Last week I completed the Witcher 3:Wild Hunt. It was a fantastic game and took me at least an entire month to complete. I’m new to this series and really did not think that I would like it as much as I did. It honestly had an Assassin’s Creed feel to it but with a larger game world. Upon playing this for the first time I was a bit overwhelmed. I had to understand all the controls and how to use the special magic abilities. Quen is your shield and if an enemy hits it, they receive damage. Igni, which was my favorite, is the ability in which you can shoot bursts of fire and it can be upgraded to a damaging fire stream. Yrden is your magic trap that slows down enemies and can be upgraded to shoot lightning bolts. Aard is an ability that can knock enemies down but also open secret doorways. Axii is an ability that stuns enemies and you can also control their minds. This ability is also useful in game dialogue and can get you out of dangerous situations.
This game is a RPG (role playing game), so interactive dialogue is a key aspect. The interesting thing is that your dialogue choices can really alter parts of the game sometimes slightly and sometimes it could change the ending of your game. For example, I got aggressive and started a deadly bar fight and later people in the street yelled and called me a murderer. Nothing really changed in that case. However, I must have talked to one of the main characters wrong because they ended up making a catastrophic mistake because I was not supportive enough throughout the story.
The storyline of the game was intriguing and must have taken years of hard work. You are Geralt, one of only a handful of witchers. A witcher is one who solves complex situations and takes contracts to kill monsters. In a sense you are like a magical detective and there are literally dozens of these contracts. It is a good way t make money in the game as well In this world there are griffins, gargoyles, drowners, trolls, dragons and specters just to name a few that are very dangerous. Throughout the story you can team up with other witchers and look for Ciri who is a young witcher that is running away from the Wild Hunt. They are powerful beings that want Ciri because of her special bloodline. She possesses great power and if she is captured, they could use her power to destroy the world. Throughout the story, you search everywhere for her in each corner of the world and each time you travel somewhere, you learn that you have just missed her. Later you realize that you were really far behind the whole time. Once you do meet up with her, you team up with her and other witchers in a huge battle to fend off the Wild Hunt. I do not want to reveal the rest so that I do not spoil it but depending on your dialogue choices, you could get one of three or four different endings. I think that I received the worst possible ending.
There are many offshoots to the storyline. They allow you to have a love interest if you so choose but they only really show a sex scene with her. You can be with Yennifer or Triss. I personally preferred Triss but I didn’t get to the sex scene with her. I missed an opportunity for that. Great, I cannot even have a girlfriend in the video game, damn you Witcher 3! Haha. In this game also be sure to play the Gwent mini game. It’s a confusing card game but you can get lucky, make money and win special cards. It is useful in future dialogue as well but if you start early, you will have a good deck and always win. I learned the hard way. Just a quick tip too, it is best to lose the first round in each game in order to save your good cards in later rounds.
My least favorite part of the game was the upgrading mechanic and weapon/armor customization. Your abilities can be upgraded by acquiring ability points, which you receive when you get a level promotion. You can get more from places of power (magic power) but many are hard to get to or hard to find. I felt like I could never receive enough points and only ended up upgrading only about 40% of my abilities. Also I was annoyed with the weapons and armor that I used. After a few fights, I had to repair everything and it got expensive. To get really good weapons and armor you needed to find plans for it in order for an armorer/blacksmith to craft. You also need to collect the raw materials for it and sometimes I looked for hours to find the last piece. The crafting did become overwhelming and you even had to craft potions to aid in battle. Some potions were simple to create but many other ones that were stronger were difficult to create because you needed exotic ingredients that are tough to find. However now that I am more used to this game, the next time I play it, I will be more efficient. It is overall a great game and whatever you do; do not rush the story because you might miss certain aspects that will make the game experience even better. I will give this game a rating of 9/10.