ey, I’m Cecil, and this week I’m going to talk to you about the wonderful Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt. This game is a marvel of modern game production, at least in my eyes. Normally open world games are not something I particularly enjoy, but The Witcher 3 has destroyed that. I have sunk so many hours into the game on PS4 and recently just picked it up on PC to sink even more hours into.
The Witcher games are based on a series of novels by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski. The story takes place in a fictional world that somewhat resembles northern Europe and is living and breathing, to a degree at least. The world is in the grips of a war between Nilfgaard and Redania. In between the warring nations, Geralt of Rivia, the protagonist, is searching for his adoptive daughter Cirila. Geralt’s quest takes him all over the land and even to some outlying islands inhabited by Viking-like peoples.
First off, graphics. Even the console versions of this game look gorgeous. The lighting effects are a thing of wonder and the water is brilliantly done for 2015. All the plants look amazing; the grass looks like grass and even the character models look great. All of Geralt’s equipment looks different and many weapons have small differences, like the pommel shape. So much detail went into this game that even the trading card minigame, Gwent, has beautifully detailed cards.
The gameplay of The Witcher 3 is third person action, swing a sword with the push of a button or click of the mouse, another button casts spells, another dodges. Those are the important bits but you have a lot of intricacies to navigate. As you level up you upgrade the potency of certain attacks and can also learn new abilities. Along with the combat, the game includes an in-depth crafting system, where you can produce potions, bombs, armour, weapons and various other useful equipment.
The music and sound of the game is just another collection of joys and wonders. Everything that CD Projekt Red put into the game is nearly perfect. The physical version of the game comes with a CD of the soundtrack, and this disc was in my car's radio for months. It still is when I occasionally listen to it, when not using my aux cable for songs. It's fully orchestrated alongside choral vocals to give a strong fantasy sound that wouldn't be overly out of place in the Lord of the Rings films. The game knows perfectly when to switch tracks to set the right tone for the locations, the battles and even the card minigame has amazing music. For a small studio, CD Projekt Red has done so amazingly well.
The gameplay of The Witcher 3 comes into over 100 hours when you include the DLC, which is 100% worth it and adds so much to the game, nearly doubling its original length from 50 or so hours. With the second DLC even adding in more cards for Gwent, for those that like the minigame collecting side of things. And even if you are not, even just as a minigame, it's incredible.
The game has deep lore and extremely detailed estuary entries for all the monsters you face. The war around the continent feels real, the politics make sense, the people feel real. The game also has some romance in it, and you choose who you want to go with in the end, or both. Just.
Everything about this game is amazing and I can't say anything truly bad about it. It even has a questline involving getting super high on mushrooms and letting the horse do the detective work, it's beautiful.
In case you can't tell, my final takeaway is - go out and play it. Even if you don't like open world games, play it. I didn't like Skyrim or fallout or anything similar, but this is a masterpiece, a work of art.
And that's all I have to say really. Thank you. I've been Cecil, you've been great and I'll see you soon.