Witcher 3 is great but it’s no game

 

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A couple of weeks ago, sometime mid February 2016, I went to the dinning room where my wife and daughter were and announced “I finished it.” I remember it well, my eyes were red, I had a knot on my throat and I was feeling quite emotional. My wife quickly turned it to a quick joke “Yey! Daddy’s back!”

In case you finished or know what is the good ending of Witcher 3, that’s what I got. If you know all this and have a young daughter, you know how I was feeling, give or take some emotion. Want to know more? 

I’ll start by saying that Witcher 3 Wild Hunt was a great experience, one of the best, if not the best I lived as a video game player… gamer if you insist. But I can’t describe it as a game. Actually the game annoyed the hell out of me. Allow me to elaborate.

I found the camera and the controls of Witcher 3 as something that got in the way all the time. The number of times I tweaked the orientation of the camera and even Geralt’s position just to pick some loot were too many to count. The combat system and my control over it went from chaotic glorified WTF button mashing to a sensation of absolute OP.

Yes I found Witcher 3, as a game, to be lacking. And those are the bad news.

The good news is that Witcher 3 Wild Hunt is not a game. It is a profound interactive experience disguised as a video game. Witcher 3 is as close as I ever felt to an interactive movie and in that context nothing that I’ve played before comes close to it.

I’m still playing and I’ll keep playing it for a long time. The work of Geralt is not finished yet. I might even get some DLCs.

The reason why Witcher 3 as an experience is so great is because of the main character limitation. You are Geralt. No choice of classes or personality. Geralt is Geralt and since all other characters orbit around him and the story, it is possible to create a deeply complex storyline without having to worry about a large number of possibilities, just enough to create a compelling experience.

One thing I appreciated was the character design in the context of an adult novel kind of thing. This makes the game surprisingly beautiful while occurring in a disturbingly ugly world. Then again character design would be nothing without the great dialogs and voice acting. There was very little (if anything) that didn’t have voice acting. This adds to the world quite a lot.

So, if you are a looking for a great adventure and don’t mind throwing a couple hundred hours of gameplay (or sort of gameplay) you should try Witcher 3. It is amazing… just not a game.

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