, with the actual adventure ultimately remaining the same. And, while I don’t think The Witcher 3 has totally perfected this system, I truly believe that it has come far closer than any other game. As I’ve been playing, I’ve discussed the differing decisions my friends and I have made and I’m amazed at the various different quest lines we’ve encountered. For example, I encountered a certain creature with ambiguous intentions imprisoned inside of giant tree and I was faced with the decision of either slaying it or letting it free. Well, I didn’t quite trust this “fellow” on the basis that he appeared pretty frightening, so I took it upon myself to chop up his face. Now, I think I might come to regret this decision because a friend took the opposite route and has encountered a whole new path because of it. Similar situations frequently arise and it’s gameplay like this that blows my mind.
This game is stellar.
The world is immense and the creatures are fantastical but the Witcher‘s most notable attribute is its storytelling. There are no simple fetch-quests – you are never required to simple “kill 10 rats”. Everything is incredibly story-driven, a feature other open-world games (like Skyrim) often lack. In one of my recent binge sessions, I snagged what I assumed to be a basic monster hunting contract that quickly evolved into a tale that was at least 2.5 hours long. That’s a pretty hefty chunk of time for a side quest.Both the voice-acting and facial animations are also top-knotch and I have taken to speaking with Geralt of Rivia’s sarcastic and gravelly growl in my everyday conversations. I’ve found myself delving into The Witcher 3 for hours at a time, completely invested in Geralt’s enterprises and quandaries. Thus, The Witcher 3 has created somewhat of a black hole in my life wherein I neglect both other games as well as my responsibilities as a real person. The Steam Summer Sale is happening right now and frankly, it hardly concerns me, because I’m quite confident I’ll be playing this game far into the summer. TL;DR? Buy this game. It’s pretty damn impressive.
It’s also really really pretty.