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The Witcher 3. © CD Projekt

The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt is an open world action RPG developed by CD Project RED, getting players fully immersed into a dark fantasy open world environment. The game was released on all consoles and can also be played on Microsoft Windows powered PCs since May 2015. The third installment in the series, it is a proud heir of The Witcher and The Witcher 2 Assassins of Kings. All these games are inspired by the fantasy novels written by Andrzej Sapkowski, a famous Polish author.

Key facts about The Witcher 3

  • The Witcher 3 features a huge extremely detailed open world that presents players with the impetus of diverting from the main quest to explore.
  • The game has immersive role-playing elements and great characters, with complex interactions that influence the outcome of the game.
  • The Witcher 3 has a responsive combat, building on the popular game mechanics of the first two releases that scored high points with both players and critics.
  • The third installment doesn’t end Geralt story, so the developers will be able to come up with a sequel whenever they see fit.
  • The Witcher 3 uses the Aurora Engine developed by Bioware, featuring dynamic environments and advanced AI.

The Witcher 3 games

The Witcher 3 is based on the book series written by Andrzej Sapkowski and action takes place in the same medieval fantasy world. It continues the adventures of Geralt, one of the last surviving Witchers, powerful monster hunters that travel the world killing menacing creatures. The Witcher 3 game features the same system of moral choices, in which players need make difficult decisions that eventually influence the outcome of the game.

By using the Bioware Aurora Engine, The Witcher 3 powers an open world environment that is allegedly 30 times larger than in the previous installments. The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings is its sequel and this is also an action role-playing hack and slash videogame. Action takes place in the same fantasy world and the central character uses his special powers to take down monsters and claim the reward. There is more than money that motivates Geralt however and he is frequently pit against seemingly impossible choices.

What is The Witcher 3

The Witcher 3 is a role-playing videogame in which players assume the role of Geralt of Rivia, a monster Hunter commonly referred to as a Witcher. Developed and published by CD Project RED, it is the third installment in the franchise and met with critical acclaim while selling millions of copies. The game is also the proud recipient of several Game of the Year awards and is regarded by many of the fans as the best game in the series.

Gameplay of The Witcher 3

The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt invites players to explore a huge open world and they can do so by riding horses, walking or traveling by boat. Given the massive scale of the maps, players also have the option of fast traveling, a feature that was highly anticipated by players. The actions performed by players will have an indirect effect on the world and they directly affect the quests.

Screenshot of The Witcher 3. © CD Projekt
Screenshot of The Witcher 3. © CD Projekt

CD Projekt RED estimated that players will end up spending in excess of 100 hours to complete the game if they choose the straightforward solution. The Witcher 3 has plenty of side quests and players enjoy unlimited freedom in switching from them to the main narrative. The role-playing game system that was so popular in previous installments is also present, with minor tweaks that tap into the advancements of technology. Geralt can now sense nearby people, resources and objectives and fight on horseback.

Underwater swimming is also possible and The Witcher 3 gameplay allows players to use crossbows for ranged attacks. The character is also easier to maneuver and can now jump over small obstacles, with climbing mechanics that are slightly similar to those in Uncharted. When players take damage, they can heal themselves by using potions and they can also craft various concoctions to enhance their abilities.

The complexity of The Witcher 3 gameplay is also given by the advancements made by the artificial intelligence. The alternation of day and night influences the behavior of the creatures roaming the maps, making it easier or more difficult to hunt various monsters. Interaction with nonplayer characters is also better than ever before, with some of them such as Ciri being playable at some point in the game.

Plot of The Witcher 3

The Witcher 3 continues the story of Geralt of Rivia, the protagonist of the previous installment and the narrative picks up where the story left. The Witcher tries to move on with his life, but he gets tracked into a new string of missions triggered by the change of the world order. Players travel to many of the popular cities and locations featuring in the previous installments, although the new map is significantly larger and takes them to plenty of new areas.

Those who are familiar with the first two installments in the series will recognize the village of White Orchard and the Royal Palace in Vizima among other iconic areas. The game begins with Geralt of Rivia searching for Yennefer of Vengerberg and when them to finally meet, the sorcerers urges him to embark on a quest on her behalf. Geralt reluctantly agrees and this sets the wheels in motion for a sequence of quests that pit him against the toughest opponents here for faced.

Screenshot of The Witcher 3. © CD Projekt
Screenshot of The Witcher 3. © CD Projekt

Ciri, a Child of the Elder Blood as well as other nonplayer characters interact with Geralt and players enjoy a great deal of freedom in dealing with them. The Witcher 3 plot can sometimes seem a bit convoluted, as players have to postpone their main quest and solve some side missions.

As the narrative eventually approaches its inevitable conclusion, the number of difficult choices increases radically. Players need to decide whether to spare the lives of central characters, or let them live and accept the consequences. Some of the choices made earlier in the game also have an impact, but the ones that weigh heavily in the balance are those made in the final missions.

Development of The Witcher 3

Rumors about The Witcher 3 appeared first in 2012, but the game was only officially announced in February 2013 and set for release in 2014. The developers failed to meet the schedule and instead of releasing the game in autumn, they postponed the deadline. The Witcher 3 hit the stores on May 19, 2015 and was available on all consoles, as well as Microsoft Windows powered computers.

Screenshot of The Witcher 3. © CD Projekt
Screenshot of The Witcher 3. © CD Projekt

The Witcher 3 also has two expansion packs that go by the name of Hearts of Stone and Blood and Wine, with the first emerging in autumn 2015. The latter expansion was only made available in early 2016 and provides additional content to the hardcore fans of the series. Despite the significant development budget the videogame proved to be a massive hit, selling more than 6 million copies in less than two months.

Where can I download The Witcher 3?

The Witcher 3 can be downloaded from the CD Project RED official website, alongside the first two installments. The fans have the options of purchasing the collector’s edition, an alternative they also had when acquiring The Witcher and The Witcher 2 Assassins of Kings. Fans of quality RPG games should also check out Tom Clancy’s The Division, Dark Souls, Dark Souls 2 and Gears of War 4.

What are others saying about The Witcher 3?

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was one of the most anticipated games of 2015 and it met and exceeded the expectations of both fans and critics. It received critical acclaim and the aggregate review scores revolve around 90%, making it a worthy successor for the two games in the franchise. There was no shortage of video game reviewers who gave the new installment a perfect 10, for its amazing maps, rich content and the meaningful gameplay choices.

See what Conan O'Brien has to say about The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt in his Clueless Gamer video game review:

The Witcher 3 tournaments

The Witcher 3 is one of the best role-playing games ever produced, but even so, it is restricted to single player. With more than 100 hours of gameplay, it will keep players hooked for quite a while and the absence of The Witcher tournaments will probably go unnoticed.

My rating of The Witcher 3

I had a lot of fun playing the original The Witcher game and I’ve been anxiously waiting for the sequel and then again for the latest installment. The first game set the bar so high that I didn’t think it was possible for the sequels to maintain the same standards. CD Project RED found a way to craft increasingly better RPG games and The Witcher 3 is truly a gem. I’ve completed the game several times but I still find myself wandering the huge open world every now and then. For its uncanny ability of keeping me and millions of other players hooked as well as all its achievements, I rate it 9.5 out of 10.

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