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The Witcher 3

The Witcher 3

The Witcher 3 is as dense and deep as the other two games in the series in terms of RPG mechanics, and the overwhelmingly massive open-world environment has at once made that depth more intimidating, and in the long run, more rewarding. It’s difficult to express just how huge and open this world is: verdant, rolling fields liberally dotted with swaying foliage of every shape and size fill the space between loosely connected, ramshackle townships where people struggle to scrape by. A full day/night cycle and dynamic weather pull it all together, cementing The Witcher 3’s landscape as one of the most authentic-feeling open worlds I’ve ever seen. A handy minimap points you where you want to go, which might seem like a crutch, but honestly, without it, I’d have been hopelessly lost. That a world this size still feels so purposeful, and full of things to do is quite an achievement.

The one caveat on all that though, is the technical performance on both the Xbox One and PS4 versions. 30 frames per second was sometimes too much to ask, transitions between The Witcher 3’s two main maps are just a bit too long, and minor glitches do pop up from time to time. None of it ever impacted gameplay in any meaningful way, though it did compromise the beauty of the experience ever so slightly. Thankfully, PC players can expect a lot more. On a GTX 980, Witcher 3 ran at 60 frames per second at all times on ultra settings.

This new open-world map obviously has ramifications for the structure of the story, and though there are flashes of greatness, the main story is ultimately the least fulfilling part of The Witcher 3. You might call it another case of The Elder Scrolls Syndrome. Our tale begins as a multi-continent search for Geralt’s long-lost lover Yennifer, and Ciri, his surrogate daughter. My single biggest issue though, is that it never becomes much more: the overly long main story is essentially just Geralt running errands for people in exchange for information on Ciri’s whereabouts. It effectively maintains focus and momentum, but it feels more like a wild goose chase than an intriguing mystery to unravel, like the one we got in Assassins of Kings.

Thanks to lots of excellent dialogue and voice acting there is some emotional payoff along the way, but it’s mixed in with too much padding in the form of meaningless fetch quests and collectathons. Every time I felt like I was on the verge of an interesting revelation, I’d have to suddenly stop to escort a goat, or search for a lost, narcoleptic dwarf. Heck, even Geralt can barely hide his frustration with the constant parade of menial tasks at times.

It’s also worth noting that though you will get along fine without playing the first two games in the series, without the context provided by the Witcher novels, Ciri is more or less a complete stranger until the last quarter of the journey, which made it difficult to care about finding her as much as The Witcher 3 expected me to – especially given the slew of intriguing characters who are relegated to supportive background roles.

The Witcher 3 is as dense and deep as the other two games in the series in terms of RPG mechanics, and the overwhelmingly massive open-world environment has at once made that depth more intimidating, and in the long run, more rewarding. It’s difficult to express just how huge and open this world is: verdant, rolling fields liberally dotted with swaying foliage of every shape and size fill the space between loosely connected, ramshackle townships where people struggle to scrape by. A full day/night cycle and dynamic weather pull it all together, cementing The Witcher 3’s landscape as one of the most authentic-feeling open worlds I’ve ever seen. A handy minimap points you where you want to go, which might seem like a crutch, but honestly, without it, I’d have been hopelessly lost. That a world this size still feels so purposeful, and full of things to do is quite an achievement.

The one caveat on all that though, is the technical performance on both the Xbox One and PS4 versions. 30 frames per second was sometimes too much to ask, transitions between The Witcher 3’s two main maps are just a bit too long, and minor glitches do pop up from time to time. None of it ever impacted gameplay in any meaningful way, though it did compromise the beauty of the experience ever so slightly. Thankfully, PC players can expect a lot more. On a GTX 980, Witcher 3 ran at 60 frames per second at all times on ultra settings.

This new open-world map obviously has ramifications for the structure of the story, and though there are flashes of greatness, the main story is ultimately the least fulfilling part of The Witcher 3. You might call it another case of The Elder Scrolls Syndrome. Our tale begins as a multi-continent search for Geralt’s long-lost lover Yennifer, and Ciri, his surrogate daughter. My single biggest issue though, is that it never becomes much more: the overly long main story is essentially just Geralt running errands for people in exchange for information on Ciri’s whereabouts. It effectively maintains focus and momentum, but it feels more like a wild goose chase than an intriguing mystery to unravel, like the one we got in Assassins of Kings.

Thanks to lots of excellent dialogue and voice acting there is some emotional payoff along the way, but it’s mixed in with too much padding in the form of meaningless fetch quests and collectathons. Every time I felt like I was on the verge of an interesting revelation, I’d have to suddenly stop to escort a goat, or search for a lost, narcoleptic dwarf. Heck, even Geralt can barely hide his frustration with the constant parade of menial tasks at times.

It’s also worth noting that though you will get along fine without playing the first two games in the series, without the context provided by the Witcher novels, Ciri is more or less a complete stranger until the last quarter of the journey, which made it difficult to care about finding her as much as The Witcher 3 expected me to – especially given the slew of intriguing characters who are relegated to supportive background roles.

The Witcher 3 is as dense and deep as the other two games in the series in terms of RPG mechanics, and the overwhelmingly massive open-world environment has at once made that depth more intimidating, and in the long run, more rewarding. It’s difficult to express just how huge and open this world is: verdant, rolling fields liberally dotted with swaying foliage of every shape and size fill the space between loosely connected, ramshackle townships where people struggle to scrape by. A full day/night cycle and dynamic weather pull it all together, cementing The Witcher 3’s landscape as one of the most authentic-feeling open worlds I’ve ever seen. A handy minimap points you where you want to go, which might seem like a crutch, but honestly, without it, I’d have been hopelessly lost. That a world this size still feels so purposeful, and full of things to do is quite an achievement.

The one caveat on all that though, is the technical performance on both the Xbox One and PS4 versions. 30 frames per second was sometimes too much to ask, transitions between The Witcher 3’s two main maps are just a bit too long, and minor glitches do pop up from time to time. None of it ever impacted gameplay in any meaningful way, though it did compromise the beauty of the experience ever so slightly. Thankfully, PC players can expect a lot more. On a GTX 980, Witcher 3 ran at 60 frames per second at all times on ultra settings.

This new open-world map obviously has ramifications for the structure of the story, and though there are flashes of greatness, the main story is ultimately the least fulfilling part of The Witcher 3. You might call it another case of The Elder Scrolls Syndrome. Our tale begins as a multi-continent search for Geralt’s long-lost lover Yennifer, and Ciri, his surrogate daughter. My single biggest issue though, is that it never becomes much more: the overly long main story is essentially just Geralt running errands for people in exchange for information on Ciri’s whereabouts. It effectively maintains focus and momentum, but it feels more like a wild goose chase than an intriguing mystery to unravel, like the one we got in Assassins of Kings.

Thanks to lots of excellent dialogue and voice acting there is some emotional payoff along the way, but it’s mixed in with too much padding in the form of meaningless fetch quests and collectathons. Every time I felt like I was on the verge of an interesting revelation, I’d have to suddenly stop to escort a goat, or search for a lost, narcoleptic dwarf. Heck, even Geralt can barely hide his frustration with the constant parade of menial tasks at times.

It’s also worth noting that though you will get along fine without playing the first two games in the series, without the context provided by the Witcher novels, Ciri is more or less a complete stranger until the last quarter of the journey, which made it difficult to care about finding her as much as The Witcher 3 expected me to – especially given the slew of intriguing characters who are relegated to supportive background roles.

The Witcher 3 is as dense and deep as the other two games in the series in terms of RPG mechanics, and the overwhelmingly massive open-world environment has at once made that depth more intimidating, and in the long run, more rewarding. It’s difficult to express just how huge and open this world is: verdant, rolling fields liberally dotted with swaying foliage of every shape and size fill the space between loosely connected, ramshackle townships where people struggle to scrape by. A full day/night cycle and dynamic weather pull it all together, cementing The Witcher 3’s landscape as one of the most authentic-feeling open worlds I’ve ever seen. A handy minimap points you where you want to go, which might seem like a crutch, but honestly, without it, I’d have been hopelessly lost. That a world this size still feels so purposeful, and full of things to do is quite an achievement.

The one caveat on all that though, is the technical performance on both the Xbox One and PS4 versions. 30 frames per second was sometimes too much to ask, transitions between The Witcher 3’s two main maps are just a bit too long, and minor glitches do pop up from time to time. None of it ever impacted gameplay in any meaningful way, though it did compromise the beauty of the experience ever so slightly. Thankfully, PC players can expect a lot more. On a GTX 980, Witcher 3 ran at 60 frames per second at all times on ultra settings.

This new open-world map obviously has ramifications for the structure of the story, and though there are flashes of greatness, the main story is ultimately the least fulfilling part of The Witcher 3. You might call it another case of The Elder Scrolls Syndrome. Our tale begins as a multi-continent search for Geralt’s long-lost lover Yennifer, and Ciri, his surrogate daughter. My single biggest issue though, is that it never becomes much more: the overly long main story is essentially just Geralt running errands for people in exchange for information on Ciri’s whereabouts. It effectively maintains focus and momentum, but it feels more like a wild goose chase than an intriguing mystery to unravel, like the one we got in Assassins of Kings.

Thanks to lots of excellent dialogue and voice acting there is some emotional payoff along the way, but it’s mixed in with too much padding in the form of meaningless fetch quests and collectathons. Every time I felt like I was on the verge of an interesting revelation, I’d have to suddenly stop to escort a goat, or search for a lost, narcoleptic dwarf. Heck, even Geralt can barely hide his frustration with the constant parade of menial tasks at times.

It’s also worth noting that though you will get along fine without playing the first two games in the series, without the context provided by the Witcher novels, Ciri is more or less a complete stranger until the last quarter of the journey, which made it difficult to care about finding her as much as The Witcher 3 expected me to – especially given the slew of intriguing characters who are relegated to supportive background roles.

The Witcher 3 is as dense and deep as the other two games in the series in terms of RPG mechanics, and the overwhelmingly massive open-world environment has at once made that depth more intimidating, and in the long run, more rewarding. It’s difficult to express just how huge and open this world is: verdant, rolling fields liberally dotted with swaying foliage of every shape and size fill the space between loosely connected, ramshackle townships where people struggle to scrape by. A full day/night cycle and dynamic weather pull it all together, cementing The Witcher 3’s landscape as one of the most authentic-feeling open worlds I’ve ever seen. A handy minimap points you where you want to go, which might seem like a crutch, but honestly, without it, I’d have been hopelessly lost. That a world this size still feels so purposeful, and full of things to do is quite an achievement.

The one caveat on all that though, is the technical performance on both the Xbox One and PS4 versions. 30 frames per second was sometimes too much to ask, transitions between The Witcher 3’s two main maps are just a bit too long, and minor glitches do pop up from time to time. None of it ever impacted gameplay in any meaningful way, though it did compromise the beauty of the experience ever so slightly. Thankfully, PC players can expect a lot more. On a GTX 980, Witcher 3 ran at 60 frames per second at all times on ultra settings.

This new open-world map obviously has ramifications for the structure of the story, and though there are flashes of greatness, the main story is ultimately the least fulfilling part of The Witcher 3. You might call it another case of The Elder Scrolls Syndrome. Our tale begins as a multi-continent search for Geralt’s long-lost lover Yennifer, and Ciri, his surrogate daughter. My single biggest issue though, is that it never becomes much more: the overly long main story is essentially just Geralt running errands for people in exchange for information on Ciri’s whereabouts. It effectively maintains focus and momentum, but it feels more like a wild goose chase than an intriguing mystery to unravel, like the one we got in Assassins of Kings.

Thanks to lots of excellent dialogue and voice acting there is some emotional payoff along the way, but it’s mixed in with too much padding in the form of meaningless fetch quests and collectathons. Every time I felt like I was on the verge of an interesting revelation, I’d have to suddenly stop to escort a goat, or search for a lost, narcoleptic dwarf. Heck, even Geralt can barely hide his frustration with the constant parade of menial tasks at times.

It’s also worth noting that though you will get along fine without playing the first two games in the series, without the context provided by the Witcher novels, Ciri is more or less a complete stranger until the last quarter of the journey, which made it difficult to care about finding her as much as The Witcher 3 expected me to – especially given the slew of intriguing characters who are relegated to supportive background roles.

The Witcher 3 is as dense and deep as the other two games in the series in terms of RPG mechanics, and the overwhelmingly massive open-world environment has at once made that depth more intimidating, and in the long run, more rewarding. It’s difficult to express just how huge and open this world is: verdant, rolling fields liberally dotted with swaying foliage of every shape and size fill the space between loosely connected, ramshackle townships where people struggle to scrape by. A full day/night cycle and dynamic weather pull it all together, cementing The Witcher 3’s landscape as one of the most authentic-feeling open worlds I’ve ever seen. A handy minimap points you where you want to go, which might seem like a crutch, but honestly, without it, I’d have been hopelessly lost. That a world this size still feels so purposeful, and full of things to do is quite an achievement.

The one caveat on all that though, is the technical performance on both the Xbox One and PS4 versions. 30 frames per second was sometimes too much to ask, transitions between The Witcher 3’s two main maps are just a bit too long, and minor glitches do pop up from time to time. None of it ever impacted gameplay in any meaningful way, though it did compromise the beauty of the experience ever so slightly. Thankfully, PC players can expect a lot more. On a GTX 980, Witcher 3 ran at 60 frames per second at all times on ultra settings.

This new open-world map obviously has ramifications for the structure of the story, and though there are flashes of greatness, the main story is ultimately the least fulfilling part of The Witcher 3. You might call it another case of The Elder Scrolls Syndrome. Our tale begins as a multi-continent search for Geralt’s long-lost lover Yennifer, and Ciri, his surrogate daughter. My single biggest issue though, is that it never becomes much more: the overly long main story is essentially just Geralt running errands for people in exchange for information on Ciri’s whereabouts. It effectively maintains focus and momentum, but it feels more like a wild goose chase than an intriguing mystery to unravel, like the one we got in Assassins of Kings.

Thanks to lots of excellent dialogue and voice acting there is some emotional payoff along the way, but it’s mixed in with too much padding in the form of meaningless fetch quests and collectathons. Every time I felt like I was on the verge of an interesting revelation, I’d have to suddenly stop to escort a goat, or search for a lost, narcoleptic dwarf. Heck, even Geralt can barely hide his frustration with the constant parade of menial tasks at times.

It’s also worth noting that though you will get along fine without playing the first two games in the series, without the context provided by the Witcher novels, Ciri is more or less a complete stranger until the last quarter of the journey, which made it difficult to care about finding her as much as The Witcher 3 expected me to – especially given the slew of intriguing characters who are relegated to supportive background roles.

The Witcher 3 is as dense and deep as the other two games in the series in terms of RPG mechanics, and the overwhelmingly massive open-world environment has at once made that depth more intimidating, and in the long run, more rewarding. It’s difficult to express just how huge and open this world is: verdant, rolling fields liberally dotted with swaying foliage of every shape and size fill the space between loosely connected, ramshackle townships where people struggle to scrape by. A full day/night cycle and dynamic weather pull it all together, cementing The Witcher 3’s landscape as one of the most authentic-feeling open worlds I’ve ever seen. A handy minimap points you where you want to go, which might seem like a crutch, but honestly, without it, I’d have been hopelessly lost. That a world this size still feels so purposeful, and full of things to do is quite an achievement.

The one caveat on all that though, is the technical performance on both the Xbox One and PS4 versions. 30 frames per second was sometimes too much to ask, transitions between The Witcher 3’s two main maps are just a bit too long, and minor glitches do pop up from time to time. None of it ever impacted gameplay in any meaningful way, though it did compromise the beauty of the experience ever so slightly. Thankfully, PC players can expect a lot more. On a GTX 980, Witcher 3 ran at 60 frames per second at all times on ultra settings.

This new open-world map obviously has ramifications for the structure of the story, and though there are flashes of greatness, the main story is ultimately the least fulfilling part of The Witcher 3. You might call it another case of The Elder Scrolls Syndrome. Our tale begins as a multi-continent search for Geralt’s long-lost lover Yennifer, and Ciri, his surrogate daughter. My single biggest issue though, is that it never becomes much more: the overly long main story is essentially just Geralt running errands for people in exchange for information on Ciri’s whereabouts. It effectively maintains focus and momentum, but it feels more like a wild goose chase than an intriguing mystery to unravel, like the one we got in Assassins of Kings.

Thanks to lots of excellent dialogue and voice acting there is some emotional payoff along the way, but it’s mixed in with too much padding in the form of meaningless fetch quests and collectathons. Every time I felt like I was on the verge of an interesting revelation, I’d have to suddenly stop to escort a goat, or search for a lost, narcoleptic dwarf. Heck, even Geralt can barely hide his frustration with the constant parade of menial tasks at times.

It’s also worth noting that though you will get along fine without playing the first two games in the series, without the context provided by the Witcher novels, Ciri is more or less a complete stranger until the last quarter of the journey, which made it difficult to care about finding her as much as The Witcher 3 expected me to – especially given the slew of intriguing characters who are relegated to supportive background roles.

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