Probably the most anticipated game of the year. CD Project Red’s long awaited follow up to the award winning Witcher 2: Assassin Of Kings takes the series full open world RPG and is the most ambitious project the acclaimed studio have ever under took.
But the important thing here, beyond the hype is for a fairly take them or leave them fan of RPGs, how does it play? I chose to pick up (or more specifically download) the Xbox One version, and after about seven hours with it, I can confidently say … this game has me hooked. Think a cross between Red Dead Redemption, The Elder Scrolls series and to some extent Assassin’s Creed and you sort of get the idea. You play as Geralt, a bad-ass monster hunter or Witcher; feared, respected and reviled in equal measure. The quest kicks off with you in search of the sorceress Yennifer; a former lover of Geralt’s who he’s been tracking for years and is close to catching up with her. Also you are on the look out for your prodigy Witcher / sorcerer Ciri, who we meet in the flashback prologue where you train her as a child. The story holds many twists and turns however, places to visit monsters to hunt and kill for bounty, and a massive, highly detailed world to explore and get lost in.
This kind of game for me can be a little daunting and I’ll admit it took a while to really get into. The fighting controls are a little unwieldy at first until you get your head around them and learn to throw in magic and protection spells with your swordplay. Yet with plenty of character customization, potions to brew and abilities to unlock … this becomes a very deep and engrossing experience that I’ve really only touched the surface of.
On the Xbox One it looks fantastic. One of the most impressive aspects is the weather and the lighting, how trees blow in the wind, rain fall, mist rolls across the land and moonlight bleeds in through the trees (or eye-burning sunlight). Also add the sheer detail to houses, villages, grass, very realistic water and the wealth of creatures and monsters … and a myriad of interesting folk and characters. This is a joy to behold. There are a few (minor) fluctuations in frame rate and occasional pop-in or glitches, and the game did freeze on me once after dying. So it’s not perfect, but for the scale and number of things going on it’s still an impressive technical achievement that will only get smoother and more polished with future patches.
Screenshot captured directly from my Xbox One
Anyone after a long, rewarding and deep game to really get involved in, then you can’t go wrong with this epic RPG. It has it all and I’m sure will throw up many surprises and memorable situations as I progress. It’s out now for PC, PS4 and XB1. So what you waiting for? Time to kick some monster ass and break some hearts.