Witcher III – Wild Hunt review

The Witcher games series acts as an extension to the hit novels by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski, In Sapowski’s fictional universe, Witchers are traveling monster hunters for hire, gifted with unnatural powers. Mistrusted by normal folk Witchers still command respect due to their fighting and magical abilities.

Set in a medieval land complete with open plains, forests, mountains and cities, the game looks something like the Northern lands from Game of Thrones, albeit with fewer naked breasts littering the countryside.

You mainly play as Geralt of Rivia. Sporting fiery orange eyes and long white hair as all Witchers do, Geralt is less sullen than in previous games with hints of a subtle sense of humour that permeate his dialogue with other characters. He’s still no laugh a minute, but it does make him a more engaging character than the sulky sod from previous games.

The fighting physics have been given a lift for this latest outing in the series. Blocking, rolling and leaping out of the way are as important as casting the right fire spell or landing the perfect blow on an enemy. The brutal combat feels fluid and well structured. And when you lose, you are all too aware that it’s your own fault rather than the vagaries of the game engine.

When starting out, it’s wise to spend some time on easier side missions, dispatching smaller foes to gain experience points. Just playing the main quest will quickly offer up monsters such as stone golems and razor-clawed griffins. You’ll be thankful for taking the time to upgrade your weapons and armour before you meet such beasts.

The main story alone takes a considerable amount of time to finish, but with a multitude of side missions to take on, the open-world gameplay will keep you busy for weeks, if not months making this well worth buying if you only purchase a couple of games a year.

Fans and newcomers to the action role-play series will not be disappointed. The story is engaging and the game offers a huge world to explore. An outstanding title that improves on what was already a great series.

Bandai Namco
PS4, Xbox One, PC
£31.99-£44.99 (18+)

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  1. MrShev

    May 12, 2015 at 5:20 pm

    I sort of gave up on The Witcher as I found it all a bit…grim. Escapism is not the video game equivalent of slugging your way through a fight in a pub car park in Slough and I really hope this tackles that.

  2. Teckish

    May 13, 2015 at 9:22 am

    @MrShev, it’s lighter than the previous game. Also, you don’t play just as the sourpuss Geralt. It’s a bit like playing Red Dead with monsters.

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