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The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Review

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Graphics:

 

9.3

Gameplay:

 

8.3

Sound:

 

9.5

Control:

 

8.1

Replay Value:

 

10.0

Overall Rating:       8.7

 

 

Online Gameplay:

Not Rated

Publisher:

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

Developer:

CD Projekt Red

Number Of Players:

1

Genre:

RPG

Release Date:

May 19, 2015

By all rights, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt should’ve been the defining game of a generation. It had all the potential in the world and although it’s arguably the most ambitious video game to release in years, it remains frustratingly unreliable and unstable. It’s one of those games you can’t stop playing but despite your love of the adventure, you can’t go an hour without noticing another technical problem. Does it dull the luster of the sheen on Geralt’s swords? Does it keep us from enjoying a massive achievement, regardless of the drawbacks? No, but to gloss over it or worse, to ignore it altogether, is to give developers and publishers license to keep doing it.

I’ll make this plain: If the game ran well, it’s a 9.5, easy. It’s maybe even a 10. Now, to business:

The graphics often leave one mesmerized. Simply wandering though this vast landscape is enough to drop one’s jaw, as the windswept plains, lofty mountain peaks, and dank marshes all have a hefty impact on our immersion and overall enjoyment. Character and enemy detailing and animations are unparalleled, the sheer size and scope of the world is mind-boggling (and almost always beautiful), and the amount of variety one encounters in just one play-session is wildly impressive. It’s a mammoth visual accomplishment, to be sure. And yet, the technical instability leads to frequent glitches – such as one instance where exploding enemies caused my screen to absolutely freak out – and as such, this category cannot receive a 10.

The sound is also excellent and almost flawless. Perhaps one of the most awe-inspiring elements centers on the wide gamut of excellent voice performances; even NPCs are wonderfully voiced. The soundtrack ranges from slow and melancholy go lively and epic; the effects of combat – the clash of steel on steel, the grunts and cries of monsters, etc. – are profound, and the villages resound with human life. It’s a vivacious, sweeping audio display that only occasionally sinks too far into the background when exploring abroad. Such a stellar soundtrack should kick in more often, in my estimation but aside from that, the sound in this game is top-notch. Simply walk through a town, engage in a few fights, and explore for an hour or so, and you’ll hear truly authentic aural grandeur.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is such a gigantic undertaking that it’s difficult to know where to begin. Should we start with the core gameplay or the fact that this is one of the most involved, demanding, and intricate interactive adventures to ever exist? Should we tackle the surprisingly unique method of telling a narrative within an open-world structure that often puts the kibosh on any good story? Or do we dive into the nuts and bolts of control, from riding a horse to swimming to combat? Maybe it’s best to start with the sense of wonder the game evokes, because this is honestly what keeps you coming back for more. You always want to discover what lies beyond that next hill and herein lies the genius of the game.

At first, you wander about a relatively attractive and benign area known as White Orchard. You’ll fight a few monsters and bandits, learn about Crafting and Alchemy, get a feel for Geralt’s movement when on foot, on horseback, and in the water, and get accustomed to the idiosyncrasies of fighting (more on that later). You’re chasing the sorceress Yennefer, who is obviously someone of romantic importance to Geralt, and you’re also treated to a flashback scene where we meet other important characters. This includes Ciri, a young girl training to be a Witcher, and someone who will become a major element of the plot. White Orchard isn’t enormous but it’s good-sized and the learning curve and pacing feels just about right.

It’s the perfect introduction to a game where size, scope, and depth take center-stage. It doesn’t take The Elder Scrolls approach by simply tossing you to the wolves; you don’t have the option of simply running wherever you wish, clear to the ends of the world, if you so choose. This met with some resistance from certain gamers and critics, who believe that a true sandbox game should allow you to do that. I don’t think that’s true at all and besides, once you break free of White Orchard, you can do that (for the most part). This introduction method is great because the quest doesn’t seem so immediately overwhelming. It cuts it down into a bite-size morsel of tasty goodness and whets your appetite for more. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that and it’s done deftly and with great care.

After reuniting with Yennefer and learning about Ciri’s return, you find that the Wild Hunt is after her for some reason. Thus begins the meat of the story and you can then travel far and wide. Obviously, while exploration is paramount, combat lies at the core of the experience. Geralt is a quick and powerful fighter; he holds two weapons (one silver, for monsters; one steel, for humans) and he has various skills and magic that are invaluable in the field. His Signs – weaker forms of magic that can be upgraded and can prove essential in combat – are your first introduction to a mystic form of power, and then he gets Mutagens, which can be equipped to strengthen his core stats and any skills that fall into the same category, and various magic abilities.

Fighting is a pretty straightforward affair. You press Square for a quick attack and Triangle for a slower, heavier attack; L1 brings up a menu screen where you can select your Sign and your secondary weapon (crossbow, bombs, etc.). The latter is used with R1, while L2 is used to parry and X allows you to dodge-roll. You can also counter and side-step, which can be very effective against certain opponents. Like all true role-playing games, the focus is on the characters, narrative, and how you prepare for combat and what plan of attack you choose. It involves learning about your tougher opponents and reacting accordingly, and it’s about being meticulous in your search for crafting and alchemy materials. Speaking of which, the preceding skills will prove essential to your success.

It’s a beautifully constructed system, it really is. It places tactics, strategy and execution at the forefront, as opposed to twitch-reflexes and dumb luck. If you’re outmatched, you need to run. If you’re slightly overmatched, you search for ways to gain the edge; maybe a particular Sign is especially effective against that foe, or maybe you’ve got a few bombs and potions that will give you the upper hand. And as you move along, exploring the far-reaching vistas that continue to take your breath away, you’re always just a little on edge. You never know what you might run across, which is why retreat is very often your only recourse if you choose to roam too far. This leads me to the next excellent feature of the game’s creation—

In some open-world games, you can simply go to all the optional icons on the world map and power up before doing any main mission. I do it all the time. But The Witcher 3 is structured so that, A. you really can’t do all the optional missions in any given area at any one time, and B. you’re encouraged to stick to the story in order to tackle the tougher secondary quests. This has a two-pronged effect; firstly and most importantly for me, it doesn’t allow the story to get lost. Sure, you can spend hours running around trying optional challenges but if you want to advance, you really have to return to the primary thread before too long. Secondly, this picture-perfect balancing means you’re not repeatedly diving into stupid situations. You learn.

Everything about the game keeps you coming back for more, again and again. The drive to explore and conquer, the aura of mysticism that surrounds seemingly every region, the story that actually features intriguing characters, and the beautifully designed world, filled with wonder and danger. I can’t recall another time when I was so heavily invested from the outset, when I wanted to keep playing, hour after hour. This is a testament to ingenious development from a conceptual and artistic standpoint. Players respond so positively to this adventure because it seems like CD Projekt Red thought of everything, from the proper placing of fast-travel signposts to the endlessly remarkable landscape that is never bland or boring.

I wish the analysis could end here. But it can’t and we all know why: The game simply doesn’t run well at all. It’s just riddled with a myriad of problems, ranging from the smallest visual glitch to the biggest game-crashing bug to frame rate drops. As I said, I can’t go an hour without encountering an issue. Whether it’s visual or gameplay-oriented, the endless stream of screw-ups is annoying and very disappointing. Maybe PC players are used to it but I’m not, and I shouldn’t have to get used to it, either. I shouldn’t have to wait for a patch that includes 600 freakin’ fixes; this means that the original product was broken at launch. And of course, that won’t be the last patch or update. This is the kind of thing console players never had to worry about and now we do and no, I don’t care about the upside to fixing after release.

One might argue that we can give the game a pass, simply because it’s so hugely ambitious and does so many things right. When you step back and consider, it really is amazing. And I’ve been known to support ambition and proactive creativity over execution because I believe our industry thrives on artistic inspiration and not technical superiority. However, given the number of unstable games we’ve seen recently and the fact that console players are now knee-deep in the dark world of patches and updates, we must demand better performance. We should expect a product that works. Yes, we can accept some small problems because such a game is destined to have them. I’m okay with that. But I’m not okay with game-busting glitches and an unfortunate albeit comical array of hitches and bugs.

Lastly, I will say the game isn’t perfect, even if you discount these problems. The camera isn’t quite right and neither is Geralt’s movement. There’s a distinct looseness to the overall control and interacting with the environment is sometime an exercise in frustration. He could walk up this slope two seconds ago; why does he keep sliding back down now? I have to actually see the little X icon on my screen for him to pick up an item? I also have reservations concerning the collision detection; there are many times when I simply can’t understand how an enemy made contact with my body. These shortcomings would’ve been enough to drop the game from a 10, anyway, but still wouldn’t have resulted in anything less than a low-to-mid 9.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is an incredible achievement. It’s impossible to list all the positives and highlights. There’s a sense of awe and wonder it elicits, from the moment you pick up the controller. If you’ve ever wanted to become fully immersed in a fantastical universe with absolutely everything you could ever hope to have in an in-depth, unbelievably robust role-playing game, it’s right here. I’ll be playing it for a very long time. But I’m not about to give anybody a pass. I’ve appropriately praised and lauded and I’m heartily recommending the game, regardless of its obvious instability, but the bottom line is clear. In my eyes, anything over a 9 would essentially send the message that such instability is okay. And it’s not.

The Good: Amazing world creation with tremendous design and animations. Top-notch voice acting and a sweeping, epic soundtrack. Beautifully paced and balanced throughout. Story is mostly solid and intriguing. Atmosphere and environment are second-to-none. Huge amount of variety in combat and exploration. An unprecedented amount of content.

The Bad: Control is a little loose. Combat could be tighter and more refined. Unforgivable amount of bugs and glitches.

The Ugly: “Oh, what it could’ve been…"

5/26/2015 Ben Dutka

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New Comment System


Legacy Comment System (122 posts)


MRSUCCESS
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 @ 9:36:41 PM
Reply

I knew that you wouldn't have given it a 10. There are some annoying bugs, framerate issues and the combat is alright at best.

Now as Ben mentioned in the review -- most of the things in the game make you come back but the ones that made me come back are the story, different ways to build your character, voice acting, the environment, the immersion level etc.

Last edited by MRSUCCESS on 5/26/2015 9:46:45 PM

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Temjin001
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 @ 9:41:35 PM
Reply

Yea, this is about how I've been feeling about it as of late.
My play sessions have been high or low. The last night session was a low.
I was playing the main story chapter where you partner with a witch friend.
The Nithral boss fight at the end of this wasn't great. The area in general looked and felt drab. The battle itself was loaded with bugs. Nithral would get stuck behind stalagmites. And I would sort of have to spam him with fire to progress the battle. Strangely a good bug happened where if I was trying to run up the rim of the arena adjacent to where he was stuck, my SIGN power would refill ultra fast, so I just hit him with fire over and over. I only attempted this bizarre method because I was trying to reach his stuck position.

I totally agree with the collision detection thing. I also think Geralt's quick attack has too much forward motion associated with it. Anyway. It's a cool game. I expect as I go forward it'll be a mixture of the same highs and lows.

CDProjekt needed to scale the game back and cut it from like 300 hours to 200 or even 100 for the sake of something much more stable and polished. Having a big game is usually a great thing for RPG's but this clearly came at an expense not worth the trade off.

EDIT:
also my AI partner was annoying in this battle. She paid no attention to what I was doing. I would stun him with a Sign but then as I was running up to hit him, she would blast him (thus waking him up from the stun) with a damageless blast attack. It would've been great that if AFTER I stunned him she would stop spamming blasts so I could get in close for a hit. But nope. She was like oblivious to everything I was doing.


Last edited by Temjin001 on 5/26/2015 9:51:35 PM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 @ 10:07:59 PM

I have high and low play sessions, too. And as the lows keep showing themselves, I can't possibly bring myself to give the game over a 9.

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Temjin001
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 @ 10:14:21 PM

I was thinking the same thing last night.

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berserk
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 @ 10:16:18 PM

Funny enough ( or maybe more like luckily enough ), i had no bug whatsoever in that fight .Just glad i did nt encountered a single one ( beside a very minor graphic bug ) in the 30 hour i spent in the game.Still got plenty of time to encounter some i m sure tho .

Also , yeah , the ai is nt very good in this . Especially the horse that like to get in my way some time when i fight right after dismounting him .

Back for more sweet loot .


Last edited by berserk on 5/26/2015 10:18:39 PM

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matt99
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 @ 9:43:11 PM
Reply

Personally I would have given the game in the 9's because of the ambition and all of the amazing things it does. But maybe that's because in my 70+ hours (don't judge) I haven't come across any game breaking bugs or really any serious glitches. But I totally agree about the control-that gets very frustrating, especially indoors and trying to get up staircases or ladders.

I think what they should have done is released the game as a digital only early access or something for 10 bucks cheaper and then they could have ironed out all these kinks in a few months for a full release. Because honestly I think the problem is that the devs couldn't foresee all the different ways people would play the game. These big games need thousands of people for true QA testing.

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MRSUCCESS
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 @ 9:49:36 PM

I'm not judging but I wish I had 70 hours into the game and it's funny because I purchased it 4 days earlier than the release date >_>.

Last edited by MRSUCCESS on 5/26/2015 9:50:02 PM

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matt99
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 @ 10:00:12 PM

haha, normally I wouldn't have that kind of time but luckily the game released in the sweet spot between the end of school and the beginning of work.

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Temjin001
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 @ 11:08:52 PM

I got the game for 6 bucks less than retail and one day sooner.

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DIsmael85
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 @ 11:20:43 PM

Games controls feel no different than GTAV when walking around. Same feeling when walking in doors and up/down stairs as well.

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matt99
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 12:36:52 AM

Ya I know, I feel the same about GTAV's controls too. I think it's a thing with 3rd person games in general because they want the animations to be fluid and so it'll play out the animation even if you change direction in the middle of it, which makes the controls feel a little loose. It's not a huge problem, just a minor inconvenience.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 12:51:23 AM

Dude, if you think this game controls anything like GTAV, you need to stop offering your opinion on video games.

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tes37
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 8:15:03 AM

I turned the sensitivity way down in the options menu and it controls a little better to me.

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PS3_Wizard
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 8:40:32 AM

Wow Ben...

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FAREEZ
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 10:05:01 AM

Ben I think that what the comments section for, to give your opinion right?

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Underdog15
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 10:54:02 AM

So you guys agree it plays like GTAV? I haven't played it. Just wondering.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 11:00:19 AM

No, it does not play like GTAV.

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PS3_Wizard
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 11:29:57 AM

I wouldn't say it controls EXACTLY like gta5, but it sure ain't far off. Gta has a bit tighter control when walking and running, but both of the hames in question equally suck when it comes to using ladders, swimming and collision detection when it comes to running near objects.

Thats just my opinion though...

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matt99
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 11:30:57 AM

Ben, if you can't disagree with someone without resorting to childish insults you need to stay out of the comments section. Seriously man why are you so hostile towards someone's opinion if it differs from your own? I'd understand if it was insulting to you but all DIsmael and I said was that we feel it plays like GTAV, if you disagree then just say so - without the insult.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 11:57:48 AM

Give me a break. There's no comparison. One game is a THIRD-PERSON SHOOTER. The other is essentially an action mechanic like God of War. One requires a very different set of stability and precision and besides, you're very often interacting with all sorts of different environments in The Witcher (like swimming and riding a horse). Very rarely are you climbing anything or going melee in GTA.

GTAV is about running, shooting, and driving cars. All of that works 10 times better than the basic control schemes in The Witcher. They just do. And it's obvious.

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DIsmael85
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 12:10:22 PM

Dude, the walking in the Witcher 3 is so close to GTAV which is what I pointing out, that it's not even funny. You sir need to go sit in the corner and stop acting like a brat when someone gives an opinion that differs from yours.

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xenris
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 12:24:04 PM

The movement outside of combat is the exact same in the Witcher 3 as it is in GTA5. Once you get into combat yes it is different.

But moving around the environment has the same feeling. I think dismael was talking about the general feel they both have when moving around the world and he isn't wrong.

The combat though is obviously much different I don't think anyone is arguing that.

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Underdog15
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 1:32:45 PM

For what it's worth, you're all poopnoses. Now, be offended. Poopnoses.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 2:06:19 PM

It's not an opinion. Nobody here has any clue what "opinion" is. If you LIKE it more, fine. Saying the control is no different than GTA, when in fact it's distinctly different in every possible way as it relates to the core of the experience - which is of course the fighting - than you're wrong. That's not an opinion. You're just wrong.

Like it all you wish. That's your prerogative.

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DIsmael85
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 5:13:13 PM

@Ben is your ability to read failing you twit? I said the walking it like GTAV not the combat. Slow down kiddo and read.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 9:05:43 PM

Now just resorting to name-calling after accusing me of not playing past the prologue?

You didn't even bother to read this review, "kid." Now shove off.

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Bio
Thursday, May 28, 2015 @ 11:12:51 PM

For what it's worth, the most recent Bombcast (Giant Bomb's weekly podcast) compared the controls in The Witcher 3 to the controls in GTA V.

But Jeff Gerstmann and Alex Navarro et al have only been professionally covering games for about 25 years, so what do they know :P

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Temjin001
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 @ 10:15:25 PM
Reply

http://www.quickmeme.com/meme/35lgrl/page/1/

I feel like online connectivity and gaming these days has pretty much made this meme a reality.

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RICHIECOQUI
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 @ 10:29:33 PM
Reply

Ben you made a mistake steel is for humans silver for monsters.

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DIsmael85
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 @ 11:19:26 PM
Reply

Wow, this review was pretty misinformed if anything. I've been playing this game for over 60+ hours and haven't run into anything game breaking. This is on PS4. The 600 fixes was for PC and that game has been running damn fine on my rig. This was a jaded review, at least in my opinion of it anyway. Most of the articles and complaints you had prior pretty much foreshadowed what you'd say in your review anyway. To each their own and sorry you are having a crap experience, but this is entirely small scale.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 12:50:10 AM

You think the thousands of complaints documented online is "small scale?" And if the PC version needs 600 fixes, what does the PS4 version need? 1000?

I'd also be interested to know how your experience is the be-all, end-all and must be the only one that counts, when mine shouldn't count at all. I also never once said I've had a "crap experience;" you just can't handle that the game didn't score as high as you wanted it to.

The only one biased here, obviously, is you.

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 5/27/2015 12:52:47 AM

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FAREEZ
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 2:41:54 AM

Fair enough...

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Shauneepeak
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 4:30:54 AM

Ben not discrediting you at all and I totally believe you are fair to lower the game's score for the numerous issues but it really does seem to be a minority maybe 10-20% of people are having serious issues with most just having minor bugs like the flying horse or graphical issues.
People who have issues are far more likely to go online and complain than having the person who had no issues write a glowing review. This can be seen across the board not just in regards to games.

Almost all my friends are playing it and not one has complained of a major or game breaking bug.

I just really wonder what causes some people to have a buggy game while others run fine without many issues. Is it their PS4? Their harddrive? Something else?

Last edited by Shauneepeak on 5/27/2015 4:32:10 AM

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tes37
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 8:10:25 AM

@Shauneepeak,

It could have something to do with the order in which you complete certain tasks.

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PS3_Wizard
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 9:00:00 AM

I'd like to know how many people who are experiencing problems have installed a aftermarket harddrive. When most gamers go online and complain about technical issues with a certain game, or even some system firmware updates, I NEVER have experienced an issue.

And that goes for both the ps3 and ps4. But then again I did get the YLOD with my 60 gig ps3 after about 4 years and sent it to Sony to get it fixed.

I'm starting to think that I'm lucky and that changing the harddrive might be the culprit of games and systems encountering problems.

Edit-

I take that back...after putting a good 50 hours in fallout 3, I encountered a bug that crashed my system after a certain quest. Could never finish the game and snapped the disc in half in a fit of rage. And in Skyrim, I couldn't finish the darkbrotherhood story line after a certain point because it would crash my system. I have sworn off Bethesda since then.

Last edited by PS3_Wizard on 5/27/2015 9:08:51 AM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 10:09:43 AM

Shaunepeak: Even if it's "only" 10-20 percent, that's still a broken product. That's a terrible complaint rate from a consumer perspective, as any businessman will tell you.

And it's not about game-breaking bugs. There are always very few of those and they're rare, which is why I didn't even mention the one that happened to me. The point is that I and many others can't play very long without encountering some problem, regardless of severity.

As for why it happens - whether it's the PS4, the disc, whatever - I don't know. That's a question for someone else.

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Underdog15
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 10:55:17 AM

My side business isn't related to hardware or even retail, but anything over 5% customer dissatisfaction is terrible for any given service.

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DIsmael85
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 12:17:17 PM

Ben, after reading your review and your comment your credibility as a critic is even less than that of Kotaku and at least Kotaku finished the Witcher 3. I could honestly care less what your review score is because I was playing the game before you even started it up. Remember I have it on PC.

Anyway, my main point was you were bashing how many bugs and issues there are in this game as if your word was the only word and CD Project should feel so ashamed to make a game as ambitious as this. Obviously you have never played an Elder Scrolls game? Let alone finish one?

Secondly you weren't even off of chapter 1, you just finished the prologue to the game and you were basing the entirety of the game on not even the first half. I don't care if you were trying to be on time with your review or whatever your thought process was. That's pathetic, the game doesn't even open up until you get to Velen. Now I'm not saying this game deserves 10's and golds and whatever else. It has it's fair share of small minor issues, that will be addressed. Unlike any Bethesda game. However, your experience is so small in scope that most critics out there haven't even addressed it. I'm playing through the PS4 and my GF is playing through the PC at the same time and we've both yet to experience any of the issues you've stated were so game breaking. To each their own experience I suppose.

So before you make your next snarky remark and look even more childish than you do think for a minute. I from now on won't even consider your critiques as anything significant as most of the time you don't finish what you start. At least Mr. Nelva of Dualshockers and Angry Joe finish their playthroughs. Just food for thought.

Last edited by DIsmael85 on 5/27/2015 12:19:24 PM

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Underdog15
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 1:35:04 PM

To be fair, I'm not sure it's easy to give a good review if you experience a bunch of bugs. If they did indeed happen to Ben, it's hard to blame him for pointing it out, ya know? Maybe it was just bad luck, or maybe the review copy was bad... I dunno. But I'm not sure I like the alternative where you review someone else's experience, you know?

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jimmyhandsome
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 2:05:40 PM

@Dissameal

Where did Ben say he only played the Prologue part in White Orchard? I'm aware he usually doesn't finish his games because he's basically a 1 man crew, but he usually plays at least most of the game he reviews. It isn't ideal, but kind of expected.

Anyway, I hope he played through more than that prologue l, because it could honestly be completed in about 2-3 hours if you ignore most of the side quests. That and the story and side missions after that all become a lot more diverse and awesome. The way some of Geralts seemingly minute decisions end up affecting the world in profound ways is AWESOME. This is the type of open world game that Peter Molyneux tried to deliver with the first Fable....only better

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sawao_yamanaka
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 2:08:36 PM

You couldn't care less. Couldn't! If you couldn't care less you are throwing a big ass tantrum over a person who does not agree with your view dismael. Here's a clue, everyone has their own opinion. This is his opinion on the game. Idiots everywhere.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 2:10:29 PM

Let me see if I've got this straight.

This dope knows exactly how long I've played The Witcher 3 when in fact, he's completely wrong, continues to make hugely insulting assumptions without doing an ounce of research whatsoever, makes an idiotic comment that means nothing - like walking in GTA is the same as walking in The Witcher - and basically, just goes on a rant because he's all butt-hurt the game didn't score high enough. Oh, and accuses me of never having played an Elder Scrolls game when in fact, I've reviewed them all. He knows everything I've played, precisely how long I've played, and then proposes that his experience simply supersedes mine because...well, because he wants it to.

On top of the complete ignorance of the huge backlash concerning the game's technical stability, of which there are now countless examples.

And somehow, some way, people will see this ridiculous display as being in the right. That's just amazing.

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 5/27/2015 2:12:59 PM

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DIsmael85
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 5:28:55 PM

Oh Dear lord where do I begin with your loss of an answer back. Firstly I will reiterate I do not care for your score of this game at all. I was one of the folks that voted I'm purchasing the game regardless of the scores it gets. Case in point, I gave two shits what you scored it, your opinion mattered not in my purchase decision. So let's clear that off the table before you start to hyper ventilate over anyone caring to much about you.

Secondly, the one who did not do research was you in case point that you went on a tirade about 600 fixes for the game, which if you did your research you would learn that was for the PC. Which by the way is on patch 1.04 at this time of typing and the game still runs smoothly just with more graphical enhancements, which is what they promised in the fixes.

Next, I questioned whether you had played the Elder Scrolls so I could confirm that you as well would have the knowledge those were some buggy as hell games that most of the time were unplayable messes. The PC community always ends up fixes the bugs and Bethesda doesn't care. Maybe you didn't know that, maybe you did, but are feigning ignorance.

So now I will get to my issue with your review, one of the main things I believe you all are failing to realize and one of the biggest reasons I can make the assumption as to why you never played much in Velen.

"n some open-world games, you can simply go to all the optional icons on the world map and power up before doing any main mission. I do it all the time. But The Witcher 3 is structured so that, A. you really can’t do all the optional missions in any given area at any one time, and B. you’re encouraged to stick to the story in order to tackle the tougher secondary quests." <- Your quote

Before I begin there are other small issues, but I'm going to focus on this because this right here proves to me that you only played through White Orchard before making your review. Having put in more than 60+ hours and being only one man doing so, which I do plan to make a video review, I can safely say this is wrong and very misinformative. You assume that what you have done in White Orchard carries over to what you do in Velen. When the world opens up for players they leave you to make the decision of playing through the main story and ignoring side quests or the thing you mentioned. Exploring. I'm still in Velen and level 19, and still on chapter 1. You can indeed explore and indeed find random quest to do just like in Skyrim and any other open world game. I'd almost say very similar to Grand Theft Auto V. Also higher leveled quests do not require you to be that level to do it. Example. You see a quest that is 23. As long as you are at least 5-6 levels near it you can attempt it comfortably without pulling your hair out. You would know this had you sunk in enough hours playing. The excuse that you are one man and games take so long is a lame one. Angry Joe does it all the time and his reviews are much more enjoyable and informative for it. Unless you are on a deadline there is no excuse. To me just playing a small chunk of this game and giving it a review is an injustice to your readers. If you are reviewing for yourself fine, but you are posting this for folks who browse here to read and giving a half assed review is just plain wrong.

Like I said I don't care what your score is, yours is insignificant to my own personal play through of the game. Which I am greatly enjoying, small annoyances aside. Do I think the game is perfect? No not by any means, but when I do review it I'll have more knowledge of what the game offers and what it doesn't. Hell you didn't even mention the awesome and addictive card game Gwent. Shame, because it's pretty awesome.

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jdt1981
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 6:36:46 PM

"I will reiterate I do not care for your score of this game at all. I was one of the folks that voted I'm purchasing the game regardless of the scores it gets. Case in point, I gave two shits what you scored it, your opinion mattered not in my purchase decision. So let's clear that off the table before you start to hyper ventilate over anyone caring to much about you."

Then why you spending so much time complaining about his review and opinions on the game?... Lol

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 9:14:10 PM

Oh, never mind. You can't even read. I didn't realize that.

Nowhere in that paragraph does it say you can't explore beyond certain boundaries. It says you really can't clear every optional mission in a given area immediately before progressing to the main mission, because you simply won't be strong enough. In this way, it encourages you to follow the plot; you can't simply tackle every last side quest, and there's little point to going to the ends of the earth because chances are, you won't be able to deal with what's there. It's a clear message the game sends. Of course you can go after a Lv. 10 quest at Lv. 6 or so. You can't, however, go after Lv. 25 and 33 quests, which you can discover within the first few hours of adventuring in Velen.

Now, I didn't realize your reading comprehension was that of a fourth grader. I didn't realize you were an egotistical prick who, if they REALLY didn't care about the review or the score, wouldn't bother with any of this. Instead, here you are, being an insulting ass. I mean, you're so stupid that you don't even notice that nobody else interpreted what I wrote as you did. You have not ONCE addressed the technical issues this game has, somehow believing that YOUR experience is all that matters, that the documented evidence all over the Internet doesn't exist. Or if it does, it doesn't mean anything. Hard to get any dumber than that, my friend.

The rest is just drivel. The fact that you even bother with Angry Joe's sensationalistic, vitriol-fueled idiocy is proof enough for me. You're a moron. And no, you didn't read any of this review until you were pushed. How transparent can you really get? LOL

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 5/27/2015 9:16:38 PM

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Corvo
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 1:36:03 AM
Reply

Spot on Ben. Unlike the original Unity review, this actually makes tons of sense.

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Beamboom
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 4:20:56 AM
Reply

It will be purchased!

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Temjin001
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 9:41:08 AM

Before or after the 80% discount during a steam sale?
=p

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 9:43:38 AM

on PC? or PS4?

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FAREEZ
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 9:58:11 AM

Probably on PC because 60fps baby...

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Beamboom
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 12:55:37 PM

I don't have a ps4 yet so it's very likely going to be the PC version yeah. But who cares - it's the same game. :)

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 7:11:50 PM

yeah but then we can't chat online.

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Beamboom
Thursday, May 28, 2015 @ 4:17:00 AM

Ah yeah that suxxor. Cross-platform must happen someday!

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Aerifale
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 6:51:45 AM
Reply

Excellent review Ben.
Agree with everything stated though I would still give it a 9.5
I guess I'm just a soft touch

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Solaire
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 7:59:12 AM
Reply

What does a game need to do to get a 9 for you? This doesn't justify CD's work at all. I'm willing to see beyond these minor bugs, just like I did with Skyrim and other games. The loading times in Skyrim were excruciating, in this game they are acceptable. Which is insane given the fact that it's a huge world. Bloodborne and The Witcher: no 9s for you. Still don't get it.

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Beamboom
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 8:59:16 AM

But regarding Skyrim, that game had a near impossible challenge with the microscopic ram pool of the PS3. No wonder it struggled. I was amazed they even managed to put Skrim onto the PS3 at all.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 11:02:53 AM

It needs to be a game worthy of a 9.

And you may not have noticed but as of right now, there are a grand total of 3 games (new titles, not remakes or remasters) in this generation that have an average review score of 9 or over. Dragon Age: Inquisition - which got a 9.5 from me, by the way - is hovering right at 9, while Bloodborne is around 91 and The Witcher 3 just shy of 92.

That's 3. And one of which did get a 9+ from me. I'm hardly an anomaly. This generation simply has fallen far shy of expectations.

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xenris
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 12:27:51 PM

Ben do you look at the Metacritic before you review to try and put your score in the average?

Because other than some bugs, the scope, scale and variety in the Witcher 3 is higher than anything in Dragon Age: Inquisition.

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Beamboom
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 1:00:20 PM

I think Ben has explained pretty detailed - in the review - why he didn't find it to be of 90+ material. It's at the end of the review, after "I wish the analysis could end here.".
Now cut him some slack.

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Underdog15
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 1:39:26 PM

I've not played it to say what I think, but the review at least justified itself. A lot of other sources out there, including IGN, often give scores that, to me, don't seem accounted for in the reviews.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 2:15:41 PM

Sometimes I wonder if anyone reads anything at all ever.

Obviously, for most gamers, it's just about looking at the score and if it doesn't fit their personal analysis, they flip out.

It's just getting old. And it's embarrassing for the community. One of these days I'm going to write a review with a 4 attached to it, but with text that completely goes in the other direction. 10 to 1 that 90 percent of people will only react to the number.

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DIsmael85
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 5:35:38 PM

Same could be said about you Ben, you assume so much that you are important about your score. Get over yourself.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 9:20:14 PM

WTF? Can't read and can't write, either.

Maybe you should spend more time reading books than playing. Might somehow jump-start your atrophying brain.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 9:41:46 AM
Reply

Wow, surprised is my face! I've seen a couple frame rate drops but nothing on the order of a problem every hour.

Review copy must be behind the times.

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Temjin001
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 4:45:36 PM

I don't have a review copy and I see problems all the time.

For me they're mostly minor but regardless it's way more often than a normal game should have.

It shipped too soon and critics can only account for the experience they had while reviewing it.
If I was a food critic and someone placed food on my table and told me to review it, and if it were slightly undercooked and lacking a few minor things I would still have to evaluate what I experienced. I couldn't say "oh well the majority of these dishes probably don't have as many problems as mine did so I should ignore them"

That's just the risk the devs took when they gave the game a green light. Some critics would get a sour deal others wouldn't. There is a number of critics, while the minority, who definitely address many of this game's issues.




Last edited by Temjin001 on 5/27/2015 4:48:07 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 7:13:46 PM

It is a PC game at its heart, made by PC guys, if you push it to do things that console games do perfectly well it will fall apart like a chinese motorcycle. That's just how PC games are, they get a handicap for that when they are reviewed for PC alone.

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Temjin001
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 8:49:56 PM

PC loving Kevin VanOrd from Gamespot had no problem glossing over the glitches when he gave the game a 10 so maybe you're right.

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jimmyhandsome
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 9:48:01 AM
Reply

You are definitely in the minority with all the bugs you have experienced. Very unfortunate.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 9:49:17 AM

mmhmm

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wambo
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 10:39:56 AM
Reply

I have to be honest here an say that i hav'nt encontered an major game breaking bugs or glitches, just issues with framerate an the controls could be smoother, my opinion is id rate it in the high 9's

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xenris
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 12:37:40 PM
Reply

I haven't encountered any bugs, only a glitch that I forced upon myself by trying to get into a closing door and I did.

I think the score isn't terrible to be honest, its almost a 9 although I think this game is easily a 9.

The way that every enemy has a distinct weakness, makes combat so enjoyable, the side quests all feel relevant and there is always more lore you are learning from them.

The graphics for the most part are fantastic, yes they are better on the PC but the PS4 looks really great in its own right.

I just don't know how this scored less than Dragon Age, this game does everything better, the side quests, the main quest, the choices and consequences are tangible here.

The only argument you can make for Dragon Age is that it was a bit more stable and had tighter controls, however I remember DA crashing and experiencing some bugs in that game too not a lot but it was there. I guess one could argue they like the combat more in Dragon Age, but if we are talking objectively Dragon Age you could break the game with a couple of very OP classes. Reaver and Spellknight(not sure if that is its name) were insanely broken, and made even the hardest Dragons a joke.

I just think that the game should have at least gotten in the 9s considering Dragon Age got a 9.5 from Ben.

That all said I still think the Witcher 2 is the better game. Witcher 3 is amazing but I liked that the Witcher 2 was smaller in scale, I still get overwhelmed by the amount of things to do in open world games.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 2:16:30 PM

Dragon Age worked when it came out.

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DIsmael85
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 5:36:24 PM

Dragon Age also requires you to spend 15 bucks to get an expansion that should have easily fit into the game. :/

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xenris
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 10:30:08 PM

"Dragon Age worked when it came out"

So does the Witcher 3....I haven't had any of the problems you have had in your review. Plus what is there under the bugs you encountered is a better game than Dragon Age.

Knowing that the game will get patched until everything is fixed should have been taken into consideration too. CDProjekt Red is always on top of this stuff, and no matter how much testing happens open world games are always going to have new bugs discovered when they are released.

Again I don't disagree with the score per say I'm just surprised it didn't get close to Dragon Ages score.

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MRSUCCESS
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 3:05:25 PM
Reply

Opinion and respect go hand in hand. Fail to share your opinion in a respectful manner and at times you won't get the respect back.

We all have opinions but not all of us respect one another. Remember that it starts with you no matter what the other person says.

I am as passionate as any of you about games but it's sad and amusing how grown men and women cannot have a respectful debate/discussion about video games U_U

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 3:39:23 PM

"Opinion and respect go hand in hand. Fail to share your opinion in a respectful manner and at times you won't get the respect back."

Exactly correct. I have no obligation to be respectful to anyone when there's zero respect coming my way.

Everyone differs. Everyone has opinions. Having any clue how to express them without sounding like a di** is a skill that's lacking on the Internet.

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DIsmael85
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 5:38:15 PM

I'm gonna comment on all the comments like this. For one I can't recall having called you any childish names like Dope of Idiot prior to your comment. Pot calling the Kettle black?

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 9:15:13 PM

No? You think wild insults that I haven't even played the game somehow don't count? Or that I have no foundation for any of my conclusions? What's that? More of your "opinion" that we should respect for no reason?

Just go play your game and stop embarrassing yourself.

It's your own fault, really. You said you couldn't possibly care less about this review. So, there's only one explanation as to why you're still here. Answer: TO BE AN ASS.

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 5/27/2015 9:22:17 PM

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Underdog15
Thursday, May 28, 2015 @ 9:28:41 AM

I understand why you feel insulted, and this flame war is starting to bore me, personally. But one thing, Dismael, don't pretend you didn't start it... I would personally argue that insulting someone's work in their profession that they put a lot of time and energy into is far more insulting than being called a name.

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PS3_Wizard
Thursday, May 28, 2015 @ 9:32:46 AM

MRSUCCESS,

Go back up near the top of the comments and read what Matt posted, and under his reply look at the first thing Ben said...and tell me who the aggressor was.

Shit's crazy...

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Underdog15
Thursday, May 28, 2015 @ 11:00:17 AM

Time stamps help, PS3_Wizard. Dismael was the aggressor a couple comments below. (Not including replies) Ben didn't get antsy until he was told his review is misinformed and that he foreshadowed what he wanted to say in the review before even writing it or playing it.

Last edited by Underdog15 on 5/28/2015 11:02:57 AM

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PS3_Wizard
Friday, May 29, 2015 @ 3:19:24 PM

I wasn't talking about dismael, Underdog. I said Matt...

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Underdog15
Friday, May 29, 2015 @ 10:43:10 PM

Irrelevant.

He's clearly reacting to DIsmael.

You can't pick and choose which comments matter. They all made an impact. And within context, it's obvious. Don't start creating narratives that serve your desired purpose. Use the actual shit. You not only overstated "shit's crazy", (I mean really? Crazy at the point you're referring to? Come on now.) you fricked up and got it wrong by suggesting something incorrect.

Last edited by Underdog15 on 5/29/2015 10:45:32 PM

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Lone Wanderer
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 4:19:26 PM
Reply

This is by far,in every aspect better than DA:Inquisition.Best game I've played since FFVII and Fallout 3. The only bugs i've experienced is the game crashing during Gwent 3 times,but the next day it didnt do it anymore. A couple shopkeepers not always being in their spots and a few pop ins. Thats literally it for me.The Witcher 3 is a solid 9.5 for me. Everything is just so damn amazing! The storytelling,acting,combat,graphics.I really loved the "Bloody Baron questline. It brought me to tears.The monster variety and mythology is incredible! The only complaints I have is the controls and fall damage,especially the swimming,both suck right now and need to be fixed.

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Temjin001
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 4:36:09 PM

People just gotta leave Dragon Age alone when it comes to this game. The two games are similar but still different in several areas. As far as preferences go I liked DA quite a bit and I'm not sure yet if I'd say I like witcher more.



Last edited by Temjin001 on 5/27/2015 4:37:55 PM

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Oxvial
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 4:36:16 PM
Reply

Fair review, my personal complain it's the combat after being spoiled with Bloodborne's one this feels kinda meh, but all the other stuff it's outstanding, hope this week I have some time to play it D:

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Squirreleatsman
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 11:37:01 PM

Oxvial, I definitely agree, while Witcher 3 is a lot of fun, the precision and timing with the combat just aren't there in comparison to Bloodborne.

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burnedknight
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 5:19:50 PM
Reply

I'm loving the game so far about 50 hrs in It's at least a 9 to me but I'm not having any major bugs or glitches beside frame rate problems

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Bio
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 9:44:19 PM
Reply

Remember all those times when the editors at Gamespot and IGN and Polygon went into the comments section of a review or article and called their readers idiots, asses, dopes, and illiterate morons?

Yeah, me neither.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 10:24:08 PM

Remember the last time Bio posted anything that wasn't a jab at me or PSXE?

Yeah, me neither.

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Bio
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 10:47:46 PM

Dude, 99% of my comments on the site have absolutely nothing to do with you or PSXE.Since you only ever participate in the discussions in the comments section when you feel you have been slighted in some way, you apparently never see anything else.

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Beamboom
Thursday, May 28, 2015 @ 4:21:41 AM

We're many having tried to say this to Ben now, Bio. It's unfortunate he can't himself see how he by then defines the standards of the replies, but he'll never accept - o reven realize - that he does.

It's just how he ticks. One either have to just accept it, or stop visiting the site.
Others should handle the community, he should stick to writing articles.


Last edited by Beamboom on 5/28/2015 4:22:53 AM

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Underdog15
Thursday, May 28, 2015 @ 9:30:29 AM

Actually, I clearly remember Colin getting into it with some people at IGN, but whatever.

Beam, I don't really agree you have to accept what he says as truth or stop visiting. I've not had that experience ONCE when I posted something I disagreed with in a review. It doesn't happen a lot, because 9 times out of 10, I haven't played the game before the review comes out... so I rarely have input while it's relevant anymore.

But back before kids when I played a ton of games, it would happen on occasion. I think the biggest reason is because I still respected the work he put in. Maybe a case could be made for not engaging a hostile response with a hostile one in return, but let's not pretend initial frustration isn't often justified...

I've also seen others on the site disagree and no argument takes place... Just sayin'... I like a good fight, but what disgusts me is when commenters start acting like victims. Come on now... it's the internet.

Last edited by Underdog15 on 5/28/2015 9:35:35 AM

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jimmyhandsome
Thursday, May 28, 2015 @ 11:29:34 AM

@Beam

As someone who has been on and off with this site for years, I do have to agree with you. These stupid flame wars and petty bullsh*t name calling takes away from an otherwise solid community. It's definitely a turn off and the reason why I rarely comment anymore

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Geobaldi
Friday, May 29, 2015 @ 1:50:06 AM

@Beam - I agree as well. That's just one of the main reasons I pretty much stopped coming to this site. I haven't been here for a month or two, I come back today and I see that it hasn't improved, but gotten worse. I'm done with this site now. When admins attack users in the comments, then it's time for either comments to be turned off, or the admin needs to learn how to admin appropriately and/or be removed from duties until they can show that they know how to wield such responsibilities. I'm an admin on five Twitch channels, it's very easy to stamp out negative chat when it occurs there without resulting to childish insults. However, here it seems like there's not even an attempt. It just continues to escalate.

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Underdog15
Friday, May 29, 2015 @ 7:39:39 AM

The interwebz is a dangerous place, it seems

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Nerull
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 9:52:32 PM
Reply

I'm loving the game so far. As much as I hate to jinx it, I haven't seen any bugs so far, and I'm just finishing most of the side quests before moving on to the 3rd area.
I would be farther, but I started on normal, started over on Blood and Bones, now my farthest file is on Death March.
Although I will say I wish I could have more save files, there is only 9 I think. 9 saves for such a massive game, that's almost as bad as Red Dead Redemption's 3 save spots.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 10:25:38 PM
Reply

The ironic part, of course, is that I'll end up putting more time into The Witcher 3 than most people here.

But all this proves is that review scores matter so much to people that they can't sleep unless a game they like scores well.

Guess that invalidates all the screaming about how we don't need scores. Hypocrites all.

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Squirreleatsman
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 10:43:07 PM

Ben, I think a lot of the issue is consistency with your scores. For example Dragon Age Inquisition receiving a 9.5, and I believe the large majority of RPG fans would agree that Witcher 3 is a far better game and RPG. Any ways if you get a chance to read my comments it explains it a little further. Personally I think review are more informative without out scores, but I'll admit that I do like to see favorite games scorning high.

Last edited by Squirreleatsman on 5/27/2015 10:45:24 PM

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Temjin001
Thursday, May 28, 2015 @ 12:00:59 AM

His review of DA Inquisition didn't require him to start over after of hours of progress due to a glitch as it had for Witcher 3.
People need to realize that everyone will have their own experience when it comes to this game. 20% of the critics, so far out of 60, gave the game something lower than a 90%. Many of them cited technical problems as well.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 5/28/2015 12:02:20 AM

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Underdog15
Thursday, May 28, 2015 @ 9:38:25 AM

Even if it is better, if I'm reviewing a game, and it glitches out on me over and over and over again... no way I'm giving it a 9+... even if the internet tells me I'm just unlucky. Temjinn's right.

Also, most people do just look at the scores. Not sure how people could possibly disagree with that. Editorials have been written on most major sites wondering about the pros and cons of scores.

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Solaire
Monday, June 08, 2015 @ 12:46:06 PM

If you will spend more time playing The Witcher than most people, I hope you will realise that this game deserves more than a 8.7. I understand that it may sound like I moan about a stupid score. I understand that the review itself is more important. I'm a teacher myself and one of my responsibilities is to promote reading among my students. I've even used parts of your reviews in class to discuss vocabulary and grammar. I have a lot of respect for you, but I just cannot apprehend that you can't see The Witcher deserves a better score. The game is so good that I just have to laugh when I encounter a (minor) bug.

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Squirreleatsman
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 10:40:09 PM
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I personally am a little confused by your scoring Ben, to give something like Dragon Age Inquisition a score of 9.5 and this an 8.7. I encountered more bugs, control issues, and filler with Inquisition.

I honestly feel like people would be okay with the 8.7 score if it wasn't for the apparent inconsistency we're seeing with your reviews. You scored Skyrim a 9.7 and that truly was a broken game when it released for the PS3. I understand that was back in 2011 but Witcher 3 is generations beyond Skyrim in quality on all levels control, story, missions, etc and equally if not more so revolutionary.

I've made it quite a ways through Witcher, I'm currently a level 12 and while there have been some frustrating bugs, and control could be significantly improved all other aspects of the game are so magnificent that they overshadow these issues.

To be clear Ben, I'm not try to attack you, I think you're review is well supported and your points are difficult to argue. However I don't believe you scoring is consistent with the quality of games.
Perhaps you do believe Dragon Age Inquisition is a better game, or that Skyrim's flaws were more forgivable, if that is the case than I suppose my argument is lost. Regardless I'm interested to hear your thoughts on the matter.

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Bio
Thursday, May 28, 2015 @ 12:30:00 AM

Whether or not Ben should have been harder on Skyrim for its myriad flaws on PS3, he's still right to knock The Witcher 3, or any game, if it has serious technical issues. Too many people give glitchy, shitty messes of games a pass because the game is fun 'when it works'.

Since bugs and glitches are, by their very nature, unpredictable and random, you can only go by personal experience when reviewing any game. If Ben was lucky enough to not encounter many bugs in Skyrim, but ran into several problems with W3, there's really no inconsistency.

That said, the people getting upset over a few tenths of a point are being pretty silly, IMO. Personally I think this and every other site should get rid of scores entirely. They're of no use other than rant fodder, as we've seen in these comments.

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Oxvial
Thursday, May 28, 2015 @ 6:33:12 AM

Witcher 3 reports more annoying ones there are some people that had to install the game twice because the game stuck in the loading screen after the introduction and cinema that aren't skippable (they combined are like 15-20 min in length) and the crash that Ben experienced that delayed his review, Skyrim had a good deal of issues too but you didn't have to deal with them so early, so yes it's obvious why got a better score.

Last edited by Oxvial on 5/28/2015 6:34:11 AM

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Squirreleatsman
Thursday, May 28, 2015 @ 10:48:30 AM

Here's the problem, the issues I had with Skyrim were significantly worse than Witcher 3. They started small early on, and later resulted in a game that was absolutely broken until they released a patch. Witcher 3 has quite a few bugs that broke the illusion for me but nothing that ruined or tainted the experience or stopped me from playing.

Dragon Age on the other hand getting a 9.5, is absolutely absurd, a game that has literally no design, extremely poor and dated gameplay, weak and generic narrative, open and empty world, and littered with a ridiculous amount of fetch quests that you pretty much have to do to progress in the game. With Dragon Age the core of the game is weak and it had plenty of glitches to go a long with it.

Witcher 3 on the other hand has a well written and performed narrative, even in side missions, complex and thoughtful combat, creative enemies, a beautiful,realistic, and full world the encourages exploration, and a truly thoughtful design thought out the whole thing. At its core Witcher 3 is a fantastic game that truly is revolutionary. The glitches are there but they have been no worse then any other massive open world game.

My argument is that Dragon Age got a pass or it failed to receive the critical review that Ben is striving for. This inconsistency drives frustration, for example say a year goes by and I've never played either Dragon Age Inquisition or Witcher 3. So based off his review and his score I decided to buy Dragon Age over Witcher. I would play the game immediately recognizing that Dragon Age is not worthy of a 9 or even an 8 for that matter and be frustrated. Then I would look at other sites seeing that Witcher has a better average review I would pick it up, immediately realizing that it is worthy of anywhere between an 8-10.

Now Witcher 3 and Dragon Age are very similar games, the a fantasy action RPG's with semi open worlds, however one is clearly better than the other. Consistency is everything it's what makes your scores as a critic valid, and sadly I'm seeing very clear evidence of two very similar games that were released within a year of each other that the consistence is not there, at least when it comes to these games.

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Squirreleatsman
Thursday, May 28, 2015 @ 10:59:46 AM

And Bio, like I said I don't take issue with the score in terms of the game, and you're right he does have the right to knock a game for the glitches he encountered. However he does need to be consistent with his critiques, because he clearly gave other games a pass on similar issues. Consistency is the issue. I don't care that it got an 8.7 here and a 9.8 on game trailers, because every critic has their own feelings on the 10 point scale. I care about the game's relation to other similar games the critic has reviewed, because this is how you take that critics's review/opinion into account when you are purchasing a game. A reviewer's constancy is what drives the value of his scores.

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Underdog15
Thursday, May 28, 2015 @ 11:08:43 AM

For the reasons Temjinn pointed out already, I'm having a hard time understanding why you feel it's been inconsistent.

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Squirreleatsman
Thursday, May 28, 2015 @ 11:08:46 AM

Hell he even gave a pass to Assassin's Creed Unity with all of the glitches it had and his retraction as he's stated
"In regards to the obvious technical issues, I can only say that they never bothered me too much; this retraction is not due to those problems. They factor into my decision, but those well-publicized glitches didn't dictate for me."

Assassins Creeds glitches were also significantly worse than the Witcher, and again Witcher 3 is by far a much more well crafted game.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, May 28, 2015 @ 11:18:31 AM

I get what you're saying Squirrelman and I appreciate the feedback and the civil manner in which it was delivered.

As much as reviewers try to be as objective as possible, they can really only analyze their personal experience with a game. In that respect, while you found Skyrim to be broken, I did not. In fact, I don't recall encountering a single solitary bug in that game until it came out that there was a game-busting glitch once you've played for around 40 hours or so (was it when you hit a certain level...?).

That one glitch made headlines and destroyed the game's reputation. Perhaps you could argue I should've played the game for 40 hours to find that glitch, but very few critics did that (as evidenced by the review scores). I DID write an article about it, asking if it was a good idea for critics to re-review Skyrim-

http://www.psxextreme.com/feature/768.html

Same goes for Dragon Age, really. Never once encountered an issue in many hours of playing while with The Witcher 3, it's absolutely endless. Maybe it's just me but what am I supposed to do? Guess at other people's experiences? And even if other people's experiences are better, that certainly doesn't override mine.

As for your opinions on Inquisition, those are simply your opinions. There's a very good reason it won dozens of GotY awards and why it was so highly honored by various organizations this year in award ceremonies. You can disagree with them if you wish but it doesn't change the fact that Dragon Age is a stellar production.

Oh, and don't forget one major element: Skyrim came out over three and a half years ago, and in a different generation. Standards change quickly in this industry. You should never directly compare a 9.7 in November of 2011 to an 8.7 in May of 2015. What you're asking for is a direct comparison of the two games in terms of scores, and you just can't do that. For the record, I would not give Skyrim a 9.7 based on today's standards, especially with The Witcher 3 on store shelves.

Let me add that the combat in Skyrim and Dragon Age simply didn't have the basic control issues we have in The Witcher 3. Granted, the latter is more about action, but that's all the more reason to have a tight, reliable mechanic. And that's not really what we get in The Witcher 3, which is a significant problem.

Does that help? :)

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 5/28/2015 11:27:07 AM

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Squirreleatsman
Thursday, May 28, 2015 @ 12:06:51 PM

Ben, to be clear I do recognize that that Skyrim came out in years ago, I simply mentioned it because was I experience was a very buggy and glitchy game that I felt got a pass by many reviewers.

As for Dragon Age, I guess I'm simply surprised by your opinion on it, because while it won game of the year that was likely do to the lackluster selection of titles that year, not because the game was truly fantastic. But as you said we each have our own opinions. I personally believe that when it comes down to it though Witcher will rank higher, as it already is on Metacritic and Gamerankings both critic and user reviews.

In any case Ben, I appreciate the response, this is why I come to PSX Extreme as opposed to other sites. I may disagree with you drastically in this case but I think we both have supported are arguments reasonably.

Last edited by Squirreleatsman on 5/28/2015 12:07:15 PM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, May 28, 2015 @ 1:25:20 PM

Hey, no problem. Despite what everyone likes to believe, I welcome all differing opinions; it's simply a matter of HOW the opinions are presented.

Even with the case of Dragon Age, we didn't have The Witcher 3 to compare it to. What if The Witcher 3 was already out when Inquisition launched? Would I have given Inquisition a 9.5? Probably not. I think the score would indeed be a little different, although not drastically. Thing is, Dragon Age is a very different game. While it's a full-on hardcore RPG, I think The Witcher 3 is more action-y; as such, it requires a different movement and control standard. For that action, it's simply not tight enough.

It's all about comparing the best to the best, the elite to the elite. Now, based on what I'm seeing and hearing, we might all be surprised by just how deep and amazing Batman: Arkham Knight will be. Will that again raise the bar?

Not sure. But it's fun to find out. :)

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 5/28/2015 1:27:10 PM

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maxpontiac
Thursday, May 28, 2015 @ 11:54:07 AM
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All of this for an very good 8.7 score?

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Bio
Thursday, May 28, 2015 @ 12:18:38 PM

You should have seen how badly people flipped out when Gamespot gave Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess an 8.8. People were calling for the editor to be fired, claiming they were never ever going to read GS again, wondering about conspiracies of GS being paid off by nameless, shadowy organizations to scrag an obviously perfect game, etc.

Funny thing is that the editor, Jeff Gerstmann, eventually did get fired over a review, when he scored the utterly terrible Kane and Lynch a 6, because Eidos literally felt they bought a better score with their GS-specific advertising campaign, and so insisted Gerstmann had to go.

Review scores are serious business for people with little else to complain about. The epitome of first world problems.

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Underdog15
Thursday, May 28, 2015 @ 1:21:19 PM

That's craaaazy.

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Squirreleatsman
Thursday, May 28, 2015 @ 1:44:21 PM

Bio, in all honesty Gamespot is an extremely questionable site with their ties to Microsoft. They regularly score Sony and Nintendo exclusives excessively low, take a look at the their Last of Us review as an 8. It's impossible to provide a legitimate review that brings Last of Us below a 9, it simply is a masterpiece no matter who you are. You can dislike the genre, the concept but the craftsmen's ship, design and functionality is still unmatched today, as the remastered version reiterated. Gamespot has an agenda it's a known fact.

As I've said the issue with scores is mainly in relation to how the reviewer has reviewed other games of similar nature. That said it's clear to me that Ben's experience was extremely tainted by the nature of the flaw that occurred, and having to restart a game from the beginning is a major issue so I understand his position to a degree. However it's is difficult for me to agree simply because this issue didn't happen to me, as it hasn't other players. With some thought I do agree with how Ben treated the game, I just had a different experience, and fortunately a more positive one.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, May 28, 2015 @ 3:19:01 PM

I would like to say that I never mentioned what happened to me in the review because in fact, I did NOT weight that instance hardly at all. In doing the research, it was a very rare issue so I opted not to harp on it.

That doesn't change the fact that there are thousands of gamers out there right now, lodging countless complaints about a million other glitches and bugs, which simply can't be ignored in a proper review.

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 5/28/2015 3:19:36 PM

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Bio
Thursday, May 28, 2015 @ 5:01:30 PM

Squirrelseatsman, c'mon dude. First of all, 10 different outlets scored the game less than a 9. Polygon gave it a 7.5. Are they all in Microsoft's pocket? What 'ties' exactly do they have with MS other than them not liking a Sony game as much as you'd like them to?

Some outlets use more of the full 10 point scale than others. When most outlets give a game a 7 or 8, you can take that as "this is a mediocre game". When Edge Magazine gives a game a 7 or 8, for example, they're saying "this is a very good, but not perfect, game".

In any event, reviews are nothing but personal experiences with subjective matter. There is no hard and fast rule on how to judge art, because beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What is important to you might not be important to someone working for GS or Polygon or PSXE. That's why, if you care about reviews as a purchasing tool, it's important to find someone with whom you see eye to eye on what matters in a game and what doesn't.

If you loved Last of Us and thought it was damn near perfect, I don't blame you, it's a pretty sweet game. Not everyone has to agree with you, though, lest they be corrupt corporate hacks. Oddly enough, Gamespot has been accused of being paid shills of every major console manufacturer over the years, but most of the time they're accused of being biased towards Nintendo. I remember when people lost their shit in 2004 because they gave game of the year to World of Warcraft instead of Halo 2, as well.

Last edited by Bio on 5/28/2015 5:02:46 PM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, May 28, 2015 @ 9:03:47 PM

GameSpot has been in the pocket of whoever is willing to support them with ad campaigns, as evidenced by the Gerstmann fiasco. That's about it.

However, one could definitely make an argument for their bias against/for certain platforms and genres. For instance, they almost always scored any JRPG in the PlayStation days significantly lower than any other major source (outside of the Final Fantasy series) and yes, they have seemed incapable of giving any of Nintendo's high-profile games less than a 9. Still do, actually. Didn't they just give GotY to some 3DS Zelda game?

But it's more likely the biases and preferences of individual critics than GameSpot as a whole. There are some places that are just plain bad, and quite clearly have agendas when it comes to reviews. They use the "score it extra low or extra high" trick to get traffic, for instance (Destructoid has been doing this for years, as has Edge, despite their "oh, we just score differently" mantra that is mostly a smokescreen for what they know gets more traffic).

GameSpot and IGN? Eh, just depends on who's reviewing the game.

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 5/28/2015 9:06:10 PM

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Squirreleatsman
Thursday, May 28, 2015 @ 8:12:46 PM
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Bio, have you forgotten the entire Kane & Lynch fiasco and the firing of Jeff Gerstmann?

I have no issue with a difference in opinion, but as critics they are supposed to review a game as critically as possible and that requires putting aside certain preferences.

As I said before the issue is consistency of scoring, and gamespot breaks that consistency in great lengths.

Ben, I didn't mean to say that that was 100% of why you scored it the way you did, obviously not. Your review was well written and perfectly supported, the only issue I have is the score in comparison to DAI, which simply is a difference of opinion between us where you obviously enjoyed DAI more that I did, and I suppose I'm enjoying Witcher III more than you did. I do appreciate the research you've done, and had I waited for your review to purchase WIII I would have been thankful for the heads up.

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FAREEZ
Thursday, May 28, 2015 @ 11:30:55 PM
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This comments section is still going strong...

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smileys_007
Saturday, May 30, 2015 @ 6:01:13 PM
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This is a great game, but i think MGSV Phantom Pain and Batman Arkham Knight will beat it for this year's GOTY. ^_^

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