Witcher 3 Delivers! I've Never Had This Much Fun Fighting, in a Witcher game.
The reviews on game sites are right. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt deserves the high marks it gets. It is excellent in almost every way. From the moment I started the game, I was pulled in and impressed. How and why, might you ask? It does everything right that the first two games did and improves on them. Any mistakes the previous games made are essentially gone.
Apparently, the development team worked very hard in the last 3 weeks before the game's release. They wanted to get it right. They worked 60-80 hour weeks just before release to make sure they released a worthy sequel to their previous games. It shows too!
If there were things you did not like about the previous 2 games, in terms of gameplay. Those things have been improved on this time. The engine feels so fluid and precise this time around, compared to the last two games. I always liked the simplicity of the Witcher game's engines.
No complicated button memorizing or stupid key mashing sequences. It's mostly mouse based and does not take long to master. It is actually somewhat easier to use than its predecessors. Not dumbed down mind you, just better.
I like games with a low learning curve in terms of keyboard and mouse actions, because I play a lot of games and I hate trying to remember too many keys, combos etc. The developers really could not have done better in that regard.
It feels similar to the Batman Arkham Asylum style of combat. Simple to use, but cool looking too. It feels like the previous 2 games, style wise, but improved. It's not as "wonky" feeling as the previous 2 games. The combat feels more polished this time around. I have never had this much fun, fighting a Griffin. You have to use a combination of crossbow and sword to take it down, as he dives at you or snaps at you from the ground.
Graphics and Sound:
In a word, perfection. The graphics, music and sound are top notch. Better than its predecessors. The graphics are not photorealistic mind you, or have super fancy hair effects and such, like the new Tomb Raider. They are gorgeous though and they get the job done, more than adequetly. The environments are really detailed, and the weather effects are very well done. The way trees get blown around in the wind looks very realistic.
Shadows and light rays etc. are done to the highest of standards, yet the game runs very smoothly for such detail. The only complaint I have is that the dialogue during cut scenes is a little out of sync sometimes with the character's lip movements. Other than that it is near perfection. The music is the kind of thing you can listen to for hours and it's not annoying.
If you want an idea of just how vast this world is. Think of other games of this type such as the recent Dragon Age game or Elder Scrolls titles. This is a huge world. From dense forests, to beautiful cities, to barren landscapes to dark dungeons. It's all good and it drives you to explore more. Attention to detail shines in Witcher 3. Things feel hand placed rather than generated.
GUI and Menus:
The graphical user interface has always been a pet peeve with me in Witcher games. It could have been better in previous games in the series. They finally got it right in this game. Whatever issues I had with it's complex navigation before, are gone in this sequel.
The menus and GUI are easy to navigate and use this time around. It is as deep as it always was, just laid out a whole lot better. Crafting feels improved and simpler and quickly changing Witcher powers is easier than ever. Again, it is not "dumbed down" just better laid out and more fluid. I really have no complaints about it.
Story and Quests:
About the only complaint I have heard is that there are a lot of "fetch and grab quests" to which I say, whatever. What game doesn't have them? At least, the fetch and grab quests are interesting in this game. There is a good story behind each one it seems. If there is anything I could say story wise about this game, in one word, it would be "engaging".
If you like cut scenes (cinematics) then this game probably has more than you have ever seen. Even for the side quests. Cinematics galore! This adds to the interest and fun of doing these quests and gives you a little break from the action. I feel like a detective during many quests. Using clues to find out what to do, or where to go next.
I have always said that no matter how good a game is in every other area. If it does not have an engaging story, good characters or something to drive you forward, then it is dead in the water.
If the game gets a little dry at any point (which it does periodically and no game is immune to this) you can wander off in this beautiful and huge open world and do a few side quests. Interesting ones too. Something the previous Witcher games seemed to lack. Not enough open world exploration. That is not the case in Witcher 3.
I will not get into the story/synopsis too much in this review, because it is deep and I could write a whole review just on it alone. It is as deep or deeper than any similar RPG these days. It deserves to be in the company of greats like Elder Scrolls or Dragon Age games. It can hold its own with those games any day of the week. It is poised to be a legendary game in that regard.
The game's story is set in the aftermath of the events of The Witcher 2. The plot has several storylines. The two main ones being the Nilfgaard's invasion into the Kingdoms, and Geralt's quest to eliminate the Wild Hunt and monsters roaming the lands. There is even a love element, with Geralt's quest to locate Yennifer. There are plenty of laughs and interesting characters to interact with in even the most mundane of quests. Nothing feels terribly boring in this game, especially for it's sheer size.
The dialogue options are what you have come to expect in Witcher games or other RPG's. The voice acting is first rate, with lots of different characters, sporting different accents and quirks. It adds greatly to immersion and gives you more of a sense of adventure.
It is as close to perfection as this series has ever come. Even horse back riding and horse mounted combat are done right. I can find no glaring faults or even minor ones to take away points from this title other than a kind of convoluded story in some parts. With the latest patches whatever was wrong got fixed. I can see myself investing some hours in this title and enjoying every minute of it. I have had a lot of fun with it so far.