The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Thoughts
So I finally finished my first play-through. Wanted to share in case anyone was on the fence of purchasing.
Incredible amount of content
Incredibly large world
Story is fantastic
Quests stay interesting right to the end, even the side quests are often scripted and extremely well done.
Itemization of the world sucks
Combat difficulty starts high but once you get enough levels and gear it becomes trivial
My suggestions to anyone playing this coming from Skyrim or Fallout. It's not the same. It's open world but if you treat it like a Bethesda game you're likely going to be disappointed. In Fallout, you could pick a far off waypoint and just walk towards it and never make it because of the interesting things between you and it. The story was secondary really to the world building. With The Witcher 3, the world is really just there as a backdrop that serves the story. There are hundreds of POI's but they are all bandit camps, small hamlets needing to be freed, monster nests, all morsel sized bites of content. Takes 2 minutes to clear. Also, the best weapons in The Witcher 3 are from diagrams you can buy maps to find. In short, there's little reason to just randomly explore. I struggled with this concept for weeks. Finally I went with the flow and just started doing quests, tracking down bounties, following treasure maps, playing Gwent and honestly, at that point the game got really really fun. If you do those things, the game will take you to all corners of the map anyway. The closer to the end I got the more caught up in the story I became. There are multiple endings and what is considered a "best ending" which I didn't get. Will play again once they release the 2 expansion packs. With those expansion packs it's well over 100 hundred hours of content. I spent more than 100 without them. Will wait though, personally will likely want to play with a combat re-balance mod and maybe someone will do something about the itemization of chests and monsters. Give people a reason to head out into the wilderness. I'd really like to see:
1: Larger pieces of interesting content not tied to a quest with unique items as rewards. Bethesda has this one nailed.
2: A different class of items in the world, Diabloesque. in W3 the Witcher class of gear (the green stuff) is easily obtainable and king. Everything else becomes vendor fodder, even the Relics. This was a real thorn in my side. Love to see randomly seeded legendary class items or random loot be completely....random like Diablo with a point based stat system.
In the end though it's a bloody fantastic game and worth it for anyone to play. They recently announced they surpassed 6 million copies sold. Consider that no one heard of the The Witcher when it was released by a small games studio in Poland 8 years ago. The fact they just built one of the largest open world games ever (their first attempt at open world), almost bug free, to rave reviews and heading towards 10 million copies sold is nothing short of amazing. Can't wait to see what these guys do next.