The world is in a Witcher craze right now. After the Netflix series the interest for the games and the book was renewed. The game that was release in May 2015 during a time I didn’t play that many games on PC or home consoles. I had just discovered the wonderful world of the 3DS and was reliving the worlds of Mario and Pokemon among other, though in more modern take than before. I did, however pick it up in 2018 when testing a gaming laptop and needed a game that would be demanding for the hardware.
I can’t say that the Witcher craze didn’t effect me, I did play both Witcher 1 and 2 for the first time during the first months of 2020. I even played through Witcher 3 for the third time. This gave me a opportunity to make different decisions from the past playthroughs. I have to admit, I do like the choices I made in prior playthroughs so I did stick to some of them this time aswell. Just because there was another option I didn’t systematically choose the other. It had to feel right.
Feeling right, is one of The Witcher 3’s great strength, the atmosphere, the almost magical feeling the world emits everywhere, from its environments to its creatures, as well as the people and the choices, that I the player makes for them. I have many times wondered what’s so unique about the Witcher world, perhaps it’s the source material, perhaps its Polish heritage, I don’t know. What I do know, is that it is something special. Something to cherish.
Choosing a different set of armour, changing playstyle and focusing on a new skill set, making this playthrough a different experience all together. This time focusing on alchemy instead of signs really affected the way to play the game. Instead of hiding the perhaps weakest part of the game, the combat, behind accessible magic I had to go head first into battle with just my dodging skills to rely on. To add to this change I also played on the difficulty “Blood and Broken Bones”. Luckily I was made aware of that the alchemy route is extremely powerful which made my journey very pleasant.
I also got to revisit an old “friend”, the card game of Gwent, which is the only card game that I’ve ever been into, that I’ve found fun and appealing. This meant that I had to get a full deck, even though it’s one of the more time-consuming ventures in the game.
After a while, and approximately 100 hours I was in a position where the main story was the least interesting part. This just added to my play time since I avoided the main story as much as I could. To think of it, this is crazy, because the main story is a very well told story with interesting twists and turns, likeable characters and difficult choices.
One part I don’t particularly like about the main story is game’s wish to force Yennefer and Geralt together. Since I did not opt for Yennefer this time around, it was very frustrating that the game actively set up scenarios where they got close. Making Yennefer the most important woman in the game instead of Triss that was chosen this time. Might feel like a small thing, but it retracted from the feeling that I, the player was in control of what was happening.
Eventhough there are small annonying elements, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is an excellent game that will be on my top games list for many many years.
I like it so much that I got a Platinum trophy on PS4, and only missing one Steam achievement to get all at both platforms.