04th Jun2015

‘The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt’ Review (PC)

by Paul Metcalf


When games suffer long delays the worry tends to set in.  The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was arguably one of the biggest releases for the so-called next generation of gaming, but with the release date constantly changing the question seemed to change from how good it would be, to what would we finally get in the end? Luckily for us The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is proof that some delays can be positive and help to make a game that is something truly special.

Although the events at the start of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt continue from the second game it is easy to fall into the action if you are a new player.  I’ve played the first two games but never really put that much time into it, so it was a welcome discovery that the game is so easy to get back into.  When Geralt dreams that Ciri, a young Witcher he helped train is in danger he decides to track her down, first searching out Yennefer a sorceress to aid him in his quest.  When he tracks her down he soon finds himself enlisted not only to find Ciri but to do so before The Wild Hunt beat him to it.

Giving only minimal plot details away is important for the game because it really has to be experienced and not spoilt in a review.  When the game starts you are gradually welcomed into an open world environment where you can choose exactly what path you will take.  There is a certain level of guidance of your actions but there is also that ability to just walk off into the wilderness, though you will soon pay for that mistake.

As with many other roleplaying games Geralt has to level up and strengthen.  In a world where there are plenty of challenges that are at a level way above his ability at the start it is important to know which fights to pick.  Picking fights he is not ready for is when you’ll find the challenge just a little too hard to handle.  Further into the game though I did find that if this happens you can battle through, making sure that the mission is completed.  Choices made can lead to actual failed challenges so it is important to make the correct choices.

When looking at this review I decided that I wanted to get the story missions done, with an aim to complete the game as quickly as possible and then get to this review.  Having managed to do that it’s taken about a week and there is still plenty of missions left to do.  This is something that I know I will be doing, not just to try to get the game fully complete but to actually enjoy the stories that come with the missions.

The missions are a real strength of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt with each feeling like a story within itself.  Rather than just being “go get a piece of meat to feed me” there feels to be an actual story, even when it is simply a contract to kill a monster.  Often this beast is given a history and work has to be done to find a weakness.  One thing I will admit though is that by the end of the story missions I was looking forward to finally getting to the end.  There was a feeling that certain missions were dragging the game’s length just a little too long.  The end is satisfying enough though for this to be forgiven.

The world that Geralt travels in is a true thing of beauty.  On the PC which is my platform of choice even at lower settings the graphics are very impressive, but this does ask or a powerful machine even at minimum specifications.  I found on a fairly old quad-core PC though with a Geforce GTX 750 graphics card had enough power to play the game at an acceptable frame rate and with an immersive experience.  There were certain glitches but I chose to accept them as they didn’t get in the way of my enjoyment.

Before The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt came out I was obsessed with Dragon Age: Inquisition, having completed it I was mopping up the missions that I’d left undone.  While Inquisition is a very good game, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt does eclipse it as being the best roleplaying game so far in this generation of games.  I don’t often say the words “Game of the Year” so soon in the year, but the fact is The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has set the bar for that title high.  Will any other game steal that crown? I hope it will because that will mean that 2015 has been a brilliant year for some truly great games.

***** 5/5

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is out now on PC, Xbox One and Playstation 4.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek

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