The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Review (PS4): A Masterpiece

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The Witcher 3 is one game that I was very excited to play ever since it was announced a few years ago. The Witcher games were always known for their immersive worlds, deep and meaningful quests, along with some humourous writing sprinkled in. While The Witcher 2 was a great game in its own right, CD Projekt Red has gone one step further with its sequel.

The Witcher 3 is a massive open world game. Powered by the Red Engine 3, CD Projekt Red had a lot of inspiration while crafting this game. Notably Skyrim. The world looks absolutely gorgeous and it’s difficult to explore it without stopping to admire the scenery. The sunset in this game looks incredible while Geralt is mounted on his trusty horse, Roach.

You play as Geralt of Rivia again, the main protagonist of the first two games. He is a Witcher who had amnesia in the previous games and is back to his old self in this game and is trying to find his old flame, Sorceress Yennefer.

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While the main missions and side quests are wonderfully crafted, it’ll take you a lot of trial and error and you have to spend some time with the game’s mechanics to progress at a decent pace. In fact, I was barely level 12 after hours and hours of gameplay and was just getting the hang of its systems.

The game can overwhelm you in the beginning so it’s advisable to just stick to main missions and try to level up so you can explore the world and do all the side quests and contracts. There’s obviously a lot of things to do here so you can be burnt out, so take your time and go slow in the beginning.

Once you get the hang of the combat and general gameplay systems, that’s where the game really begins. Even if you ignore the sidequests, the main missions will take you a decent amount of time to complete, but again, it’s advisable you do the sidequests which have been given a lot of attention, so that you don’t reach a point where the enemies completely massacre you.

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The world of The Witcher 3 is beautiful and CD Projekt’s attention to detail is second to none. There are many places you will visit in the game and each one will be a treat for your eyes. The game is populated with many NPCs who will give you quests and generally the world feels a lot lively.

It’s an pure RPG at its core and you basically have to level up Geralt, find good gear, take on contracts, and do the numerous things the game has to offer. One of them is Gwent.

Gwent is a card game created specifically for The Witcher 3. It will be advisable not to ignore it as once you get the hang of the rules, you may not even finish the main game. It’s that good. Obviously, you have to explore the world and collect cards to make your deck stronger, participate in tournaments and try to defeat random NPCs.

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The game took me around 70 hours to complete, mostly because I didn’t explore the world fully, which I probably might do in my second playthrough. Both the main quests and side quests are quite meaty and there’s a feeling of satisfaction once you finish them. Your decisions matter in the game so be careful.

The one thing that is disappointing are the load times. It can take up to 50 seconds for an area to load if you die. Fast travels are pretty fast in comparison. Sometimes the texture takes time to load in and the game can look pretty bad while you’re waiting. These problems only seem to manifest when you’ve been playing for a long time so a reboot won’t hurt.

The music is fantastic and really immerses you into the world. I wish there were more combat themes but it really isn’t a big issue.

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The combat is where you’ll face some issues early on when Geralt is underleveled and doesn’t have decent weapons. After playing Bloodborne the combat in The Witcher 3 feels a bit lackluster. You can complement the sword fighting with sign magic like Igni, Aard and Axii, and also brew potions to give you an edge in battle. All your potions are replenished after meditation provided you have some alcohol in your inventory.

It’s so easy to get distracted in the game that you’ll keep playing it for a long time. That’s what I expect from a good RPG and CD Projekt Red have delivered that in spades here. Unlike The Witcher 2 which ended abruptly, this game feels complete.

The Witcher 3 is one of the finest creative achievements of this generation. If you have a next-gen console or PC and love RPGs, you should get this game immediately. The PS4 version in particular runs very well but has some minor niggles that should hopefully be patched soon.

Score

9/10