Wild Hunt

User Rating: 9 | The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt PC

I have been hearing about the Witcher 3 for years. It has some of the best review scores of any game I've ever seen, and being a lover of RPGs like Skyrim I finally decided to sit down and play this game from start to finish. 70 hours later, I understand why people love this game so much, but I don't think it's one of the best games ever made.

To start with the greatest thing about this game, it's all about the sidequests. The side quests are far and away the best sidequests in any game I have ever played. They are consistently entertaining and worthwhile. You won't see hardly any fetch quests or "go kill 4 rats" in this game, instead you are treated to full-on stories of betrayal, jealousy, and all sorts of other human faults woven into an interesting and diverse array of tasks to complete. At one point, I had to get drunk to kill a vampire. In another, I was put in the middle of a town, half of which worshiped a forest god and half who wanted to kill the monster. The choices you make stick with you, and sometimes you will see someone from a sidequest later down the road and they will treat you in an appropriate way based on what you did to/for them earlier. It's so much fun to just run around in this game and complete the Contracts that I think it should be an entire game on it's own.

That being said, I did not see the necessity to have a billion ? marks all over the map that just repeated the same tired thing over and over. Oh hey, another monster nest. Oh great, treasure in the water where drowners will attack me. Cool, another random group of mercenaries. I recognize that other games have this too, but at least most other games have variations, where you have to infiltrate a tower or find a unique way to defeat them. But in this game, it's just a field with people in it, or another island with drowners that looks exactly the same as the last island with drowners. I get that all of this is optional, but some of the best crafting items are found this way so it didn't feel like I could just ignore all of these (although I did eventually just give up and stopped seeking them out).

The battle system is a lot of fun, and there are a lot of unique ways to defeat monsters. The boss fights are great, except that I thought the final boss was underwhelming. I love that you can save anywhere, go (almost) anywhere, and that NPCs will tell you about places nearby when you're walking through town and you can actually go and find those places. The world felt lived in, and it was easy to get lost in the world of the Witcher 3. I also love how every city feels different, and Skellige feels almost like a different game than Novigrad altogether. The characters are mostly complex, and the difference between right and wrong is often gray. Those are the parts of this game that I love. I do think the main story is pretty meh, especially because I hate Ciri and I don't understand why I'm supposed to care about her. She is immature and selfish and I wanted the Wild Hunt to just take her by the end. But the romance options are interesting (Yeneffer is clearly the right choice...) and change the ending of the game significantly.

The music is outstanding, although I did get really tired of the Novigrad music by the time I left. The Skellige music is fantastic and I never tired of hearing it despite spending countless hours there. I also have to mention my love of the sound when you complete a quest, when the ladies just yell "AHHHHH!" It brought a smile to my face every time.

In the end, I understand why people love this game. While I don't share their obsession and had to knock it down due to the annoying ? marks, the sub-par main storyline, the shitty swimming mechanics, and some general bugginess where Geralt can't climb for shit, I did really enjoy my time with the game and would definitely recommend it to anyone who loves open world RPGs.