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Witcher 3 Review


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    No, I haven’t finished it, but I still wanted to share my thoughts since I am actually playing it at the same time.

    I can see why this game is so highly regarded, the world building and lore alone is impressive and well implemented. I love the adult nature of the world and the people you encounter. Nothing is clear-cut good and evil, everything is a muddy grey that is often hard to distinguish. So many quests start out innocently and quickly become twisted by very real and understandable human motivations. The Bloody Baron is a great example and that complexity of storytelling is echoed in even simple sidequests and hunts. This has some of the best questlines I’ve ever seen in an open-world RPG. (Someone sends a copy to Square Enix, STAT!) I love that I have gotten fooled twice into choosing the ‘bad’ options. On Fykes Island, I believed the ghost and released the Plague Maiden and in the swamp, I didn’t believe the Tree Spirit and let the Crones eat the kids. The game fucks with you and it’s really fun. The options Geralt is given are also really subtle and have real consequences. People take advantage if you are too nice and if you are too much of a hard-assed dick, the world is fucked up by those choices as well. Great stuff.

    That being said, it’s not a perfect game. I found leveling from 1-5 was a real pain in the ass. It seems like nothing gave me decent EXP, even the story missions. I spent a fair bit of time on Velen doing anything I could find in my level range to get to level 6 so I could continue the story without having my ass handed to me. Once I did that, getting to level 10 took all of an hour tops. I hope I don’t run into that again because I find it frustrating.

    Movement in this is kind of annoying. Finding just the right pixel to stand on to loot things really irritates me and Geralt can’t seem to take a small step to save his life. I spent way too much time turning in circles or throwing punches trying to loot bodies. It’s clunky as hell and I can’t believe I’m saying this, but moving in Skyrim is way better and easier. The art design is solid but nothing special. The vistas in Skyrim strike me as more epic and sweeping and pretty and that game is old as fuck.

    I found that the weapon degradation and stingy loot prices had a definite dampening effect on my exploration tendencies. I LOVE to explore, it’s one of my greatest joys and one of the things I love about Skyrim, Fallout, and Breath of the Wild. I would take hours getting a single quest done in any of those games because there was always something to explore and always a reward for doing so. Getting distracted by ‘something cool over there’ still happens in this game, but I find I don’t indulge in it nearly as often. While witcher does reward exploration, it also punishes exploration. Even in BofW and Fallout New Vegas, games that both have weapon degradation, I never hesitated to go investigate anything that caught my eye. In Zelda, new weapons are easy to find, so breaking them is fine. In New Vegas, I could choose to use a gun I kept extras of so I could repair my weapon as I went and still come out ahead of the game. In witcher, it’s a much more careful consideration. Repairing weapons is expensive, they degrade pretty quickly, the blacksmiths are usually few and far between and selling loot gets you fuck all in terms of gold. I have come out of bandit camps loaded to overflowing with loot and barely broken even. So more often then not, I won’t even bother exploring until I’ve about out leveled the area, which is a bit sad to me. I’d be a lot more satisfied with the experience if I could repair weapons like in New Vegas because as it stands, I am disinclined to explore and it pains me with such a world spread before me.

    The magic system is pretty cool, the voice acting is really good so far, the music is forgettable. I’m hours in and I couldn’t recognize or hum anything from this game at all. Skyrim has this game beat hands down on music. They really skimped on that in this game.

    Personal Score:

    Story – 10 This is were the game shines
    Gameplay- 8 Good, with good systems but it’s got issues
    Art Design – 7 Better than average but not stellar.
    Sound and music – 7 The voice acting and background noise are above average, the music is meh.
    Replayability – 9 Lots or room for trying different choices to see the different outcomes.

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