I'm sure all of you have at least seen that The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt has recently been released on PS4, Xbox One and PC. Well I have sunk some time into it, and I'm ready to give you my initial impressions of this titan of a game. Don't worry if you haven't picked up the game yet, or have just bought it, I won't be talking spoilers in any way, just talking about characters, mechanics etc. I will only say this before I get into the specifics; Welcome To The New Generation!
Okay so theatrics aside this game is the most Next Generation game I have played so far, and the folks over at CD Projekt Red sure have set the bar very high, and I strongly believe that this new found bar will not be toppled for at least a year, if not two or three! I obviously can't speak for Projekt Red, but to me it feels like they haven't made a game with a world in it, rather they have made a world within a game; if that makes sense to you! I won't spoil the introduction obviously but let's just say you get introduced to the Wild Hunt very soon into your time with the game. The Wild Hunt is a mythical group of raiths who seem to want to bring about the end of the world. Nothing major then. These monsters are after our protagonists ward(adopted daughter) Ciri, however you want to protect her, and need to find her, Thus the story begins. I believe myself to be in the same metaphorical boat as many people at least on PS4 who are picking up The Witcher 3, I haven't played any of the previous game, nor had I paid any particular attention to the series prior to The Witcher 3 being announced. I did a tiny amount of research before picking up the game, which consisted of reading one article bringing me up to date with the series, however in my 15 or so hours with the game so far, I don't feel in any way like I don't understand what is going on.
You may or may not have heard that this game sets you free into a prologue area first, before the "main world", this acts as an incubator to let you grow into you new found Witcher skin(or remind if you have played previous games), it introduces you to the combat, bosses and other important mechanics that you will rely on later on the game. Having also never played any of the souls games(which was the loose inspiration for the combat in this game), the combat was a little hard to get to grips with. I never felt like I was being cheated when I died, just that there was a new area for me to focus on improving.
Despite what you may have heard other players say, I do not believe that this not 100% perfect, though it is closer than I have grown to expect from AAA games today. There are a few things that bug me while I'm playing, firstly there are unfortunately frame rate issues, these affect both cutscenes and gameplay for me, it can get quite severe at times, and I have had to reboot my PS4 to try to resolve the issues, this only occurred after I had been playing for a few hours and had fast travelled numerous times, though it is pure speculation on my part as to what caused the issues. On a quick side note of technical issues after most games of Gwent(A card game I will talk about another time) at the end of most matches the whole game crashed and I need to relaunch it, which is only a problem because the auto-save frequency is super far apart, and I keep on forgetting to save my game manually so it usually sets me back quite a way! Then there is the size of the world and the side quests that occupy the world. I am always an advocate of a large world that is filled with many side quests, however there are many, many quests which are a much higher level than me, this leaves me wandering around somewhat aimlessly at times when I don't want to carry on with the campaign for a bit, but don't have any side quests on my level!
All of those bad things aside, this is a game that I will be playing for a very long time, and it has enough content in it to keep me going even longer than that! The characters are probably the deepest I have ever seen, rivalling the likes of Dragon Age or Mass Effect(Bioware basically) in terms of character involvement. These impressions have touched on a few of the brilliant things The Witcher 3 brings to the table, and that is before I have talked about the deep crafting mechanics, the huge quantity of potions and general alchemy at you disposal, the mini campaign like side quests or the amazingly crafted cities and towns. This is a game that everyone should at least try playing, it may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it will delight many, with its tales of witches, trolls and monsters from the deep.
Thank you very much for reading, my apologies for my absence recently my work has demanded more time from me, though that is at and end now, so expect some great things from me in the coming months!
Friends of The Games Critic:
My name is Ed, I write everything here, covering all kinds of games, but I only play them on the PS4!