It’s a

  • Card game
  • UFC simulator
  • Murder mystery game
  • Monster hunting game
  • Treasure hunting game
  • Walking simulator
  • Dating simulator
  • Baby cooking simulator (seriously it happens)
It’s also one of if the very best RPGs ever made.
Normally when i review a game, it’s just been released and i type up as i play noting down things that ruin the experience for me as i go. However The Witcher 3 wild hunt was released quite a while ago and I’ve already completed it on the death march setting.
So I’ll list off things that annoyed me, spoiled the experience or otherwise pissed me off first of all, just to get them out of the way.
Roche and other horses: They suck. Don’t get me wrong they’re useful, look great, function as your inventory (explaining away the reason you have 32 swords in your pocket). However the automated road following feature ruins it all! You’ll be galloping through the wilderness hot on the trail of some treasure only for Roche to swerve unexpectedly in the wrong direction because you’ve come across a road and the automated code function has kicked in. When you rack up over 100 hours in this game and 90% of that is spent traveling the world, it’ll make you angry too.
In conversation bugs: Not too big of a deal and in a game as large as this its surprising it doesn’t happen as often, but it can make serious situations utterly hilarious.
Character models breaking: Same as above, not too big a deal but it will pull you out of the escapism. For some reason the game engine freaks out  and will stretch our body parts and then flatten them. To fix it you just have to reload.
Loading screens: They are so fucking long!!!! Not much of a problem on easier settings but when you play the game on death march and die at least twice every battle you end up spending more of you time watching the loading screen than actually playing the dam game.
Death march setting: More of a personal problem than the games but when playing on death march you end up making decision based on not wanting to die rather than making the moral choice. At times i have had to reload a save and run through a conversation again because the first time around i started a fight that i couldn’t win. Because of this i didn’t get to experience the game in all its glory until i played it on an easier setting.
What i’m trying to say is, DO NOT play on death march the first time around.
Yennefer and Geralt: In the books their relationship is well established, however this is the first time she has appeared in-game, so for a lot of people it’s the first time they have met her too. Because of this there relationship and interactions with one another in game hinder the freedom of choice that play such a prominent role throughout the rest of the game. Basically it’s weird to see our bad ass witcher under the thumb. During a quest another character actually calls Geralt out on this.
Combat is fluid, entertaining and most importantly well balanced. Fights with an enemy you expect to be easy are easy and fights with massive beasts can last hours. Watching Geralt performing those finishing moves never gets old. Just like the previous games you have two swords one for monsters (silver) and one for everything else (steel). Not unlike the batman games there is a rhythm you need to get into if you want to survive and pull off massive combos.
Magic plays a very important role in combat, i found i relied heavily on the protection magic as it allowed me to be hit once before taking any damage. Great for people like me that can’t time dodges very well and end up just rolling around the entire fight. Fighting certain monsters will require certain spells to damage them for example wraiths will require you to use the trap magic that will force them into a physical form, other wise you’re just fight smoke and mist.
The withcer 3 introduces a new weapon to Geralts arsenal, the crossbow annndd I don’t really use it much, it’s very useful for bringing down flying enemies but other than that its too weak to be used as often as swords and magic in combat. However its best used for underwater combat, yeah that’s right. You heard. I didn’t figure this out until my second play through…..diving for treasure made me very angry before this discovery.
Potions are your saving grace. They heal you and they make everything easier to kill. Nuff said. Finding ingredients and making potions becomes a quest within itself, spending time to hunt down that golem heart or fiends eye means fighting powerful monsters which means you need more potions which means you need to fight more monsters. It’s a constant circle of enjoyable, rewarding fetch quests.
Character progression
It’s very simple, you get XP for doing basically everything and when you get enough XP you level up! Every time you level up you get one skill point. You use these skill points to make yourself better at performing skills you already have or you spend them on acquiring new skills. You can also gain skill points by finding “places of power” the only real collectibles in the game.
Not going to lie, it’s not great on xbox. It was definitely made for PC and then converted to xbox controls. It works though, just takes a while to slog through all the junk you collect over the hours of gameplay. The mini map needs a zoom in and out option and the main map could with a different button for exiting a regions map, too often i zoom out a little too far and end up back where i started. Very annoying.
Treasure hunting
Hunting down blueprints or fabled gold gives you a chance not only to explore parts of the map you would have otherwise avoided but also a chance to take in the scenery of this beautiful game. I’m playing it on the Xbox one and still can’t get over how good Novigrad looks at sunset.
Finding loot can sometimes result in a wild goose chase, other times you’ll  find yourself in a monsters lair but the majority of the time you’ll be diving to the bottom of the sea or cutting off bandits hands, arms, feet and heads.
You can pick these up from notice boards and  they normally start off simple, a monster or spook is in the area killing people and you need to get rid of it. It’s when you question why the monster is there in the first place that things get interesting, more often than not it’s because someone murdered someone else but you also get a few surprises, cannibals, werewolf curses, runaway brides, sentient monsters posing as gods just to name a few. They’re not mandatory but worth doing for shear joy and story.
Unlike contracts quests continue the story line and at the same time reward you with gold and XP, sometimes its helping gangs in the main city to take back turf or raid another gang, other times it’s an escort mission through dangerous territory but my favorite ones are the strange/funny quests that leave you crying with laughter.
  • drunk vampire
  • cheese mage
  • pig curse
  • cooking a baby
To name a few i wont go into detail because its best you experience them for yourself but just know that they are always worth it.
I’m not going to mention anything in detail about the main quests either. However if i could, i’d erase my memory of it just so i could play it all over again for the first time. Watching Geralt and his withcer buddies get drunk together has to be one the of the best gaming moments of all time.
Mini games
Gwent is the card game of the wticher 3 and i love it. i can’t get enough of it. Whats that? A dragon is attacking traders? I’ll do that later I’ve gotta challenge this fish monger to a game of cards so i can win his special card.
If they made it into a mobile companion app i would be so happy.
You have probably noticed i haven’t deducted anything for all my bad points about the witcher and that’s because this game is a 10/10 regardless of its faults. The vast size of this game and the quality of its content out weight anything i have against it personally and any of its technical faults (Most of which i expect to be the fault of the xbox one and the processes made when converting it from PC). It’s a game everyone should play at least once, it requires a lot of free time but its worth it.
When you finally finish it you’ll feel empty inside knowing you will never play a game as good as this one for the rest of your life.
The Witcher 3 wild hunt gets a 10/10 – you should buy a 2k PC rig for this game alone.
Expansion and DLC review to follow.

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