After a mesmerizing and a striking story of betrayal and clandestine affairs that kept the fans of Witcher 2:Assassin of Kings completely awe stricken, its successor, the Witcher 3 starts more on a gentler note following the events from the previous version with a revamped combat system and enhanced magical powers. The game developed by CD Projekt RED offers an enthralling above 100 hours of action mixed role-playing in a vast world of lush green rolling fields with sporadic village houses and farms in a full day/night cycle ending the story of Geralt of Rivia on a higher note.
The game is setup directly after the events of The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings, where the protagonist, Geralt of Rivia, known as the Witcher is set on a mission to find his long lost love, the sorceress Yennefer of Vengerberg and their adopted daughter Ciri who was trained to be a Witcher since childhood under the guidance of Vesemir. The entire story revolves around Geralt carrying out tasks for several characters in exchange for information on the whereabouts of Ciri who was in danger of being chased by the wild hunt, also known as The Phantom Army. The story at times becomes grinding owning to the fact that occasionally when I felt like heading towards the unraveling of a mystery, I was engaged in lackey frustrating tasks. But the same was effectively counter-effected by the immaculate combat system together with an exhilarating RPG mechanics.
The game has a vast world with a small minimap at the top without which one would feel lost. Most of world map stretches across long verdant fields with sceneries, small townships, rivers and farmlands. The travel mode can be foot, horseback or sailing on boats with an additional feature of fast travel as in Assassin’s Creed. The brutal responsive combat system is intrigued with excellent dynamics and viewing angles and a new ability to focus on an enemy.
Swords can be chosen depending on the enemies. The use of magical signs, parrying and counter skills makes me feel to fight endlessly and perform proper blows on the enemies. Even crossbows can be used which adds to the weaponry. The game incorporates an interesting dialogue system where one can choose between different conversation abilities which can make a difference later in the game but there are no paragon or renegade points, unlike mass effect.
The main elements of a Witcher are the swords, signs and alchemy. The signs are very well introduced in this game from the previous version with the same elemental powers of Yrden, Quen, Igni, Axii and Aard. The alchemy is much more enhanced with the abilities of brewing potions, oil preparation, bomb creation, Mutations and Trial of Grasses. The inventory section includes many more elements of consumables for health regeneration which can be also done using meditation, and coins which can be used to buy items. The map also consists of notice boards and quest givers for additional side quests, alchemists, armorers, blacksmiths, grindstone etc. The new features of combat from horseback, underwater diving and so many new characters makes the game even more engrossing.
The game has some great detailing and sharp features over the vast sceneries, farmlands and foliage. Therefore the graphics of the game are slightly on the higher end. Though the game runs at 60 fps with a GTX 980 but I was able to run it on an average 25 fps with AMD 7730M at low settings. The game has been pretty much stable for me with no much stutters, lags or crashes but irregular fps drops during in-game cutscenes or high demanding graphics sequences.
The dynamic weather and the continuous day/night cycle has been an enthralling factor of the game. The audio of the game includes calm and soothing background music that goes with the daily town life and moments of intense tunes during combats and battles. The dialogue system is very meticulously designed with conversational abilities leading to instigate arguments, end conversation, play games or buy products.
Gwent Card Game - a collectible card game found at different locations that involves a game of fight between two armies on a battlefield.
- Objective is to maintain a greater strength of cards than one's opponent on the board by the end of all rounds.
- Players can choose between any of the three tiers of unit cards- Close Combat, Ranged Combat, Siege Combat.
- Special cards or weather cards posesses bonus abilities to increase or decrease the strength of other unit cards.
- Gwent consists of 150 cards from factions- Nilfgaard, Northern Realms, Monsters, Scoia'tael.
The game, apart from its main quests, also provides a secondary line of side quests where lots of assassination tasks, alliances and love affairs can be dealt with. The intimate relationship between Geralt and Yennefer have been portrayed gorgeously throughout the story. The Witcher Sense is a very useful characteristic that allows the Witcher to know his surroundings and a lot of detective tasks are carried upon with it. Mutagens of enemies can be collected and used to gain new witcher abilities or used as potions during battles to gain additional strength. Collectibles for different alchemy formula can be collected all across the map. The game truly deserves those 100 hours of gameplay that it promises and I still want to continue playing it.
Though the predictable and mainstream story line with all its main quest missions do at times create a bit of dullness, but still the ecstatic gameplay through the vast and lush green world continue to mesmerize in all sorts of way. The horse riding, engaging combat system with the action packed RPG gameplay as well as the number of new characters through the story counters all the negative aspects of the monotonous plot and keeps us at the edge of our seats for more than a century hours.
PC, Xbox One, PS4
CD Projekt RED
CD Projekt, Namco Bandai
19th May 2015
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