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About the product
- In the past he has raised and overthrown monarchs, battled legendary monsters and saved the lives of many. Now Geralt embarks on his most personal quest to save his loved ones and protect the world from an ancient threat.
- The story is drawn based on player decisions. Each action will have consequences which change the story and the game world. NPCs, communities, monsters and locations all change, based on player choice.
- The Witcher 3 is standalone adventure, easily entered into by new players. Witcher fans will find subtle references to their adventures, but these elements are not necessary to enjoy the game fully.
- A breathtaking cinematic introduction demonstrating the game background - this puts players immediately in the know about the situation in the war-ravaged Northern Kingdoms and the background story of the main character.
- Unique atmosphere, memorable characters and gritty dialog - the game world has its own unique feel. It is a classic dark fantasy tale that will appeal to fans of all kinds of fantasy stories.
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From the manufacturer
Trained from early childhood and mutated to gain superhuman skills, strength and reflexes, witchers are a distrusted counterbalance to the monster-infested world in which they live.
Gruesomely destroy foes as a profession monster hunter armed with a range of upgradable weapons, mutating potions and combat magic.
Hunt down a range of exotic monsters from savage beast prowling the mountain passes to cunning supernatural predators lurking in the shadows of densely populated towns.
Invest your rewards to upgrade your weaponry buy custom armor, or spend them away in horse races, fist fighting and other pleasures the night brings.
Built for endless adventure, the massive open world of The Witcher sets new standards in terms of size, depth and complexity.
Traverse a fantastical open world: explore forgotten ruins, caves and shipwrecks, trade with merchants and dwarven smiths in cities, and hunt across the open plains, mountains and seas.
Deal with the treasonous generals, devious witches corrupt royalty to provide dark and dangerous services.
Make choices go beyond good and evil and face their far-reaching consequences.
Take the most important contract to track down the child of prophecy, a key to save or destroy this world.
In times of war, chase down the child of prophecy, a living weapon of foretold ancient elven legends.
Struggle against ferocious rulers, spirits of the wilds and even a threat from beyond the veil – all hell-bent on controlling this world.
Define your destiny in a world that may not be worth saving.
Built exclusively for next generation hardware, the REDengine 3 renders the world of The Witcher visually nuanced and organic, a real true to life fantasy.
Dynamic weather systems and day/night cycles affect how the citizens of the towns and the monsters of the wilds behave.
Rich with storyline choices in both the main and subplots, this grand open world is influenced by the player unlike every before.
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I'm looking forward to playing all the DLC and playing through the whole game again, I'm not ready to be done yet!
I am a Bethesda fanboy so I hate comparing games to the Elder Scrolls series in terms of how another game stacks up against it. So I will say this, Witcher 3 is by far the best third person RPG I have ever played. CD Projekt Red knocks it out of the park with this game. In an age where games are pushed out half completed, it is refreshing to have a game developer take their time and deliver a home run product from the moment you open the wrapper. Do you remember what it was like to open a game case and have it contain more than just the game itself? You may have to think back several years. That’s why I was shocked when I opened the case and, along with the game itself, it contained a thick manual, a map of the game world, a thank you from CD Projekt Red, and a few other goodies. It took me back to my younger days in a good, nostalgic kind of way.
Before I begin my in-depth review, I feel I should state my Witcher series background as a point of reference. I never played Witcher 1 (although I read a quick summary before I began W3). I did play Witcher 2 but, to be quite honest, I never really got that into it. So my review comes as someone who isn’t a biased fanboy, but someone who was actually looking for ways to not like it. And so we begin…
I’ve read some reviews where the combat was given a poor score as an ‘X’ and ‘Y’ button masher. This couldn’t be farther from the truth, in my opinion. You have your two basic light and heavy attacks, sure, but there is so much else that goes into the combat. Each monster in the game has a unique style of fighting and you must change your fighting style accordingly. Some monsters have quick attacks so it is best to fast attack them because if you try to heavy attack they will hit you before you swing and cancel your attack. Some creatures are slower to attack so you can afford that extra time to hit them with a heavy attack and deal more damage. You can block (some) attacks with a parry. Others you have to backstep or roll away from. With dozens of enemies comes dozens of combat strategies.
I haven’t even began to talk about using signs (magic abilities) and preparing for combat with blade oils and potions. Monsters each have weaknesses to certain oils and signs, which are fortunately kept in a Beastiary glossary on the menu screen in case you forget (which is easy to do since there are dozens of unique monsters). If you’re playing on easier difficulties, preparing before entering combat isn’t as important. But if you’re playing on one of the harder difficulties, preparing before battle becomes vital. There are blade oils for each species of monster that you can apply to your weapons that increase damage. Oh yeah, did I mention that there are about a dozen unique bombs and a crossbow at your disposal as well?
The movement is weird to get used to at first because Geralt doesn’t react immediately after giving him a command. You know, like a real person. Once you get used to it it’s not so bad and I actually prefer it now. With the v1.07 patch, a more reactive movement option was added as an alternative that you can switch to in the Options menu. I used it for about 10 minutes and had to switch back because it didn’t seem as real. The only time when I don’t like the less reactive movement is when I’m in a confined space.
The underwater swimming movement was horrid at first but a patch seems to have corrected it some. It’s still not perfect, but it’s better than it was. It’s easy to get caught swimming in circles underwater and almost drowning.
It’s been a LONG time since I’ve been as immersed into a game’s story as I have with W3. There are some recurring characters from previous games, so I recommend reading the Wikipedia plot summary if you haven’t played them, but it is not make-or-break to enjoy this game. Apart from the main quest, there are countless side quests. It’s such a great feeling to open the quest log and see 20-30 quests sitting in there. I won’t divulge too much information because it’s hard to do so without giving away spoilers. But there are certain quests that will leave you emotionally drained. I got so invested and emotionally attached to some quests and characters that I was left empty when it was done, and not all of them have happy endings. That is the mark of truly great storytelling. The game also has great replayability because there are 36 different endings that your actions throughout the game determine. I’m currently 100 hours into my second playthrough and it’s like I’m playing the game for the first time because I’m, for the most part, taking different routes on quests that will change the ending.
The W3 world is enormous! Easily the most expansive world I’ve ever experienced. On their Wikipedia page, it’s described as 30 times larger than previous Witcher games and 20% larger than Skyrim. That should give you a scale to realize how large this world is. I’ve played Dragon Age: Inquisition which is possibly close to the size of the W3 world (hard to compare since DA:I was several separate regions), but in Inquisition it annoyed me at how large the world was. By the end of the game I was so sick of exploring and hated it when I looked at the world map and realized I still had 3 or 4 more regions to explore. This never happened in W3. There are so many villages, caves, camps, monster nests, and many other things to explore. Despite that, I never felt that it became redundant. I had just as much fun clearing the last cave as I did the first one. The only reason I took 1 star off is because there isn’t an abundant amount of diversity of the landscapes. Of the two main areas, one is a snowy, mountainous region and the other is a sprawling grassland with forests and swamps.
Obviously, difficulty is a hard topic to review because there are 4 different difficulty settings and everyone prefers something different. On my first playthrough I played on the second easiest difficulty. The early parts of the game are tough as you get used to the controls, learn what combat strategy to use against different monsters and people, and as you don’t have many upgraded abilities. Once you get into the groove of things and start upgrading your character, weapons, and armor, it becomes quite easy, in my opinion. On my current playthrough, I’m playing on the hardest difficulty and it’s made the game even more fun. The early game is extremely tough, especially since meditating (in game waiting) doesn’t replenish lost health (which it does in the easier difficulties). But once you get start building your character, it becomes easier and less frustrating while still maintaining enough difficulty to keep combat interesting. On the easier difficulty by mid-game I found myself consistently fighting monsters 10+ levels above me, simply because I could. On the hardest difficulty I would get my face stomped in if I did that. It keeps the combat exciting. If I were to give a suggestion, I would recommend playing on the second hardest difficulty on your first playthrough.
RPG Aspects (Character leveling, abilities, crafting, etc.): 10/10
Trust me, there are enough RPG elements to keep you interested for the long haul. What I loved about the character leveling is when you reach a certain level (not sure which), the experience needed to get Geralt to the next level is capped at 2000 XP points. So instead of leveling up quickly at the beginning of the game and grinding for a bazillion XP points to increase one level in the later game, it allows you to continue leveling up throughout the game. We all know that slight feeling of excitement when you hit a new character level. This allows for you to keep experiencing that throughout the entire game. There are three main areas to spend your ability points: combat, signs, and alchemy. Each area has 5 sub-areas to spend points on. For example, in the combat tree you can spend points on upgrading fast attack, heavy attack, your crossbow, adrenaline points, and combat defense. You won’t have enough ability points to upgrade them all, which helps the replayability factor. In my first playthrough I wielded light armor and primarily used fast attacks (as light armor offers benefits to fast attack). In my current playthrough I am wielding heavy armor and primarily using heavy attacks (heavy armor benefits heavy attacks). It lets you play the game in an entirely different way. As far as crafting, I don’t even want to venture a guess on how many armor, weapon, bomb, oil, and potion recipes there are. Hundreds upon hundreds. Heck, you can even craft the ingredients that you need to craft the items. You’ll just have to take my word for it that you won’t be disappointed in a lack of crafting.
In an age where game developers are pushing out broken content once a year to maximize revenue, it’s refreshing and I appreciate that CD Projekt Red took the time and spent the money to develop a game that is truly one of the best ever released. If you don’t believe me, Google “Witcher 3 reviews” and check out the scores that is was given from gaming websites that criticize games to their bone. In fact, Gamestop awarded Witcher 3 a perfect score, making it one of 9 games EVER to receive that honor. I can’t gush enough about this game. Years from now I will look back on this game as one of the select few to make my personal list of “favorite games ever.” CD Projekt Red has gained another follower and I will most certainly be anxiously their next release. Do yourself a favor and pick up your copy as soon as possible.
My only 'complaint' is the crafting. I wish it was easier to compare armor/weapon plans with gear you are currently using and that there was better explanations in-game on crafting components. It isn't clear all the time if that item is useful or if you should dismantle it. I find that I need to hop onto Wiki pages to find this out. Not enough of a complaint to take a star off though.
Overall this is a great game and I am happy I purchased it. It is also extremely refreshing how focused the developers are on providing an enjoyable gaming experience to their gamers. 16 free DLC's is awesome and the game came very polished. Not like many games today that need patches soon after release and require paid-for DLC's not long after release as well.