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The Witcher 3 Continued Impressions: Uh, Can't Stop Playing

Yes, this will be my last set of brief impressions before doing the full review, which should be live this weekend.

At any rate, I was sort of afraid this would happen: I find myself wanting to play it throughout the day (even though I don't have time until later at night). I haven't had a game do this to me since Grand Theft Auto V. I do wonder if it will maintain its hold on me, though...have to keep playing for a while longer before I determine the true addictive nature of the game. ;)

Yesterday, I talked about the challenge of the perfect score when it comes to game reviews. I'm still not convinced CD Projekt Red's massive production is worthy of a 10. But rather than harp on that again, let me talk about a few points that stand out in my mind:

1. LOVE the progression and general structure

I've seen some complain that it doesn't feel like a true open-world game because it's a little limiting at first. But that's what I like about it. Firstly, it's nowhere near as overwhelming and intimidating when you set up the game in this fashion, and secondly, you get a chance to have a feel for a certain area. Plus, the pacing, learning curve, and overall progression is almost flawless. It takes a lot of skill and balance to get all of that right.

2. Has anyone noticed that like EVERY voice is fantastic?

I suppose I can see getting tired of Geralt's Snake-like gruffness before I'm done but really, I haven't encountered a mediocre or average voice performance yet. Even the random NPCs sound authentic. That's the sort of attention to detail I really appreciate.

3. The variety of combat is just so intriguing

Ask yourself this question: When's the last time you actually needed to look at the Bestiary in any given game? When you start to think about it, it's exceedingly rare. At least, I've never felt the need. But with so many wildly different creatures and beasts in this game, many of which demanding a particular knowledge of their resistances and vulnerabilities, the Bestiary is suddenly an essential resource. Some may not like the learning part of the game, but I do.

Okay, no more until the review. :)

Related Game(s): The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Tags: the witcher 3 impressions, the witcher 3 wild hunt, the witcher 3 review

5/21/2015 9:41:41 PM Ben Dutka

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Legacy Comment System (32 posts)


Corvo
Thursday, May 21, 2015 @ 10:12:57 PM
Reply

Yes, yes, and yes.

See I've gotten so used to games dumbing down from the previous one, that I expected this to not be much better. Witcher 3 is freaking awesome and a huge step up from the previous installment. I absolutely love the game and playing on Death March is an amazing spectacle.

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Temjin001
Thursday, May 21, 2015 @ 10:25:01 PM

I'm contemplating starting the game over on a harder difficulty. I'm reading that those coming over from Witcher 2 may feel the game on default may feel "dumbed down" or too action'y.

The Polygon reviewer and I think Gamespot come to mind on that.

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berserk
Thursday, May 21, 2015 @ 10:28:56 PM

I suggest doing so Temjin ( at least changing it in the option ) , there is no way i would be having that much fun if it was nt a challenge .

I m even considering putting it on the hardest if it continue to drop in difficulty . Just beat a couple of lvl 9 when im just lvl 4 .Btw , i m just lvl 4 but that still 10 hour worth of gameplay ( done everything on the first map ) .



Last edited by berserk on 5/21/2015 10:39:29 PM

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berserk
Thursday, May 21, 2015 @ 10:39:37 PM

My only complain are the swords(also Axe and blunt weapon ) moveset , there is practically none . Basically it s normal atk , heavy atk ,roll , dodge and block/parry . At some point you might get a spinning atk.... after 20 points in one three .

Thankfully , the difficulty ( making tactics useful ) and signs ( magic ) help making the fighting fun .

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Temjin001
Friday, May 22, 2015 @ 1:37:28 AM

Thanks Beserk. I didn't realize I could change it on the fly.

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Temjin001
Friday, May 22, 2015 @ 2:01:51 AM
Reply

I definetly agree about the voice acting and also dialogue. This is complemented with good facial gestures.

I can't comment yet on the variety of combat. So far so good I think. I've killed the Griffen thing.
I will say the loose auto target really bothered me on that fight. I also experienced some significant input lag at that time too (plus a massive bout of slow down). Unfortunately the controls need more responsiveness from such action based combat in my opinion. My heart sank on that fight. I've also fought with controls while trying to get on and off my horse. It can be really fickle. Control for me is border line 8.0. It mostly works well but I swear every minute there's something I'm toiling with.

The RPG aspects seem really involved. I am thinking about that strategy guide as a detailed handbook. I like feeling like a fantasy based Jedi knight.

I do like the story. It starts a bit slow but each of the main characters have been interesting. I like the dynamic between Yen and Geralt.

Visually I was expecting more but it still looks nice. When I compare it to say AC Unity I'd say it's a reasonable measure below it in most every area they cross. Particularly with the lighting model. It does push some heavy foliage well. It's a nice windy feeling environment. A cutscene though had some massive pop in and frame stutter as it transitioned. I also sported some ugly textures on occasion. Particularly indoors. The eyes on the characters look great though. They got the eye lids and sockets down real good. That can be tricky to do right.

And to top it off I've encountered a whole lot of minor bugs.

Cool game overall though!

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Temjin001
Friday, May 22, 2015 @ 10:11:05 AM

Oops I meant to say the cam lock, not auto lock. When I manually locked the target it broke lock way too easy on that griffin.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 5/22/2015 10:14:15 AM

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Beamboom
Friday, May 22, 2015 @ 3:21:18 AM
Reply

I was really worried that they would make Witcher more mainstream now with this giant release across all platforms, but reading this I rest assured they've continued along the path they made with the first two.

Fantastic.

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Vivi_Gamer
Friday, May 22, 2015 @ 3:55:18 AM
Reply

As nice as this is, it's all irrelevant from a Playstation gamers perspective. I haven't had access to the 1st or 2nd game... this game is the conclusion... It simply doesn't make sense to begin from the last title in the series. I waited 5 years for Mass Effect 1 to arrive on PS3 and when it did I was finally able to enjoy the series (Which was well deserved of it's praise), not settling for ME2's compromised experience of a summary of ME1 in a digital comic format.

I'm not starting a series without the previous entries being accessible. Heck even the 360 had the 2nd game over us.

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SayWord
Friday, May 22, 2015 @ 7:58:55 AM

What a terrible reason not to enjoy this amazing game. You really do not need prior knowledge of the previous games.

Oh well... I am not the one missing out. :-)

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FAREEZ
Friday, May 22, 2015 @ 8:43:22 AM

@vivi
Don't worry, you will not missing anything if you don't play the previous game, but I also hope CDPR release the first 2 on ps4, I already played the 2nd one and I always wanna try the 1st one..

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matt99
Friday, May 22, 2015 @ 11:51:26 AM

I haven't played the others either but I'm still loving it and understanding the story. I did do a bit of reading online ahead of time to catch up on the story. Just google "witcher 3 background" or something and there are a ton of summaries with all the relevant info. Plus each character comes with a description in the glossary that includes a full history. I don't feel like I'm missing anything at all.

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Hexen
Friday, May 22, 2015 @ 4:58:58 PM

Yup I'm right there with you Vivi_Gamer.They even said there is stuff in the story that the people who played the previous ones will get and enjoy.I was more desperate to play mass effect and I waited for the first one before playing all of them.

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Aerifale
Friday, May 22, 2015 @ 5:48:43 AM
Reply

Anyone else enjoying Qwent?

Seriously though I have NEVER come across such an excellent minigame.

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PS3_Wizard
Friday, May 22, 2015 @ 7:44:10 AM

I'd enjoy it more if I had better cards...so far it feels kind of hard aquiring spare change to purchase items other than food and alchemy supplies. Any tips on how to get better Qwent cards?

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Aerifale
Friday, May 22, 2015 @ 9:55:50 AM
Reply

Every NPC that you can play against gives you a card the first time you beat them.

So play against anyone when given the opportunity.

Also I believe you can get more cards in the world, or so I've been led to believe.

As for buying cards, you begin to get acquire a lot more crowns later in the game. I now buy all cards and diagrams available at any opportunity given

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, May 22, 2015 @ 10:10:58 AM
Reply

I think my game is broken...has been for a while and I can't find a way to fix it.

There's no way to leave White Orchard now. I've done everything there is to do and as part of the Lilac and Gooseberries quest, you're supposed to "prepare to leave White Orchard with Vesimir." But nothing happens when I talk to him; he just says the same dead line from before I killed the griffin.

Walkthroughs say he's actually supposed to be inside the tavern at this point. But he's not, he's outside. And inside, there are some bandits and strangely, they all yell at you when you go to talk to them, as if they're involved in combat. But they're either standing or sitting. I guess a brawl is supposed to happen but Vesimir just stands outside and does nothing. The main mission marker sits right on him, too.

I've uninstalled and re-installed, tried previous saves and checkpoints, etc. This is not good.

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Temjin001
Friday, May 22, 2015 @ 10:11:40 AM

Sorry man. That really sucks.

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Temjin001
Friday, May 22, 2015 @ 11:21:58 AM

btw, I did do that part. When you have the bait you go talk to Vesimir standing outside. After some brief dialogue, stating that you have the bait (huckthorn or something from under water) he then asks if you're ready to lure the beast. You say yes, and then he says meet me out in a field. You go ride off to that location and then a cutscene begins which leads to the Griffin fight. You kill the Griffin (with his crappy help). Then you go back to the tavern where he's sitting. Talk to Visimir and yes a brawl breaks out and then ... can't spoil it. But I suppose if he's not triggering the encounter with the huckthorn then yea, you're probably stuck.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, May 22, 2015 @ 12:00:50 PM

Yeah, he's still standing outside the tavern after I killed the griffin and he has the same dialogue option, just without the one to start the griffin scene.

Sucks.

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Beamboom
Friday, May 22, 2015 @ 12:44:21 PM

And you can't roll back to an earlier save?

Hmm - sounds like you need to start all over then. I guess the review will be in several parts too - Begin with a White Orchard review :)

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xenris
Friday, May 22, 2015 @ 12:51:15 PM

The Console patch comes out next week. That really sucks that the game bugged out. It must be a rare one.

You could always start over, and ignore the side quests just so you can leave the area and see more of the game for your review?

Then when the patch hopefully fixed it go back to your original safe for your own pleasure :)

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TrueAssassin86x
Friday, May 22, 2015 @ 1:45:41 PM

And another game breaking bug. Im glad my local gamestop was sold out. I'll now be waiting for the Game of the year version 100% pached and all the DLC. Thanks for being the genuine pigs every1 ;)

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, May 22, 2015 @ 1:48:18 PM

Beam: No, I tried all the previous saves. None of them are far enough back, it seems.

I can't find another example of this happening anywhere else online, and I usually have good luck with games. I hope I'm in the extreme minority here but people should still know about it.

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Temjin001
Friday, May 22, 2015 @ 2:40:36 PM

Other editors of sites noted major problems too.

Polygon
"Ed's Note: Our review of The Witcher 3 is based on non-final PS4 code provided by CD Projekt Red. In our time with the game, we saw significant technical issues, including hard crashes, endless load screens, major framerate drops both at random and during more crowded fight scenes, and failures by the game to trigger even scripts which would halt forward progress within a quest until the game was reloaded, or, on occasion, the console restarted entirely."

Destructoid also mentioned that the game had way too many bugs in their play through. (I'm not suggesting their review was good but he directly responded to how bad the technical issues were)

I can account for a massive frame rate drop with the Day One patch. It happened during the Griffen fight. Not sure why either. Just this massive slowdown stutter happened.



Last edited by Temjin001 on 5/22/2015 2:42:14 PM

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Temjin001
Friday, May 22, 2015 @ 3:20:47 PM

hey, Xenris so what do you think of it? I'm curious because you're a Witcher fan from yore.

I think it's pretty incredible. It's just mired with all of the problems.

Right now I feel a 9.0 from it.
I'd bump that to a 9.5 if they just made the thing stable and solid and less buggy, and tightened up the controls.



Last edited by Temjin001 on 5/22/2015 3:21:29 PM

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xenris
Friday, May 22, 2015 @ 6:41:27 PM

Temjin.

I really like the world they have set up. Even the side quests feel meaningful and like a lot of thought was put into them.

I love how there is always a story and none of the quests feel fetch questy so far even though some of them by definition are.

My biggest complaint is the controls, I don't remember having this much trouble controlling Geralt in TW2, but it has been a while.

Overall I'm very satisfied, game deserves a 9 at least for what it has accomplished, IMO it crushes Dragon Age Inquisition in every category except maybe controls.

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Oxvial
Friday, May 22, 2015 @ 7:55:35 PM

Damn, I guess the review gonna get delayed :/

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Temjin001
Friday, May 22, 2015 @ 8:24:31 PM

I think DA feels pretty different. That being that it has a party system. The combat feels totally different.

If there's one thing I wish witcher had, and I think the gameplay would be better for it, is if it had DA's emotion prompts for dialogue. I unwilling got myself into a battle because the response I gave wasn't offered in the tone or intent that I believed it wwould. Where the text prompt wasn't specific enough for what was actually said. An emotion intent symbol would've cleared up any misunderstanding nicely had it been there.


Last edited by Temjin001 on 5/22/2015 8:26:44 PM

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Cideus
Friday, May 22, 2015 @ 2:41:14 PM
Reply

Haven't had any gamebreaking bugs on my end yet. I did have a strange extra long load time, but i just restarted the game and it worked fine. Best RPG in a long time definitely.

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Oxvial
Friday, May 22, 2015 @ 6:08:03 PM
Reply

Loving the game but tbh if wasn't for the fact that I already beat Bloodborne, this wouldn't be getting much time on my PS4.

Btw I'm one of the lucky ones, zero problems atm...one friend lose all his data (he has the XBone version), it sucks because he wasted several hours on it.

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Temjin001
Friday, May 22, 2015 @ 8:39:41 PM

How long have you played? There's a cutscene shortly after the griffon fight while youre traveling by horse that technically would get real messy. Complete with massive pop in, random bouts of slowdown etc. it was a cool scene and all, I wonder if it was an isolated experience or if everyone saw that?

Kojima would've hung his head in shame had that been in his game

Last edited by Temjin001 on 5/22/2015 8:43:27 PM

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