The Witcher series is a love of mine it seems to stand out like a beacon in medium ripe with: cover shooters, human climbing things with guns, blatant console port RPG 4 and one of my personal favourite – military shooter ‘insert number’.
(….alright I was a bit of a battlefield addict, and I enjoy the new Tomb Raider).
The series makes no attempt at shying away from adult based content, its not trying to please any particular audience it is what it is and you either like it or you hate it, its an adult game with a solid main character, rich cast and a strong collection of stories (lets ignore the part in Witcher 2 where you help a mentally disturbed man with a bird fetish, or in Witcher 3 where you help an old woman break into her own house – actually no lets not forget it).
Having it on medium/hard means you never know if you will make it out of a fight alive, you have to think about what your doing, what spells to use, what potions to manage, will this goblin shit rocks on me if I attack from behind? and every successful ruckus is an achievement and a spam on the ‘F5’ key.
So which Witcher?
Is Witcher 3 the best game ever made ever by anyone? Im going to say no, I wanted it to be, I wanted it to change my life and re-energise my need to play video games and end world hunger and re-unite 1D. However I’m going to break some people hearts and potentially divide the world and say that, at its best – Witcher 2 was a better game for me.
Shut the front door, I hear you say..
Shut the front door, I hear you say, it’s open world and has like a bazillion hours of gameplay and 400 million missions…. etc
Unfortunately thats not what I’m about and it something I have come to notice, I just do not like sandbox games. Witcher 3 will be one of the few games where I have continued with the sandbox aspect for longer than 5 hours (I did play the fuck out of Skyrim), I noticed my lack of enjoyment for them when it cames to playing games like: Prototype, Arkham City, Infamous, GTA 4 all of which are good games – according to people.
You get a sense that allot of sandbox games have ‘recycled’ content and characters, Witcher 3 has repetitive content, but in a way that its over relatively quickly. Clearing out monster nests and killing off a group or deserters to name a few, but it leads to relatively low XP and maybe some items, the real XP and ‘Epic Loot’ comes from monster contract, secondary missions and story progression, none of which seems repetitive to me.
Remember when the first Assassins creed had the same 3 mission over and over again, I get that vibe allot from sandbox Games.
Character models used in the Witcher 3 are noticeably re-used, the children in particular are everywhere. I really hope later on in the game you have to fuck-up some mad wizards child cloning facility.
I like direction, its the same reason I preferred Batman Arkham Asylum and its the same reason I prefer Witcher 2. In open world games I often feel like I’m not getting any where with the game. After 20 hours of the Witcher I do feel like i’m getting somewhere but only because I streamlined the main quests and limited myself to some side quest and the occasional contract. Thankfully because of the way the game works its enough that i have yet to hit a brick wall with the main game.
Sticking a ‘Part 1’ on this, I will come back with a part 2 after another 20 hours of gameplay and see if things have changed.Direct link to this post.