Witcher 3, The - Wild Hunt Review
|CHEATfactor Game Review by: Joe Sinicki||Reviewed on: PC|
Welcome to our CHEATfactor Game Review of The Witcher 3 - Wild Hunt. We review the game and then factor in how the available cheats affect the overall game experience. For better or worse, our reviews will help you decide whether or not to use cheats when playing the game.
How good is The Witcher 3?
Good enough to strongly encourage you to play it as soon as possible even though while playing I encountered not one but two bugs that erased hours of work I’d put into the game. It was frustrating no doubt but it didn’t take away from the fact that CD Projekt Red’s finale to the Witcher saga is one of the most immersive interactive experiences I’ve had the pleasure of playing. It’s still got a bit of a hurdle for players new to the series to fully appreciate it’s lore, but once they get moving they’ll create their own stories in the huge expansive world. Fans of Western RPG (I know, it’s made in Poland) or just remarkably created worlds should seek out Geralt’s final tale.
|...undoubtedly the game’s weakest feature.|
Interestingly enough, The main story in The Witcher 3 is undoubtedly the game’s weakest feature. The whole game starts as Gerald of Rivia, our Witcher protagonist is searching throughout the world for his long lost love Yennifer. So yeah, the game basically starts with Geralt doing whatever he can to get some. He finds her pretty early in the game and is dragged into a pretty expansive tale complete with monster hunting, a civil war and more than his fair share of murders. Unfortunately the main story missions never feel like they evolve from more than simple fetch quests and instruments to move the story from point a to point b. If you just follow the main story you’ll constantly be running from spot to spot performing errands for the people you meet and trying to figure out how most of them have any effect on the story itself. It’s a common theme in most RPGs to have to do seven other things to complete what you wanted to do in the first place but The Witcher is guilty even more than most.
For what it’s worth, The Witcher 3 is still hard to truly get into for players new to the series. Sure, you can simulate a save file from the previous game (much like Mass Effect you can import a save file from the previous game in the series and your choices will carry over), which initiates a scene early on in the game where you’re interviewed about your previous decisions, but that only goes so far. There’s a lot of subtext here, and a lot of it won’t even make sense unless you’ve taken the time to read the Witcher novels or gone even further into the game and read every note you’ve found. You’ll still undoubtedly understand and appreciate the world but the depth in the Witcher 3 may do more to harm the casual player than help.The game also has a habit of giving you a lot of tools and not explicitly explaining what they do or how they work, so be prepared to do some research or trial and error.
No, the true magic of The Witcher 3 is found outside the confines of it’s main quest. This is one of the most impressive open worlds I’ve yet seen, so much so that it rivals that of games like GTA V and the Far Cry series. It’s a massive world that I’m not even sure I’ve seen all of even more than a week of playing almost non-stop and that’s a major reason why I keep going back to it even with some games laying untouched on my desk. There are villages with their own issues and economy, monsters to fight and mysteries to solve. Hell, if you wanted you could just trot around on your horse and marvel at how awesome you look at sunset. There’s also a Hearthstone esque card game built right in that you can travel the world collecting cards for. Want to go drinking around the world? Keep finding pubs wherever you go. What’s most impressive is how nearly everything you do shapes the world around you. For the most part I tried to stay as neutral as possible between two feuding factions earlier in the game but when I was forced to take out one side’s troops, the entire game changed and I became a hero to one side...but a sworn enemy to the other.
|There’s a pretty eclectic mix of beasts...|
Undoubtedly my favorite aspect of The Witcher 3 was the monster hunting missions. The game’s world is filled with secrets and the monsters hidden inside are undoubtedly the biggest. Most start like this; you’ll wander into a village and see a posting or talk to someone about the troubles their village has been having and if you’re lucky you’ll here about a monster attack in the area. What follows is a series of detective like missions where you’ll gather intel and supplies for your upcoming fight and then confront the monster when you’re ready. There’s a pretty eclectic mix of beasts to take out here and each time you beat one and take a trophy it’s a remarkably rewarding experience. The Witcher 3 also keeps things interesting by not making all of these quests end in a monster battle as several of them had me finding that a human was responsible for the crimes in question and not a beast.
Now, I know that there has been some debate over whether the visuals in The Witcher 3 have been toned down since the first few reveal trailers and screen shots but I still feel like this is a fantastic looking game. Standing on top of a giant hill on your horse (which is always named Roach for some reason), and watching the sunset over the game’s giant world is a true thing of beauty. Most of the game’s animations and voice overs are done well enough, with some stealing the show. Be warned though, the game also has more than it’s fair share of glitches. Most don’t have as big of an effect as the ones I mentioned above that set me back hours in my game but there are a significant amount of pop-ins and slow down. Most of this seems to have been addressed in the patches that have hit since the game’s release but problems still persist.
The Witcher 3 may not be perfect but it is one hell of an interactive experience. It’s at it’s best when you’re off the beaten path carving your own story but it’s compelling regardless. Fans of western RPGs will want to try their hand at The Witcher’s epic final conclusion, it’s right up there with the best in the series and genre.
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