12| The Witcher III: The Wild Hunt

Released: May 19th, 2015

Definitive Version: PC; Also on: PS4, Xbox One

If you have been reading through this list, you can tell that I am a big fan of CD Projekt's "The Witcher" series. It was the first "pure" Western role playing game series that I enjoyed. And it really aided in pulling me toward the genre. The first game was classic and testament to dark role playing rich games at a time when open world games with little substance were all the rage. The sequel continued that trend. To say that the third game realized the series potential is a mass understatement. The Witcher III just didn't realize the original vision of the The Witcher series, but pretty much the entire role playing genre and arguably gaming itself. Now yes, this sounds like pure hyperbole but it really isn't.The Witcher III does what gamers have been dreaming about since forever. A true role playing experience with a huge explorable interactive 3D world with a strong main storyline, deep intertwined quests, and a living breathing world. Typically with RPGs there is always a sacrifice. You either have a huge explorable world with a lot of pointless side quests and a weak storyline (such as Xenoblade X or The Elder Scrolls titles) or you have a small linear experience with a highly engaging story and/or very meaty side quests (such as in Final Fantasy or Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines). For the longest time, these things were divided because developers had to pick and choose. One simply doesn't have the time or the resources to focus on all of these things at once. Apparently, CD Projekt managed to accomplish this impossibility. The Witcher III managed to check every box, and checks it damn well.

How did they accomplish this? Being honest, I'm not so sure. I believe it was just simply that they set out to create the best game possible and just exhausted the amount resources to make three games into just one game. And being honest that's what playing The Witcher III feels like. To start off, just walking around or riding on horse back, exploring town to town feels like it's own game. There plenty of hidden caves, dungeons, and random things going on. While just merely exploring you will come across plenty of side quests. A vast majority of these will be very meaty and have as much backstory to them as the average "big sidequest" in other WRPGs. The world is massive and everything you see in the distance you can actually go to, no matter how far. If you manage to reach the shore, no big deal. You can just take a raft and sail further to the next continent and continue your expedition.

The thing is though, is that the main game's storyline is so intriguing that you find yourself torn between exploring or continue doing the "must do objectives." Let's be honest, storyline isn't usually one of WRPGs strong points. People like to pretend that titles like Deus Ex or even Fallout have storylines to match the top end JRPGs, but they really don't come close. The Witcher III technically doesn't either, but it tries a different approach. Similar to Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines it tries to sell the world. Upon the quest you go through tons of towns meeting a variety of interesting characters with haunting backstories. It's so easy to get lost in the game's lore. However, the main plot is also pretty interesting. Again it's not the most engaging plot out there, but it certainly keeps your attention. It revolves around the main character Geralt searching for who is essentially his psuedo daughter Ciri. It sounds basic and cliche, but it works very well. It's interesting to see how each main quest, and even a good amount of side quests, are intertwined with Ciri's actions. It's really neat seeing everything come together at the end.

But what's perhaps the most impressive thing to me is how despite the game having so many quests, both mandatory and optional, is just how interconnected everything is. Make no mistake, the size of The Wticher III makes zero compromise on the actual role playing. Every choice the character makes has an effect on the game, sometimes immediate, sometimes at the end. The games quests are intertangled in a massively huge web that results in other quests being unlocked or taken away. It results in many alliances or enemies. And it results in the entire world of the game changing right before one's eyes. The title flatout embarrasses every other modern game when it comes to the role playing department. It isn't just simply being "good" or "evil" it's about making tough choices both personally and for the greater good.

I could literally write almost a book about The Witcher III. Hell, I haven't even talked about it's technical achievements as the game is fucking gorgeous and runs stunningly well even on average gaming PC. I haven't written about the game's perfect OST, or how everything in the game, down to the most minimal side quest is voice acted. The best way I can explain the game is that it is a unicorn. The Witcher III is a game that has massive overworld with tons of side quests, but with a deep story, deep quests, and and all that are interconnected with one another in choice based gameplay. It has tons of text that is all voice acted. Crazy huge draw distances and a big environment with some of the most best looking graphics in gaming, that runs very well in 60fps with modest rig. The game is just full of contradictions. I would usually end this by saying that the title added a new standard for the genre, but the reality is that the standard set by it is so high that it just flatout unrealistic. The Witcher III is like if CD Projekt got all the fans together like this clip from The Simpsons. The fans listed their highly unrealistic and contradictory wants and expectations. But instead of yelling at them, CDProjekt delivered.

Posted by Punk Rebel Ecks Wed, 11 Jan 2017 02:46:19 (comments: 7)
Wed, 11 Jan 2017 10:53:02
We do not speak about Witcher around Vader and Edgecrusher.
Wed, 11 Jan 2017 11:31:24


Great game but kind of dragged after awhile imo. Happens often these days with these titles they make too big. This is probably the only one me and Vader agree on.

Wed, 11 Jan 2017 14:31:45

Excellent game that I still need to finish one day.

Wed, 11 Jan 2017 14:33:42
edgecrusher said:


Great game but kind of dragged after awhile imo. Happens often these days with these titles they make too big. This is probably the only one me and Vader agree on.

Lol my man.

Thu, 12 Jan 2017 02:14:00

Wow. Surprsied to see Edge's lack of enthusiasm. Game was incredible to me. Also I feel the opposite of most games today. Most games are way shorter today than they were twenty or even ten years ago. Though that has worked out okay for me as I'm older and want to put in less times into games.

Thu, 12 Jan 2017 06:08:15
I liked it a lot don't get me wrong. I just thought there was too much content. It would have been a better game if they scaled it back a bit.
It's just these big open world games they tend to try too much with them. I'm hoping Zelda isn't the same way.
Thu, 12 Jan 2017 17:21:17

We know XCX is your number 1, Punk.

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