Thursday 15 September 2016

The Witcher 3 GOTY

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is one of the only games that truly deserve a "Game of the year Edition". I say this because I still can't believe Deep Silver had the gall to release a Dead Island Game of the Year Edition. This package not only includes the base game but all free and premium DLC that released in the year since its launch including the massive expansions: Blood and Wine and Hearts of Stone.

Developed by CD Projekt RED and out now on Xbox One and PlayStation 4, The Witcher 3: GOTY Edition not only offers a massive world, hundreds of hours of content, but also some of the most memorable storylines ever created for a video game. 

The base game is a stunning and epic adventure. The world is spectacular. Everything from the art style to the technical prowess is impressive. The day-night cycle offers the chance to find Geralt in a place with a stunning sunset in the distance. You can aimlessly wander throughout the world too, checking out the map and following the X’s on that can lead to anything from a simple enemy encounter to a massive, surprising story quest line that can feel completely different to the rest of the game. The fact that anything could be substantial incentivises you to explore everything.

Fighting feels more fluid and fun than before too, even if you may take the odd hit that you honestly felt as though your dodged away from. The slight frustrations fade as you fight thousands of enemies in a multitude of ways. You can ride your horse Roche into battle (although beware as you will be bucked from his back should his fear meter fill) or you can take enemies head on, use your crossbow and utilise your magic called “signs”.
There are plenty of moral choices in The Witcher but none ever feel “right”. It’s a world in turmoil and survival is the best anyone can hope for. You can be the best you can, helping others and turning down the last of their funds to look good but you’ll be left broke with very little to help you fend for yourself. It tempts you to take the coin from a frail old person simply because you may need it to become stronger and be a worthwhile opponent to an upcoming beast or enemy.

Beyond the base game you get two other expansions: Hearts of Stone is an enjoyable change of pace but Blood and Wine is possibly the greatest piece of DLC to ever release for a game and with competition like Undead Nightmare and Shivering Isles, that truly shows how impressive this actually is. 

Blood and Wine takes place in the brand new region of Toussaint with a very distinct influence of French Wine country. It visually has a different tone to the base game and the subject matter is lighter in tone offer a welcomed change of pace after 60+ hours in the devastated world of the Northern Kingdoms. This expansion alone not only gives you a new massive landmass but offers 30+ hours of gameplay. This expansion could be released alone for full price and would be a worthwhile purchase but you get it here with everything else.

The Witcher 3 is a game that will probably be the standard for years to come. The bugs are largely gone and hundreds of enhancements that has consistently been released over the year proves how dedicated these developers are. It proves that CD Projekt RED deserve all the acclaim and for fans of Role Playing Games, you're probably not going to find something this good for years to come. It's dark, morally grey in its plot, and perfect in its overall execution. 
Here's to Geralt of Rivia, long may he reign! 5/5


Jason Redmond

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