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The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Review

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Story:

I have to be honest that as I played, and to a degree before the release, I was ready to accept there being plot-holes and other issues in the story of Wild Hunt. After all it is a massive game covering a great deal, so for there to be a slip here or there is forgivable. As story is so important to me, I naturally watched for any such issue. I noticed nothing, or at least nothing of any significance. Truly, there is not one mentionable problem with the story, as I played it. (This is the guy who once took serious issue over a single line in a game.)

At the end of the previous game, no matter the choices you made, the empire of Nilfgaard invades the northern realms, which include all of the playable areas from all of the games. With that as the larger setting, Geralt has been given some very important news by an old friend, Yennefer. Actually Yennefer was Geralt's love, prior to him losing his memory at the beginning of the first game, and now we finally meet her. The important news is that Ciri, a girl Geralt raised as his own with Yennefer, has returned. Ciri is not any ordinary woman, because in addition to her training as a Witcher (just without the mutations), she is also the daughter of Emhyr van Emreis, the Emperor of Nilfgaard, and the only person alive with Elder Blood in her veins. This gives her extraordinary powers, including the ability to travel between worlds, which is why the Wild Hunt is after her. As is explained in the game, and not exactly a spoiler, the world the Wild Hunt is from is facing its apocalypse, and the King of the Wild Hunt, Eredin, wants to use her power to move a large enough army to conquer worlds with more time left.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basically, everyone is after Ciri, so Geralt is on the hunt for her now in order to protect her. Because she is trying to hide from the Wild Hunt, she travels to different parts of the world, looking for friends to help her, including Geralt and Yennefer, although she does not find them. Thanks to Emhyr's spies, Geralt has some leads and is now searching for her as well. This search will take you to many places and have you interact with a variety of people, including some familiar faces to the game franchise.

Even though Geralt is, in theory, focused on finding Ciri, there is tremendous depth to the other stories you will be able to play out. I mean, there were a number of times when you do not just learn the superficial information about people, but their history and what has led to their current predicaments. Depending on how sensitive you are, I could see some of these stories hitting people in the gut with the emotions involved.

 

 

While the game definitely has its darker moments, there is definitely a healthy sense of humor as well. I found myself at least smiling with any dealings with trolls and Dandelion the bard, and laughing when Geralt gets drunk with some other Witchers. The time Geralt and Ciri played Rock, Paper, Scissors to decide which of them kills which enemies also got me smiling.

 

 

Throughout it all, there is a sincerity to the actions and character that makes it always feel grounded, at least to me. This makes it much easier and more comfortable to become attached to the characters, which can make some of the decisions presented to the player a bit tougher. You have to be quick with some of them, too, because there is a time limit to some decisions, but not many. Some of the decisions without timers can be hard, too, if only because you do not know what the ramifications may be.

One concern I can see people having is the vastness of the world and how easily one can get side tracked from the campaign. Just traveling between villages can be enough to happen upon side missions. Fortunately none of these side quests are all that grand, compared to the campaign, although some will shape the game later on, and when you complete a side mission, the game starts tracking a campaign mission automatically. This makes it pretty easy to get back on track, but you can still expect to spend many, many hours outside of the campaign. I do recommend doing these missions in part because they exist to present the normal behavior and lives of Witchers, instead of Geralt's more adventurous existence.

 

 

Many of the side missions you pick up will be in the form of contracts placed on village noticeboards. These contracts can be for a Witcher to kill some monster or find a missing person, who almost invariably was killed by a monster. Other information will be placed on a noticeboard than just contracts, including mentions of points of interest in the area, so you do want to check them out.

One thing that I noticed while playing that seemed a little odd is that while the game is titled The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, you do not encounter the Wild Hunt that much. There are definitely significant encounters with them, but no random encounters in the world. But then, if you did encounter them, more people would have to admit they exist, as many believe them just to be myth and fairytale for scaring children. Plus it would distract from the importance of events in the world because there is an army of alien elves invading.

 

I am not sure what more I can say without risking spoilers. It is a grand and deep story and I cannot think of another game with one that matches it. I cannot imagine how much effort was invested into crafting the story, but it was well worth it.

 




  1. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Review - Introduction
  2. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Review - Graphics
  3. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Review - Story
  4. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Review - Gameplay
  5. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Review - Additional Gameplay Media
  6. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Review - Conclusion
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