The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (PC) Review-In-Progress Part 2

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Developer: CD Projekt RED
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

Review Context: I have not played The Witcher, but I did playThe Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings for more than 4 hours. I stopped because I felt the game, specifically the combat, was too clunky.
Date of Playthrough: May 2015

PC Specs Game Played on:
OS: Windows 7 Ultimate
Processor: Intel Core i5-3570K CPU @ 3.40 GHz
RAM: 16 GB
Video Card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 760
Resolution: 1920 x 1080, 60Hz

Disclaimer: This review is based off of a review copy provided by Evolve PR.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (PC) Review-In-Progress Part 2

25 Hours

25 hours in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and like any good RPG, is just getting better and better. I’m level 15 and I have a much stronger idea of what the character progression is like. The game gives you three major avenues for character progression; swordplay, magic (or signs as the game calls it), and potions. I have chosen magic, as swordplay is mainly determined by the player’s actual skill at engaging enemies without getting hit. Potions, while they are nice and I use them as often as possible, they aren’t always active or available so I prefer to go with the magic whose effectiveness is determined by stats, or “sign intensity” and can be used at will. On top of that, the game gives you these add-ons which increase in effectiveness based on the number of similar skills you’ve acquired through leveling and spending ability points, so the game tends to reward you for sticking to a path. The core combat will always remain the same, but whatever aspect happens to be your favorite is readily upgradable to either make it more effective or give you new abilities to play with. Then, on top of all of that still, there are plenty of small ways to progress your character like upgrading your saddlebags for more storage space, or finding a recipe for a stronger damage buff potion. There is always a way to make yourself stronger, which is the draw of any good RPG and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt does not fail to deliver.

As before, the quests and storytelling are all top notch; thoroughly engaging with meaningful dialog options. I still have yet to be given a simple fetch quest, though I did do a mission that was several levels below my current level, and while the scripted combat event definitely felt easier, I was still engaged by the storytelling going on. Also it seems as though the rewards aren’t based off of the level of the quest, but on the level of your character. The quest may have been easy, but I still got something worthwhile for it. What is also very cool is that there can be multiple quests that can advance the same story element without actually affecting the path of the quest itself. Meaning that I can choose which quest I want to do first based on how I’d like to handle the situation, but I can almost always go back and do the other quest without it losing any of its fun or reward.

TheWitcher3WildHuntScreen02

I haven’t seen the aforementioned tiling glitch since the few days after release. It seems to have been fixed either by a patch or by my computer just getting used to running it. I did however experience my first crash. I was attempting to pick up some loot from a corpse after a scripted ambush when it seemed as though I accidentally mashed the X button too much and skipped the next cutscene. The game went to a loading screen, which after 10 minutes I decided was never going to end so I had to force quit and restart. Surprisingly, and most wonderfully, the game had autosaved just before the fight that I finished when the game crashed. I didn’t lose more than a minute of progress and I was very relieved.

Though I still have small complaints like the clunkiness of tight-quarters maneuvering and the repetitive dialogue blurbs of passersby, none of these issues really impact the core gameplay. They are just small nuisances that arise during unimportant events in the game, which are totally negligible but they should still be fixed. One specific example is that signposts are used to fast travel around the map and I have yet to once successfully access a signpost without first lighting the candle/fixture immediately next to the sign post. I wish that the method for determining which action is executed were a little bit more forgiving or predictable, but its only a recurring one second delay and nothing worth getting all in a huff about.

So far, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is my favorite game of the year and I cannot wait to see the climax of this epic yarn.

Click here for Review-in-Progress Part 3

Previous Coverage: Review-in-Progress Part 1, Release Week Podcast Discussing First Impressions

 

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