The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – First Impressions


The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt released earlier this week and I’ve got the pleasure of reviewing the PS4 version thanks to CD Projekt RED and the fine folks at Evolve PR. While I haven’t played through enough yet to provide a review worthy of the title, I’ve spent enough time to share my initial impressions.
Let me start by saying you’ll need to put whatever else you’re playing onto the back burner for a while. The Witcher 3 isn’t a tiny game on any scale and there’s an immense amount of gameplay including the main storyline, various side quests, and crafting. Plus there’s a vast world that you can seemingly explore for hours on end with no sight of it ending.

It starts out in a pretty similar fashion to The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, with an optional tutorial (which I chose to do), and then it tosses you direct into the world. From the start, it’s totally up to you on what you would like to do. You can start off on the main quest, or do some small stuff to level up… or even mix it up and switch back and forth. A simple click of R3 switches the quest tracking so if part of the main quest is a little too tough, or you just want something different…. Try something else for a bit. Heck, want to explore? Double-click L3 and call your trustworthy horse, Roach, and ride off across the world for fun. So far, I haven’t hit any invisible boundaries although I know they’re out there…somewhere.

What I’ve played of the story so far has been enjoyable, and I look forward to the choice-based conversations with key characters. You’ll meet The Baron early on, and I really enjoyed the scenes with him. All characters that I’ve met so far, whether they’re portrayed as protagonists or antagonists – I really enjoy getting to know them. This is a well written script and I can’t wait to progress further.
On top of the quests, crafting, and exploration – The Witcher 3 has their own created mini-game, or card game rather, Gwent. Apparently console versions can end up crashing your game and putting you back on the dashboard, but the initial training game worked fine for me. I haven’t played anymore since, but I hope it’s being addressed in the upcoming patch since I’d like to spend more time with it.

The game doesn’t come without technical issues of course – there’s the previously mentioned ‘Gwent’ bug, but there’s also a fair bit of stuttering video moments, getting stuck in grass/trees/fences, and pop-in visuals. I know, I know. It sounds like I’m calling it broken – but it’s not. This stuff happens in so many big games, all of them really – and it gets improved and CD Projekt RED has already confirmed that they’re working on fixing up issues. There’s more than enough in the game that I’d consider as being great so the few negative things I have to say are overshadowed by positive quality features.

That’s about all I have to say for the moment – time to go play a little more before bed! Stay tuned for our full review sometime [hopefully] next week. But if you want a hint – it’s worth a purchase!


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