The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Hours of witchcraft

Hours of witchcraft

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26/12/2023 toolmxh.com

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Review game The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Hours of witchcraft

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The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt doesn’t exactly launch into action like its predecessor did. Unlike The Witcher 2, which throws you headfirst into a seductive tale of mystery and treachery, this main quest occasionally feels trite and even pointless. However, every time I ventured off the well-travelled route to create my own path, it transformed into an expansive, thrilling, and wild fantasy roleplaying game, abundant with chances to utilise its superb combat system. I’ve played The Witcher 3 for more than 100 hours, and there’s still so much more I want to discover and hunt.

In terms of RPG mechanics, The Witcher 3 is just as rich and complex as the previous two games in the series, but its enormous open world simultaneously makes that depth more daunting and, ultimately, more satisfying. It is difficult to describe how vast and open this world is. Between ramshackle, loosely connected townships where people are struggling to make ends meet, there are lush, rolling fields liberally dotted with swaying foliage of every shape and size. I’ve never seen an open world with the sense of authenticity that The Witcher 3’s landscape has, thanks to a complete day/night cycle and dynamic weather. Although it may seem like a crutch, the helpful minimap guides you to your desired destination, without which I would have been completely lost. It’s quite an accomplishment that a world this size still feels so full of activities and purpose.

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The technical performance on the PS4 and Xbox One versions is the lone catch to all of that. The Witcher 3’s two main maps have transitions that are a little too long, there are occasionally small glitches, and 30 frames per second is sometimes too much to ask. Nothing about it ever really affected gameplay, but it did slightly lessen the experience’s aesthetic appeal. Fortunately, PC gamers can anticipate much more. Witcher 3 ran at 60 frames per second on ultra settings on a GTX 980 at all times.

Though there are moments of exceptional quality, The Witcher 3’s main story is ultimately the least satisfying aspect of the game due to the new open-world map. One could refer to it as an instance of the Elder Scrolls syndrome. Our story starts with a cross-continental search for Ciri, Geralt’s surrogate daughter, and his long-lost sweetheart, Yennifer. My biggest complaint, though, is that it never really develops into anything more than Geralt running errands for people in exchange for information about Ciri’s whereabouts in the excessively lengthy main story. However, unlike Assassins of Kings, this one feels more like a convoluted pursuit rather than an intriguing puzzle to unravel, even though it effectively maintains a focused and progressive narrative.

There is some emotional payoff along the way, thanks to a tonne of fantastic dialogue and voice acting, but it’s mingled with far too much padding in the form of pointless fetch quests and collectathons. Whenever I thought I was about to stumble upon something interesting, I would have to abruptly halt to guard a goat or look for a lost, comatose dwarf. Heck, sometimes Geralt finds it difficult to conceal his annoyance at the never-ending parade of menial tasks.

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Without the background information provided by the Witcher novels, Ciri remains essentially a stranger until the last quarter of the journey, making it difficult to care about finding her as much as The Witcher 3 expects. As a result, it was challenging to feel as invested in finding her as The Witcher 3 anticipated, particularly given the numerous captivating characters relegated to supporting background roles.

Fortunately, once you go off the beaten path, they all get their chance to shine, and that’s where The Witcher 3 excels almost entirely. Familiar faces from The Witcher 2 return to play a part in Geralt’s search, depending on your choices (which can be conveniently recreated via some dialogue early in the game). Once they have, they offer you a secondary line of quests that usually provide far more interesting scenarios to dabble in. These optional romps include love triangles, unexpected alliances, assassination plots, and underground turf wars. They all feel like they ought to have been a part of the main plot because they are so rich and meaty.

Many of the side missions you find in the field also fit this description. You can pursue a number of monster-hunting Witcher contracts in addition to the numerous standard sidequests, monster lairs, and bandit camps that are liberally scattered throughout The Witcher 3’s enormous land mass. Geralt’s targets include foglets, who hide in dense fog until they have the opportunity to attack, and phantom wraiths, who must be made tangible before you can harm them. This has a double benefit: according to the story, these are your main source of income, which is surprisingly substantial because of the game’s suitably frugal in-game economy.

These hunts and other side pursuits frequently offer fascinating perspectives on a land devastated by conflict and shaped by various factors. The best part is that you belong to those forces. Even though it might not significantly change the outcome of the main story, whenever I went back to locations I had previously visited, I would frequently discover that a seemingly insignificant choice had a significant impact. No paragon, renegade, or morality metre exists. Unlike most games that make similar claims, The Witcher 3’s grayscale world only recognises cause and effect. This means that every choice you make, no matter how small, has the potential to significantly alter the world around you.

Equipment selection and character development have equal influence. The Witcher 3’s role-playing game systems, in my opinion, have been both simplified and more intricate than those of The Witcher 2. However, the outcome is the same in both situations: an improved encounter. Restocking and using potions and oils becomes simpler, and it feels more instantly useful since you don’t need to meditate to do any of it. Although the previous method was more in line with Witcher lore, it is illogical to expect players to foresee and prepare for every scenario they may encounter in advance in a vastly open world. On the other hand, there’s a greater range of potions than ever before that are strong and intriguing, such as ones that significantly improve mounted combat and others that heal you while you cast spells, or signs, as witchers refer to them.

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Speaking of signs, they have been enhanced in every way, including more upgrades and different casting modes, making them useful in every battle. Actually, creating a Geralt that is sign-focused is quite possible. I really played him a lot like a Jedi because of his conversational influence, strong long-range “force” push, and returning ability—which makes returning crossbow bolts much more useful—to reflect them back to the source. The crafting of weapons and armour is just as intricate and subtle as it has always been, if not more so, and the new skill system offers a great deal of flexibility while still rewarding players who wish to min/max for the best builds.

Real-time combat in The Witcher 3 is brutal and responsive, showcasing all of this. Combat in this series has been vague and even a little clunky up until now, but now it’s so fluid and satisfying that I find myself hoping that bandits will jump me so I can use magical barriers to repel their attacks, parry their blows with uncanny precision, and occasionally use gory flourishes to relieve them of life and/or limb. Although the Witcher has always done a fantastic job of giving me the impression that I’ve outwitted my opponents, this is the first time that commanding Geralt feels really awesome after every battle.

Conclusion

Even though the simple, fetch-quest-heavy main story drags on for too long, I could always choose to happily explore a vast, open world when I started to feel exhausted. The many interesting characters that The Witcher 3 has, combined with its great combat and role-playing gameplay, take the game to a level that not many other role-playing games reach. This is true, even though the plot isn’t particularly compelling.

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