The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt First Impressions
NOTE: This is not a review! These are my early impressions from what I've played so far. At this point that is about 9 hours. My review will come up at a later date. Thanks for reading.
As I pressed to start a new game and the very first cut-scene rolled I was excited. And somewhat nervous. In the past year I started Dragon Age: Inquisition in that hope that it would be my next RPG best friend. It didn't work out (which you can read about here) and that left a gaping hole in my life, which I wanted to fill with another RPG.
Initially I wasn't planning on buying The Witcher. Sure, it was on my radar - as I'm sure it was for most people who are even a little tuned into the industry - but I had my eyes firmly set on The Elder Scrolls Online (if you've been reading Gamotere for a while, then you're probably aware that I love Elder Scrolls). But something changed my mind. Seeing some Twitch streams of The Witcher made me realise that I was forgetting to look past the Elder Scrolls in Elder Scrolls Online, and that it wouldn't be what I wanted - another Skyrim.
So, bravely, I set out into the land of The Witcher. I'm so incredibly glad I did. From what I've played so far, The Witcher doesn't hold your hand, but in some ways it doesn't need to. Unlike in so many RPG's I don't feel like some idiot thrust into the world - Geralt knows what he's doing, know's what he's talking about; it's meerly up to me to use that wisely.
For the biggest surprise from what I've played so far of The Witcher is Geralt himself. He's not some sex-maniac who demands women at every town he passes - he's well mannered, softly spoken and simply wants what is right, and what is best. This misconception is addressed head on in the game. At the very beginning Geralt helps a random traveller. When asked by the traveller if he wants payment, Geralt refuses, and the traveller is noticeably shocked.
This theme of people seeing witchers as enemies continues throughout what I've played and shows that CD Projekt Red know what many people will be thinking going into the game - given that for many this is their first instalment of Witcher.
I can safely say that this won't be my last. The combat is fun and quick paced - with a very similar style to Assassin's Creed, but somewhat improved upon. And the ability to use "signs" - which are effectively spells - while in combat makes it just the little bit more tactical. In addition to that, there is a very strong rolling mechanic, similar to one from the Souls series.
The story is engaging, the quests are all very well thought out and fun and the landscape is beautiful. The game showcases a superb lighting effect that means that travelling through woodland, or coming over the top of a hill at dawn or dusk is all the more pleasant.
All in all, from what I've played so far, the game is hugely promising and something I definitely recommend.