The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt on the PlayStation 4 is truly an epic experience, the overall gameplay and open world depicted with stunning scenery makes for a grand endeavor. The PlayStation 4 superior graphics only enhances the experience you will partake in.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is an action adventure role-playing video game set in an open world environment, developed and published by video game developer CD Projekt RED, it was released worldwide for the PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on 19 May 2015.
The Witcher series has long since established itself as a house hold name in the Action RPG marketplace. For the past four or five years we have been gifted with a burgeoning new IP based off some pretty great source novels. Following the character Geralt we have watched his world grow exponentially more violent and wild with each passing entry. Now in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt things have peaked in terms of playable craziness. Taking a page out of the book that Skyrim wrote, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt hit the shelves as one of the most fun games we have ever played. Blending an open world atmosphere with gorgeous graphics and advanced RPG sensibilities, we quickly fell in love. Keep on reading to see why this is our Game of the Year.
As we mentioned above The Witcher is based on a fantasy novel written in Polish. The series of novels gained cult classic status and quickly was transferred over by the developers at CD Projekt RED, starting way back in 2007 with the first release in the series: The Witcher. Since then we have seen two more titles, culminating with Wild Hunt - which we are reviewing for the PS4. Before we dig too deeply into the game, you might want to know a little bit about the lore.
You play as Geralt of Rivia. Geralt is a Witcher and Witchers are mutants that are trained to hunt and kill, for money, passion, or justice. They are almost like rogue Rangers, pulled from Lord of the Rings, that don’t have qualms with dabbling in the moral gray areas. In Wild Hunt you continue your journey through the Northern Kingdoms as you search for your daughter adopted daughter, Ciri. Ciri is on the run, fleeing the Wild Hunt (taken from the title), and the challenge you have to take up in order to find her is pretty staggering. Not only is the game gigantic, putting itself in the same shoes as Skyrim and other open world Bethesda epics, but the entirety of the world is unique and interesting.
According to the lore, and the developers, Wild Hunt will be the last story in Geralt’s line of Witcher releases. That doesn’t mean we won’t see more titles in the future, and we should base this on how well this was crafted. So as this is Geralt’s last ride through his world it is only fitting that the game be open ended for the first time in the franchise’s history. That’s right, Wild Hunt brings you into the world without any limits. There are no invisible walls, no quests funneling you into a certain area, and absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t allow yourself to get lost in the epic world. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is bigger than Skyrim and even more immersive. You can play for a week, pushing 10 - 15 hours, and still feel like you haven’t even scratched the very surface of the game.
The Northern Kingdoms are definitely typical to your fantasy world tropes, on surface level. There are swords and sorcerers, giant beasts and bandits, villages and castles and so much more for you to wander around. You’ll see snowcapped mountains, giant deserts, lakes and oceans, and even beautiful cityscapes. As you adventure throughout this beautiful painting of a game you will run into many different events in order to keep you entertained. You can collect items to craft potions or perform alchemy, you can fight bandits, and you can even run into some creatures that will tear you apart if you are silly, or brave, enough to engage them in combat.
Fast traveling in Wild Hunt works the same as Skyrim, and that’s good. Once you discover a place it will add itself to your map, allowing you to quickly get to that location at will. Otherwise you can ride Roach, your trusty steed, or simply run along as Geralt. Stamina rules all things so you will have to be careful to monitor your meter in case you suddenly come upon some enemies too big for you to handle.
Like most open world endeavors, the very beginning of Wild Hunt is almost completely overwhelming. You are literally dropped into the game, provided with a cool introduction, and then promptly left to your own devices. The tutorial opening itself can last you up to five hours if you complete everything to 100% (though you’ll probably be too impatient, won’t you?) and that’s just the frigging beginning. Past the tutorial you will run the gamut of open world distractions. Questing will be how most players spend their time in this world. You can follow along the 'campaign' quests. These push you straightforward along the story and are the quickest way with which you can beat the game. Otherwise get lost off the beaten path and dig into side quests, favors for villagers, and even scavenger hunting for certain items.
Perhaps the best part of Wild Hunt is that it refuses to be generic, even when it would totally be forgivable. There are hundreds of quests for you to partake in and each one of them borders on being unique. Some quests will have you sent out as an assassin, others will have you playing cards, and some will even have you taking the stage of a local production company. You can even fall in love and get tangled in the bedsheets with any of the various lovely lasses that you run across - some for payment and others for love. The full on sex scenes are quite graphic and definitely not appropriate for younger audiences.
Geralt is also customizable thanks to the depth of the RPG system. As you play and push through the game you’ll start to craft the White Wolf into the perfect adventuring machine made explicitly to your instructions. Ability points and technique trees rule the realm, and so does collecting the right gear.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is a gorgeous game that belongs in the library of every 18+ year old gamer.