Everyone knows my love for Open World Goodness. I love the freedom that these type of games bring, and the fact you can play it in your own way. From looking across social media, expectations were high for this game, I was excited for it and couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. Did the game deliver? Read on to find out.
The first aspect that I’m going to talk about in this review, are the graphics and the worlds. Simply put, they are fantastic and absolutely gorgeous, this is probably one of if not the best looking game I have come across. The detail in the world is fantastic, from the buildings right down to the foliage. The trees and the grass swaying in the wind is simply divine, the cities are fantastically built and the swamps even look the business.
I think the graphics and worlds are helped out by the lighting, which again for me is simply stunning, the way the light hits everything and the progress of time with the sun, where you can see at 5am if you leave a building that there is a low sun and that it is blinding, just how it would be if I was to go out… Well.. Not so much in the UK anyway, but you get the picture. To be honest, for a lot of this game, words cannot do it justice, its one of those things where seeing is believing.
The character models used in the game, there has been a lot of care taken over these, and it a joy to see how much care has been taken. Especially in the close up scenes where you can see every line, scar, marking etc. There is so much detail that has gone into making these characters, its just fantastic to see and I have to applaud CD Projekt Red for the effort that has gone into, not only the characters but the game as a whole.
However, the only thing that is a bug bear with me is the fact that there seems to be limited Character Models. I have seen the same model of character used several times for different people and that has been a little disappointing to see. If its going to be characters you interact with, then there should be different models for those people. When you speak to people in the town and they’re not important to a quest, then OK as you don’t really get the full shot of the person, but if it is someone to do with a quest and your going to go into a cut scene with them to discuss something, they should look different to the commanding solider that you spoke to 5 minutes previous.
The world in The Witcher 3 is vast, and this screenshot is only a portion, the game doesnt let you zoom out to view the whole map, this is how big it is.
When writing this review I have played 12 hours of the game and done a fair chunk from the story, but for what I have played so far it has been a very enjoyable story and I’m liking the ranges in missions that I have been getting. They haven’t all been a certain type of mission, there’s plenty to do and you can mix that up with side missions as well. Missions also vary in time as well, some missions can take you 2 minutes… Im looking at you Frying Pan Contract!…. others can take you 30-45 minutes… This might just be me and the way I play, other people may do it quicker, but I like to be thorough in my missions… Also I get stuck a lot lol!! I have found the characters quite easy to make an attachment to as well, which I think helps when playing the storyline and keeping going with the game, if the characters were boring then I think it could be a harder story to follow, and I may have been inclined to finish it quicker to get it out of the way.
Another thing that I really enjoy with this game is the fact that everyone’s play through will be different, and this is down to the the choices you make as well as if you do side missions in between the main missions. I’ve been doing a few side missions here and there just to try and help rank my character up for the later missions which are going to need a higher ranked character and weapons.
There are a lot of different ways to upgrade your character, too many to fit them all in, so you have to be smart and think about how you’re going to have your character. Which way are you going to be? Stronger, better at Alchemy, Magic? The choice is yours!
The fighting mechanics in the game I have found to be a little sluggish at times, but love seeing Geralt hit a finishing move and seeing a head roll…. Beautiful fluidity. The controls as well took me a while to get used to and for someone who is playing the series for the first time may have found them over complicated, there’s a lot of things to remember as pretty much every button does something and its making sure you pressing the right button and using the correct weapon for the Human/Beast you are fighting.
I had a little tip from one of my Friends on Twitter/Xbox Live @SimplyThom – He said about turning the in game music off and listening to the world that way. WOW, what a difference it made. Being able to hear the hustle and bustle of the world, the wind howling around the forests and swamps was sensational. It brought a whole new dimension to the game for me. Now, the music is beautiful and creates the atmosphere as well, but this was something different, how clear the howling winds were and the difference it made to my own personal experience of the game made it that much more enjoyable.
Unfortunately, with the good comes the bad. There have been issues with the game which for me are unforgivable. One issue, which I feel is so serious I don’t think the game should be released with, and think that if these games are tested by Microsoft before released, why it wasn’t picked up. That issue is a save game issue. First 3 hours of game play I did, I died after being ambushed by bandits, save wouldn’t load, I had to hard reset my console, after it came back on the save was nowhere to be found, not even in the cloud. Gone. After I reported it on Twitter, there seemed to be a lot of other people who had suffered same as me, although some people were lucky and didn’t lose their save game. I was furious, all that work had gone down the pan.
I have also encountered frame rate issues in the game, which pretty much happens on most cut scenes, which begs the question, why wasn’t this picked up? Why is it now acceptable to release a game with bugs? People complain, but it is socially accepted that there will always be bugs when games are released now a days? There have also been sound syncing issues within the cut scenes where the speech hasn’t matched up with the characters mouth movements.
I’m hoping these issues will be patched, especially the save game bug. I think that could be a game breaker to some people.
In conclusion, despite issues with the frame rates in the game, I absolutely love this game, and feel that it could end up being Joon’s game of the year. Like I said earlier, I don’t think words can do it justice and its one of those things that you have to see for yourself. The Witcher 3 gets a exceptionally solid 9.2