First Impressions: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

If you saw my last post you no doubt are aware that I’m currently working my way through the highly praised 2015 game The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.

And if I’m being honest, I don’t yet see the amazing game I’ve been sold on.

Graphically the game is beautiful, especially the world the game is set in.  So far my favorite part of the actual gameplay has been wandering through the world.

The narrative seems solid too and definitely has me interested.  I’ve read one of the books the series is derived from and loved the story I saw of The Witcher 2 so this part isn’t exactly surprising.  So far Witcher 3’s quest to find Ciri, a young female Witcher and the looming threat of the titular Wild Hunt has me all but on the edge of my seat.

Sadly the game itself just isn’t gripping me.  There are major elements of the gameplay that I find either annoying, cumbersome or outright wretched.  I strongly dislike how slow you are to level, especially when not 8 hours into the game the story has already brought me to an area that I’m several levels (and in one case 29 levels) short of the minimum suggested level for the quests.  The crafting systems are obnoxious, whereas I prefer a system that lets you handle the smelting, breaking down and crafting of items yourself Witcher 3 has you paying for all these services.  As I’ve yet to find an abundance of gold I lack the desire to pay for things that better RPGs have let you do yourself.  I also don’t care for the combat at all, going so far as to feel immediate frustration the moment combat begins.  Also among the enjoyment killing aspects of the game are: equipment degradation, the toxicity system with potions and the minimalistic magic system.

So far my interest in the story has been the carrot on the stick pulling me along dutifully but the gameplay itself has certainly not done the game any favors.  I really want to like this game but so far it has been an uphill battle.

Here is the play-list as it stands now.  If you jump to the end of the final video I’m pretty certain you can hear the disappointment in my voice as I give up for the night in the midst of a quest that had me leading a goat by ringing a bell when a massive bear became an obstacle that had to be beaten and not avoided.

-Shad (@PolyNerdic)

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