I’d tried to play the first two Witcher games before and had struggled with them. They start out a bit slow, and just seem really complicated. I popped this in on a whim, having borrowed it from a friend after hearing such good things, and was blown away. It’s almost like a cross between Skyrim and Fable II, but with only the good bits kept in. The world, characters, and story appeal to me – and I wouldn’t even describe myself as a very big fan of fantasy.
I like that it feels like quite a bit of thought has gone into everything, even from the concept that Witchers have two swords because one is steel for fighting humans, and another is silver for fighting monsters. For some reason, that’s one of the coolest things in the world to me. I also like that there’s an optional amount of prep work that goes into hunting monsters, learning their weaknesses, preparing the right potions and oils for your sword, and that kind of thing. When you’ve encountered more enemies you even get to know them without having to check in the bestiary – using Yrden to create a magic circle to draw wraiths into a physical form just becomes second nature.
There’s so much in the world to soak up, and I want to see all the quests I can, even the greyed out ones that will give me a tiny amount of experience because I’m over-levelled. I want to see everything, and I haven’t felt that immersed in a game world in quite some time.
Because it’s not all about fighting. Some of the most memorable bits of the game for me haven’t involved fighting at all. The quests and storylines all feel uniquely compelling, and I want to take them all on not for the experience points or items (as I said before, quests you’re over leveled for give a minimal amount of experience points), but just to see what strange and sometimes humorous situations Geralt will end up in next. There’s almost an L.A. Noire detective level quality to the pace of some of them, tracking down people or monsters, following clues and uncovering mysteries.
The game starts out with Geralt on a quest to find Ciri. I had assumed that would be the end of the game, what with how long I’ve been looking for her, but apparently there’s still a sizable chunk of the game left after that. And once that’s done, the meaty DLC too. There’s just so much to do, and so much to see, to misquote Smash Mouth. It’d almost be overwhelming if every small morsel wasn’t just so good. It’s not one of those huge games where you do a lot of bland stuff to get to good bits. Every tiny thing adds up here for a fantastic experience, and one that could very well draw people in who haven’t been big fans of fantasy or fantasy games before, or even fans of the Witcher games.