I would like to share some of my views on the game I have been playing a LOT these days(even though its been 2 years since the game released). I must admit I have played and finished this game about 4 times now including normal, NG+, death march etc. When I mean finished I mean to say completed all the main, secondary quests, witcher contracts & treasure hunts as well. So not trying to show off but yes, I do have quite some knowledge about this game than most of casual gamers who finish it once and don’t want to do it all over again 🙂
I will breakdown & explain the game under few categories I felt was most relevant which many blogs out there don’t talk about and what made this game really special and one a kind!
Ask yourself, how many times have you not paused the game during a decision or a turning point and googled “what would be the possible outcomes of the choice” you are just about to make? We all have definitely been there and that’s how interesting and tense the decisions sometimes gets in this game. Even better are some of the outcomes that you witness after making a decision(assuming you had no idea about the outcome).
The game puts you in such a tight situation that most of the time you would go wtf just happened !? For instance, let’s assume there is a quest a person gives you to lift a simple curse. Now here is where it gets interesting – If you do manage to lift the curse the person who originally gave you the quest dies. If you don’t then well, the person who is cursed will stay that way obviously suffering throughout the person’s lifetime. In this case even if you know the outcomes, it’s still a darn choice to make, isn’t it?
This is where the game is really good at what it does which I have not seen in most of the games out there. It lets you take control of how you want to handle a situation – Do you want to impatiently just hack through everyone not bothered to understand the situation? Do you want to clear a minor threat and save couple of lives now? or clear a major threat which could possibly save a lot of lives sometime in the future? Ultimately I can conclude by saying:
Decisions in Witcher 3, most of the time boils down to the player’s morals as a person.
When you are ready to invest more than 60 – 100 hours in a game, you need to have a solid soundtrack to captivate the players. This game does it very well with its medieval times eerie music when you walk into the caves and a nice soothing folk music when in markets. The soundtrack is definitely one of the best out there. Like Skyrim or Civilization series, the tune can be a unique identifier of the games.
The soundtracks were composed by Marcin Przybyłowicz, Mikolai Stroinski and Percival(a polish folk music band). Individual soundtrack details can be found here. These guys were even nominated for The Game Award for Best Score/Soundtrack 2015, though the winner being Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain that year.
A must watch official developer diary video can be found here.
When I say monster mechanics, I mean the significant improvement in bestiary where you can now see the lore, strengths and weaknesses of each beasts. Accordingly prepare for the battle with relevant signs, potions, bombs, oils.
Preparation might not sound much to most but when the game is played on deathmarch difficulty level with say 2 Alps dancing around you, these things truly matter and mostly becomes a choice between life and death. Preparations are bread & butter to a witcher walking into a monster fight.
The game from the start lets you decide what kind of witcher you want to be – a sword specialist hacking your way through enemies, a sign conjurer specialist methodically clearing your way through enemies, a traditional potion oriented toxicity specialist who looks crazy ugly on the outside but superbly buffed from the inside or may be a mix of all of the above.
Even your swords can be buffed by adding runestones to enhance your damage or sign intensity during combat. Just when you seem to be bored with your current inventory the game tries to provide you with loots which progressively improves your weapons and armors over time making you look badass as time progresses. Dont even get me started with the crafting system, it’s truly immense with you collecting manuscripts and diagrams for armors and weapons including few rare set named ‘witcher gears’ which has progressive levels to it from normal > enhanced > superior > mastercrafted. This can be further improved to grandmaster level only available in the Blood and Wine DLC.
All these put together gives you a sense of achievement after killing a tough monster like you have been preparing for this fight for a lifetime and finally have bested it.
Apart from all the other stuff that good games out there usually provide us with, Witcher 3 has few extra minute details which is well worth mentioning.
- Geralt’s beard growing overtime you play the game.
- When you leave Roach(your horse) for a moment and return, you find it naturally feasting on the nearest grass it found.
- The water droplets forming on your screen when you sail fast on a boat.
- The events around you actually change over time directly or indirectly based on your choices made. NPCs too are not static as they react based on the events.
These details even though minute, brings significant impact on the game making it look so realistic and involved.
I also must confess, me being a huge open world game fan, this is without a doubt one of the best games I have played so far(along with Skyrim). Since CD projekt delivered this so well, I am eagerly waiting for their next big release – Cyberpunk 2077. Even though they have mentioned 2 major RPGs to be released from their end in the coming years, we can confirm that Cyberpunk is going to be the first.