The First Three Hours – Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

As I am sure you are all aware, I am currently in the midst of finals week. Because of this, I have unfortunately been unable to devote as much time to playing/reviewing Witcher 3 as I had hoped. In order to at least ATTEMPT to keep with the schedule, I will go over my first impressions of the game, what I expect to occur later on, and what I might find trouble with as the game goes on. Do note that this is not a full review. When I get the time (aka, next month), I will post a full review of Witcher 3. I will even compare it to this post to see if it holds up… With that in mind, let’s get started!

I actually tried playing through Witcher 3 way back in February, and I did make it to the first town before trying out some other games. When I came back to it, however, I had completely forgotten how to play! So I tried again.

My computer practically had a heart attack! I don’t know if I fiddled with the settings too much or what, but the graphics went haywire. My framerate was locked at 30, the Borderless Fullscreen put the game in an odd window, and it was virtually unplayable. After some tinkering, I did manage to get it working well again, but the experience did not sit well with me.

Also… I’m still having trouble with the controls. The keyboard was a bit of a pain to work around, and even the controller only helps a little bit. I can move around just fine, but combat is very… odd. Unlike most action-oriented brawlers that I’ve encountered, you can’t just swing wildly and hit everything. Instead, you have to time your attacks, parry blows, and look for openings. Fighting groups is also much more difficult than fighting a solo enemy (as it should be!). There was one pack of bandits that kept kicking my keister because they would all charge at me at once! I did eventually beat them, but to do so I had to dodge roll around the field and hit them with the fire spell repeatedly until I trimmed their number down to a more manageable size. I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it eventually, but for now I’m still getting wrecked.

Another thing I’m getting wrecked in? Gwent. I don’t know what it is about that card game, but good lord is it fun! It doesn’t help that I have to decide if I’ll spend my hard earned cash on armor or cards…

I do need to give praise where it is due, and I must say that the Witcher 3 has some of the finest voice acting I’ve heard in a long time. While Geralt has an almost stereotypical “gruff mighty man” tone, he and the other characters are voiced and portrayed well. I don’t even KNOW that bartender, but his voice makes me melt! Speaking of the characters, I’m surprised at how heavy hitting the side-quests are. Mechanically, it’s the standard “Kill these,” “Get these,” or “Go here” quests that RPGs are known for, but the stories behind them are rather touching. I won’t go into spoilers, but I will say that I am anxious to see how the main story develops and what the rest of the side quests will bring.

Typically, you’d see a “Good, Bad, and the Iffy” section here, but since this is a First Impression…

What Looks Good

  • Characters and voice acting
  • Main Story & Side-Quests
  • Graphics

What Looks Bad

  • Complicated combat
  • Control scheme for keyboard/controller

What Looks Iffy

  • Graphical issues
  • Open World Syndrome

Recommendation: TBD (Expect a full review soon!)

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