The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is a worthy end to CD Project Red's fantasy RPG series.
xperiences like The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt don't come along all that often. The sheer scope, attention to detail, and writing, is some of the best I've ever witnessed in a open-world game. Poland Developer "CD Project Red" are very passionate and ambitious, and it's clearly shown in The Witcher 3.
Wild Hunt is the third and final entry in the series, which sees the return of Geralt of Rivia, a monster slayer for hire. For newcomers to the franchise, Wild Hunt explains the backstory well enough, but it doesn't forget the core audience, either. It's a more personal story this time, which revolves around a women named Ciri, who has gone missing. Geralt raised her as his own, and she trained with the Witchers from a young age. Ciri is a child of the Elder Blood, holding a power no one quite understands. She can teleport between worlds. A ghostly group of riders, known as The Wild Blood, wish to harness this power, allowing them to invade other worlds. This leaves Geralt searching for clues to Ciri's whereabouts, hopefully finding her before the riders do.
Your journey will take you across the Northern Realms, on-foot, horseback, and by sailing the seas. You'll discover villages, towns and cities, to unsettling forests, swamps and caves. CD Project Red have captured, not only a stunningly varied world, but one that's full of life. None of the world seems wasted space, either. Towns and villages are well populated, with workers, children, animals and people having conversations. I found myself stopping on many occasionally, simply eavesdropping on chatter, or to admire the beautiful scenery. There's an overwhelming amount of interactions, too, which make exploring seem all the more worth while. It's easy to get side-tracked from your main objective. Whether it's discovering hidden treasures, taking side quests from notice boards, visiting shopkeepers and blacksmiths, and much more. Random events also take place from time to time. For instance, you may stumble upon someone harassed by guards, surrounded by wolfs, or even horses trapped in a stable fire. It's your choice whether to intervene, but doing so can be a very pleasing and rewarding experience.
Some of the best side quests take place in Witcher Contracts. Throughout the towns and villages, big nastiest terrorize the locals. This is where your Witcher Scenes come in handy, allowing you to pick up scents, blood trails and footprints. It's like a mini detective game, as you question suspects, find clues, and finally uncover the monsters whereabouts. All the monsters are unique, and can be utterly terrifying. Your tactics in defeating them are nicely varied, too. For example, one was hidden in a cave, requiring me to use a crafted bomb to flush it out. Whilst another one was only venerable to attack by using the magic trap. Unique trophies make defeating the beasts seem worth while, too. They add small bonuses, such as increasing the chance of dismembering enemy limbs, or increasing the amount of gold you earn.
You can shape how many stories unfold, which makes completing quests seem meaningful. Throughout the story and side-quests, you'll be given various paths to choose from. How Geralt reacts to a certain situation is entirely up to you. Weather it's been polite, rude, aggressive, talking your way out of a conversation, or simply using the mind control sign to change peoples thoughts. It's not just a fancy gimmick, either. Your decisions can have real consequences, which can impact the world around you further down the line. It makes interacting with characters very enjoyable, and gives the illusion the world is evolving around you.
One of the most complex aspects to the Witcher series is combat. In the Witcher 3, combat has been refined. No longer do battles feel like an half-baked PC port. It's much more fluid and responsive this time. The hand combat is mostly an hack-n-slash affair, combined with light and heavy attacks. You'll need to parry and dodge attacks in-between, which can take some time to master. Four unique magic abilities are at your disposal, too. You can switch between these on the fly. Igni, for instance, unleashes a burst of fire, setting anything flammable nearby alight. The Axxi sign, on the other hand, stuns enemies, and can even control minds into attacking their own allies. Each sign can be upgraded too, which keeps fights feeling fresh and interesting.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is one of the best open-world RPG's ever created From it's stunning, engrossing world, compelling stories and variety, Wild Hunt is a fantastic, worthy final chapter to the series.