I may have mentioned that my recent gaming has consisted pretty much of 1 game. It has provided entertainment for months now. There are quests, side quests and treasure hunts. There are monsters, wizards, sorceresses, witches and 3 nasty old hags who live in a hut and devour children. There’s blood and dismemberment. This is one for the adults only and is an 18 cert. Yes it is Witcher 3. I bought it expecting to get a little way in and then return to Assassins creed. Now it’s AC that is gathering dust while I reach for the Witcher disc.
Loosely it is a story of the titular Witcher whose sort of adopted daughter (Who is really heir to the throne of an Emperor!) is in a spot of bother with the Wild Hunt. She has elder blood (Elven!) and they want her cos she is potentially powerful. Typical teen really.
So the story of story of Ciri (The Girl), Geralt (The Witcher), Triss and Yennefer (The Witcher’s women, and the Wild Hunt (The Bad guys) together with assorted NPC’s make for a rich and loooong (Did I mention long?) experience. It is open world, 5 main areas with an individual map of each. There are all sorts of things to do in all 5. You can dip into the story quests at any time or go around levelling up or following side quests. You can even sail boats in certain places.
Many RPG claim to be big and this isn’t really much different in terms of the types of quests. The difference is that this is HUGE. The quests, while similar, are well written and some at least as long as the main quests. On Normal mode it is challenging. I ended up on level 35 and there are still 2 quests I am having trouble despite having beaten all the Bosses and finished the story. If you can’t get 100 plus hours from this game I will be surprised.
There is, as always in RPG’s, a card game for which you can collect cards throughout. I see these as irrelevant, but I am hopeless at them. Some quests are about collecting rare cards. All the merchant and inn-keeper characters you meet are up for a game. Some of the main ones ask you for a game but you can refuse. You can race your horse, Roach, but again I am not really interested. Even without these the game is big. It does what Skyrim does but with more humour and emotion and much better graphics
As is normal in these games, you can be in a hell of blood and gore three continents from where you left him and a click brings your horse running. How he managed to follow you is not disclosed. He also gets in some tight spots often finding himself 5 feet off the ground. Below is a mock up but stuff like this happens. Usually he ends up entwined in trees.
Make no mistake, though, it is quite easy to get into sexually graphic cut scenes (By Games standards). You can even visit a house of ill-repute. Some choices regarding Triss and Yennefer lead to said cut scenes. Added to the blood and the gore children should not be allowed anywhere near this game.
So to the point. I have finished the storyline. You are invited to save your character, at the current level, into a game and have all your old quests etc. intact or play again. I chose the former, mainly to mop up quests and upgrade as much as I can. Trouble is, all the interesting quests are gone. All that is left are any treasure hunts and monster slaying contracts. they are all very samey. I will continue to play on and off for as long as I can but other, neglected, games await my attention and Dark souls 3 and the new Resident Evil look tempting. I trade games in and, though it pains me, the Witcher is on the trade-in list. Luckily for Geralt, even with a trade in, these games are still beyond the budget for now. Even so I know it will be like saying goodbye to an old friend.