Why The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will be GOTY 2015
Can The Witcher 3 weather the storm of significant opposition?
First things first, let's get this out of the way: yes, I have heard of a little game called Bloodborne and yes I have heard the rumours of an imminent announcement for Fallout 4 at E3 this year. Despite this, I still firmly believe that The Witcher will rise above all else and be crowned the top game of 2015.
"Why?" You might ask, well...
What will make The Witcher 3 stand out in a year that looks set to become more and more competitive as we head towards the festive season? The first thing that will set Wild Hunt apart from the rest is that it is building off a much stronger lore and story than any of its rivals. Sure, Arkham Knight will have plenty to keep comic fans happy, but there's simply no way it will tell a story as effectively or with as much detail as the guys over at CD Projekt Red.
Geralt's pursuit of his lost love Yennifer has enthralled fans so far, and with The Witcher 3 having a significantly larger audience this time round, I'm sure the developers won't leave us disappointed.
After the story there of course comes the world in which it is set, and from the footage we have seen so far Wild Hunt looks set to be one of the most lively, atmospheric and detailed worlds most gamers will have ever set foot in.
Don't get me wrong here I'm sure Fallout 4 if it finally hits this year will have an outstanding world to explore, but I just don't think Bethesda specialise in making a densely-packed, lively environment, and of course in the event of nuclear war that wouldn't really fit in anyway.
From gameplay of early builds, we immediately see that the Witcher 3 looks gorgeous, both on consoles and PC with the latter having a slight edge. I'm certain that this will be the game that starts to push the current generation of consoles towards their yet undetermined limits with exceptional lighting and character models.
A further visual feature that looks set to break new ground is the animations of Geralt's swordplay. The Witcher 2 had exceptional combat animations and, from what has been seen so far, Wild Hunt seems to reach new heights and bring us sword-based combat that may even be comparable to the currently unrivalled sword combat of 2014's Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor.
Gameplay looks to be a huge amount of fun this time round, with enough dismemberment and gore to satisfy even the most bloodthirsty among us.
Overhauled combat and magic system
The magic system also looks to have been overhauled with different ways of casting each sign as you upgrade them throughout the game, thankfully dodging looks to finally be integrated into the game properly, so that all of us who spent many an hour rolling around the battlefields of The Witcher 2 will finally have some scope to stand our ground and eliminate the AI in a wide variety of ways.
To expand on the points made about combat improvements, it is also worth noting that the third installment will again include the incredibly detailed bestiary which provides vital strategies and weaknesses that could turn that particularly tricky foe into a walk in the park, a layer of strategy that adds another level of satisfaction Geralt's monster slaying exploits.
Wild Hunt looks set to become one of the defining games of its genre, improving in all the areas that were weakest in its prequels. It also looks to offer us better combat, graphics and details than last year's GOTY winner Dragon Age Inquisition, leading me to think that its only real competition will be from Fallout 4... if F4 manages to release this year, of course. I am confident that even Bethesda's best efforts will not stop this titan of a game from earning the crown it deserves.
Now, all that's left is to curl up and hibernate until the 19th when I'm sure we will be treated to something really special. Come on CD Projekt Red, don't make me look a fool.
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