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The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt review

Certain games have a big reputation to live up to. People talk them up so much that you often feel that it will be impossible for these titles to live up to their reputation. One genre were this is most prevalent is Fantasy RPG's, were titles such as Skyrim and The Witcher are often talked up long before their release due to their huge scale and high production values. Well, in the case of The Witcher 3, the waiting has ended and the hype has turned to reality.

For those new to The Witcher or RPG's in general, it's worth noting that CD Projekt's The Witcher 3 can be a complicated title to understand. If you haven’t played the previous games, you'll need to know that it throws you into the middle of a story with an already established list of characters with a rather long history and checkered past. Thankfully though, the game does its best to fill you in, with a large focus on back story and it even gives you choices to make based on the previous game, which certainly helps make things a lot clearer when the story really gets going.

One of the first things you’ll notice about The Witcher 3’s story is that it’s a bit like the sum of it’s parts, in that it’s long, drawn out and very detailed. This is certainly not a bad thing of course, because if you love Fantasy RPG’s then the ability to learn the lore and every detail you can is what you are looking for. The Witcher 3 therefore is huge in every way, from all the information it provides you with to the massive open world, which seems to go on forever, with its endless paths, countless towns to explore, a full day/night cycle and dynamic weather. It’s a beautiful and incredibly impressive game and the more you play, the more you’ll never want to leave.

If you have read my previous article, then you’ll already have an idea as to the opening of the story, but there is just so much to find out and investigate that I’d literally need to write a novel just to cover it all. Each character you meet has a different tale to tell and that generally involves you helping them out in some way in order to get the information you need. That information will lead you to those you seek, be it Geralt’s ex-girlfriend Yennefer or Ciri, the latter of which you’ll even get to play as at certain points of the story. There is just so much depth and adventure to be had that you’ll likely spend countless hours off the beaten path, before getting back to the main quest.

Those who don’t care that much for Fantasy RPG’s may not like the fact that The Witcher 3 has fetch quest syndrome, in other words, if you want something, then generally you’ll be running an errand or killing something in exchange. This is a major issue with most RPG’s, although at least The Witcher 3 seems to mix things up a little and makes it interesting. No mission really feels the same and as you are exploring you’ll generally find out something new or at least find some fantastic new pieces of equipment to use or a hideous creature to keep you on your toes.

The Witcher 3 seems to have amazing dialogue and voice acting wherever you go. So even if you are in the middle of nowhere on the map, you’ll still come across interesting characters who’ll grab your attention. Sure you might be having to fetch their goat or play hide and seek with children to get information that you need, but at least things are kept interesting thanks to their unique character.

There’s an unbelievable amount of content to be getting on with. Quests not only come from main characters, but you’ll also find numerous via the notice boards which can be found in most towns. These will have you monster-hunting, finding people’s long lost sibling and all sorts. Of course the best part is when you are sent out into the unknown to take out all manner of creatures and there are a lot, believe me. Geralt’s options menu even comes with a Bestiary so that you can keep track of them all. From wraiths, to bears, botchings, werewolves, griffins and more, the list really is as frightening as it is endless.

As you would expect, combat against creatures and humans is pretty free flowing as Geralt, rolls, parries and slashes his way out of situations. Often it’s nice just to take a back step and let his sign casting do the talking, hitting the enemies with traps to slow them down or blasting them with a wave of fire. At other times, it’s good to go all in, hitting the enemy with all you can muster, although you'll need to beware as most creatures are no slouches and therefore your health will disappear quickly if you don’t defend yourself well enough. 

The Witcher 3 is an RPG, so as Geralt fights his way through the game, he’ll gain experience points, allowing him to grow stronger, while allowing you to focus on the areas you enjoy, be that potion making, combat, spell casting or another area. Points are made available to spend on Geralt’s skills each time he levels up, which means you can customise him any way you like.
Another way you can customise Geralt is by spending some of your hard earned cash on new armour, weapon upgrades or equipment. There are many talented crafts people and merchants throughout the lands, so you won’t be short on places to spend your hard earned cash. Or you could just go to the tavern, which always welcomes a few coins.

I’m not going to pretend that I’ve even seen a third of The Witcher 3 yet, because I haven’t. There is still plenty of story, land and adventure for me to explore and many surprises will lie in wait. However, I couldn’t wait to tell you what a fantastic game The Witcher 3 is. You really shouldn’t waste another minute on trying to decided whether to buy it or not, because CD Projekt Red’s latest is a masterpiece and no doubt a huge contender for Game of The Year.

Words by Joe Anderson
Twitter: @_wotta | PSN/XBLA: wotta

(Version Tested: PS4)


+ Great Voice Acting
+ Huge Open World to Explore
+ Fantastic Combat
+ Moving Soundtrack
+ Wonderful, detailed story and characters
+ Looks amazing


- Some people may not like fetch quests


We have not actually finished The Witcher 3 at the time of writing, so this article should serve as a initial view of how we feel. Should our feelings change we will update this article.

Edited On 18 May, 2015

( 2 )
Turniplord's avatar
Turniplord 1 year ago
Been a long time since I've played an RPG without fetch quests :( "I have this sword you have been looking for, it will kill the guy you need to kill, only this weapon will hurt him", "Can i have it?", "Sure - after you fetch this, kill these and spin 3 times singing the power rangers theme!" - they do get annoying but they pad the game out in-between story points
listerdaleo's avatar
listerdaleo 1 year ago
Very good game. enjoying it alot. Agree with all review aswell. but like to mention amazing graphics.. its done a watch dogs on us though im afraid, but still looks good to me. just not excellent as previewed.

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