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Reviews Comments: An Awkward Juggling Act The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt game review by Immortalbear

The "Witcher" games are unusual among game series because they delivered a mediocre initial title before winning international acclaim with a sleeper hit sequel. However, what won much of their popularity was their dark themes mixed with choice and consequences with lives and rights all depending on the player's views of justice and judgement. The first two games leave open-ended conclusions that branch out into a variety of different world states. With such a vast amount of choices, there posed the question, could Witcher 3 execute a satisfying conclusion to all of these plot threads? Short answer, they didn't.

Long answer, the duality nature of their previous games worked against them. The first Witcher game was a fantasy with light political themes, while the second game had a heavy focus on political goals with fantastical means acting as a tool to achieve them. Witcher 3 struggles to meet both sides halfway, before figuring its easier to go in a completely different direction, and that direction's name is Ciri.

Never mind that Ciri was scarcely mentioned in either of the previous titles but her very existence railroads Witcher 3 to being about her and as a result, other elements of the story suffer. The Wild Hunt goes from a mythical, unstoppable wraith army to space elf pirates on steroids. The war against Nilfgaard is downgraded to a political backdrop and can be completely ignored as early as after the first act. The deciding factor of the war is a skippable sidequest that requires very little effort on the part of the player. I was "legally" allowed to kill only 3 Nilfgaard soldiers in the entire game and they were part of, you guessed it, a sidequest. Even the dreaded White Frost is clumsily addressed at the last minute when a certain character does some kind of magical nonsense and suddenly the plot is resolved.

Witcher 3 also has useless subplots that go nowhere like the witch hunters which explore a concept that their rivals, the Dragon Age series have done ten times better with more perspective.

I admit I'm accentuating negative. Plots like the Ladies of the Wood and Defense of Kaer Morhen, as well as many of the sidequests are entertaining and so is Ciri. But where Witcher 3 succeeds as a game in its own right, it fails as a sequel and that left many players, including me, disappointed.

Comments

  • Pysiewicz
  • 4th Nov 16
  • Tomwithnonumbers
  • 4th Nov 16
When you\'re throwing shade in both directions, it\'s going to be difficult to find cover :p

Although I do get the disappointment in Witcher 3 as a sequel. It\'s a Catch-22 that actually implementing meaningful branching choice in the game means it\'s pretty much impossible for those choices to have meaning in the sequel.
  • Pysiewicz
  • 5th Nov 16
I never really cared much about plot of first and second game - they had close to no relation with the saga and (especially the first one) they weren't exactly well-written. I'm not saying they didn't get me invested, hell, I ended up drawing a diagram half-way through TW 2 just to see how my choices can go. I'm also not a big fan of game series that desperately try to make player's choices valid for canon - those are simply bound to fail and will always get someone sad or angry. But in the end, the third game finally went pass all that bullshit and instead focused on the really interesting and important stuff. Namely - providing a proper ending to the saga.

I just hate the Gainax Ending of the saga and the game does a great job in this department.

Outside of that - this is the best video game I've played ever since Alpha Centauri was released 15 years ago, while I wasn't enjoying any game this much since, I don't know... Max Payne 2? And I'm not saying this lightly. I can't find anything to complain about in it, and I'm always complaining about something.
  • The_Geery
  • 5th Feb 17
I really wanted to be that guy who said \"DID YOU EVEN READ THE BOOKS?!\". I realized that may be a ridiculous response. Atop that, I don\'t care. I\'m a huge lore-fag. OP should read the saga, before bitching about Cirilla\'s importance. The only weak part of it being a sequel is shoe-horning us into Triss\'s pants after \'Something ends, Something begins\' got released, which is apparently canon.

TL;DR I disagree with OP\'s entire statement because I\'m a whiny lore-fag. Also, Triss is just an opportunistic homewrecker.

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