Witcher 3 is what happens when Skyrim and Dragon Age, especially Dragon Age 3, have a baby. Although I dislike the Witcher books and don’t have a very strong connection to the lore, the third game in the series is one that follows in the great tradition of open rpgs with expansive world and great questlines. This is just a short insight into the impressions I’m getting at 44 hours into this decidedly story-rich game, where I feel I still barely touched the story.
I never liked Witcher books because, despite interesting worldbuilding and characters, they always felt a little too vulgar, with too much sex. But this game does many great things that elevate a story I found not to my taste and gives it a lot more depth. The game makes the story a worthwhile experience. Regarding hookups, unlike the other two games, this one does choices in a much better way, without penalising not wanting casual flings and hookups.
- I cannot choose to permanently play a female character but Geralt is a very good protagonist, especially when you can make choices that make him a little more to your taste, like having a consience and not always demanding money outright.
- I enjoy learning and choosing new skills for Geralt – very fun skill tree.
- Switching to Ciri to see her parts of the story / perspective is a very nice idea. These parts could have been longer.
- The world is vast and beautiful, filled with interesting creatures
- Extra things to do, rpg staples : nice plants to collect, books to get, armor, card game, treasure hunts make the gameplay fun
- the tracking feature – Witcher senses is great. It’s a familiar feature but used very fittingly and I really enjoy it.
- Other than making choices that make Geralt more to your taste, you can change his appearance at barbers. I like him clean shaven and with default hair, so that’s what I do.
- great music
- took me a bit to learn how to use torches – equip them from the inventory and then press the middle mouse button to use / stop using.
- Good, thoughtful quests spread out over large areas, where each quest leads to another. And the stories are interesting – like the Towerful of mice, where we consider the nature of true love, or the main quest involving Bloody Baron., where at some point you need to choose whether to sacrifice children to evil hags or sacrifice a village, the Baron and his wife. They give you a lot to think about. – and space to decide basing on your values. Some are tough, like the Bloody Baron questline. Quests follow one from another and it takes a lot of time to fully explore an area. But I like it this way. As I say, I love how DA3 did things.
- Some favourite quests thus far: Towerful of Mice, the entire Red Baron questline, Triss’ storyline, Yen’s storyline on Skellige. Last Wish, a matter of life and death, Now or Never. The storyline with the Witcher and the young priest – Eternal Fire, The play’s the thing, Dandelion storyline, Cabaret, Carnal Sins, through time and space
This game feels like the best made of all three witcher games due to all the sidequests, more intuitive gameplay (I’ve just started witcher 1 and am finding it ridiculously annoying on combat and other features) I love exploring, the sidequests stories provide great, immersive and thoughtful experiences. I can choose not to do things like I can avoid gratuitous sex I don’t want and make Geralt more to my liking – sorry but I only support lovemaking with the person I love and not random hookups or casual sex. I prefer rpgs with strong commitment-based romance, like most of Bioware games that I love with undying enthusiasm. Witcher does have that and in that it does follow the books, I think. Although because I dropped the books, and haven’t yet much touched the previous two games, I have no strong connection to characters, am not very familiar with their circumstances, so I am very neutral and don’t have a strong ship for Geralt. I don’t know their backstory, nor the sacrifices they made, hence my choices for this game feel empty and a guesswork, though I am piecing them together bit by bit. It’s better to play the other two, but I believe this one is the best made of the three games and as such, has made me want to play the others, if only to make my choices in W3 more meaningful. I need a stronger connection to the lore, but I do recommend W3: it’s a great rpg experience and you can piece a lot of the story without playing the others. It has pulled me in regardless of what I know of the Witcher-verse
Play it even if you hate Witcher books, but still, like me, enjoy a good, expansive rpg with good sidequests, lots of running around and exploring. I certainly don’t regret getting into this, there’s a ton of memorable content in sidequests alone, not to mention strong focus on topics like injustice, persecution and fear of what is different and many others. Good game.
It’s definitely going to be fun to replay all this once I finish and make a few different choices here and there.