The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt Review: A Stone Cold Classic

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Role-playing games don't come better than this: The Witcher 3 is the finest example of an RPG. And now it's available for Nintenvị Switch so you can play it on the go.Read full verdict

For Giant world to explore Hundreds of hours of engrossing gameplay Deep upgrade/alchemy/crafting systems Engaging characters và cutscenes Gorgeous visuals and great sound Difficulty levels to lớn cater for all
Against Camera during fights can be irksome Clunky horse control Some pop-up issues (for weather Lighting và characters) Distance for fast-travel & repairs can feel excessive sầu Re-use of some character faces

( - For role-playing game fans it"s only once in a xanh moon a title comes along that"s so engrossing you"ll willingly surrender not just a little bit of time khổng lồ play it, but days và weeks of your life. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is a prime example; a captivating game that, for our money, is the best RPG since Skyryên.

But, if anything, it"s a little bit more grown-up than that 2011 Bethesda epic. There"s a lot more f-ing and blinding for starters, the occasional c-bomb included. And much more blood. Oh, and let"s not forget the smattering of nudity. Yep, Witcher 3"s adult themes are quickly established from the moment the camera lingers on a bare derrière mere minutes into lớn the game. Yet - and despite that reading like an apparent Hollywood "sex, blood, swearing, - buy, buy, buy!" kind of chiến dịch - it"s not gratuitous, rather more representative sầu of a believable world. Y"know, one where mages & magic are a normality.

It"s also a timely release. With millions of trò chơi of Thrones fans the world over, there are inevitable comparisons - c"mon, even Charles Dance, voice of Tywin Lannister in Game of Thrones, voices Emperor Emhyr var Emreis here - despite Andrzej Sapkowski"s short stories preceding those of George RR Martin.

But whether you"re an existing bạn, a newcomer, or someone who"s looking khổng lồ trả lời the game on Nintenvì chưng Switch (that"s why we"re updating this review), the swordplay, magic, monsters & fire gods certainly make for damn good entertainment. So, attention grabbed, nipples acknowledged, we"ve spent dozens of hours delving inkhổng lồ The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt"s world, exploring its decision-based storyline, side missions và sprawling landscapes. Here"s why, whether you"re a fantasy fan or not, it"s still a stone cold classic of RPGs.

One giant beast

When it arrived baông xã in năm ngoái there was no game of the same epic scale as The Witcher 3. Even now, five years later, it"s still a huge world to lớn explore. The open landscape throws you into lớn a world of magic and combat, led by enticing characters and great acting that will keep you hooked. Ok, so Geralternative text, the witcher you play, might"ve been listening khổng lồ Christian Bale"s Batman a little too much, but his husky voice becomes part of the game"s charm.

After the main cutscene kicks-off proceedings - in hand-drawn graphic novel style with story narrator, a theme that continues with each loading & progress scene, but that feels distant from the style otherwise used within the game - the story begins with you seeking Ciri, your adopted daughter, who, for reasons unknown at the time, the evil Wild Hunt seek.

It"s from here the basics of combat are learned, in a flashbachồng to Ciri"s childhood. But there"s a whole lot khổng lồ master, which takes time to lớn then apply effectively in the game. The Witcher 3 is no plodding turn-based role-player: you"ll need lớn attack in fast-paced, real-time scenargame ios. It"s not all slash, slash, slash button bashing either; parry, dodge và use of stronger sword attacks in combination giảm giá with different foes. Other sword-bearing folk tend to lớn be easily dispatched, but groups of wraiths, ghouls và the lượt thích will demvà well-timed rolls and dodges to lớn get around.

To add lớn the mixing pot there are a variety of magical spells that are essential for tactical attachồng & defence - particularly when ensconced by a group of enemies. And let"s not forget additional items, including crossbows và bombs, that come in handy for certain combat... or just sheer provocation.

All this has the makings of a deep role-player, but that"s just the tip of the iceberg really. You"ll later learn crafting & alchemy, trading, và how to lớn apply experience points to lớn specific character enhancement trees (earned from quests, resulting in your levelling-up), all of which are essential lớn the game. Whether you chose the path of warrior, alchemist or magician is down to lớn the choices you make when applying upgrades. Enhancements can also be multiplied with mutagens, sourced from specific enemy kills.

Horsing around

In the first instance the game"s controls feel a little too heavy - something we still think lớn this day, especially when it comes to horsebaông chồng riding - but it"s something you"ll get used to. Well, after trying to climb up rather than run around a damn ladder for the fifth time. Controlling Geralternative text doesn"t feel as smooth as playing, say, Grand Theft Aulớn 5, nor is there the deftness of Assassin"s Creed when it comes lớn jumping gaps or climbing. But those are entirely different games, ones we"ve sầu played enough of & enjoyed for what they are.

And to be fair, Geralternative text is wearing armour, which must be pretty hefty given how his horse, Roach, handles. An essential element to the game given its scale, you"ll need lớn use your steed khổng lồ navigate more swiftly through the landscape. Just watch out for dips, walls and even some trees, which will catch you out and slow you down, often to a stop. In busier areas we"re often inclined to just run around on foot rather than via hooves for simplicity"s sake. Roach could definitely be more fluid in control, & despite a double-tap-to-follow-the-road mechanic, he"s not got the brains to lớn always head khổng lồ your desired location. That"s horses for you: neigh respect.

Traversing such a giant landscape can take a long time too. Fortunately there are fast travel signposts, discovered as you enter relevant areas - whether crossroads, towns, cities, hideouts, caves, & so forth - after which they appear on the world map. This brown-paper guide of the Witcher world is so big it would unfurl like a comical quadruple-form size broadsheet newspaper. It"s mind-boggling just how massive sầu this game is: think Skyrlặng & then multiply that by three.

It"s essential, therefore, to make use of the miniature version that hovers top-right of screen. Problem is, some core nearby points of interest (such as nearest fast travel signpost) don"t show-up if they fall outside of this small circle, so you"ll be menu digging a little more than you ought to lớn. And fast travel signposts aren"t as plentiful as they should be, particularly from some positions within the game.


Once you"ve got stuchồng inlớn the main storyline - and no spoilers here - you"ll quickly encounter multiple quests that show-off the game"s breadth. You can spover excessive time playing cards - "gwent", a complex card game that we still aren"t hugely interested in, but which since spawned its own separate dedicated game for sản phẩm điện thoại - or search out that rare herb needed for a potion. Sound too boring? Go explore a waterside and cut the heads và limbs off some drowners và ghouls instead. Or craft some armour.

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It all makes for a rich tapestry of gameplay that doesn"t throw you in at the deep-end, nor become single-minded in its approach. There are four levels of difficulty, varying from accessible khổng lồ bastard-hard, which can be changed at any point in the game too. If you don"t master dodging & parrying, though, then best stiông xã to the middle-to-lower settings.

If the lead missions are getting too tough then you"ll need lớn hold baông chồng your progress, explore some more to gain additional experience points and level-up your abilities. Enemies show a power bar alongside a number, the latter which represents their cấp độ. If you"ve achieved, say, level 10 & your foe are at a similar cấp độ then you"re in good shape to take them down.

However, the more enemies there are in a group, the tougher that can be. Avoid backing yourself inkhổng lồ a corner otherwise you"ll find The Witcher 3"s biggest stumbling block: a perilous tự động camera that can really work against you, particularly when fighting indoors. With groups you"ll vày well lớn deploy Bloodborne tactics: separate the larger groups into lớn individuals or smaller groups. Monsters tover to attaông xã en masse (which can be annoying when four drowners strike you simultaneously) whereas human opponents usually hold their ground, often goading you forward with come-hither hand movements.

Don"t fret if an enemy is four levels or so above sầu your level though. If they"re guaranteed khổng lồ be beyond your abilities then a red skull symbol will also show above their màn chơi - essentially telling you lớn get the hell out of there.

There"s one big issue here though: if you"ve sầu entered a mission where there"s no escape, & it"s a level well beyond your means, you best make sure you"ve manually saved prior, otherwise there"s no getting out of there. Which can be a total shutdown.

Like a boss

Things change pace even more when trùm characters are encountered. You"ll work your way up lớn each of them, but some will take a couple of goes to lớn take down. If you get stuck then the bestiary - a glossary of beasts và their weaknesses, found in your inventory - can be helpful, assuming you"ve acquired the relevant foe"s details from a previous quest.

Bosses are typically giant & have faces that would make small children cry. But we"ve already established it"s not a game for the lil"uns, so enjoy those ferocious wyvern beaks, three-eyed fiends, & gross-out botchlings. And try not to lớn cry too much when they dispatch you.

Typically magic và potions are the way to lớn forge ahead in the big fights. Alchemy can be performed on the road, so you needn"t find a specific location to create new bombs, potions và oils. Looting for these ingredients is the best way khổng lồ come about things - và, in our game, notoàn thân bar guards seem to give sầu a hoot about us stealing everything - but the alchemy panel can become heavy with a barrage of items in little time (which slows down loading and navigation).

For armour and weapons, however, you"ll need to lớn find the relevant armourer or blacksmith of the right skill to craft. There are portable repair kits, found infrequently, that you"ll want lớn use only at the essential moments. Swords damage quickly too, so it"s a good job your standard duo - silver for monsters, steel for humans - can be supplemented with as many additions, axes, maces, and so forth, as you want (subject lớn maximum weight). Looking after weapons can cost you a pretty penny; the primary use of extra ones is to lớn dismantle them và acquire the resulting goods for crafting better items.

Gorgeous details

The Wild Hunt is the first Witcher game to lớn make its way lớn consoles, with Xbox One và PlayStation 4 versions joining the PC copy - & theNintendo Switch joining the buổi tiệc nhỏ in 20đôi mươi too. The reason is obvious: there are graphical flourishes that, PC excluded, wouldn"t have been possible without the new-gene consoles. Even the Switch does a darn good job overall, all things considered.

Some of the small things st& out in particular: the way the wind catches the trees; how sunlight breaks through the branches as a forest thins out; the flow of characters" hair; even wet skin after a bath. Of course there"s better to lớn be had out there, because the gaming world moves fast, and five years is a long time in any game"s life. Take a glimpse at CD Projekt Red"s forthcoming Cyberpunk 2077, for example, and prepare khổng lồ be blown away.
In addition to lớn the great soundtraông xã the cast vì a cracking job too. It"s not all down to Charles Dance, mind, but the majority British cast bringing all manner of islander tongues khổng lồ the game, often with tongue-in-cheek impact that"ll bring a smile to your face. Shame the producers, CD Projekt Red, re-use many of the same faces for folk you meet on the way - it"s kind-of eerie - và that some characters, including rock trolls và witches, are borderline incomprehensible (you"ll be reading the subtitles). Oh, và almost all the children are inexplicably terrifying.


We"ve sầu spent a lot of time playing The Witcher 3. After completing it bachồng in 2015 when it first launched, we"re now deep into the Nintenbởi vì Switch version & still loving every minute of the experience.

We can forgive sầu a dodgy camera angle here, a bit too much nipple there, or even a misbehaving horse bumping into lớn yet another tree, because all those other glimmering moments of brilliance amount to lớn something greater. The Switch version also comes with all the downloadable content (DLC) latched on too, creating an even more complete experience.

You needn"t be a diehard fantasy genre người either: The Witcher 3"s massive world, gorgeous landscapes, balanced gameplay, detailed quests and story are all compelling enough khổng lồ hook you in and keep you there. Just be prepared lớn sacrifice your normal life because you"ll be scratching around trying to lớn find the dozens of extra hours you"ll want lớn spkết thúc playing it.

This article was first published on 19 May năm ngoái & has been updated following additional play and release availability