Republished on Tuesday, 30th August, 2016: To coincide with the release of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - Game of the Year Edition, we're bringing this rather large review back from the Push Square archives. We've also included links to our reviews of the game's two expansions - which are included in the Game of the Year Edition - below. The original text follows after.
Originally published on Tuesday, 19th May 2015: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt draws you in with its attractive art direction, its array of brilliant colours, and its staggeringly detailed world. Just when you think that you can walk away, it then keeps you glued to the screen with its gripping storytelling, addictive role-playing game mechanics, and intense combat. As far as open world RPGs go, Geralt's first PlayStation adventure is an absolute triumph, and a labour of love from developer CD Projekt Red.
The Polish studio was on the brink of something special with its last entry in the franchise, The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings. A critical darling, the previous game was held in high regard because of its engaging narrative and player choice-driven scenarios. However, its gameplay was rough in that combat was clunky, and environments were somewhat limiting. With that in mind, the developer has stepped into the already swamped open world market with Wild Hunt – and it's probably one of the best decisions that the firm could have made.
The title's world is immense. Split into several separate regions that are all huge to begin with, the land's as varied as it is disturbing. Make no mistake – this is a fantasy game, but it's dark fantasy with a capital D. The world seems to be perpetually bathed in war, and when peasants aren't being murdered and raped by invading armies, they're being eaten alive by unspeakable horrors. The land's atmosphere is consistently heavy and threatening. Danger appears to lurk around every corner – but there are lighter moments, and the brutality that's found out in the wilderness makes you appreciate them all the more. Serene little villages yet to be touched by the wars remain idyllic and cosy, while the bustling streets of one of the title's big cities actually instil a sense of safety – even if there happens to be a group of thugs waiting ahead in a dark alleyway, preparing to beat Geralt senseless.
A gorgeous day and night cycle surrounds the already brilliantly crafted world, and brings it to life. It's become a PS4 cliché to share screenshots of a game's sprawling open world from on top of a hill or mountain – but that still won't stop you from doing it here. Sunsets are glorious – probably the best that we've seen since Red Dead Redemption – and a whole host of dynamic weather effects make everything that much more impressive. Speaking of Rockstar's Wild West romp, the similarities don't end there, as you'll be making use of a trusty steed here, too. Roach, Geralt's horse, is your constant companion, and you'll be thankful for her when you've got to travel halfway across the colossal map to turn in a bounty.
Even when you're riding at breakneck speeds, it's hard not to notice just how much detail has been hammered into the release. We don't even want to think of how much time it took to hand place every shrub, tree, and rocky pathway, but the often staggering attention detail is the icing on the cake – a cake that already looks every bit as good as it tastes. The Witcher 3 has suffered a hefty graphical downgrade since its initial trailers, that much is certain – but what's on offer is still more than impressive enough. The best part, though, is the wind. If the title can lay claim to anything, it's that it has the best wind effects that we've ever seen in a game. From slight breezes to full-on gales, greenery sways appropriately. Standing in the middle of a forest while the wind's howling, you can see trees bending, hear branches snapping, and listen to leaves clapping together. Again, the atmosphere is often breathtaking.
The landscape itself doesn't offer the same romanticised grandeur of something like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Instead of putting an emphasis on gigantic mountains and flamboyant expanses of land that look like they belong in an art gallery, Wild Hunt's environments are far more subtle, and appear more natural as a result. From decrepit swamps to vast farming fields, the world feels practical, but that arguably makes it all the more intriguing. You can relate to imperfect stony outcrops and battered wooden bridges in a way that makes their normality seem interesting, and then the fantastical element kicks in when you have to fight a grotesque monster near them.
Which brings us neatly to the intense combat. Peasants and clueless guardsmen might fear the creatures that supposedly come from the mountains and take away their children, but Geralt of Rivia certainly doesn't. Mutated by ritualistic inductions and forged with magical powers, Witchers employ an array of skills to take down their prey. Geralt's an expert swordsman, a magic wielding warrior, and a wise alchemist, all rolled into one. On the harder difficulties, you'll need to make use of all of Geralt's tools to get the better of the title's more troubling enemies, and this means preparing yourself for battle as well as fighting tooth and nail during.
At the core of combat is swordplay. Geralt makes use of two blades, but only wields one at a time. One is steel, which is meant for cutting down men and aggressive wildlife, while the other is silver, and is used in the more mythical encounters. The protagonist will automatically draw the most suitable of the two at the beginning of a battle, so you won't have to worry about switching, but both weapons are wielded in the exact same way. Making use of parries, blocks, counter attacks, light strikes, and heavy blows, swordplay is fast and visceral whether you're holding off man or beast – but you can't just jog into combat, mash a few buttons, and expect to come out of it in one piece. The aforementioned evasive and offensive techniques in Geralt's arsenal may sound complex, but the controls during combat are spot on. Each button has a use – with X acting as a leaping dodge roll, circle being a sort of side-hop, and triangle and square operating heavy and light attacks, respectively.
However, while it's not quite Bloodborne, you can and likely will be punished for making mistakes. Go in for a quick hit when the enemy's winding up a powerful strike and you'll realise that you've timed it all wrong when a quarter of your health suddenly disappears. Going on the offensive is all well and good, as most blows will stagger your opponents or send them reeling, but it's all about finding the right moment to strike. Unsurprisingly, this comes with practice as you memorise an enemy type's attack patterns and consult your always handy bestiary to double check your foe's weaknesses. As such, as your adventure progresses, you'll begin to realise that a rewarding learning curve is in effect. You'll soon be carving up creatures that once gave you trouble with ease, purely because you now know how to react to their horrid ways.
But, as hinted, you can be the best swordsman in the land and still come across foes who refuse to die from a series of slashes and stabs, and this is where Geralt's secondary abilities come into play. If you know what sort of monsters you're going to be tackling, it may be in your best interest to make use of the alchemy system, which allows you to brew potions, oils, and tinctures through a relatively simple crafting menu. You can make use of it at any time outside of combat, and in a world that's packed with raw ingredients like flowers, fruit, and monster guts, you'll probably never be left wanting for components. You come across new recipes in treasure chests or purchase them from merchants, and each little bottle of goodness has its own use. Some potions may heighten your health regeneration, while another may increase the intensity of your magical powers. Meanwhile, specialised oils allow you to do more damage to specific opponents, giving you an advantage in fights that may have otherwise proven much more difficult.
Many enemies are also weak to different types of magic – or signs, in Geralt's case. Not quite full-blown sorcery, signs are quick, flexible spells that are incredibly important during combat. Right from the off, you're given control over Geralt's five varied signs, which include the ability to roast your foes with a blast of fire, protect yourself with a temporary shield that absorbs damage, or control your opponent's mind. Each has its uses, but you'll no doubt end up developing your favourites, or those that you find yourself using most often. Most beasts, for example, are susceptible to fire, as their fur or hair will prove to be flammable. Meanwhile, if you like to play more as a straightforward swordsman, you'll probably enjoy using quen, the sign that envelops Geralt in a magical shield so that you can afford to take a few more hits as you keep your aggressors at close range.
There are no magic points here; instead, Geralt has just one stamina bar, which refills quickly when you're not doing anything too strenuous. Casting a sign depletes it, and rolling around slows its regeneration momentarily, while your currently equipped outfit determines the effectiveness of said regeneration. Heavy suits of armour slow it down, medium equipment keeps its speed neutral, and light gear makes it regenerate faster. Again, it all comes down to your individual playstyle, since it goes without saying that weighty armour will better protect you from incoming attacks.
All of these factors bind together to create a rock solid combat system that not only rewards caution, but encourages you to take maximum advantage of your opponent's weaknesses. Getting into a brawl, whether it's against lowly bandits or hulking fiends, is always gripping, and since enemies don't scale to your level as they would in various other open world RPGs, you may find yourself stumbling across foes that appear to be currently insurmountable. While this does mean that you'll find yourself revisiting older areas in order to best the foes that proved too powerful the first time around, it can still be exhilarating to take on a challenge at a lower level, and eventually come out on top through patience and skill alone. These self-made situations are easily some of the most memorable points of your adventure, and finally bringing down a beast that's supposed to be far beyond your capabilities is glorious to say the least.
When it comes to determining how powerful any opponent is, you'll mainly be looking at their level, which is displayed next to their health bar and name when you get close enough to them. If you've been busy equipping the best loot that you can find and pumping skill points into abilities that benefit your playstyle, chances are that you'll be able to hold your own against those that are slightly above your own level. However, if their on-screen information is adorned with a red skull, then you're likely in for a long and gruelling battle. That is, unless a single blow doesn't kill you outright.
Moving on to Geralt's progression, levelling up the protagonist is handled perfectly. Completing quests and killing monsters nets you experience points, and with enough, you'll level up. With each level gained, you'll acquire a skill point, which can be used to unlock or upgrade individual techniques, which range from general combat abilities, to improved signs and more effective alchemy. That said, you're given a limited amount of skill points since there's a level cap, and as such, you'll want to try and specialise in certain areas. For example, if you find yourself adept at hacking things to pieces with your blade, it'd make sense to focus on sword related skills – but you may also want to supplement your close quarters prowess with an upgraded telekinetic blast that knocks foes down, leaving you free to move in for a finishing blow. The genius here is that because combat can be so unforgiving on everything but the easiest difficulty, every spent skill point results in a noticeable improvement in battle. In turn, the whole system feels very, very rewarding.
And so we've got a fantastic world that plays host to brilliant battles, but that's not all that The Witcher 3 gets absolutely right. Putting most other open world RPGs, and, indeed, most other open world games in general to shame, is the writing, the storytelling, and the dialogue. Geralt's journey revolves around our grizzled Witcher's search for Ciri – a young woman who's essentially his surrogate daughter. The tale begins with a prologue that gives context to the plot while also acting as a tutorial, and then you're cast into the open world to chase leads and trade favours to find out what you need to know. The story itself isn't particularly special – there's evil afoot, and of course, political intrigue only adds fuel to the fire – but it's told especially well through a cast of great characters and plenty of superb dialogue.
Many of the involved characters return from previous titles in the series, but new players are never left in the dark as to who they are and what they're doing, and that's to the credit of the writing. The dialogue is natural and fluid, with conversations flowing from one point to the next. You'll also have plenty of opportunities to control that flow, too, through thoughtful dialogue options which give rise to moral choices. Geralt himself isn't quite a clean slate: he's a professional monster hunter through and though, and this is reflected in his mannerisms and rough but reasonable demeanour, although you can colour his approach to suit your tastes. While very few of the choices that you're presented are clear-cut good or bad, you can still choose whether to be an emotionless brute or a relatively caring individual, at least to some degree. Geralt isn't a custom built character, but you do feel like you're planted firmly in his shoes.
And this is really where Wild Hunt sets itself apart from the competition. Each conversation, even when you're just chatting to common villagers or merchants, is carried out through a cutscene, complete with engaging camera angles and great facial expressions. The level of effort that's clearly gone into each passing moment, no matter how trivial, is inspiring, and in that sense, The Witcher 3 sets a new bar for storytelling in the genre.
If that doesn't sound impressive, then we'll swiftly move onto the aforementioned moral choices. Many games have boasted about their tough decisions and meaningful consequences in the past, but none have measured up to Wild Hunt's implementation of player choice. In both main storyline quests and less important side tasks, you're often presented with two or three dialogue options which determine the fate of those involved. For instance, when you're accosted by rowdy thugs in a local tavern, you may decide to calm the aggressive atmosphere by buying them all a drink, but you might soon regret that when you overhear them talking and joking about the time that they abused a local farmer's under-age daughter. Suddenly, things aren't quite as black and white any more – your moral stance completely changes in the blink of an eye, and before you know it, you're taking justice into your own hands and covering the inn in human entrails.
We've lost count of the amount times where we've almost immediately changed our stance on a matter because of how the situation's unfolded, and that's the real brilliance of how the game tells each individual story. However, it's worth mentioning, if you haven't realised already, that The Witcher 3 tackles some very mature themes. This certainly isn't the sort of game that you'll want to play in front of children, and it's perhaps also not for those who are easily offended. Although having said that, the release handles many of these controversial themes well and with respect. Wild Hunt rarely backs away from making you, as a player, feel uncomfortable, but in turn, that serves to make you even more invested in what's happening on-screen. As such, it becomes increasingly hard not to get caught up in the emotion and the intrigue of Geralt's numerous escapades.
That's not to say that you can't afford yourself some downtime, though. Much of the title's more light-hearted content is revealed through its optional asides, namely a card game called gwent, and activities such as horse racing and bare knuckle brawling. Gwent is an accessible minigame that's tricky to master, and throughout your time with the release, you'll come across or win increasingly powerful cards to fill your deck with. It's essentially a numbers game, where personalities from The Witcher universe are depicted on the cards, boasting power levels and special abilities. It's not a massively in-depth time sink, but it is a very entertaining and addictive change of pace once you really get the hang of its intricacies.
At this point, you're probably wondering where The Witcher 3 goes wrong, but in truth, it's extremely difficult to pick out any real flaws. Yes, there are strange little bugs here and there, like non-playable characters floating in mid-air and monsters getting caught on scenery, but these occurrences are hardly anything to shout about. Indeed, the one and only thing that we can reasonably pick at is the game's technical performance. Sitting at around 30 frames-per-second, the release maintains a solid frame rate for the majority of the time, but it does have a bad habit of dipping now and then. While our enjoyment of the title was never impacted by such happenings, it's still a little disappointing that the game sometimes falls just short of its target. By and large, though, it's something that most will be willing to look past, given not only how vast the world is, but because there are so very few loading screens to contend with. In some ways, the title's an impressive technical feat, and a lot of the time, it bears the hallmarks of what we'd expect from a truly 'next-gen' release, from the dynamic weather all the way down to the immense amount of detail that permeates the entire world.
Finally, the music and sound design is more than deserving of a mention. Audio across the board is of a very high standard, with great voice acting, fantastic tunes, and an unprecedented amount of background noise adding to an already superbly atmospheric creation. We were happy to see that almost every regional British accent is on show here, while the soundtrack absolutely nails the vibe of the game in general. Battle themes are impactful and rousing, and subtle jingles complement ebbing instrumental harmonies that always seem to kick in at just the right time.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt sets a new standard for open world RPGs. Its shockingly cohesive world is as beautiful as it is demanding, and it's packed full of mature content that throws you from one emotional response to the next. Its storytelling is superb, its combat is grippingly refined, and its often unforgiving nature only lends itself to a brilliantly rewarding experience. In an industry that's flooded with so many by-the-book open world titles, Wild Hunt stands out as a true labour of love from a developer that's uncompromisingly passionate about its creative freedom. Geralt's incredible adventure is nothing short of a masterpiece.
7 h to go...uhhh
Ahhh I'm gunna have to get this afterall.
I know the frame rate subject has been debated, and while Robert doesn't seem to think there is any problem with the version he reviewed (fair enough!), I'd really appreciate if you could comment on how it runs after the day 1 patch and if any improvements are noted? Most of the day 1 players obviously won't know much different if they go straight for the update so I'd like to hear your comments if possible, since I guess your review copy was pre-update?
I'm sure @ShogunRok will be around to answer your questions throughout the rest of the day, so please feel free to copy him in and he'll do his best to answer any queries you have.
@kyleforrester87 The review's based on the game with the pre-launch patch installed. We also wrote this with regards to how well it runs on PS4 (again, with the patch installed): https://www.pushsquare.com/news/2015/05/feature_how_does_the_witcher_3_wild_hunt_look_and_run_on_ps4
Hopefully it answers your questions!
Can't wait for my copy to arrive in the mail tomorrow. Don't let me down Amazon!
@T7L3RB I order all of my games from Amazon and I have always received the games Day 1. Fingers crossed this time around!
@zeldagaymer93 it shipped last night and is only one state over so I'm not too worried. I buy most everything from Amazon and they haven't let me down yet.
Whoaaa Perfect Score
GAWDDAMNIT NOW I HAVE TO BUY IT TOMORROW. thanks a lot.
Its ok, wallet...its ok.
@ShogunRok Thanks! Sorry I saw this article but didn't read it fully as I thought the patch was actually going live day 1. Thanks again
@Comrade44 I don't, unfortunately. I can try to point out what may have been censored, though:
I'm sorry I don't know more about the censorship situation.
@kyleforrester87 No problem!
Boom! Now I gotta wait for postman pat :/
@ShogunRok I do have a question. In the trailers, it showed a scene of some type of ritual where one of the characters mouth was covered in blood - it was all sort of grotesque. Do you remember if that sort of thing was in the main quests, or if it's more of a side quest thing.
@ztpayne7 Without spoiling anything, you probably will come across that scene in the game - or scenes like it. You certainly don't have to approve of it or anything else, though.
@ShogunRok Awesome! I'm guilty of reading the score and synopsis only (I want to avoid spoilers). I value the pushsquare opinion and that is great validation for my non-refundable preloaded digital purchase of the witcher.
@ShogunRok gotcha. I'm stoked for the game, but there are just some scenes in games that I'm really not a fan of. Such as the possible Skyrim cannibalism scene. I was hoping it would be avoidable like that.
Thanks for the info!
The 10 and the RDR comparison pique my curiosity. Another strong candidate whenever I upgrade, or maybe even one reason to upgrade.
Roll on tonight, all installed from psn, now the wait is almost over!
@ShogunRok With a perfect score like that I am surprised anyone is able to get a hold of you at all.
Can't wait to get this!! Won't be getting it anytime soon with Destiny, Borderlands, and Project Cars taking up most my time but it seems as though this is a can't miss title!! Hope you day one peeps enjoy it tom!! Thank you for the great review
Well I know my copy is on its way - dispatch notification at 6am today...
I know the attention to detail and passion CD Projekt put into the Witcher 2 so am not surprised that this continues with this. Its one of the reasons this is 2nd only to Batman: Arkham Asylum (well it is Batman...) as my most anticipated game of this generation.
Even though I have been waiting for what seems an Eternity, tomorrow can't come soon enough....
It can't be that good? Will have to see for myself
@ShogunRok one more question, as someone who didn't really like Dragon Age 3 how does this compare? It's odd but I'd have thought I'd have enjoyed DA but it really didn't gel with me. The immediate comparisons are quite obvious but is that as far as it goes?
WOW. First of all, what a great great review, one of the best I've read.
Second, 10/10...i can't wait to play this! I'm just sad I couldn't play the other 2!
Third, a question! Are there any Boss battles in the game?
Again, great read! Thanks
@kyleforrester87 I've been talking to @get2sammyb about this. I love Inquisition - reviewed it and gave it a 9/10 - but it feels like The Witcher 3 is a whole level above it. As for their differences, they have very different feels and atmospheres. Dragon Age is very much a BioWare game in that you're doing things step by step. It has open environments, but it's very structured.
In comparison, Wild Hunt is totally open. It's a case of doing whatever you want and stumbling across quests as you go. They're both fantasy and all that - but they're very different at their cores, especially in terms of gameplay. I think if I had to compare it to games that exist, it'd be a mix of Red Dead Redemption, Skyrim, and Dark Souls I/II/Bloodborne (in terms of the combat). Hope that helps.
@AFCC There are indeed boss battles. Monsters that you hunt down as part of contracts - which are basically Witcher bounties - are essentially bosses, and there are numerous boss fights throughout the story. They're all a lot of fun, too.
@ShogunRok red dead, you say? That'll work! Thanks again
Why couldn't it be rubbish, now I'm gonna have to stump up for this game. Nice review @ShogunRok what I really like is the card game - as a ff8 master anything with cards In it has gotta be good right?
@ShogunRok Thanks for the reply...Even more hyped now xD
My copy started shipping a few hours ago but it's a holiday...
Should I get this now or wait for Game of the year Edition a year from now? Tough decision.
Chips.... I needed Some cash for the holidays...
Um - I want to get this but I refused to buy any more games. Guess I'll have to trade to get it.
My PC is ready !
A perfect 10, sweeet!
I'll be picking up the CE tomorrow morning, absolutely can't wait to dive in.
Nice review, awesome score. My friends all love it, unfortunately I'm on a tight TIME schedule and may have to skip this until later, it being a singleplayer game. I rather spend my time playing with friends, except maybe later in the year when there may be some gaming-drought!
@ShogunRok - I hated Witcher 2, it was all too loose and I really couldn't get a feel for being "Geralt". How does this compare? I know it's a vague question but maybe you got some advice for me.
@Comrade44 No, as far as I know, the UK version isn't censored.
@Scollurio It sounds like you feel the same way as me about 2. Decent game, but I found it flawed in many ways. I feel like this is a far, far more polished and cohesive game in almost all respects.
Ugh wish I was off tomorrow! Hyped!
10/10! I'll defo try witcher 2 before this so!
Please watch the language -Tasuki-
@ShogunRok really excellent review. Wonderfully written. I will be buying this tomorrow.
Am I reading this right? You said there's a loading screen to get into Novigrad, but all the gameplay and previous knowledge of the game says that's not true at all. PS Access did not show this when entering the city on their long video. I'm confused.
@Picola Thanks very much for reading.
Sadly, I absolutely hated the first game. I don't often get buyers remorse for games I get on sale, but I couldn't believed I had wasted $10 on it. I'm glad at least some people are enjoying the series still, but I got burnt out on the original.
I somehow just knew this game would be better than Dragon Age.
Is it bad I played an hour and a half of this, then turned my attention back to project cars? That games beautiful whether on my ps4 or pc, right away I noticed the convoluted ui that plagued the last one was corrected, as well as the camera distance behind geralt farther pulled back, I can't wait to really sink my teeth into it but I'm 50% into project cars platinum and it's got me hooked.
Quests don't scale I assume... So for example at lvl5 I might have a load of quests/side Quests to do, but the only ones I'm actually able to do are the ones that progress the narrative..kind of
I'm about 4 hours in and loving it.
Where'd all the comments go!
How is it for those who got it?
@kyleforrester87 well, @ShogunRok deleted them (by mistake!) but most should be back now
@antdickens Don't worry, readers - @ShogunRok will be making the tea and coffee at Push Square Towers for the rest of the year.
Now, back to The Witcher 3...
Like @antdickens says, I was a fool earlier this morning and deleted the comments section by accident. I think @john81 posted a comment that hasn't reappeared, so sorry about that!
If you didn't get my reply, it was something like:
If you do everything it's easily over 70 hours, and those who really like the game will no doubt do over 100. If you purely go for the story quests and do as little else as possible, you're probably looking at about 30-40 hours-ish.
@get2sammyb I don't even like tea...
@ShadowIzMe I've probably worded that wrong, then. What I meant was that Novigrad is its own area in the game, which includes the city and an open countryside outside of it. There's also Velen, which is the biggest area, White Orchard, which is the starting area, and the Skellige Isles. Each of these is separated by a load screen, and each has their own separate map. Hope that makes sense!
@Comrade44 Thanks, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
@ShogunRok no worries, and thanks for posting your reply again.
@get2sammyb I'm sure I saw a comment on you in another article saying you weren't pumped for this game? Have your opinions changed? I mean you must sign off on all reviews right?
@teknium_ You're right, quests don't scale. In your journal, each quest will have a recommended level next to it, and the numbers are colour coordinated, too. So a grey recommended level should be a walk in the park, while a red one is going to be harder. Then, a one with a skull indicates that it's probably way too difficult at your current level. I'd definitely advise people to at least try a harder quest though, purely because it can be a lot of fun to see how you do.
@john81 I'm not personally that excited for it, but @ShogunRok justified the 10/10 very strongly, so the score seems spot on to me. Some of the things Robert's been saying about it have piqued my interest a bit, so I'm looking forward to giving it a go later.
@ShogunRok sounds great..I read something earlier about the game that kind of implied it was almost forcing you along the story, which to me didn't sound right, but saying that it's not as open as something like skyrim right?.. Definitely going to pick it up soon...recently Got shadow of mordor, dragon age inquisition, project cars, tropico 5, and still need to finish Lords of the fallen and bloodborne... And theres my driveclub love affair, not to mention house of wolves
I'll be slapping it on easy as I'm not too keen on getting annihilated by unknown monsters, looking forward to the oodles of dialogue and story etc
I can appreciate the time spent on creating such a detailed, living breathing world, but did no one think to suggest a larger font setting? Especially for all the menus? Haven't seen this raised in many reviews or comments, but it has put me off playing until some fix is made available. I want my eyesight in tip top condition for that unicorn...
Im looking forward to giving this a go. Especially since it has a perfect score. I value your guys thoughts on games.
Been playing this baby since Saturday and I love it. It's one of those games that when I'm not playing it I'm thinking about it and what I'm going to do when I get home. Stupid work, keeping me away from it!
@teknium_ I can definitely see where that trail of thought is coming from, but no, I don't think it's strictly true. Yes, the story quests are generally structured so that you can jump from one to the other without needing to level up much, but there's still more than enough to do in between them.
That said, since the monsters/quests don't scale to your level like they do in something like Skyrim, you could still argue that the world isn't quite as open. You will come across places where enemies are just too strong, and that limits your exploration. When that happens, sure, you may want to go back to the story, but I never felt like I was being forced along a set path, at least not after you've got out of White Orchard, the game's starting location.
@stevejcrow That's a good point - some of the text can be a little bit small. I imagine it's worse still for those with bad eyesight. Maybe it can be patched - I know Dragon Age: Inquisition was updated with an option that allows you to change the font size.
Never read any of these comments yet, but does it lag in the open world cause elder scrolls had that problem.
@get2sammyb Yeah after watching some footage I think I'll go for Dark Souls 2 first. I'm not that into GoT-like fantasy and some of the stuff I saw made my skin crawl (I don't like the "realistic" violence thats in this game, real life is already bad enough).
I might get it after I finish Dragon Age but so far (in my eyes) its just a prettier Skyrim with lots of drama and a story I don't care about.
My biggest praise for this game would be to say that it's like stepping into the world created in the 'A Song Of Ice And Fire' books. I'm loving it, although I seem to be levelling extremely slowly.
@ApostateMage You do level up pretty slowly - at least compared to other games. Individual monsters (that aren't contracts) don't give much experience at all, but quests do.
@ShogunRok So I shouldn't be too concerned that i've just reached Velen (No Mans Land) at level 4 and all the quests seem to have a much higher recommendation? That sounded snarky but it was a genuine question.
@ApostateMage Not too concerned. I think I was about level 5 or 6 when I first got to Velen. You can always go back to White Orchard if you want to finish off quests there and level up a bit. But yeah, you should be okay for now.
This was my original reason for buying a PS4. And it arrives in the mail in about an hour or two.
Oooowweee a 10?!! Yeah, I'm ready.
Such an incredible game. Truly an achievement in open world rpgs. Not to mention that geralt is most definitely the single most badass fantasy character ever made.
On another note, has anyone ever read the vlad taltos books? I think that character and universe could make for a pretty incredible rpg if done right as well.
@mitcHELLspawn I love the Brust's Taltos books and think they'd make a great game. Maybe more publishers will look at the success of The Witcher series and try other author's fantasy worlds. Donaldson's The Land would be a fun place to run around in. And another world I think would be fun is The Black Company from Glen Cook. But being Vlad Taltos in Dragaera with Loiosh flying around would be a blast. I bet there is a mess of logistics/copyrights/ hoops to jump through...
Am I the only one who isn't completely in love with this game? Don't get me wrong, it has a lot going for it. But to me, it just feels... Recycled. Nothing necessarily new. The graphics are good, but the frame rate makes combat lack punch and response. Maybe it's just not my thing. Looking forward to Batman and Until Dawn!
the game really is amazing - its the best Witcher Game so far (imo) and has lots of love for the detail, graphics, soundtrack, gameplay, story, the game shines and is throughout extremely well crafted.
after completing the main quest i simply had enough of it, i didnt care about the side quests or exploring every last inch of that gameworld enough. It also got a bit tiresome towards the end of the story.
I didnt had any game breaking glitches during my playtime, allthough there are notiveable "hickups" here and there, but its really nothing compared to the overall quality of that game.
All in all Im ok with that score - i think every role playing game fan must experience on how well this universe is made.
Awesome game. But to me it felt like you were doing the same things too many times over. especially the 'witcher vision' looking for clues got tiresome fast. Andvdespite being absolutely huge and chuckfull of content, there arent a lot of NPCs you can interact with when you enter a new village somewhere. At least not in a level that for example Skyrim does.
Just bitten the bullet and gone for this.
I don't think I've ever seen a repost before. Thanks for the repost guess I'm going to finally get this now a Game of the year edition is available. Is all the DLC on disc?
@Pink_Floyd My thoughts exactly! I've LOVED this series for soooo long and just never had the free time this game deserves (i.e. at least four hours per weekday and ALL weekend sounds about right). It's actually $22 on PC right now...SO tempted to pick it up, just based on principle. The framerate of the PS4 version has always worried me...has anything changed much based on patches, I wonder???
@kupo Frame rate is much better than it was at launch, and a ton of stuff has been added / improved.
guys,why you always copy Eurogamer?get innovative,some initiative
@ShogunRok You still making the tea and coffee?
Just decided I was going to get this instead of FFXV, but now I'm wondering if I should play Skyrim and/or Zelda first b/c after this I'm afraid those world's might seem empty.
You ever finish this @JaxonH how'do it go?
Negative, you know how it goes
@Major-Zero 'Essential' - there we go fixed that for you.
I'm unsure how old you are major zero and which version of metal gear your from but 'from the archive' material is as old as issue 2 of Atari 2600 gaming. I was watching Jeremy Kyle today and he had a 'from the archive' special. It was really good - DNA tests and everything.
Back on to this review and you have to hand it to @ShogunRok his RPG reviews are best in class. I couldn't get into W3 but this review wants me to give it another crack.
All the PS4 updates have improved the game. The UI is better than release too. I simply fell in love with this game and the DLC expansions are even better. I'm really looking forward to the next gaming chapter for CD Projekt Red.
@JaxonH Someday they'll stop putting about MH games every year and then you'll have a chance to catch up. I only play FF games so I've had like 10 years.
@themcnoisy Thanks, that means a lot!
Best game on the PS4.
Best game on PS4 indeed!
I absolutely love Witcher III. I'm on my second play through on my PS4
I want this but not sure I can handle another 100 hour game. I got Fallout 4 and never played it. Might trade it for Witcher 3.
I personally have never got the hype behind the game, it's a very good RPG, but it lacks any real depth and doesn't so anything that games like Zelda and Elder Scrolls haven't already done (and better) already.
That said, I do go back to it occasionally and have enjoyed my recent excursion it's just an 8/10 game for me.
@Pink_Floyd All on disc, 42 GB, and there's a 90 MB patch to download.
@andreoni79 Thanks for the info, patch doesn't seem as bad as I thought. Guess I'll it get it in the next few days.
I absolutely loved this game. By far one of the best gaming experience I've had. Every story was well written to the point where each side quest felt like it was the main storyline. The attention to detail and superb voice acting all mounted up to a game that I easily enjoyed playing to its conpletion. Think I have 2 ?'s that I haven't visited. I am yet to try the expansions due to other games coming out. I'm looking forward to dipping back into the W3 world again soon though. 10/10 for me. Bring on Cyberpunk 2077
May get this now that it is all on one disc!
It's simple put, the very best game of the PS4 generation.
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