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Fantastic game, slightly marred by one questionable design choice.

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    minervo
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    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

    Rating: 4.5 – Outstanding

    Fantastic game, slightly marred by one questionable design choice.

    Intro

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is an instant classic that deserves the scores it has gotten. Fans and critics alike agree that the game is outstanding – from the graphics, to the audio, to the story and gameplay; I would have given it a perfect 10 if not for one design choice that gets on my nerves sometimes. I will break up the review into sections, detailing my thoughts and opinions in each.

    Graphics

    The attention to detail and density of the graphics is phenomenal. On more than one occasion I have stopped to survey the environment and take in the scenery. This game is picturesque. Everything moves including the grass and trees, if you walk over shrubs they will bend slightly under your feet, though this hasn’t been perfected yet. The clouds look realistic and three-dimentional, you will see lightning during storms, when you walk over sand you will see footprints, there is fog over the water at dawn, and the water itself looks great. Geralt also looks great, but if you give him a long haircut, his hair will clip through clothing, which breaks from the realism. You will see all sorts of wildlife and enemies, all look great. When a monster attacks you, you will see it opening its mouth, trying to bite you. Characters look good, although you will see the same character models throughout your adventure. Facial animations in particular are outstanding, and the lips on all characters move realistically as they talk to you, even Geralt’s during gameplay. One complaint is the distance fog at times; for some reason it does not appear in one of the games areas, while in others it’s a little too much. But overall the graphics are amazing, and it’s a pleasure to experience them. 9.5/10.

    Audio

    Let’s start with the voice acting, which took a considerable amount of time during development. It’s superb. Geralt sounds gritty and mature, thanks to Doug Cockle. All other voice actors and actresses fit their roles perfectly, though some minor characters will sound the same as each other. You will hear random conversations if you’re willing to stop and listen, Geralt will make comments about the weather and monsters, you will hear singing and coughing, etc. The music fits the game wherever you go, though it overshadows the sound effects which I find could have had a little more power to them. 9/10.

    Story

    The game begins in the fortress Kaer Morhen, the first location of the game. I will not spoil much, but the main story is phenomenal from start to finish. It’s long, but it will take you throughout all the regions of the game as you search for Ciri and attempt to stop the Wild Hunt and the White Frost. However, this game’s story really shines in the side-quests, which you will find as you wander around or read notice boards in towns and cities. This is where you will see just how good at story-telling CD Project RED is, and quite a few times emotion got to me and I shed a tear. The world is so full of side-quests and random encounters that it can be overwhelming, even though there is a quest log where you can keep track of it all. There is also a bestiary where you can read about all monsters in depth, including their weaknesses, there is a character section full to the brim with info if you forgot who someone is, and all quests are explained in case you want to do it later. Each quest will tell you exactly what to do and where to go, so there really is no need for a guide at all, but you can turn it off if you please. The story is an easy 10/10.

    Gameplay

    Here’s the most important aspect of any game in my opinion, and thankfully it’s good. Fighting is a lot of fun and each monster feels different as you fight them. Besides the swords, you can throw bombs, shoot arrows, and cast magic signs, which can be upgraded. One gripe I have with the gameplay, as I mentioned in the title, is this: The lock on. You cannot disengage it at will, and you cannot jump while you’re in this mode. So good luck trying to climb over a small ledge, you cannot do it if there’s an enemy around. This really is the only main complaint I have with this game, why they decided to do this is beyond my comprehension. Other than this, the gameplay is a lot of fun. Running around the world is interesting and you will never know what you will run into, including easter eggs. So whether you’re the type of person who loves doing the intended thing and completing the story, or if you like to go out and find adventure of your own, the game has you covered. There is an alchemy and weapons upgrade system in the menus, but you really don’t need to use it much unless you’re on a higher difficulty, except for a few rare instances. Loot is plentiful and so are plants you can pick if you like that sort of thing. Overall the gameplay is top notch, if not for my one gripe i would give it a perfect score, so I will give it a 9/10.

    Conclusion

    All aspects of the game have a triple-A feel towards them. The game is both huge and dense, has great characters and story, the graphics are superb, the music and audio are great, and the gameplay is so much fun. I would highly recommend this game, but be warned you will put down a lot of time on it, though that is the mark of a good game. 9.5/10.

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