The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is worth the wait—and the price
By Luke T., ’19
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, the newest RPG from polish developer CD Projekt Red, and based off a series of novels of the same name, was released on May 19, 2015, on PC Xbox One and PS4 at $60 for most retailers. It won Ultimate Game of the Year in the 2015 Golden Joystick awards.
The game begins with Geralt of Rivia, a monster hunter for hire (or “witcher” in the lingo of the series) is searching for the love of his life, Yennefer of Vengerberg. Geralt proceeds to slay a monster for the local garrison commander, at which point Yennefer shows up. She takes Geralt to the Emperor of said garrison Commander, Emhyr var Emreis of Nilfgaard. Emhyr explains a task he requires of Geralt to find his biological(and Geralt’s adopted) daughter Ciri.
The main storyline, while not earth shattering, manages to keep you interested for the most part with its hooks. The story revolves around the search for Ciri, and fighting off her armored spectral pursuers, the titular Wild Hunt. The day to day questing of said story consists mostly of performing tasks for characters from previous adventures, but rarely do they ever devolve into the standard boring fetch quest. The plot twist at the end of the game was decently surprising, but nothing earth shattering.
While the main story is competent, the sidequests are where the best writing and scenarios are. From the basic monster hunting contract to the complex familial drama, these quest are easily the best part of the Witcher 3. The writing is always superb, with likable and interesting characters. A few of these quests particularly stand out, such as searching for the Bloody Baron of Velen’s daughter, or attempting to assassinate the ruler of a nearby Kingdom.
The graphics of the game are beautiful. Whole forests sway in the wind, children play on the outskirts of villages, and wolves stalk deep in forest. Going off on that, the facial animation is exceptional. The artists managed to convey a wide variety of emotions, with even the most basic of shopkeepers managing to be well done.
The armor you can find and craft throughout the game is some of the best looking video game armor ever. Rather than armor being a steel skintight bodysuit like how it looks in Skyrim and Fallout, the armor looks like real clothes, with layers and small features. The starting armor is a perfect example of this, with so many small touches on it, like small bits of stray cloth that move in the wind, or the pendent that Geralt wear that bounces when he walks. It really creates a feeling of immersion.
The combat of the game has some problems, but works for the most part. The attacks feel floaty, lacking the precise feel of other action RPG’s such as Dark Souls. Another annoying issue is that when target locking the game decides to lock you on to some random monster on the other side of the battlefield. The combat also is immensely stylish, with particular brutal finishing moves always resulting in dismemberment. The combat can be difficult at times, with no monsters requiring fast reflexes and preparation in the form of buff inducing blade oils and potions.
The Witcher 3 is a wonderful game and while it is expensive and sometimes can be annoying, it is well worth the price. It’s rating is a solid 4.5 stars out of 5.