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Published on May 19th, 2015 | by Don Parsons

5

One Hour In – Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The time has come- Witcher 3 has launched. A quick backdrop to this short article first. I did not play the original Witcher, nor did I play Witcher 2. Why not? Well, I was a weird adult, whom only had a PS3, not an Xbox 360. Due to praise from many, but mostly our own Tony, I really wanted to play the game but did not. So I’m making up for that now with the third installment. And without further ado, some brief thoughts from the first few hours of my play-through for review… bullet-point style.

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  • Combat is fluid, and while a little hard to get the hang of, makes taking down bosses all the more satisfying.
  • The scenery is absolutely gorgeous. I love galloping down a trail and just taking in the country side.
  • The first boss made me want to throw my controller because I was not accustomed to combat at that point in time, which resulted in me trying to kill the griffin over a dozen times. On normal. 😐
  • I am in loot heaven right now, because even flowers can be looted to make much-needed potions and oils.
  • Armor and weapons change on your character when equipped. That made me so happy.
  • In my four hours with the game, I have not had sex yet. I thought it was going to happen twice, and was disappointed both times that it did not. Grow up, Don, I know.
  • The Beastiary is awesome. Every time I encounter a new creature, I stop and read about it. Partially because there are weaknesses to said-creature, but mostly because I am interested in the lore.
  • I have re-mastered the art of “save often”. You really never know when you’re going to die. Which is exhilarating.
  • I have had a hard time stopping after both sessions. Once was to take my Xbox One back home after using someone else’s bandwidth to download the massive 30GB game, and the second was because for some reason WWE scheduled a PPV that night. I was also conflicted, and wanted to call in to work so I could stay home and play it more. For reference, I do not call in sick, even when I’m sick.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go back to adventuring. Keep checking back for our final review. As this goes live on launch day, if you picked it up, let us know your initial impressions in the comments below. Happy hunting!

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About the Author

got into podcasting in 2007, and transitioned into writing in late 2008. In late 2011, he went from blogging to writing for a small site called Vagary.tv. Don attended E3 for Vagary.tv in 2012. Now, Don is one-fourth of the foundation of Critically Sane.



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  • Chris Scott

    If anything the game is pretty. So far, about three and a half hours in, I’m thoroughly engaged by the characters, the narrative, the world itself and the questing.

    The questing in particular is something special. While the missions and contracts the game puts you on aren’t really anything out of the ordinary, their execution and design are. For instance a simple quest of tracking down an arsonist was a blast. In other RPGs such a quest would be a matter of going to a few points and asking people for some information until finally a marker showed up on your map saying here he is. But with this game you do the tracking and investigating yourself, while not much different than just questions to quest marker, I felt I was more involved in the event making me part of the world.

    While my expectations so far have been greatly exceeded, I do have a few concerns after the first few hours of play. The combat is in fact fluid but I’m also finding it to be a bit too complex. I just want to hack things but the game really wants you to mix magic and melee together. Maybe I’ll get used to it, we’ll see. I’m also not a fan of the inventory system. In a word it’s terrible. I’ve only been playing for a few hours and I already have so much crap to sift through and I can tell I won’t use 95% of it because that’s just not my play style. My other primary concern is that the game stutters, in cutscenes (dialog encounters) on occasion pretty drastically to the point where some of the dialog just sounds garbled through a voice box.

    Still, I totally plan on spending a ton more time in the game. I’m already way more impressed with it than I was Dragon Age and I’ve already had way more fun with it. In fact, now I don’t know if I’ll ever get back to that game. But then again, I’m still really early on in the game (I think the Game Hub said I’m about 2% in).

    • Don Parsons

      Once I got used to the combat, ie changing my play style because I am a lot like you in that regard, I found it more satisfying. I was forced to really “role play” as Geralt, instead of making him an extension of me, because *I* would certainly just want to go in and wreck shop as a melee attacker. In doing so, I feel more bad ass, and therefore more accomplished.

      I noticed a bit of stuttering right off the bat, but it seemed to of stopped, or maybe I got used to it after a few hours. It was kind of annoying at first, and I thought maybe it was because I was downloading the game AND playing it, because I haven’t noticed it since.

      I agree ten-fold about the questing. It is far more engaging than most games, and makes it stand out.

      Glad you like it! I am loving it, and totally addicted. Better than Dragon Age, IMO.

      • Chris Scott

        I’ll give the combat a a little bit more time but I foresee myself dropping it to the Story difficulty because its the least important aspect of the game for me.

        I was still getting some stuttering late into my playthrough last night, so a few hours in.

        I’ll say this about the game, and I don’t know if it is just right place right time, but I haven’t been this engaged with a game in a long time. I’ve been heading to bed pre-midnight for nearly every night except when we record the show and last night I had to force myself off the Xbox to go to bed at 2AM. I don’t think I’ve sat for nearly four hours to play a game since Destiny came out. And if I had known at 8PM EST that it had unlocked then (instead of finding out at 10PM EST) then I probably would have played for nearly six hours. It’s thoroughly captivating.

        • Don Parsons

          I not only contemplated calling in today, but also contemplated canceling dinner plans with some people from out of town tonight. “thoroughly captivating” is the perfect way to put it.

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