The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt is an action role playing game developed by CD Projekt Red which is based on a series of fantasy novels. The backstory of The Witcher 1 and 2 is a bit complicated so I’m not going to go into a lot of detail but here is the short version of what the Witcher 3 is about. You play as Geralt of Rivia and he is a Witcher, a mutated human who can’t have kids and he roams the lands of the continent taking on Witcher contracts. He kills monsters for money and he has a lot of persuasion with the woman.
The Witcher 3 starts with Geralt on the trail of Ciri. Ciri is kind of like the chosen one as she has the power to shift the balance of the world to the light or the dark. She’s gone missing so it’s your job to find her and that’s where the game starts. After a short flashback where Geralt trains a young Ciri in the art of combat, Geralt wakes up by a campfire with his Witcher comrade.
You then begin a large and expansive journey to find Ciri and stop the Wild Hunt from capturing her. Other key characters in the story are Yennefer of Vengerberg who is Geralt’s main love interest although he also has a thing with Triss Merigold and lots of other women. There is Dandelion the bard, the dwarven warrior Zoltan and Geralt’s mentor Vesemir. Honestly the number of characters in The Witcher 3 is immense and if I was to list them here it would take me a long time but those are just some of the main protagonists.
One thing to know is that I never played The Witcher 1 or 2 so I came into this game with no idea of what happened previously in the story. Do you need to have played them to enjoy The Witcher 3, no is the simple answer but bear in mind the first few hours of this game will be a little bit confusing and bewildering as it’s an in depth backstory but give it some time and you will get up to speed.
The Witcher 3 is an open world game of sorts as it is several small open worlds spread across a fictional world of the continent. Each region is different and they all feel like unique places with different traditions, architecture and folklore. My favorite was Skellige which is a series of islands and it feels very Nordic and Celtic in terms of its style and its historical elements.
The Witcher 3 has rich conversational interactions and excellent combat. The main story is fantastic and it’s a really epic tale, it’s very well paced and it features so many rich and detailed characters and quests. The Witcher 3 also has side quests and they are plentiful. It’s one of those rare games where the side quests feel as complex and detailed as the main quests.
Early on I did a side mission where I had to find some spirit who lived down a well and the whole mission was so well crafted that I thought I was actually doing the main story but it was just an extra side quest and that’s one of the reasons this game is so special. It’s the attention to detail that sets The Witcher 3 apart from its peers as the amount of time and attention to detail the developers have put in here is truly astounding. The Witcher 3 has so much depth, so much richness, a huge host of lore, historical information and knowledge spread throughout the game.
You can access this information through conversations, through missions or just by reading the many different books that you find on your travels. All of these elements help you really immerse into the believable fantasy world and that’s one of the game’s strengths. Once you get over the first few hours you really start to feel totally immersed in the game world. In terms of story, narrative and mission structure it’s an incredible game but the game has a lot more to offer than that.
The combat system is complex and in depth as you have 2 weapons, 1 regular sword and 1 silver sword for the monsters. You can eat and drink to heal yourself during combat and you have a bountiful number of potions and magic at your disposal to use in combat or other situations. You have a Witcher sense which allows you to act as a detective and track monsters or people.
You also have a horse called Roach and he will accompany you throughout the whole journey. The level of depth to The Witcher 3 also applies to the enemies as there are hundreds of monsters and human enemies and it really is astounding the amount of depth. You have an inventory where you can read up on each particular monster. This may sound like a superfluous bonus but it’s actually essential when you’re taking on Witcher contracts.
Witcher contracts are paid quests where townsfolk pay you to kill a dangerous creature but all these creatures have different traits so before you take them on you should do your homework such as finding the right spell to use, the right potion or the right weapon to kill them. You can visit a variety of blacksmith’s spread out through the different regions who can craft you many different types of armor or weapons.
You can meditate to quickly pass time if you need to start a mission and you need it to be at daytime or nighttime. There is a fight club in the game in various different regions and you have these epic fist fights with locals and take them all down to become the overall champion and I really enjoyed that. You can even play a unique card game called Gwent which is a strategy card game and is very in depth and skill based, so it’s almost a game of its own. Actually, they did release Gwent as a standalone game because it became so popular.
The variety, detail and volume of things you can do in The Witcher 3 is incredible. There are also 2 DLC’s which are fantastic and one of them adds an entire new region to visit and it’s one of the most beautiful places in the game but it’s only to be attempted once you’ve levelled high enough because it is very difficult. The DLC’s will offer you so much more gameplay and probably add another 30 to 40 hours.
The graphics are very good however some of the animations are a little bit awkward or clunky and sometimes objects don’t spawn in but it happened maybe 5 or 6 times in 100 hours of gameplay so it’s not very frequent. The environments look gorgeous and it really feels like a medieval European kind of world but the landscapes, the architecture and the overall aesthetics of the environments are beautifully created and it really feels like a lived-in world.
The Witcher 3’s audio is of a very high standard and the music in particular is some of the nicest I’ve ever heard in a game as it’s very tribal in parts, very kind of mystical classical instruments, folk music and medieval music. It really adds to the overall atmosphere, the ambience and it’s an amazing soundtrack. The sound effects are overall pretty good, voice acting is excellent and the conversations in the game are really in depth and have branching lines of topics to discuss.
The writing and delivery are excellent and the game definitely has a good sense of humor and at times it doesn’t take itself seriously at all which is kind of a nice twist because most of these games are very serious. The atmospheric ambience is exceptional when you’re wondering in the wild or the bustling cities and you can really hear very small things in the ambient sounds that really make you feel like you’re there. Overall, The Witcher 3 has an incredible story, the game world is rich and detailed and 1 of the most immersive I’ve ever experienced.
The combat and variation of enemies keeps the game feeling fresh and all the audio is exceptional. The game has a great sense of humor and the branching storylines are varied and well thought out side quests make this game have almost endless replay value. There are some graphical issues and the game probably could have done with a recap at the beginning just to get caught up with the story.
The Witcher 3 is one of the best role-playing games I’ve ever played and has a huge amount of content, so much variety and depth it’s really impossible for me to break down in its entirety just how much value you get here. It’s a fantastic story, fantastic game world, the characters are interesting and it’s just 1 of the best games I’ve played on the PS4. It’s a classic game, it’s an amazing experience and it’s one of those games you just kind of fall in love with because it’s got so much content and I would definitely recommend this game to anyone that has a PS4.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is available on PS NOW until September 6, 2021.
*Requires an active PS NOW subscription to play this game.
The Witcher 3 is one of the best role-playing games and best games in general I've ever played and has a huge amount of content, so much variety and depth it's really impossible for me to break down in its entirety just how much value you get here. It's a fantastic story, fantastic game world, the characters are interesting and it's just 1 of the best games I've played on the PS4.