For the most part of being a hard-core gamer, it is the joy of experiencing the true essence of a hard-core game. I found that In Witcher 3 Wild Hunt. In Wild Hunt (WH), not only do you get to be the main protagonist, Geralt of Rivia, but you get to see a perspective of a much much more important character to this entire story. While being the 3rd installment in the saga, you do not necessarily need to play the first two game in order to enjoy WH. But to truly enjoy and experience the game immensely, my advice is to go ahead and play the 2 games, bearing in mind, that each of the games are around 20 hours long at least.
I played through more than a 100 quests, both side quests and main story lines, and nowhere do I feel bored or have this feeling that this quest is just a repetition of an earlier one. No doubt, CD PROJECT RED threw in a whole load of quests, but these quests do not only come in quantity, but also in great quality. There was one quest which involved a certain Baron and Geralt searching for the former's lost family, that just came out to me as one of the best quests I have ever played in a game. It drew out a lot of emotions from me, in a way I never imagined a game could.
The other awesome element of WH is the continuous decision-making I had to make. There are many, and I say this in the most literal sense of the word, MANY times where you have to make a decision only to know the outcome later on during your adventure. There is no way of knowing what will happen instantly. You only have to go on to find out (insert evil laughter). Having mentioned that, you will be probably like me, choosing the lesser of two evils. If you thought that it would be that easy, you are terrible mistaken. Every decision has an outcome. I have tried to play the decent guy, choosing a less crazy decision but only finding out later that a simpler decision doesn't always end up with the best result. There were many occasions that bit me back on my ass, hard. Kudos to CD PROJECT RED for their innovation.
There are two mechanics that I really love about WH. Firstly, it is the combat. As Geralt is a legendary monster hunter, it is of no coincidence that most of the battles are going head on with beasts and monsters. But what I really like is the ability to prepare before facing them. At Geralt's disposal, are some of the best fighting tools (bombs, potions, mutagens, decoctions, etc) since Batman's. You have the ability to really prepare before tackling that fierce Griffin, that lumbering Golem, that sneaky Vampire, that fiery Wyrm and such. They all have their own sets of weaknesses ready for you to exploit. And combat itself, is not a just mere hack and slash. For those veterans of The Witcher Saga, you will be familiar with the Signs that Geralt possesses. This magic abilities were all redefined and it is so much more fun to use now. Look out for the Igni expansion tree as you progress into the game. Don't say I didn't give you any tips.
The game developers have made combat so very methodical in the sense where you need to be technical and strategic in your approach. Going in blindly will often see yourself finishing the health potion or even seeing the loading screen appearing because you died.
Secondly, the detective side of the game. There will be numerous occasions where you need to bring out the best of your tracking skills in order to get to your target, be it monster or human. Hold a button on your controller and suddenly the Batman in the Arkham Series comes out to play. Your view immediately changes, giving this sense that you are relying on your inner instinct to see what can be interacted (plants & loots), distant monsters and most importantly, clues to your objective. It all plays out really well to the extend that nothing gets hidden under Geralt's nose. Yeah, he is that sort of bad ass.
AUDIO AND VISUALS
If you happen to buy a digital copy of this game, be prepared to stare at your download progress patiently. The graphics and the sound in this game is phenomenal. Every quests and dialogues are voice acted. You heard me. Every one of it is! The actors and actresses they put in the game did their part well. I love just putting down my controller to just enjoy the exchanges between Geralt and the residents of the Northern Realm. ( also, don't put your controller away too far. There will be at times, timed decisions during the dialogues). Even that guy who played as Tywin Lannister in Game Of Thrones series is in WH. It's awesome like that.
Graphically, I don't even know where to begin. The developers really made the landscape as organic as possible. Because of the dynamic weather change and the rotation of day and night cycle, you just need to sit through sunrise and sunset to experience the beauty of the land. Even when you are riding the country on your trusted steed, you could see how detailed the landscape gets.
WHAT I DON'T LIKE
Your trusty steed is not so very trusty. Don't get me wrong, the whole having your horse as a transport works but there needs to be improvements on Roach's (your steed) path-finding.
WHAT I LIKE
I love the technical aspects of the whole monster hunting experience. You really are hunting. It is not some Diablo hack and slash. You do go back to your tools and prepare yourself before meeting head on with a Wyrm. Also, you are always in good hands when you buy a CD Project Red game. For WH, they showered you with 16 free dlcs. And what a way to wrap up the freebies with the best dlc any game can offer - a new game plus!
Witcher 3 Wild Hunt is without a doubt a contender for game of the year, if not the decade. When a game gives you that feeling of anxiety to go on to the next quest, to kill a monster for trophy, to go around and explore to uncover hidden treasures and at the same time appreciate the beauty of its art, it is one game that will take over your social life. Trust me, I have finally completed my 100% after 4 months (juggling between work, family, friends and fiancée), a few days before Metal Gear Phantom Pain (a review coming up).
SCORE : 10/10 (AWESOME)
So where in Singapore do you buy Witcher 3???
There are of course a few places.
For local shops, the cheapest in prices I have seen so far is at
- Qisahn.com located at Level 5 of Far East Shopping Centre. (Not Far East Plaza mind you). Not sure about stocks, but usually Witcher 3 is out of stocks. It is between $75 to $78. Click here for details
- Zepygames.com . They have a few branches. You can check their locations here . They cost a few dollars more than Qisahn usually. But they remain competitive. Click here for details.
- FunSquare.com. Of the 3 stores, they probably have the best price @ $74.00. You need to check their stocks though. FunzSquare is located at Far East Plaza (Not Far East Shopping Centre mind you). Click here for more details.
- If you hate travelling like me and have a good internet speed and you have space on your PS4, just download the game while you sleep. On Playstation Asia, it cost $79.90.
All right folks! I have done what I can. Like the Wild Hunt, the choice is up to you now. Hehehe.