‘Witcher 3: Wild Hunt’ unforgettable

By Chris Mudd, Staff Writer

It feels increasingly uncommon for a video game to capture the spark of imagination in its players. It is far too easy to create a game on rails, where a click or press of a button moves you from story point to story point, but the player doesn’t really get a sense of the world or the scale of the events taking place. “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt” however, as one of the best role-playing games I’ve played, that creates an elaborate and massive world that I will not soon forget.

While my time with the game was limited, the ten hours I spent playing the game were unforgettable. The developers somehow managed to channel a sense of grand adventure that few RPGs attain. The world is just as vibrant and alive as “Skyrim,” with a combat system and controls that feel tight and responsive. There’s a certain level of action that even “Skyrim” couldn’t capture. The combat is some of the most fun I’ve had in a RPG in years. It’s responsive and the animations are some of the best in the business.

That being said, perhaps the weakest point of the game comes as a direct consequence of the size of the world. There’s so much to do at any given point, but due to that, very few of the side-quests feel relevant and important. It’s a problem that plagues all open world games. How do you manage to create a gigantic and interactive universe, while still creating quests that feel vital as opposed to a collection of fetch quests. Finding some old man’s cat in the middle of a warzone just doesn’t feel important at all.

The story itself is interesting enough, as are the characters, but there is a certain expectation of the player having spent a little bit of time in the previous installations of the franchise. That’s to be expected, and it only took me a short amount of time before I really felt like I understood what was going on. The protagonist, Geralt of Rivia, is an interesting character to follow, whose beard grows in real time. This may be the first case of facial hair growth in a video game. What a time to be alive.

For all the beautiful landscapes and imagery, the soundtrack compliments it in a way that is subtle, but epic. The quieter moments are met with peaceful and serene tunes, while the battle music feels legendary and powerful. It’s a glorious soundtrack well worth listening to.

My experience with the “Witcher” franchise is limited, considering I’ve only spent a few hours playing each game. Yet, I now understand where the hype for the third installment has come from. It’s a rare thing when a game is so good that I think about playing it while playing other games. Nothing else hits the spot right now, and I encourage any fan of the adventure game genre to pick this one up.