The Witcher 3 is one of the highest rated and most respected role-playing games of all time. The Polish developers CD Projekt Red swooped up countless game awards, adding trophy upon trophy to their now massive collection. The game featured on nearly all Game of the Year list in 2015, and even the Blood and Wine DLC won the studio awards when it released a year later. The Witcher 3 is a very impressive title for its accolades alone but to this is day I still see this game as one of the hardest games for me to learn to love.
I know what you are thinking you shouldn’t have to learn to love a game well In most cases I agree but with the Witcher 3 I really did have to put in some work to keep myself playing.
I purchased the Witcher 3 on the 19th of May 2015, that was my 25th birthday to celebrate the occasion I bought myself a PS4 and a copy of the game. I stocked up on the gamers essentials for a marathon gaming session; energy drinks, Doritos, M&Ms and of course pizza for dinner. Everything was perfect and then I popped in the game ( waited for an update to download) and was ready to go. Upon starting up the game I noticed a few things, the text was pretty small, menus a little cluttered, movement was clumsy and I was getting slaughtered left right and centre.
I had been pining over Geralt’s latest adventure for months now how on earth was this happening? Why was I not having fun? I was struggling to sink my teeth into one of the most anticipated RPGs of all time. This couldn’t be happening this should be my golden chalice, the love of my life, the apple of my eye. Yet I hated it. I turned it off never to be played again!
Or so I thought, one year later I blew the dust off the cover and held the box in my hands. I heard recently there was a lot of game improving patches, text could be adjusted, movement had been tweaked and you know I could.. Always turn down the difficulty if things got a little too tough ( I know..shame).
This was the best gaming decision I have ever made.
I started over I mounted roach and off I went, my adventure was waiting and I loved every single minute of it. I had never played a Witcher game before despite having them resting in my steam library of shame, however this did not bother me I was still having fun. I don’t think that dropping into the third game without previous knowledge hindered my experience. The developers did a good job of filling in any blanks and introducing characters in a way that sparked familiarity without having even met them before. The game made me want to learn more about the fascinating world that they had me living in. I then went on to read the novels which were brilliant, I now regard them as some of my favourite fantasy works. Just recently news broke that Netflix are working on a Witcher TV show, I swear I screamed with glee when I heard. I would do anything to jump into that world and soak up more tales and stories about my new home away from home.
One of the main reasons I love this game is the location of Skellige. For those of you who have played it will remember those stunning snowy mountains, the breathtaking scenery was a great it experience but it was the locals of this area that warmed my heart in these icy mountains. Almost every character here had an accent incredibly similar to mine, the Belfast accent. I myself am from the North of Ireland in a city called Derry/ Londonderry. My accent is very similar to Belfast so this area just made me feel at home, these were my people, I felt like I knew the blacksmith, the merchants and the elders. I was so happy hear it killed me having to leave.
I fell in love with Geralt and Yennefer, for once I feel like games mad a true and believable romance without the side of cheese and tears. Geralt and Yennefer were complicated they were real despite being you know a mutant and sorceress . I enjoyed the fact that you had the freedom of a roaming eye for the other women in you life yet this would bite you on the ass later in the game.
I had so much fun meeting my new companions, Sarah the Godling and even the trolls that had their own funny little way of communicating. The enemies were intimidating at first until you learned the right oils potions and bombs that took those suckers down in a pinch. I was finally having fun.
I am still playing the Witcher 3 to this day believe it or not even though we had a rocky start I am so thankful that I picked it up again. Some times love is instantaneous and sometimes it isn’t, sometimes you just need to put in a little effort and you will be rewarded. The Witcher 3 The Wild Hunt was my reward!