Home Gaming The Witcher 3 wastes no time with intricate, compelling storytelling

The Witcher 3 wastes no time with intricate, compelling storytelling

5 min read
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Geralt doesn’t have to solve people’s problems. It’s a stigma that’s present in so many modern RPgs – you go here, solve this problem, kill this many enemies and return for a reward. It doesn’t matter if you’re a proclaimed messiah, an omnipotent ruler or a common villager on the path to heroism. Along the way, you’re going to have to do things that seem beneath you. Geralt doesn’t do that.

I’m only around 20 hours into what’s gearing up to be a massive play through of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and no other facet of the game has stood out more than this. Geralt, the cold, calculating Witcher of Rivia, is on the hunt for a long-lost love from the two previous games, Yennefer of Vengerberg – who acts as a McGuffin for what the true tale of this concluding chapter really is. You soon however, end up trading one hunt for another as you pursue a former student of Geralt, Ciri. She’s, coincidentally also being hunted by the same spectral force that kidnapped Yennefer in the first place – a nice, neat way of bringing everything full circle.

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While that’s the tale that is currently being laid out in front of me, it’s more the way that I chose to pursue it that has made these opening hours so engrossing. The Witcher franchise has never shied away from massive decisions that alter the course of your journey. The Witcher 2 did this through climatic, chapter ending moments that would would, completely alter the rest of the game. They were unsubtle but effective – an area where The Witcher 3 so far excels in, in every way possible.

Story quests may begin in a familiar and predictable fashion, but the beauty is in the way that they branch out, which is exquisite to behold. For example, an early lead gives Geralt two approaches to figure out where Ciri might have headed to in No Man’s Land – the first really big area you’re going to sink your teeth into – both of which can be pursued in any order. The order, however, changes how certain events occur and are perceived through Geralt – and it made me wonder how different things would’ve panned out if they’d been done in reverse. It also emphasised how crucial every single dialogue choice has, as an irreparable impact not only on the story, but on the world around you.

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And in traditional Witcher fashion, there isn’t a right answer. Ever. Choose to save a bunch of orphans, and you rob the life from the mother of another, possibly purer daughter. Choose the lesser of two evils, and watch it grow into a force that completely changes the landscape of the area you were trying to improve. Villagers will speak of your actions in hushed tones, applauding or downright chastising your actions. Geralt isn’t the only force able to move cogs in the Northern Realms – but he certainly carries a lot more weight than ever before.

These world-changing consequences aren’t reserved for the main narrative either. As I experienced in short supply during my time with the game last month, The Witcher 3 employs micro-narratives that engross you in the daily struggles of villagers you’d otherwise casually ride by. Clearing a Ghoul nest near a small settlement frees the inhabitants up for rebuilding, giving you more merchants to trade with, more missions to undertake and hearty smiles of gratitude from those around you. It’s entirely organic too – with small markers pointing you in the direction of possibilities should you get near them. This isn’t a black and white, binary world that is oppressed or freed based on your involvement. It’s a living, breathing landscape of misfortune and opportunity, waiting for you to decide which is which.

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This misfortune is more often than not a product of The Convergence – which left a nasty handful of creatures stuck in the realm of men. It also means the Witching business is still thriving, and monster contracts are a particularly rewarding way to pace yourself. Each village will have a notice board that usually has a new contract up for offer. Speak to the issuer, learn some history about the settlement you’re in, and you’re off hunting werewolves, noon-wraiths, griffons and more.

These contracts are meatier than simply exploring an area and killing anything that moves. As you’d expect, there’s a keen amount of preparation Geralt needs to get through, which involves identifying the threat, determining where it resides and, more importantly, how to effectively dispatch them. This, again, is left up to you – and it’s not uncommon for some contracts to resolve using non-violent means. On the other hand, these encounters also provide the toughest combat scenarios for you to deal with – and an ill-prepared Witcher without the right oils, potions and muteness is quick work for these boss-like foes.

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Right now, the most difficult thing to get right in The Witcher 3 is staying on a set path – which is the perfect scenario for an RPG of this size. It’s incredible to see the small, personal stories of peasants interweave into a larger picture, and even more impressive still that it manages to maintain this allure so many hours in. The main story is trotting along at a respectable pace for now, but extremely well written characters are holding my attention more than anything now. And if it stays that way for the next 60 or so hours, this may turn out to be one of the most impressive RPGs I’ve played yet.

Look out for a full, proper verdict in the near future.

Last Updated: May 18, 2015

119 Comments

    • Sageville

      May 18, 2015 at 14:50

      Are we there yet?

      Reply

      • Pariah

        May 18, 2015 at 15:03

        That’s what she said?

        Reply

        • HairyEwok

          May 18, 2015 at 15:03

          Oh you!

          Reply

        • Dutch-Trevor Matrix

          May 18, 2015 at 15:05

          Nope. Is it in yet? Is what she said…

          Reply

          • Pariah

            May 18, 2015 at 15:05

            You poor, poor sod.

          • Dutch-Trevor Matrix

            May 18, 2015 at 15:09

            Not to me! It’s what Sageville’s girl said to him.
            When I drop my trousers she be like “My Word!” and I be like “Yeah, the do not call me the Austrian Oak for nothing!”

          • Pariah

            May 18, 2015 at 15:10

            Riiiiiiiight. Uh huh.

          • Blood Emperor Trevor

            May 18, 2015 at 15:10

            While technically true, it kinda ruins the story though once people find out you pay them to call you that.

          • Dutch-Trevor Matrix

            May 18, 2015 at 15:15

            I never pay for sex! They pay me and… whistles whilst attempting the world record for the nonchalant walk off these forums

          • Pariah

            May 18, 2015 at 15:19

            So you rape, steal, and then nonchalantly walk away? Eish…

          • Spaffy

            May 18, 2015 at 15:34

            Oh, you also like role-playing?

        • Ammy

          May 19, 2015 at 05:16

          ???? Just i got a Draft 13000 usd …. Start work offered by Google!!Yes,this is definitely the most financially rewarding Job I’ve had . Last Monday I bought a great Lotus Elan after I been earning $9534 this-last/5 weeks and-a little over, $10k last month . . I started this four months/ago and immediately started to bring home minimum $97 per/hr … I worked here ->

          You can Make It Easily…..////

          Just see here….check it,.,.,,.

          ?? http://www.Yourdreamcomestrue.C0m…….

          ?????????????????

          Reply

  1. Kromas,powered by windows 10.

    May 18, 2015 at 14:38

    Based on the title alone I will not read anything of this today.

    Good day to you sir.

    Reply

  2. kuuu(UMAR)rrrr

    May 18, 2015 at 14:39

    Midnight launch tonight! As excited as I am…staying till midnight on a monday…Yeah, even Geraldo ain’t that important.

    Reply

  3. Blood Emperor Trevor

    May 18, 2015 at 14:41

    I’m going to take my time playing this, not that I have much of a choice anyway seeing as it’ll run like a slide show on my AMD system.

    Reply

    • RinceTriss

      May 18, 2015 at 14:42

      I thought you meant because you have been walking like an old timer recently tehehehe! Runs πŸ˜›

      Reply

      • Blood Emperor Trevor

        May 18, 2015 at 14:44

        Go ahead, run. You’ll only die tired.

        I mean… um… haha… who said that?

        Reply

    • HairyEwok

      May 18, 2015 at 14:44

      The PC master race is at war with the consoles, but what the consoles dont know is theres a civil war busy on the fronts of the PC master race…. The AMD Nvidia war

      Reply

      • kuuu(UMAR)rrrr

        May 18, 2015 at 14:46

        PCMR always fighting, be it with console gamers or themselves, they thrive on flame. Weeks after this game launches there will still be arguments about the graphics. I’ll just be under my blankies, with some OJ and Romany Creams enjoying the game, coz, ain’t nobody got time to argue.

        Reply

        • HairyEwok

          May 18, 2015 at 14:47

          PC Gamers be like…. MOAR COAL! FUEL THE FIRE! MOOORDOORRR!!!! I lost track to what i was going to say…..

          Reply

        • Blood Emperor Trevor

          May 18, 2015 at 14:53

          WAR!

          Reply

        • Kromas,powered by windows 10.

          May 18, 2015 at 15:16

          War … war never changes.

          Alternatively.

          I don’t want to set the world on fiiiiirreee.

          Reply

          • Lord Chaos

            May 18, 2015 at 15:35

            Screw Witcher 3, Fallout 4 is coming. πŸ˜›

          • Kromas,powered by windows 10.

            May 18, 2015 at 15:40

            Too fast you are youngling hmmm yes. Tomorrow only the light side declared will be Fallout 4.

    • Hammersteyn

      May 18, 2015 at 14:46

      lol slide show

      Reply

  4. Admiral Chief

    May 18, 2015 at 14:49

    Almost time…

    Reply

    • HairyEwok

      May 18, 2015 at 14:50

      Psssst 9:09:54

      Reply

    • Blood Emperor Trevor

      May 18, 2015 at 14:50

      Reply

      • HairyEwok

        May 18, 2015 at 14:54

        If I was Luke I would say no to this being my father as well

        Reply

        • Dutch-Trevor Matrix

          May 18, 2015 at 14:56

          If this was my father and I was Luke? I would force choke myself!
          “First I kissed my sister! Now this tub o lard with buggeroll brains is my dad? Good Bye Cruel World!”

          Reply

    • Krabby Paddy

      May 18, 2015 at 14:54

      Feel like a jack russell waiting for that damn ball to be thrown already.

      Reply

  5. Valenlord

    May 18, 2015 at 14:52

    Maybe I must put in leave for tomorrow………..

    Reply

  6. Mossel

    May 18, 2015 at 14:54

    Raru better deliver this on time.

    Reply

    • Blood Emperor Trevor

      May 18, 2015 at 14:56

      Inderdaad. Although it doesn’t really matter if it’s delivered tomorrow since I probably won’t play it tomorrow anyway haha.

      Reply

      • Mossel

        May 18, 2015 at 14:57

        I will definitely play this tomorrow! I just hope my GPU runs it at more than 3 fps. Otherwise I will be super tempted to splurge my savings on a new GPU! Seriously though, why wont you be playing tomorrow?

        Reply

        • Krabby Paddy

          May 18, 2015 at 15:15

          but at 3 fps, you could really savour the experience.

          Reply

          • Dutch-Trevor Matrix

            May 18, 2015 at 15:17

            Yes! This! And by the time he has finished the first three steps, he would have grown a beard! Never mind Geralt…

          • Mossel

            May 18, 2015 at 15:19

            I know, right?! I would pay so much attention to details that would otherwise get lost in the haze that is 60fps.

      • HairyEwok

        May 18, 2015 at 14:59

        Plot twist….. The servers fail to authenticate and you cant load the game
        #NeverForget #Diablo3

        Reply

        • Mossel

          May 18, 2015 at 14:59

          #error37

          Reply

        • Valenlord

          May 18, 2015 at 14:59

          UNLUCKY…….

          Reply

        • Blood Emperor Trevor

          May 18, 2015 at 15:00

          It comes with Uplay? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

          Reply

          • Dutch-Trevor Matrix

            May 18, 2015 at 15:01

            SteamOrigUplay is required…

          • Admiral Chief

            May 18, 2015 at 15:01

            I’m on the GoG client…

          • Dutch-Trevor Matrix

            May 18, 2015 at 15:03

            LoL. Do you want a medal for that? Or a Peanut Butter and Jam sarmie?

          • Pariah

            May 18, 2015 at 15:03

            He’s too hipster for that. Offer him a Banting salad.

          • Brady miaau

            May 18, 2015 at 15:04

            just peanut butter, but thanks for asking.

          • HairyEwok

            May 18, 2015 at 15:05

            Heavy days with all these releases…. One needs to take food where ever you can.

          • Brady miaau

            May 18, 2015 at 15:06

            indeed, indeed. Very kind offer of Mr Matrix.

            I wonder, though, if delivery is included?

          • Dutch-Trevor Matrix

            May 18, 2015 at 15:07

            I only make Man Sarmies with my Admiral…

  7. Valenlord

    May 18, 2015 at 14:56

    Maybe I must put in leave for tomorrow…

    Reply

    • HairyEwok

      May 18, 2015 at 14:57

      You said it twice so you must be taking that leave yeah….. Feel that cough building up and that nose running away.

      Reply

      • Mossel

        May 18, 2015 at 14:59

        Now that you mention it. There is a bit of a nasal drip.

        Reply

      • Valenlord

        May 18, 2015 at 15:20

        You see I am already so ill I am seeing double double…

        Reply

    • Mossel

      May 18, 2015 at 14:58

      I think I’m having a cold tomorrow.

      Reply

  8. Admiral Chief

    May 18, 2015 at 14:57

    I’ve asked my wife to drive over my foot with the car, SHE MUST COMPLY!

    Reply

    • Valenlord

      May 18, 2015 at 14:58

      Now that admiral is the best idea I have ever heard…

      Reply

    • Blood Emperor Trevor

      May 18, 2015 at 15:00

      Compliance will be rewarded.

      Reply

    • HairyEwok

      May 18, 2015 at 15:00

      Im working on a “injury on job premises”. They’ll pay me out and give me off…. Double win!

      Reply

      • Brady miaau

        May 18, 2015 at 15:02

        Did you edit that? I am so sure I read something slightly different to “injury on job”

        Reply

        • Admiral Chief

          May 18, 2015 at 15:02

          dat ninja edit…

          Reply

        • HairyEwok

          May 18, 2015 at 15:03

          I’m not even sure to be honest….. Too busy plotting.

          Reply

    • Brady miaau

      May 18, 2015 at 15:01

      Will it be enough?

      Why not just eat sandpaper, then complain a sore throat, complete with raspiness?

      Reply

    • Valenlord

      May 18, 2015 at 15:01

      *cough cough sniff sniff* I think I have the flu

      Reply

    • Dutch-Trevor Matrix

      May 18, 2015 at 15:02

      Tell you what. I’ll come murder your cat…

      Reply

      • Mossel

        May 18, 2015 at 15:02

        The fuck even.

        Reply

        • Pariah

          May 18, 2015 at 15:06

          I’m actually wondering whether or not this guy needs a straight jacket and padded cell at this point. Not even I’m that bad. O_O

          Reply

          • Dutch-Trevor Matrix

            May 18, 2015 at 15:31

            Who says I am not in a straight jacket and in a padded cell? Besides, I have fucking Ninja toes! Nothing these toes cannot do!

      • Brady miaau

        May 18, 2015 at 15:03

        Yeah, coupla days off work needed, not attempted murder charges.

        Car as weapon. Classic.

        Reply

        • Dutch-Trevor Matrix

          May 18, 2015 at 15:06

          I missed the part where I said I will attempt to murder his cat. Also, I think cops might laugh at you if you try and get me arrested for attempted cat murder…

          Reply

          • Brady miaau

            May 18, 2015 at 15:08

            Ah, no. I mean the Admiral chases you down in his (or, for better effect, your) car and attempts to run you down in revenge for trying to kill his cat.

            I think further, see further and make up more sh!t on demand than even your most hardened politician. Or something.

          • Dutch-Trevor Matrix

            May 18, 2015 at 15:11

            I drive a Chery QQ3. If he runs me over in that the best they can charge him with is assault. Maybe. If the state has a very good lawyer…

          • Brady miaau

            May 18, 2015 at 15:11

            Ok, Ok. Tea went everywhere, thanks for that. NOW that is a classic comeback. Well played, Sir Matrix. you win.

          • Lord Chaos

            May 18, 2015 at 15:39

            More so than EA?

          • Brady miaau

            May 18, 2015 at 15:10

            And, on a serious note, cops did not laugh at me a few years back when I reported as stolen one of my pedigree cats. Said it was the third one reported this month for my area, all, relatively, expensive pedigree cats, vanished under suspicious circumstances.

          • HairyEwok

            May 18, 2015 at 15:11

            Do you have any chinese living in your area?

          • Dutch-Trevor Matrix

            May 18, 2015 at 15:11

            No fuck man! That is just cruel!

          • HairyEwok

            May 18, 2015 at 15:12

            Ey your the attempted cat killer here so hush.

          • Dutch-Trevor Matrix

            May 18, 2015 at 15:13

            Well, that is not as bad as suggesting he might have bought his cat back at the local Chinese Take Away!

          • HairyEwok

            May 18, 2015 at 15:15

            Hey for all we know he could be vegeterian!

          • Brady miaau

            May 18, 2015 at 15:18

            No. He loves him some fried rice, chicken and veg from the local Chinese take-way. Thanks for ruining that. πŸ™‚ Yeah.

          • HairyEwok

            May 18, 2015 at 15:27

            Im sorry, here have a upvote of much love.

          • Brady miaau

            May 18, 2015 at 15:13

            not that I have seen really, no. Sometimes you can buy adult “pedigree” cats, with no papers, in the wanted ads, people moving, that sort of thing. Or so they say, I think not all tell the truth. I think this is where my little bundle of joy ended up.

            He was silver, thus a bit unusual.

          • HairyEwok

            May 18, 2015 at 15:14

            If you haven’t seen them then their obviously Ninja’s. Hold up you had a Geralt cat O.o

          • Brady miaau

            May 18, 2015 at 15:18

            This was a Geralt cat. See copy and paste last section from http://cattime.com/cat-breeds/somali-cats/personality

            Also note the cat had more energy than my Border Collie. You need to actively play with him. I used to throw tennis balls to him, on an elastic band. He would wait for it come back, at speed, and then catch the ball. Psycho cat. But full of love. Also, he was friendly, as the breed normally is, to strangers. Allowed himself to be petted by strangers that visited us just once, where my Siamese will not allow that.

            “Some cats are perpetual kittens β€” full of energy and mischief β€” while others are more serious and sedate. Although a playful kitten sounds endearing, consider how many games of chase the mouse-toy you want to play each day, and whether you have kids or other animals who can stand in as playmates.”

          • Dutch-Trevor Matrix

            May 18, 2015 at 15:12

            Sweet Lords I will cry my eyes out if someone stole my doggie! Bugger the money paid…

          • Brady miaau

            May 18, 2015 at 15:14

            Indeed, that is the case. I buy pets, not investments. I just happen to like certain breeds, so pay a bit more for that privilege.

    • Krabby Paddy

      May 18, 2015 at 15:08

      People in Cape Town, please do not try this.

      Reply

    • Dutch-Trevor Matrix

      May 18, 2015 at 15:19

      From all this I take away the fact you have a wife. Are you going to unchain her from the kitchen to run over your foot?
      *Can I outrun Admiral Chief? Find out after the break!*

      Reply

      • Admiral Chief

        May 18, 2015 at 15:23

        Pls refresh page to see result

        Reply

        • Dutch-Trevor Matrix

          May 18, 2015 at 15:26

          You sneaky bastard you! Well played!

          Reply

  9. Greylingad[CNFRMD]

    May 18, 2015 at 15:23

    I can’t wait until tomorrow….aaaaand I have suddenly developed a stomach bug….Damn you oh cruel fate!!

    Reply

  10. Dutch-Trevor Matrix

    May 18, 2015 at 15:25

    To all you joking about getting ill: I would laugh my ass off if you get sick! For real! And so bad you cannot get up to even turn on your PC/PS4/Xbone or whatever!

    Reply

    • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

      May 18, 2015 at 15:26

      No really…I’m quite serious…

      Reply

      • Dutch-Trevor Matrix

        May 18, 2015 at 15:27

        I hope you got stuff coming out both ends!

        Reply

        • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

          May 18, 2015 at 15:28

          I honestly did not plan for it, luckily it’s not that bad though…

          Reply

          • Dutch-Trevor Matrix

            May 18, 2015 at 15:34

            Oh there is nothing more fun than having to decide if you want to vomit or take a dump first. And then, when you decide to take the dump, you vomit. All over your lap.
            Good Times!

          • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

            May 18, 2015 at 15:42

            Yep! That is the moment that you decide to get a baby’s bib to fit around your neck and plonk a bucket in front of you while sitting on the porcelain phonebooth… Oh food poisoning, thou art a bitch….

    • Aries

      May 18, 2015 at 15:48

      Dont laugh but I actually woke up in pain, have a bad infection, now I’m abit sad, but the game not going to go anywhere anytime soon

      Reply

    • Lord Chaos

      May 18, 2015 at 15:50

      Or too sick to get out of bed when the game gets delivered to the office.

      Reply

      • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

        May 18, 2015 at 15:52

        Oh that’ll look great! “Hey dude, I see you made it to the off” BLEAAARGGHHH “Ag bliksem dude…” – quoting boss….

        Reply

        • Lord Chaos

          May 18, 2015 at 15:54

          If I even look slightly sick I get chased home.

          Reply

  11. Krabby Paddy

    May 18, 2015 at 15:35

    Thinking that the people that are sick tomorrow to play this will be using some intricate, compelling storytelling.

    Reply

    • Dutch-Trevor Matrix

      May 18, 2015 at 15:41

      Ha ha ha! If I was the boss of a people that are gamers, I would demand to see a sick note on Wednesday! πŸ˜›

      Reply

      • Krabby Paddy

        May 18, 2015 at 15:42

        Many gamers will be thankful that you’re not their boss.

        Reply

  12. Mark Vincer

    May 18, 2015 at 16:33

    But does it have DRM?

    Reply

  13. Jonah Cash

    May 18, 2015 at 16:34

    Way too much of the story in the first three paragraphs alone… will come and read this next month end me thinks!

    Reply

  14. Hooptiecoupe

    May 18, 2015 at 18:08

    That was the most exciting part about witcher was seeing how my actions affected later gameplay.
    http://Www.hooptiesworld.enjin.com

    Reply

  15. Freddie Winter

    May 18, 2015 at 21:19

    ??????–lazygamer–Best way,google yahoo,Facebook,twitter,

    Read Full Article

    ???????Get More Info ? See More Here’s

    Reply

  16. Ghost In The Rift

    May 18, 2015 at 22:30

    So no shards to collect i take it, f&*k yeah this is the game to make me forget there is a real world outside.

    Reply

  17. InvisiGhost

    May 19, 2015 at 00:31

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