I’m sure you all remember last time when I wrote about the problems I had with my Project Cars experience. I mentioned how the game was meant to tide me over until the launch of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. After all, it was the Witcher which made me trade in my dust-collecting New 3DS because I knew this was the game I would be playing for hours on end.
It’s strange because I know back in the day I hated RPGs. You all know my stance against the Final Fantasy series as well as other “wait your turn while you get gang assaulted by their toughest spells” RPGs that made me want to throw my controller to a wall. But with more action based RPGs such as Fallout 3 and the immortal Skyrim coming to prominence, my stance changed dramatically.
And now, we have the Witcher 3, a game that I have spent more than 50 hours on so far. Keep in mind as comparison, that I spent nearly 300 hours on Skyrim, and that is playing it twice, once on the Xbox 360 and again on PC. It is a game that truly has proven to withstand the test of time, and always leaves me coming back for me. But what intrigued me with The Witcher 3 is that many people have been saying that it’s equal to, or at times superior, to Bethesda’s RPG magnum opus.
And what do I have to say about it? So far, it’s getting there.
For starters, I didn’t think I would really get into it as sort of a newbie to the series. I wasn’t able to play the first game since it won’t start on my laptop. As for Witcher 2, I got it free via Games With Gold and only played a few hours, but other games kept pulling me away and I couldn’t find time to really get into it. Thankfully CD Projekt Red did something smart for those who are new to the series, allowing you to “simulate” a character from Witcher 2 via an interview process. After that happened I started venturing out into the vast world, which now, even 50 hours in, I feel that I only scratched the surface.
And over the course of the game I travelled from location to location, this time via horseback (something I NEVER did in Skyrim,) picking up any alchemy ingredients I came across (which I’ve always did in Skyrim,) and locating any quests I can do pending the required level (thank you CD Projekt for showing recommendations.)
But then we get to the combat, which in itself deviates a lot from Skyrim. Considering how long I’ve played Skyrim, my character is so powered up that I can just wail away on anyone with minimal health loss. Sometimes I might have to do a FUS RO DAH (the only shout I really used) to stun some more difficult opponents, but that was pretty much that. Not so with Witcher 3, as even a swarm of lower level enemies can kill me if I’m not careful. I actually had to learn to parry and dodge while timing my attacks. Yes I could use my signs during combat, which I do a lot, though my go to sign has been Igni (a blast of fire), when if I was playing Skyrim-style it should be Aard.
But I’ve also noticed a couple elements I felt play a bit better in Skyrim. For one, I was always huge with alchemy in Skyrim, and made my own potions on a regular basis, eventually selling them for a profit. While some effects were available to select from, there were times I just wanted to combine ingredients by themselves and see what the results were. Sadly I can’t do that in Witcher 3, as I can only create from a pre-determined list of items. Hopefully that will get fixed soon.
I can say the same thing about crafting items. Yes I know that Geralt is a more scripted character compared to the Dovahkiin, who can be made to anyone you want, but having to go to a blacksmith to craft items can be a bit of a pain, especially when the ones you find are not skilled enough to craft anything useful.
I know a lot of you are reading this and thinking “here we go again, he hates The Witcher 3.” That can’t be any more farther from the truth. I absolutely LOVE this game. Since launch, it is the only game I’ve played on ANY console I own, and it looks like that is not going to change for a while. Even when Elder Scrolls Online comes to Xbox One, I am sure I will keep going back to Witcher 3. In fact, I can easily see it being on my best games of the year list. But is it at the same level as Skyrim? At times, yes it is on some elements and no it’s not on others. But I know CD Projekt Red is constantly building up this game, and with them promising 16 different sets of DLC for FREE, in addition to two expansion packs, they truly seem committed to it. That, I can live with. Keep up the good work CD Projekt RED!
Currently Playing: The WItcher 3 (Xbox One)
Waiting For: Elder Scrolls Online (Xbox One)