The Witcher takes a step in an exciting direction
The long-awaited third instalment in the critically acclaimed Witcher series is probably the most exhilarating experience that the games have had to offer yet.
The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt is dense and deep in terms of RPG mechanics, and the absolutely massive open-world environment does seriously well to set it apart from both the other games in the series, and even its rivals in the genre.
It is difficult to articulate just how massive the sprawling world is. Rolling fields and dense and varied foliage fill the space between loosely connected townships for what seems like miles and miles in every direction.
The full day/night cycle and dynamic weather helps to cement this game as one of the most strikingly authentic open-world designs I've ever seen.
Of course, with any game of The Witcher's scope and ambition, there are a couple of caveats on everything that it offers. The main storyline, for one, is at best unfulfilling and, at worst, a wild-goose chase and an unpleasant distraction.
The overly long main plot line is, essentially, just running errands for people in exhange for some information on the whereabouts of a missing character.
Thankfully, venturing off the beaten path in The Witcher 3 is often extremely rewarding, and one of the - admittedly many - areas of the game where the developers have got virtually everything right.
Underground turf wars, assassination plots, love triangles and unexpected alliances all play a role as part of these optional asides from the main story.
Where the Witcher 3 really blows competition out of the water, however, is in the combat. The Witcher 3 has some of the most responsive, brutal real-time combat you are ever likely to have the pleasure of interacting with.
Combat in this game is so fluid and satisfying that you will, more than likely, be praying to be jumped by bandits just so you can have the grim satisfaction of blowing them away.
Though the main storyline is a little heavy on the whole fetch and escort tropes, the rest of the game makes up tenfold for however tedious the main quest might be.
The Witcher 3 is certainly a step in a new and exciting direction for the already brilliant series, and I couldn't recommend this game to RPG fans more.
The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt