The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt is, by many people’s reckoning, the greatest game that was put out in 2015. It has won hundreds of Game of the Year awards and is hailed as a technical achievement and the exemplary model of how to handle post-release content and patching. But even with all of its clout it just couldn’t grab me.
This is the first Witcher game I’ve played in earnest, having not played the original game and putting just a token effort into two. I’d clock my Witcher 3 playtime at around 15 hours but that’s just an estimate.
I hunted monsters, flirted with Geralt’s past lovers and met the Bloody Baron and the Crones, both of whom were engrossing for different reasons. I love the world that CD Projekt Redhas realized with the Witcher but I could tell even early on that the story was going to do some major wheel spinning and the combat wasn’t varied enough to grab me.
By that time I had chased Ciri across a swath of the landscape and been embroiled in some interesting distractions but once I got to the resolution of the Baron line of quests and had to follow Ciri’s breadcrumbs yet again I found myself sighing at the prospect of doing this for another couple dozen hours.
Adding to that was the sameness of the combat which, in fairness, is improved over Witcher 2 in terms of accessibility. I still had to prepare myself for combat with potions and properly applied oils but at least I could do the basics like block and roll right out of the gate.
Even though the swordplay was easier to grasp there wasn’t much depth there outside of the pre-combat prep which became pretty rote once you figured out which monsters were weak to what.
There are definitely high points to Witcher 3: I played on PC and the world is gorgeous. Geralt himself may be a little bland and some of his armor makes him look like a potbellied chef, but the presentation of the countryside, the villages (aside from the inane constantly repeating NPC dialogue), the side characters and the creatures are all extremely well done. The game also ran nearly flawlessly at 60 fps on very high settings which we all know is an important benchmark.
Am I out of my gourd for not liking Witcher 3 enough to see it through to the end? I gave it a token spot on my personal top 10 of 2015 list just out of recognition for its achievements but I had no desire to finish it off.
Am I missing out on something great? Should I go back and give it another shot? Does anyone agree with me? Have you not been intrigued by other huge games that everyone on the Internet has seemingly been swept away by? Sound off below!