One of my favorite games of all time is CD Projekt Red’s “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.” The Witcher 3 an open-world game role-playing game set in 1272. The main playable character is Geralt, a “monster-slayer” with special abilities otherwise known as a “witcher.” Being a witcher means having mutations, which gives Geralt abilities to use against his enemies. For example, Geralt has a mutation that allows him to create a magic trap around enemies and stun them, allowing for quick sword kills.
The story of The Witcher 3 focuses on Geralt’s journey to finding one of his students by the name of Cirila (Ciri for short). Ciri trained to become a witcher at Geralt’s Witcher School after he took her in from her terrible family, but Ciri never completed her the trial to make her a witcher. Instead, she ran from a group known as the “Wild Hunt” who wanted to take Ciri’s abilities and use them to destroy all who oppose them. Ciri hid in a different world for almost two years to fight off the Wild Hunt, but she continued to ran. The Wild Hunt tracked her scent and forced her back to Geralt’s word. He learns that Ciri has returned and his mission is to find her before the Wild Hunt does.
The audio of The Witcher 3 was top-notch. The music sets you, the player, in their visual world with old tunes being played on one instrument and plenty of singing. Non-playable characters have interesting dialogue with Geralt and other NPCs to help scope the story even further. When you are close to a monster, you can hear their screams and anger as Geralt approaches ready to strike. The Witcher 3’s visual aspects are unparalleled from any RPG game, as the game focuses on telling the story through gameplay. Cutscene are very minimal, but give players a backstory to the events in the Witcher universe. The game’s graphics are great, but the game’s combat system could use some work. It is at times clunky and non-rewarding, but gives players a ton of fun and allow players to “hack and slash” their way through the game.
As important as Geralt and Ciri are to the story, romances help Geralt make important decisions on his journey. Yennefer and Triss are two former love interests of Geralt, and both have a tie to Ciri. In the game, you have a choice on romancing Yennefer or Triss, as well as other characters you meet in the story and at brothels. It gives players the freedom of choice, but each choice you make comes with consequences. The open world environment allows you to explore many different regions of the 1272 Eastern Hemisphere with treasure to find, side quests to complete, and tons of enemies to slay. You can create your own adventure in the world and it is easy to get submerged during your playtime.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is one of the best games to come out in the last 5 years. It combines the best of elements from most RPG’s and gives players a unique story to dive into. I put in over 100 hours on my first playthrough, which includes the “Heart of Stone” and “Blood and Wine” expansion packs. It is a beautiful and fun open-world adventure to take on and be prepared to spend countless hours fighting monsters and finding love.
FINAL SCORE: 9.5/10