Game Background and Details
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is a critically acclaimed open-world action RPG developed by CD Projekt Red, and the latest installment in the Witcher series. The game was originally released in 2015 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, and since then, has received numerous awards and accolades for its stunning graphics, engaging story, and immersive gameplay. Recently a Next Gen update came into play, bringing even more life into this already amazing world.
In the game, you play as Geralt of Rivia, a Witcher (think of a mutated monster hunter) who after a serious of unfortunate dreams, begins an active search for Ciri, a girl he considers as his own daughter and who seems to have been taken by the Wild Hunt, a group of ghostly, nasty riders. The game is set in a vast open world called The Continent, which is filled with a variety of locations to explore, including cities, forests, mountains and swamps. Here you will find some allies and many foes. The Continent is also home to a wide range of creatures, both human and inhuman, including but not limited to monsters, elves, dwarves and ghouls. Yes, there are also a handful of animals and some may be fiercer than others.
One of the standout features of this game is its deep and complex story. It features multiple quests and storylines that you can follow, each with its own set of characters, locations, and objectives. While main storyline follows Geralt's quest to find Ciri, there are also numerous side quests and activities to complete that may, or may not, influence the story, such as hunting monsters, completing contracts for the locals, and exploring the game's many secrets and mysteries. The Witcher 3 also boasts stunning graphics and a richly detailed open world. The game features a large cast of fully voiced characters, each with their own distinct personalities and motivations, some which you will love, others you'll hate with fiery passion.
The game offers the players a chance to choose their difficulty level, whether they want to take it slow and enjoy the story or go all Dark Souls/Elden Ring on it. One of the main things to consider is that depending on what difficulty you play in, you'll earn different achievements upon the game's completion. Currently, there are 4 difficulties:
- Just the Story! - easy mode, you get the "Passed the Trial" achievement upon completion.
- Story and Sword! - normal mode, you get the same achievement as in story mode.
- Blood and Broken Bones! - hard mode, not only will you receive the "Passed the Trial" achievement but also "Ran the Gauntlet".
- Death March! - god mode, it's even described to be for those "...truly insane and loving it", here you receive the previous achievements and "Walked the Path".
The game is a blend of action-adventure and role-playing, where Geralt uses a combination of mostly sword fighting, magic, and alchemy to defeat his enemies. It features a complex combat system that allows you to mix and match different weapons and spells to create unique combat styles. It also includes a robust alchemy system, allowing you to craft potions and oils to give Geralt various temporary buffs and abilities. If that doesn't sound like enough, you'll also be able to create different types of bombs and even use a crossbow for long range attacks. How you fight will depend solely on you.
The branching narrative I mentioned before, also allows for player choice, where decisions you make throughout the game impact the outcome of certain quests and events. This means that the game will adapt and mold Geralt's personality and outcome, to the choices you take during your gameplay which, in turn, can impact rewards, characters you meet or become allied to, fates of other important characters, and so much more. So whatever your choice, choose wisely. Don't be like me and go failing quests, remember that sometimes staying quiet about mystery boxes is better than not getting rewards at all. Think like a Witcher.
Next Gen Changes/Updates
Ok, but... what changed or got updated in the game to make it Next Gen? Sadly, while we're still unable to pet Roach or the other animals found around the map, here's a brief explanation of everything new in The Witcher 3:
- A whole range of performance and graphic options including a new Ray Traced mode which, when enabled will create more realistic illumination, shadows, reflections and so on. You can also choose between performance or graphic fidelity and the game will adapt the FPS to your choice.
- The game now offers voice over in Korean and Chinese, providing full localization for those regions.
- Active gameplay improvements which include but aren't limited to: quick sign casting, alternative camera, new default map mode, alternative sprint mode, instant herb looting and better fall damage, meaning that you might be able to survive a high fall since the damage takes a bit longer to kick in.
For other updates, please check out the graphic below which provides the main focus points of the Next Gen update or Patch 4.0:
(On a scale of 1-5, being 5 the absolute best)
Overall, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is a must-play for fans of action RPGs and open-world games. Its deep and complex story, engaging gameplay, stunning graphics, and impressiveness make it one of the best games in its genre. Whether you're a long-time fan of the Witcher series or new to the franchise, The Witcher 3 is a game that offers something for everyone. Personally, I'm ashamed to admit this is my first Witcher game but it will certainly not be the last. Heads up though, if you are a completionist, be ready to spend hours on end on this game.
I think what I loved the most is how perfectly balanced, or unbalanced the game is. The main story is very straightforward but there are moments when you would be prompted to level up before moving forward, and that's when side quests become your best friends. Also, combat feels engaging and entertaining, giving you many options for different abilities and ways to best end your enemies. There is a good mix of everything and I mean it, there's tension, excitement, adventure, laughs, sad moments and just plain goofy ones too. So, if you're like me and enjoy an outstanding game with a solid story line, do yourself a favor and play it.
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For more info about The Witcher, check out the official website!