Witcher 3, is every bit as good as people say it is and more. I’ve sunk about 150 hours in the main game when it first released and then another 30 for the expansion (which was just as great). Eagerly waiting for the next expansion! The Witcher 3 is probably the best game I’ve ever played. It has everything a die-hard RPG fan like me could ever want. A HUGE open world, fantastic side quests with really meaningful moral choices. But I digress. I’m starting to sound like an advertisement or something.
So, answering your question about ‘getting it going’, I have this to say. The main quest line might get a little boring at times but the real fun is to be had in the side quests. I did like 20 side quests for each main one and I recommend the same for you too.
Witcher 3 Graphics:
Graphics don’t make a game, but they certainly don’t hurt it. The incredible graphics, sunshine, and style are in sync with the game, making it feel like you are in the universe. The placement of props brings you into the game as you see the world rather than a pale reflection.
Most games have a plethora of weapons, while The Witcher 3 is limited only to a sword, a silver sword, a crossbow, and magic – And even a limited selection of magic. This seems like a bad thing – more weapon types are good. But in fact, this forces you into the style of the Witcher, and you become an expert in this fighting style. It also puts an even ground as there is no such thing as a worse weapon type – each caters to its enemy. You become less concerned with your weapons and more so with your fighting ability.
It is far from the first to do it, but it does it one of the best. Instead of one big open world, it has smaller ones representing different locations. This doesn’t seem good, but in fact, it shows how big the world is – if you spend ages trying to get somewhere that’s only a cm away on the map, it must be big. It was well made, so you rarely reach the edge of the map and is giant such that anywhere you go will find a cave, enemies, or something. And this is all in one map rather than separated by loading screens. You can immediately go anywhere but are limited instead by whether your level is high enough to defeat enemies you find there. On that…
Witcher 3 Levels:
Like many games, The Witcher 3 uses a level system. This mostly works as enemies do NOT scale, so you’re encouraged to level up before chasing certain quests, keeping the story advancing too fast.
The enemies in the game are amazing. There are a set number of specific monsters, all based on the series. They all have particular weaknesses, encouraging you to vary your magic, oil, and bombs depending on the enemy. Some need to be trapped to defeat, while others you have to keep dodging because any one hit will bring you down. The variety of enemies keeps it fun, needing to vary strategy continually.
Witcher 3 Fighting:
Swordplay is done incredibly in the game. It’s simple – left click to strike, right-click to block, but gives bonuses for timing. More importantly, you can roll and dodge. While most games have you clicking as quickly as possible to hit the enemy, this becomes more of a dance and is much more realistic. Instead of taking hits, you dodge. Hit, dodge hit, dodge. This makes even hard fights more manageable as you can defend simply by not getting hit. Along with the crossbow for flying and underwater, and bombs, fighting becomes very enjoyable.
Magic signs are also a great part of combat and the game. The award acts as a force and can push enemies back or stun them briefly. Igni stikes with fire, burning them. Yrden slows opponents, making them easier to hit. Quen acts as a shield, protecting you when you need defense. Axii can sway people, stunning them, making them fight for you, calming your horse, or persuade people to do what you will. These signs are all very different, working great depending on the situation. Again, the player needs to play a variety of these tactics to defeat the enemy. And some are useful outside combat, too, making them more so interesting and fun.
As you level, you get upgrades to purchase as well as mutagens from killing enemies. What makes these special is that the best are not necessarily at the end, and you can’t use all the ones purchased at once. This makes you think about the ones you choose and pick ones that work together. They are typically not overpowered, still needing multiple attack styles to stand a chance against all opponents.
This minigame is pure gold. It is optional, but on getting a deck by playing to win cards, you can play and win this incredible game. It is fun, requires strategy, and can make you more excited to play this than the main game. The addition of this to the main game is a great one, supplementing normal gameplay and giving you a sense of achievement when you win.
Novigrad is incredible and one of the only two only cities seen in the main game. It is a hallmark of what cities should be in games, putting others like Solitude in Skyrim to shame. It has divisions between rich and poor, a river, and is gigantic, meaning you can complete all the quests there and still be lost. It feels really like a city putting you right into the game as you explore it. You are in Novigrad – not simply playing a game.
Witcher 3 Quests, Choice, and Consequence:
All the quests are incredible. None are ground quests (except maybe scavenger hunts), meaning there is an interwoven story. More importantly, most side quests have options. You can choose whether to spare or kill the monster. This, along with excellent dynamic dialogue, means your choices can change lots of things and has a real impact on the game. When somebody dies, the chances are it was avoidable. This makes it all the more emotional as you can affect the outcome and potentially be at fault.
The characters are the best thing about this game. In most games, characters are 2D, simply there to fill the world and give you quests. Not here. Each character is excellently described. You become friends with them and feel you are helping them in a situation rather than just getting XP. You spend a lot of time with the characters themselves – in fact, in one quest, you even spend the night drinking with your fellow Witchers, telling stories, and having fun. You’re not simply a cold mercenary – you can experience life in the world just as much. And you build a close relationship with them as you spend time alongside them – especially Yennefer and Ciri.
YOU ARE THE WITCHER:
Summing up all the limitations on combat and relationships – when playing, most of all, you feel like the Witcher. You do everything he does. You hear him speak as you talk. You grow to learn him as you fight like him. The special thing is you are not yourself. You are watching the story unfold as the Witcher himself. And that is something special. To put yourself in his shoes and be him. That is truly what makes it a good game.
Witcher 3 BONUS – DLC:
DLC isn’t part of the main game, so technically doesn’t affect whether it’s a good game, but it is amazing. Hearts of Stone offers a compelling story with some extra features. At the same time, Blood and Wine is the best DLC to ever exist in this world, finishing the story, adding new stuff, and having so many new things in an exciting different world that it is the perfect end to the series, even better so than most of the main game in my opinion.
The one flaw in the game is it is quite slow before you find Dandelion, simply needing to find person after person, but after, it quickly picks up to a shocking conclusion.
All this makes it a good game, well deserving of Game.