It’s crazy to me that this game won Game of the Year for me last year and after trying to play the first and second entries of the series, I could never get into it. But The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt didn’t just get me into the game, I was diving head-first into that game for almost a month until I finished it.
I always found The Witcher series as a little too taxing on me, I didn’t get too into the mechanics, finding it a bit too complicated for what I was hoping from an RPG, I never been very good with games that require a lot of strategy. Popping in the third installment after hearing how amazing it was from others, I was hoping for a little more streamlined game and while I didn’t quite get that, it was enough to keep me invested long enough before the game’s incredibly deep and downright dark story grabbed me by the arm and pulled me into the rabbit hole.
This is all I have to put up to make anyone who played The Witcher 3 understand exactly what I am talking about. The Bloody Baron quest alone is enough to give the game the Best Story award from last year. Never before have I played something that made me feel so many different emotions. I felt anger, disgust, sadness, depression, shock, horror. I laughed, I cried, I yelled at my TV screen, I did a lot of things and that was in a single quest.
The rest of the game operates a couple levels below that of the Bloody Baron quest, but realistically the story went from an 11 to a 9, so it’s not exactly bad either, now is it? The majority of the story is very engaging, there really weren’t any points through the game where I felt like I was being forced through a quest line that wasn’t interesting enough for me to keep it going. There are bits here and there where I’m not playing on bated breath, but generally speaking the entirety of the near 100 hours I put into that game, I was fully invested into the lore and world of the game.
Aside from Geralt, who’s already a badass, what I really love about The Witcher 3 is that the game doesn’t just have its token badass female character, there are countless numbers of them throughout the game. Obviously the main three in Geralt’s daughter, Ciri, along with friends and potential love interests Triss and Yennefer, they’re the creme de la creme of the badass girls in this game. Ciri is a Witcher herself and is even more powerful than Geralt, which made her own playable sections of the game an absolute blast to play. Triss and Yennefer are both powerful sorceresses as well and capable of far more than just a little hocus pocus spell, they’re more than capable of killing. Then you take other females like Philippa, Keira, Ves (who is a sleeper hit with me) and Ceres, you’ve got a fantastic cast of diverse and capable women. Take that, Anita Sarkeesian!
Granted, there is a sexual component to the game, after all it was made in Europe where they value violence more dangerous than sex instead of North America which is currently under full retardation when it comes to the subject, but as far as I see it, The Witcher 3 and the series in general plays with sex as what it is: mature content. It’s not used like a reward, it’s used as either a romantic moment or a moment of pure lust. The game doesn’t shy away from it, if you want to play Geralt as a sex-hungry deviant, you can go to the brothel and sex up the ladies like Geralt used a cheat code for infinite libido and stamina. Obviously it’ll put some people off, but those people are A, faking offense, B, immature, C, idiotic for having issues with sexual content before violent content, and D, NOT THE TARGET AUDIENCE!!!
Aside from the story and sex, the world is gigantic, I spent hours upon hours exploring the various maps in the game. The diverse cast of monsters kept growing, which made really none of them ever get old with me, though obviously the bigger ones took priority because they were cooler (and they would kick my ass if I didn’t pay attention to them) and more of a challenge. There were only a few times during the course of the game that I struggled a bit, mostly because I found myself entering areas I was under-leveled in, generally speaking if I ran into trouble though, it was my own fault for not preparing. I didn’t use the crafting system as much as others did, I pretty much just used it to make myself more powerful, I wasn’t going over the top with specific counters to each enemy, I just went through with brute strength whenever I could.
But all in all, the gameplay is very solid. The newest game made it easy for those new to the series adjust to it but still leaves a lot of opportunities for expert players to really deal with all their enemies at their own pace. The idea of having two specific swords for different enemies was a cool idea to me and it worked out just fine, I never found myself having a hard time figuring out what sword to use, what abilities to use, what potions or oils to use, it was straight-forward enough for me to adjust to it pretty quick.
If you have not played this game yet, WHY?! I couldn’t get into the first games and I still ended up playing this game and calling it Game of the Year. There is so much to love about this game, the story is one of the best I’ve ever gone through, the world is deep and interesting, the mechanics are solid, there’s just so much to do and so much to love.
And I’ll admit I enjoyed the sexuality in the game. There’s something for those attracted to both men and women, so the game doesn’t discriminate, though to be fair since the MC is male, there’s a little more on the side of women than men. And I’ll admit that I have a spot in my brain dedicated solely for the scene where Ciri is in the bath house. Could’ve done without the bandages though…