Right from its initial reveal, The Witcher 3 has been a game that has captivated gamers and had them drooling over every little tidbit that was revealed.Boasting a world that is 30 times bigger than previous Witcher games and 20% bigger than Skyrim, The Witcher 3 from CD Projekt Red is about as ambitious as a game gets. Massive scale, a rich, beautifully detailed world teeming with life, everything about The Witcher 3 is bold. It is not perfect but The Witcher is a stunning game from start to finish, with near unparalleled scale that puts it right at the top of the Action-Adventure RPG genre.
Having been on the wrong side of the Hunt in the past two Witcher outings, Geralt of Rivia is back but this time his memory has returned. Now Geralt is desperate to be reunited with his lost love, Yennefer and his adopted daugther, Ciri before either of them are captured by the supernatural, Wild Hunt. This massive adventure will take Geralt across three massive kingdoms, and when I say massive I mean MASSIVE! There is a real feeling of desperation for the people that inhabit the Northern Kingdoms. Their struggles seem real and it’s hard not to feel for them at times, especially during times when they are practically begging Geralt at times not to interfere as it could make their lives even worse. That brings me to my first point, Quests.
The scale of The Witcher 3 is epic with quests to be found all over the place. It’s not uncommon to be on your way to one of the main quests, only to be distracted and end up completing a handful of side quests along the way. It doesn’t matter what type of quest Geralt is undertaking, one element is absolutely crucial, preparation! Enemy levels are fixed so there are some times where it’s best just to avoid the fight and come back when you are at a level that is able to compete. If you are to engage then scan the surroundings, think about the enemy and what tactics are going to work best, then engage. Going in blind and making it up on the spot might beat a small pack of wild animals but up against the big boys, those tactics will result in death. You are one man up against the odds in a world where death is lurking in the shadows, being mindful of your surroundings is absolutely crucial to your survival, something that any good Witcher, especially one as masterful as Geralt, knows all too well.
A Witcher of Geralt’s standing has a raft of tricks up his sleeve when it comes to engaging in combat, giving him more than way to proverbially skin the cat. Geralt has his trusty horse there for use but is also equally skilled at ground based combat. Moving him around can be a bit heavy at times, making running and jumping a wee bit more clunky than I’d otherwise like it to be. Aside from that though, a good range of weapons and spells are at Geralt’s disposal, making him an unrelentless killing machine at the best of times. Funnily enough I found that the best way to control Geralt on PC was not with keyboard and mouse but with a trusty Xbox One controller. For some reason the controller just felt more responsive and able to deliver a bit more of a refined experience, I’m sure some people will be up in arms about using a controller but hey give it a go, it may surprise you!
Geralt’s inventory is perishable which is something to be mindful of when playing. Going into battle with a sword that is in a state of disrepair is not going to do you any favours so remember to repair items or pick up new ones before getting into anything too dangerous because you will be found wanting otherwise. It’s an element of the game that I really enjoy, items that get damaged just adds that extra element of realism that I really appreciate. Items can also be upgraded along the way so be sure to visit tradesmen and see if they can hook you up with some sweet upgrades.
When it comes to the visuals The Witcher 3 is absolutely stunning! This has to be one of the best looking PC games I have had the pleasure of playing. I have been playing The Wicther 3 on my Lenovo Y50 gaming laptop which features an nVIDIA 860m GPU and the game runs flawlessly. FHD at around 35-40FPS is not the breaking records I will grant you that but everything in game just looks better than anything I have played before on the Y50. When I approached water I found myself just going up to it and staring at it, mesmerised by the reflective, true to life properties that the water retained. Be it water, fire or just watching trees sway with the wind, everything about the graphics is a thing of beauty that breathes life into a believable, rich atmospheric world.
Geralt and supporting cast look amazing! Be it in the cut scenes where the rendered is a masterclass in gaming cinematography or out in the wilderness exploring this expansive open-world the character modelling is second to none. From the scars on Geralt’s body to the fine detail in the hair, CD Projekt Red have done an impeccable job modelling the characters, setting a very high bar for other studios to try and jump over. Yes there are some glitches at times where faces seems to float in front of the body but it’s not an everyday occurrence and certainly not enough to really impede the experience in any major way.
The Witcher 3 is the most ambitious title that CD Projekt Red have completed. This is a huge, expansive world teeming with life and full of atmosphere. Sometimes the ambition is too much to achieve but CD Projekt Red have outdone themselves with The Witcher 3. The graphics are some of the best I have had the pleasure of witnessing in a PC game and performance is phenomenal even on mobile graphics cards. The vision was huge and the game more than live up to that vision, creating a definitive Action-Adventure RPG title that will no doubt place it at the top of it’s genre for a long time coming. We are only half way through 2015 but one thing is for sure, when it comes to Game of the Year nominees, The Witcher 3 brings a must play experience to the table that makes it a nominee that will be hard to top.
- Massive, Expansive World
- Breathtaking Graphics
- Good Combat System
- Inventory that is Perishable adds Realism
- Sluggish Controls at Times