Review based on PS4 version of the game, without day one patch.
- Beautiful, vivid, and well-developed world;
- Extremely vast content;
- The plot;
- Thought-out sidequests;
- Engaging dialogues;
- Plethora of references to the works of writer Andrzej Sapkowski;
- Great freedom in character development and selection of equipment;
- Choices that prove to be meaningful;
- Artistic design;
- The music.
- Annoying frame drops;
- Loading screens;
- Poorly executed world boundaries;
- Numerous bugs;
- “The clones’ attack”.
The Witcher 3 is without a doubt a much anticipated title, not only in its native Poland where Andrzej Sapkowski’s novels about the adventures of Geralt have a cult-like status. Now, thanks to the two previous games developed by CD Projekt Red, The Witcher enjoys a widespread popularity worldwide. The Wild Hunt raised many expectations – from the very beginning it was meant to become a masterpiece of the Poland-based company, promising to provide a vast world full of surprises, a finale to a consistently developed story, as well as the appearance of the readers’ favorite, most crucial characters, who didn’t appear in the previous parts of the virtual saga. The last mission of the White Wolf was bound to prove difficult, not only because it consisted in eliminating a truly gut-wrenching threat. The Butcher of Blaviken also had to face the expectations of his faithful fans. In recent weeks, the developers and the media alike consistently turned up the hype surrounding the production, which could end up either a total failure or a spectacular victory.
Today, with almost one hundred hours spent in the fantastical Northern Kingdoms under our belts, there’s no doubt about one thing: CD Projekt RED delivered a product that is impressive in many aspects, especially early into the game, when we are still overwhelmed by the amazingly designed world and the enormity of the challenges that Geralt has to face. However, the deeper we delve into the story, the clearer it becomes that the Poland-based developer was unable to avoid some significant shortcomings despite having delayed the release twice. Had they had more time on their hands, we would have probably got a top-notch product, effortlessly earning top grades. I regret to say, however, that this didn’t happen.
Let's discuss Wild Hunt starting from the construction of the world, because I have a feeling that there are still some people who have no clue how it's built. If you still remember the early announcement made by the creators promising one enormous area that we would traverse horse-back in more than half an hour, you can forget about it. We've checked – the largest available area, namely Velen, can be passed through in thirteen minutes in a gallop from north to south. We must also add the occasional glance at a map, required to find our way bypassing the larger bodies of water, as well as the need to slow down, as Roach must go into a gait every once in a while to regenerate its strength bar. Unfortunately, Wild Hunt does not provide a single land mass (like e.g. Skyrim did) that would enable us to get to any point on the map by foot. The Skellige Islands constitute a completely separate territory; so does the starting location – White Orchard, the keep of Kaer Morhen and the palace in Vizima. Each of these places can be reached at any time during the game thanks to numerous waypoints, but every time we are faced with a mandatory loading screen, which in the case of the aforementioned Velen can really take some time. Being forced to admire the word "Loading" is one of the biggest nightmares of the new Witcher.