Geralt of Rivia finally graces us with his presence on PS4 and Xbox One in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, an open world adventure set after the events of Assassins of Kings. After much hype and anticipation of this title plus arguments whether it’s going to be 60 fps or have gleaming 1080p graphics, its hit consoles and PC’s with a bang. Developers CD Projekt RED and publishers Bandai Namco have promised the world with this title, literally, saying its game world is 20 percent bigger than that of the fantastic Skyrim. Being a Skyrim fan, I found it hard to believe. I slipped the disc into my machine with a stiff upper lip.
You, as Geralt, have moved on from the events of past journeys however your peace is soon interrupted by receiving information and witnessing that the Northern Kingdoms have been terrorised by a group of phantom horseback riders known as the Wild Hunt. I must admit, the Wild Hunt is fantastic antagonists. Every time they are on screen, they intimidated with their spiked skull helmets and heavy daedric armour (another Skyrim reference there) I dreaded fighting them. The Witcher 3’s story is filled to the brim with interesting characters complete with top notch dialogue and voice acting. Remember Assassins of Kings where everyone wanted to “Plough” everything? Gone thank god.
Gameplay has improved tenfold. Geralt controls smoothly and fluently and traversing the vast wilderness is a hell of an experience whether on foot or on your horse Roach. Come across chests or crates and you can loot them for goodies which can be read, dismantled for crafting parts for the complex but simple crafting system or worn. Don’t want it? Sell it; there are loads of merchants around. You’re also free to use grindstones or armour tables to enhance your equipment for a short time.
The combat is deep and requires patience rather than going all-out attack. Geralt has steel and silver sword, using the wrong one against an opponent makes things tough. Steel is for living things and silver for monsters and creatures. Geralt has mastered his swordsman skills. Using swift turns and techniques which require you to just alternate between the light and heavy attack buttons is a blast. The final blow sometimes comes with a lovely brutal finisher animation.
In The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, there are literally hundreds of side missions to take on. They are even as interesting as or even more so than the main plotline. I helped a priest burn bodies after a battle only to find it was the priest who made them dead thanks to a lone survivor. I just wanted to do more missions after that as it opens the game right up, sometimes you may even get awarded by more than just ale, if you know what I mean.
Wild Hunt is one of the best looking games on consoles to date. Vast landscapes blessed with the light of dawn looks breath-taking and heavy rainstorms feel like you should really take shelter. I was blown away with the visuals however they are far from perfect. Random item movements, cosmetic glitches and texture popping was undesirable to say the least but not once did it pull down the game off of its skyscraper pedestal.
Massive beautiful world begging to be explored.
Geralt is one cool customer.
Brilliant dialogue and voice acting.
Deep satisfying combat.
Tonnes of missions, sides ones sometimes better than the main one.
Graphical glitches here and there.
Sex on a Unicorn? Really?
I say this with pride that The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is one of the best role playing games in existence. Its massive open world filled with interesting characters and stacks of missions make it one hell of a journey. Although there are some graphical hiccups, not once did they take the shine away from those magnificent sunsets and fantastic weather effects. There goes my free time.