I know it seems a bit arrogant to claim that I am a writer. That, me writing the thoughts I have running around in my mind, makes me a writer. I am more an aspirant blogger, making my first baby steps in to the vast world of gaming journalism. But I am getting there, and the Witcher 3 is making me advance to the next level.
The game cannot be explained with 900 words I usually use for a review. The world is so incredibly huge, with too many nooks and crannies, and I am not even speaking of the vast catalog of enemies to kill.
First I need to explain one thing, I thrive on bad games. Not that I enjoy them. No, they give me inspiration, then again, it is also a gateway drug to bad grammar. As I splurge words onto the digital paper landscape, without even a moment of proof reading the thing. In every game you had the pleasure of reading on our blog, there was always ONE bad thing. That was so utterly stupid it gave me the fuel to write.
The Witcher is the first game that really made me be a truly sceptical bastard to find some flaws, and that is saying enough about this game. It is the best game on the PS4 at this moment. Sure there is the occasional enemy who is shooting his fighting comrade in the back whilst trying to hit me, all while I am trying to figure out how the camera system works, or how to focus onto one enemy. Or the inability to pick the freaking flowers you’ve been trampling on for 5 minutes. The world is so big that at every turn you will wonder where the hell you are, meaning you have to open the world map, that is only accessible by pausing the game and choosing it from the menu.
And then there is your noble steed named Roach… How cool is it to tell where it should be going in that massive open world. Everything is peachy when you’re in control, but the moment you whistle the fucker (the way to summon your horse) you will witness stupidity at its finest. We hope the horse was an intern project. Roach has a habit to get stuck in to every simple obstacle between you and him. Campfires, fences, between trees, at the other side of the river..
At one time I tried to ambush a bandit camp. When I made the decision to summon roach, I regretted it the same second. In my mind I was already slomo cutting the heads clean of the unaware enemies.
That all changed when I whistled for Roach. Roach summoned itself on the opposite side of the camp, and started running through the camp to get to me, alarming all the bandits of my presence. While I was getting gangbanged and fighting the enemies, trying not to get flanked, Roach helped me by panicking and running circles around me. Why not kill the horse you say? Good question sociopath animal hater! I did try that but the horse isn’t called roach for no reason, that four legged kingdom worthy fucker is indestructible.
Apart from ‘special’ horses and Geralt trying to climb down on ladders, the game is brilliant. The world you can explore, the quests and side quests with deep story lines that are intertwining with one another. A quest can be played out in several different ways, all depending on how you react during conversations. Do you act as an aggressor or the peaceful guy? Choosing his words wisely instead of his swords, thus making the rewards higher… or lower, one can not be certain. If following quests is boring you, or when you are trying to get to an objective that is on the other side of the map (that may take you 20 minutes to reach), then there are the dreaded question marks on the map. For me as a completionist (is that a word?) I need to explore them all. It can be everything, treasure, enemies, magical doorways, ghosts with interesting things to say (yes you read it right you can go sixth sensing in this game). If you find yourself in one of these locations, and nothing seems to really stand out on first sight you can use your Witcher senses to uncover hidden clues. Then the game changes into a detective, finding clues, uncovering trails that may or may not lead you to booty (in one form or the other, wink wink nudge nudge). But most of the time it will lead you to a can of whoop ass. This mechanic is used in almost every main story line or secondary quest.
When encountering previous said enemies, combat is imminent.
You have a wide selection of enemies you can choose to warm you sword with. While the humans can be challenging with the “tactics”. The true foes you want to fight are the magical creatures. You even have a specially made silver sword for these kind of occasions. As you fight these enemies and defeat them, you may learn their weaknesses. What kind of oil you have to use on your sword to poison them, the potions made to nullify the attack, the sign (magic) that needs to be used. You are always free to ignore the advice you have carefully collected from all over the map, but then you will be greeted by the game-over screen a lot of times.
Well looks like I made it to 927 words already, it hurts to be right. And still I have to explain the crafting system, alchemy, horse races, a card game called gwent, the fight club (fist fighting a bunch of bums) and the overall ambiance, that will hit you where it hurts.
All of that will be explained by my fellow blogger Nelth (he is good at that)