One of the most anticipated role playing games of the year has finally released and the thrilling conclusion to the Witcher series is upon us. The world of the Witcher is a dark and brooding world where monsters run free and people die by the droves. The world is a difficult place to thrive and people will do whatever it takes to get some hope in a place where hope runs thin. It is this world that grabbed fantasy rpg fans and refused to let go. Many gamers considered the Witcher games to be the finest Western RPGs around which just builds on the anticipation of this game even more. Thankfully, the team at CD Project RED took their time and made the game that fans want and expected. The Witcher 3 is the epitome of RPG excellence and is as good of an RPG as you’ll find today. With tons of action, story and interesting characters and worlds, it is easy to see what this game is a must own for all gamers. However, if you need more convincing, continue to the rest of the review.
The Witcher 3 revolves around the story of Geralt of Rivia, a Witcher by trade, who travels around the world slaying monsters for a fee. While this doesn’t seem like it is a hard thing to do, Witchers are the only people proven to have the skills to do it. This makes this group of hunters widely sought after and a necessary evil in the world. At the same time, Geralt’s daughter-figure Ciri has gone missing for some time and Geralt is looking for a reunion. Finally, an evil force called the wild hunt is ravaging the countryside leaving death and destruction in its wake. Geralt plays a central role in all these main story lines and these stories portray a dark, desperate world on the brink of destruction looking to grasp at any glimmer of hope. No game before has successfully captured this feeling, yet The Witcher 3 does an amazing job of making you feel the weight of Geralt’s world and proves to be a masterpiece of storytelling in games. If you ever wanted more from the story in an RPG or any other game for that matter, look no further than The Witcher 3.
However, there is more to this game than an incredible atmosphere. Much of the game’s strength comes from its characters and the connections between them. Geralt has a personal investment in every major character and those investments add weight and significance to every interaction you take part in. There feels like there is very little wasted conversations and everything you decide to do will have consequences that manifest at some point in the game. In a stark contrast to games like any of the Telltale adventures where you don’t always know what will bite you further down the line, in The Witcher 3, it feels like everything you do matters. Having real and dynamic consequences to your actions is not something that you often see and in The Witcher 3, it is done perfectly.
While characters and setting are incredibly important to a game like this, The Witcher 3 realized that having a suitable map for all this action to take place on was paramount. The world of The Witcher 3 is massive in scope and size. It is easily one of the largest maps in any RPG out now, but you don’t have to travel far to get to the next point of interest despite the overwhelming distance. There is a great balance between having enough space to not feel cramped and having plenty of things to do without repeating too much content. Too many times RPGs will repeat mission types or objectives which come across as filler rather than an addition of real content. However, with the Witcher 3, that is completely different. Each instance feels fresh and new, and while not every mission is vastly different from another, there is enough variety and action to allow them to stand on their own. The huge map allows for this to work since there are so many different landscapes to visit and each setting helps to keep the game fresh and new.
In the Witcher 3, the game is focused on the adventure at hand. At any time, you can go to the town board and pick up contracts to earn extra money. These contracts usually consist of killing some mythical creature that has been making life difficult for the residents. These hunts are some of the most fun we’ve had playing an RPG. These hunts put your skills to the test as you have to approach each fight in a new an interesting way. Whether you have to burn the beast before it unleashes its attack or you have to strike it as quickly as possible before it flies away, you will have to use every weapon in your arsenal to get the job done. Aside from the strategic point of view, these fighter are usually some of the most visually appealing battles you’ll see. Needless to say, CD Projekt RED really stumbled across something that changes the way we view RPG instances, and it is excellent.
While most of the game is just plain amazing, there were a few weak points that you can’t really overlook. To start, the game was designed to run at 1080p at 30fps and this proves to be a little too ambitious for the consoles as constructed. While it isn’t necessarily clear whether this is a hardware or software limitation, it is clear that there is something not living up to its potential. Another issue is that switching between The Witcher 3’s two main maps takes quite a bit of time. It is easy to understand why it takes so long, but we are in an age where gamers are even less tolerant to load screens than they were in the past. It isn’t a huge deal, but it is certainly worth noting. Finally, the game does have minor glitches as you play the game. Things like hit detection or screen tearing did get in the way of the aesthetics from time to time. These glitches didn’t happen often, but they are a sign of a system being pushed to the limit. If you were wondering, the PC version of the game is the definitive version of the game, the game plays fine for the most part on the consoles, but if you want the best experience, go PC. On the PC you’ll get 1080p at 60 fps on ultra settings without batting an eye.
While the game has a few minor issues, this is one of the best RPGs in recent memory. It is so easy to slip away and get lost in this masterfully-crafted, open-world game. You don’t even have to play the main story to get a full and enriching experience out of The Witcher 3 with all the extra content placed in this game. If you ask us, this game was certainly worthy of the hype it was getting and it is certainly worth your time. If you’ve been looking for the next great RPG, The Witcher 3 is the game you’ve been waiting for. We loved the game tremendously and we know you will too so if you’ve been on the fence, it is time to join the darkside and be one of the millions of gamers playing The Witcher 3.
This review is based on a review copy of the PlayStation 4 version of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt developed by CD Projekt Red, published by WB Games.
- Beautiful Setting
- Tons of Worth-While Content
- Interesting Story
- Slight Performance Issues
- Load Times are Long Between Maps