back to article Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – a true monster in the making

So, I've had sex with three women this week, and before you ask I haven’t changed sexual preference and succumbed to any Sapphic tendencies. No, it’s because I’m balls deep in what may be the defining action RPG of our time — The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Witcher 3: Wild Hunt As I walked out one midsummer morning... The world …

What a co-incidence

Just bought the 1st Witcher from GoGamer for $3. Only played for a couple of hours so far but seems interesting and sure looks pretty. Glad to see the new one's good.

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Re: What a co-incidence

"sure looks good"

You're gonna love it when you get to Vizima :) *. The first area is usually regarded as being quite dull compared to the rest.

* Assuming you make it past the first boss :(.

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Re: What a co-incidence

Just be sure to plan trips to the swamps to minimise trips back and forth. Otherwise it'll get pretty tiresome.

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Re: Just bought the 1st Witcher

Never played the first one but got about two thirds of the way through the second one before getting stuck somewhere and never going back to it.

After reading this review, I think I'll go home tonight and fire it up again.

(Might check out the first one too.)

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Re: What a co-incidence

I've only played the first one, but was put off by (a) the skeezy card-collecting minigame, and (b) the lack of good options. That is to say, there were so many scenes where the sets of (things I'm allowed to do) and (things I'd like to do) overlapped only barely if at all.

Not surprisingly, the game's end result is horrible no matter which route you take. It's one of those rare endings that starts as a downer, and just gets more depressing the more you think about it.

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Anonymous Coward

@thomas k.

"Just bought the 1st Witcher from GoGamer for $3."

"GoGamer"? It that even possible? I thought they've been out of business for years now.

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Re: @thomas k.

He could mean www.gog.com

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Ru'

This is downloading as we speak. Apparently though you can't re-map controls (PC version) which is utterly bonkers; hopefully there's a patch/work-around.

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"can't re-map controls"

You can map some keys in game but not WASD for movement which is indeed utterly bonkers.

The bindings are stored in a .ini file which you can manually edit - Witcher 2 was the same.

My main gripe with Projekt Red is they concentrate on controllers which are shit in so many ways and don't make the UI any better for those using mouse/keyboard.

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Shooters (first and third-person) will always be mouse+keyboard games, but I generally prefer using a controller for a sword, sorcery, and horse-riding game like this.

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"The bindings are stored in a .ini file which you can manually edit"

Got it installed now. That file (input.settings) is more than 2000 lines FFS. Some keys are bound like 20 times in different game states. Pain to edit and overkill because if it really took 2000+ lines of key binds no one could possibly remember them all.

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Additionally, some PC inputs are hard-coded.

So you can remap E, but it's still E to loot.

Personally I find the controls fucking awful, the movement dreadful (regardless of key/mouse or joypad - I spent 5 minutes just trying to turn on a torch sconce because they insist on making movement tied to animation rather than, you know, what you want to do), and the locked camera distance (and FoV) from Geralt is awful, and the fact that a 6 foot fall can kill you is ridiculous.

Also the voice and character acting is disappointing. But then I've been playing The Secret World the past few weeks.

But I agree that the visuals (and the music!) are a treat. It's just a shame they're marred by the experience of actually *playing*.

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WASD.

"You can map some keys in game but not WASD for movement which is indeed utterly bonkers."

A game in which I can't use the arrow keys for movement is a game that for me is unplayable. Although there are workarounds, I resent having to use them.

I can wait until the price comes down to $2.99... which it will, eventually. Until then - and even if that "then" is in a few years, there's any number of other games for me to play, and more being released all the time.

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Re: WASD.

" 'You can map some keys in game but not WASD for movement which is indeed utterly bonkers.'

A game in which I can't use the arrow keys for movement is a game that for me is unplayable. Although there are workarounds, I resent having to use them."

I pre-ordered the game from GOG and installed the moment it became available. I've been using the arrow keys the entire time, and I didn't have to go into any ini files to remap - just used the controls menu. Unless I'm magic, I'm not sure where the idea that you can't change the keys has come from.

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>> Cornfed the pig from Duckman

AND WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU STARING AT!!

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>> Cornfed the pig from Duckman

>AND WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU STARING AT!!

It sounds like it's having an hallucinogenic effect. Not like a drug which is harmful and wrong, and just say no kids, but spacey nonetheless.

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7/10 at best.

Hmmmm.... I have played all three Witchers and just about every other RPG ever released on a PC and I'm giving Witcher 3 7/10 if I'm generous. It's no Skyrim, that's for sure. I'm playing on a GTX Titan based rig, with a 4k monitor.

For:

* Nice framerates, very nicely optimised.

* Stunning lighting

* Great landscapes and scenery

* Beautiful soundtrack

* Best texture work I've seen in some time, especially on skin.

Against:

* Clunky animation, especially running anims. Makes it hard to stop where/when you want to.

* Little skill required for a very repetitive combat model.

* Voice acting is awful in the main

* Script is stilted, B-movie stuff.

* Character is not tabula rasa, but we're given "moral choices" often.

* Gameplay feels a little dated and "on rails".

For a similar gameplay experience, done better, I think you're best off taking a look at Batman: Arkham Knight, Shadow of Mordor (my Game of the Year) or Assassins Creed Black Flag. If you want a more immersive RPG, head right back to Skyrim. The Witcher isn't a bad series, but it is over-hyped, and isn't "all that".

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Re: 7/10 at best.

"head right back to Skyrim"

I've just started playing Skyrim (recently saw the whole lot on special offer).

Gotta say I'm enjoying it. Knowing from past experience you can only experience these things for the first time once I am going steady and not rushing through anything.

At one point I used the restoration potion upgrade cheat to get buffed equipment and magical items etc. but I'm selling all that stuff off now as it made things too easy, no sense of fear :)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 7/10 at best.

I have only just left the tutorial, so I can't say anything about how good it really is, but I agree with this:

"* Voice acting is awful in the main"

Given how much applause the game got for its voice acting and emotions, Geralt seems emotionally detached, monotone even.

Other than that, looking very good so far, although it's one of very few games that I cannot play on maxxed out settings with steady framerate. My 4930K and 780Ti drop below 60 fps every now and again. Not a huge deal, but a tad annoying. (I expect an NVidia driver update to sort that out soon; usually they get a new one out of the door shortly after a highly anticipated title such as this game is released)

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Anonymous Coward

Skyrim...

...has put the bar for all RPGs insanely high! My personal favourite of all times. The screeching of dragons and the sudden growls from stalking wolves and similar creatures still give me goose bumps. Probably the most immersive game out there, which offers fantastic gameplay too. Most titles can only offer one or the other, not both.

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Re: Skyrim...

Forget the wolves, it's when Serana comes back without me noticing the reanimated corpse in tow and there is a sudden moan or bone click in the corridor from behind me.

I think a significant change with Skyrim, was it took the lessons learnt from Fallout 3 around interfaces and controls and applied them to the action RPG genre and made it more accessible. I know many people complained it was too simple, and compared to the traditional RPGs all the number counting was removed. I tried to like Morrowind, Dragon Age Origins and others, but Skyrim, Fallout3, the Mass Effect series and Deus Ex, soaked up hours in a way they never did. With Skyrim I never found myself fumbling to find the controls or remember which key/button did what, so could just enjoy the game and story, losing hours at a time.

With the anticipated release of Witcher 3 and wanting a new rpg, I got hold of 1 and 2 in the steam xmas sale, but the Witcher never drew me in the same way Skyrim does and 2 even remains unlaunched. While I will probably pick up Witcher 3 in a few months when it goes on sale, I stopped being a must have purchase after the earlier releases didn't draw me in.

I still have fond memories of Ultima Underworld and System Shock, and am probably more an action rpg fan than a traditional rpg.

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Re: 7/10 at best.

@Bernard M. Orwell

You pretty much covered it.

The texture work on the characters is a nice plus, too many games are still painting details into the albedo channel (which you should never do with PBR), giving characters a horrible muddy look (see Assassins Creed).

By the by, I'm running with two Titan Blacks and can only get away with medium settings at 1440p (textures, draw distance set to max), and tbh it doesn't look all that different to Ultra. Testament to the quality of the base art in general.

Has anyone else seen Geralt's beard pop-in? :)

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Chz

Re: 7/10 at best.

While it was a tremendously entertaining game, Shadow of Mordor isn't the same thing at all. The sad little story they've attached to it might as well not be there at all. The Arkham games are still the pinnacle of an action/story hybrid. Mordor is pretty much all about the action.

I rather enjoyed the first Witcher, but in the second one I always felt hindered by the interface. Fighting started as ludicrously hard and very quickly moved to ludicrously easy. Repetitive environments, aggravating quests... For all its buggy quirks, I still liked the first one more. I'm definitely going to give 3 a try, at least. Maybe once someone's patched in (probably 3rd party, going by my experience of 2) control remapping properly.

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Re: 7/10 at best.

Rather than Skyrim, try Kingdoms of Amalur..

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@ Bernard M Orwell

Sure, but the truth and continued/ongoing advertising revenues rerely coincide.

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Choices and the World

For those of you who have played both, how do Geralt's decisions in Witcher 2 affect the starting world of Witcher 3, if at all?

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I know that's not what it says...

"Or maybe that was just the sex. A complex branching narrative, challenging combat and some of the best breast and monster design I have ever seen, is complemented by an enormous world that it has been a pleasure to explore."

That's how I read it. Then I reread it. Got it right the second time, thanks.

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Got it with my GTX 960

I got this with my GTX 960, well, I got a download coupon ... I thought it would be some crap/cheap game, apparently, it is not. I will download ... I do not like RPG's, but my son in law does ...

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Generally hitting in the 50-60fps range with everything maxed except for the poncy hair effects at 1080p on an i5 3570k/GTX 970 combo. Enjoying it thoroughly so far, despite the fact that trying to point Geralt at the thing that you want to examine/kill/not fall off is like steering a barge using the power of suggestion. Also my horse spawned inside a house once. Did it come up from the cellar? Do horses dig now? I think we need to keep an eye on that.

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