Home Gaming Why “The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt” is Still Worth Playing in 2021

Why “The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt” is Still Worth Playing in 2021

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The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt is arguably the greatest RPG ever. Anyone who says differently is wrong. It can take the unfamiliar some “effort” or time to get into it, but once you are there, you will not want to leave. Most open world games recycle each other’s mechanics these days, and most open world games are very similar. Not like this.

The world of the Witcher 3 is unique, not only in it’s setting and content, but in the way the world interacts with, not just the player, but itself. If you did something to help-out a village and you pass through it sometime later, a random person or even a child will thank you. The same is true for the opposite as well. I once had an interaction with an elf, I had fast travelled near where she had been standing, and the next moment she asked if I remembered her and
then attacked me. I had wronged her somewhere else in the world that I could not even remember. This is another great feature that a lot of games hint at, but never really get right – your actions have consequences. I messed up my
ending with just the slightest of wrong choices that echoed through the whole of the game world.

The world seems old and not just lived in, but alive. From village elders, to old monsters, and to NPCs that give you trouble just because of your reputation. Bandits will use little children, damsels and over-turned carts to ambush you.
Everywhere you go you are quickly reminded that everything in this world wants to kill you. There is a side quest with a Witcher from the School of the Cat who had slaughtered a village who would not pay him. If you choose to let him go, Geralt will sit down in a reflective way and sigh. I had an encounter with a band of Scoia’tael(which are a group of rebels from before the events of the game), one of them thanked me for a favour I did him once, it was something
that even Geralt did not remember. Little touches like this makes the characters seem alive, in fact if you pay attention to how the other NPCs react to you, it becomes apparent that the programming comes close to mimicking real people’s behaviour.

Oh, and the graphics hold up and are still a treat to look at. It could use a remaster to sort some of the quality of life issues, but you can still enjoyably play it as is without needing the nostalgia engine’s fuel.

Sure, there are flaws (like the School of the Wolf glitch, and what is even direction when swimming under water) and it is not perfect (I hate you Roach, you useless donkey), but there is nothing else that comes even close to the experience of “living” in the world of the Witcher 3. Finishing it is akin to finishing your favourite series or movie, you find yourself in mourning. For a while afterward everything you try is measured against it, and all of it is found wanting. Like every other movie after Infinity War…

Last Updated: July 7, 2021

59 Comments

  1. Gr8_Balls_o_Fire

    July 8, 2021 at 04:27

    This is embarrassing to admit but I have a copy of this since like 2018, and still haven’t gone past the 6 hour mark. I don’t know why.

    Reply

    • Mandalorian Jim

      July 8, 2021 at 04:46

      My cousin has the same problem, he just can’t seem to get into it, and I’ve tried to explain to him that it’s not like with other action RPGs where you go out and slay a 100 bunnies to gain xp but rather that you have to play the story, and that the storylines are where the game truly shines (hell… the one with the Baron is still one of the best side-quests EVER).

      Reply

      • Gr8_Balls_o_Fire

        July 8, 2021 at 05:06

        Gee thanks, now i’m gonna go waste more time trying to get into it again lol

        And yes, the Baron’s side quest was awesome. Creepy, but awesome.

        Reply

    • Yozzie

      July 8, 2021 at 04:48

      I stopped at the 32 hour mark myself. But that’s just because I suck at playing games and the werewolf’s were making me question my sanity.

      Reply

    • HvR

      July 8, 2021 at 04:32

      Your not alone in the corner of shame …. less than 1 hour. The OCD got hold of me and I started playing the remaster of 1 first; but think it is a bit dated so I keep stopping and playing other things.

      Reply

      • Gr8_Balls_o_Fire

        July 8, 2021 at 04:44

        I played like 30 min of 1. And about 15 hours of 2, without finishing that either.

        I think RPG’s aren’t for me. I don’t know why I keep buying them

        Reply

        • HvR

          July 8, 2021 at 04:51

          Think it is the time investment; if you have 2/3 hours to play and then some buddies pop in and say come play X versus knowing you need to spend those hours in not so section of the game. Then couple of weeks down the line you can not even remember WTF you were last doing.

          Reply

          • Mandalorian Jim

            July 8, 2021 at 04:53

            Yeah, I’m finding it harder to put in more than an hour or two into gaming these days – the price of getting older, adulting and being a parent :*( And, even over the weekend… (I miss the days when you could put in an 8 hour session – fueled with just last night’s pizza, coffee or a bottle of Tab)

          • HvR

            July 8, 2021 at 05:03

            Did a monster a massive 15+ hours session couple of weeks ago. Kid was with his mom, just got the X52pro. Order half a dozen McDonalds cheeseburgers and some other junk food. Couple of rounds of Squad, 2 hour Squad event and fired up SW:Squadrons almost completed the campaign.

            Went to bed at 4am; woke up 9 hours later feeling ultra shit.

          • Mandalorian Jim

            July 8, 2021 at 05:06

            The wife and kids were at her mom’s and I had the Saturday to myself, played about 6 hours of Zombie Army 4… and I felt every hour thereafter lol. It sucks getting old.

          • Gr8_Balls_o_Fire

            July 8, 2021 at 05:25

            2/3 hours max for me. If it’s TLOU2, then 1 hour.

          • Gr8_Balls_o_Fire

            July 8, 2021 at 05:24

            You are brave

          • Gr8_Balls_o_Fire

            July 8, 2021 at 05:24

            I think my brain would fry in an 8 hour session. My nephew did one recently and I was gobsmacked when I heard how much time he spent jamming.

  2. Gr8_Balls_o_Fire

    July 8, 2021 at 04:27

    This is embarrassing to admit but I have a copy of this since like 2018, and still haven’t gone past the 6 hour mark. I don’t know why.

    Reply

  3. MonsterCheddar

    July 8, 2021 at 02:39

    I need to dive into this again! Awesome game.

    Reply

  4. Milktoaster

    July 8, 2021 at 02:49

    Damn, I thought Zuma’s arguments to stay out of prison were bad, this is on another level of terrible.

    Reply

    • Mandalorian Jim

      July 8, 2021 at 03:32

      Yeah, that wasn’t necessary. Don’t be that guy, brah! If you have a counter-argument, send your article as to why the Witcher shouldn’t be revisted or replayed to hello@criticalhit.net

      Reply

    • Yozzie

      July 8, 2021 at 04:57

      If you forgot the password to your real disqus account, there is a forgot my password feature. just FYI.

      https://media0.giphy.com/media/WJDyZ2yAZnDGw/giphy.gif

      Reply

      • Mandalorian Jim

        July 8, 2021 at 06:53

        Lol, yeah, you’re right, Yozzie. The mark of sockpuppet hangs heavily over this Milktoaster account. Milktots, just post on your real account, dude. It’s not like you’re going to be banned, but you’re definitely going to be ridiculed and mocked. That’s for sure.

        But, this isn’t King Gavin’s realm any more. The dictatorship is over. The statues have been pulled down, thrown into the sea, the banners have been set alight, the castle has been raided by the little folk, and we’re all in the dining room, feasting…. and having a celebration.

        Reply

    • MonsterCheddar

      July 8, 2021 at 03:27

      Dude, we are all just trying to contribute to keep this site going and the guys who loves this site engaged. The regular writers all left.

      We are not writers or journos but we are trying. If you can do better, send a mail to hello@criticalhit.net.

      Reply

      • RinceThis

        July 8, 2021 at 03:47

        maybe now you have an inkling of what it was like for the old crew who had to deal with comments like this from the same people. every. single. day https://media.giphy.com/media/XBCJIv6xAyDfrajXoe/giphy.gif

        Reply

        • Mandalorian Jim

          July 8, 2021 at 04:17

          The one major difference is the current crop of writers aren’t in a slack group posting negative nonsense about commentators, or targetting individuals or actually being complete tossers in the comment sections. Or acting like they’re somehow superior or more enlightened then every one else.

          Here’s your chance to rejoin the community, Nick. We’re all trying to let the past be the past. Write a few articles, come have some fun. Post your video movie reviews, with links to your youtube channel.

          Post a few memes, and remember that there isn’t some slack group filled with angry little grumps, who hate that someone doesn’t like their particular view on the world. The same goes for Trevor, I’m sure he’s itching to just get back to writing, and posting some fun articles.

          Let the past stay in the past, and let’s mend this community.

          #justSaying

          Reply

          • Mandalorian Jim

            July 8, 2021 at 04:37

            Also, don’t forget the animosity didn’t start out in a vacuum, it wasn’t something that just happened overnight. The commentators didn’t just decide to turn on the writers.

            Remember, there was a time that Gavin recieved immense support from this very community (people supported his court case – even though he was in the wrong). There was a time that Darryn’s articles were well recieved. People enjoyed his brand of humour (which is genuinely funny – he has a talent), and then we had those awesome photoshops from Geoff. There was even a time when people were excited when Sandy made that jump from e-gamer (?) to Lazygamer. Of course, Sandy being Sandy quickly made his personality known to all…. And, there was genuine sadness when Matty and Zoe left. I remember commentators actually posting about how they will miss both of them, and how they appreciated the time and effort they put into the site.

            And, remember, I was in that whatsapp group with a lot of the old staffers, and I listened to how some spoke about commentators, about certain individuals and what the general distain was for some. So, no it didn’t happen overnight, it wasn’t merely a case of people saying, you know what we’re going to troll “x” today for the sake of it.

            Things cascaded over a number of years, and it was allowed to cascade, it was allowed to fester, and then it completely became a toxic festering swamp.

            But we have an amazing opportunity now, to stop that… to be better and to actually build a community-run website with articles from the community (and as I posted yesterday, there is immense talent here).

            I don’t think we even need moderators in Disqus (except to remove the odd russian bot), because as we’ve just done, we can self police. We can keep each other in check.

          • RinceThis

            July 9, 2021 at 05:07

            says dude who has a whatsap group who does the EXACT SAME THING HAHAHA

        • MonsterCheddar

          July 8, 2021 at 04:13

          OOOH look who popped up to come gloat. Always good to hear from you, Rince.

          Maybe rather contribute something, we know you can write, than waste your energy.

          https://media4.giphy.com/media/Jmy5AY3wagqoBkLV0g/giphy.gif

          Reply

          • RinceThis

            July 9, 2021 at 05:07

            Waste energy? Looking at the quality of writing on the site now a lot of energy is being wasted lol

          • MonsterCheddar

            July 9, 2021 at 05:23

            Well Rince, tell me. Would you rather that the site disappear? Would it do it for you to see the new owner fail? Would that make you feel good?

            If that is the case you have a serious character flaw.

            None of us are professionals. We are just trying to help in whichever way we can.

            Yes, it might be terrible, but we are trying. I’m not trying to prove something or show people what a great writer I am, because I know I suck. For fuck sake, I had to watch videos to be able to work WordPress.

            But we are trying to help where we can to not make CH just disappear. And putting a lot of our personal time in to do it.

            I don’t know you or ever regarded you as a malicious person, Rince.

          • RinceThis

            July 9, 2021 at 07:39

            Nope. I don’t want it to fail. I also don’t think lying in the comments section and having a new owner rip the previous people who made a site HE WANTED TO BUY is particularly nice. That is a character flaw bro. Anyway good luck! The general gaming industry in SA is pretty appalled by what this new guy posted. You should be too.

          • MonsterCheddar

            July 9, 2021 at 12:05

            Yeah… That didn’t sit well with me. My intention was to help, not do any harm.
            That is why Im trying to create content, even though Im being ridiculed for it.
            I dont want anything to do with slagging off the guys that made this site what it is. I speak to Geoff everyday and I know what that article did to them.
            My intentions were pure and still are.
            But its not worth it if it hurts people like Geoff who I really admire and call a friend.

          • MonsterCheddar

            July 9, 2021 at 12:14

            I just wanted the community to band together again. Have fun in the comments.
            The idea was never to show people up or whatever. Im not like that. I truly admire and am grateful for what they did and will never want to take that away from them. I could never fill their shoes anyway. Not in a million years.
            I was just trying to help the site and people who visit it. But if the cost is hurting people then its not worth it for me.

          • Mandalorian Jim

            July 9, 2021 at 14:49

            At least, you showed it can be done, and regardless of what the truth is, whether or not the site is just being flipped or whether it will be allowed to have a resurgence, you should take comfort in the knowledge that through one simple act of posting one single post, you brought people together – and many who had left this site years ago.

            There’s nothing to feel bad about, or to apologise for. You didn’t sell this website. You’re just one guy, who wrote a few articles (and hopefully will write a few more on Monday), and kept the comment section alive.

            That makes you a legend, and I wouldn’t listen to all the naysayers. Nor would I bother with what’s happening on Twitter. Nothing good has ever come from that infernal platform, except to prove that it brings out the worst in people.

          • Paraiyar

            July 11, 2021 at 05:14

            I agree with Jimbo on this. If the site is just being flipped at least I got to see it as it would have been in its prime. You did a good thing MonsterCheddar.

        • Paraiyar

          July 8, 2021 at 07:08

          Daar’s iets lekker fout met jou boetie.

          Reply

      • Milktoaster

        July 8, 2021 at 04:33

        LOL “just give us free content bro” is the worst defense of terrible writing I have ever seen. My rate is R200 per hour, if you can afford that let’s chat but something tells me you can’t nor will ever be able to. Sad that you have to coast off of the original writer’s reputation instead of starting your own thing.

        Reply

        • MonsterCheddar

          July 8, 2021 at 04:42

          Sorry you see it that way.

          I’m not trying to coast off anyone’s stuff. And this is not an article I wrote.

          We are just regular guys, who used to visit this site for years before it was sold, and now we are trying to help the new owner get into it and not let it fade away.
          We are not writers or journo’s, and have fulltime jobs.

          I also have no experience with this sort of thing, but hey, we are trying.

          So we are helping instead of just slagging people off, and doing it for free.

          If the site is not to your liking or up to your standards, then so be it. And you are of course welcome to your opinion.

          Reply

        • Mandalorian Jim

          July 8, 2021 at 04:43

          Hang on! Only R200 an hour? Are you in an entry-level job? Even 3rd year students helping out in a lab get more than that. There’s nothing wrong with being in an entry-level job mate, but I wouldn’t advertise that as some sort of major accomplishment.

          Reply

        • HvR

          July 8, 2021 at 04:41

          Sheeze, only R200/hour.

          Completely understandable that you can not afford to be wasting any hours to give away for free.

          Reply

        • @Sargon_ZA

          July 8, 2021 at 10:49

          Me: Pay people something, even if you’re a startup.
          Dodgy af orgs: Let’s pay people in Exposure Bucks®. https://media4.giphy.com/media/femaeSJQbO3CE7lCyy/giphy.gif

          Reply

          • HvR

            July 8, 2021 at 11:23

            I’m sure when the site comes to a point were it can support a part time or full time staff Kevin will do it; it definitely is a better/safer long term business model.

            People writing now aren’t professional writers and aren’t expecting payment. Frankly I would rather read and chat about interesting Tech and Gaming topics than political drivel penned perfectly by a professional journalist. I will go pay News24 if I want that (sorry net so bietjie in my mond gekots toe ek dit geskryf het).

            Coming in with weak insults from the get go and then bragging (?!?!) about R200/hour paycheck was just sad.

          • @Sargon_ZA

            July 8, 2021 at 12:08

            Please hold while I go start a business and promise to definitely, totally, 100% pay them “once the business can support part-time or full-time staff.” This is definitely a much better long-term business model. Thanks for the advice! I’ll let you know how it goes.

          • Mandalorian Jim

            July 9, 2021 at 15:17

            Have you wondered how many of the local gaming sites actually paid their content contributers? Do you even know what the going rate for an article at SA Gamer is? Or NAG? Do you know what it was at CriticalHit?

            Do you know how rare it is for someone to actually have gotten a decent amount of dosh from writing at any of these sites? There have been a few lucky ones, who wrote the odd column who would get paid per column (not per words). And if you’re thinking, they were paid in thousands, I have a statue in New York to sell you.

            Sure, you have one or two full time staff members (usually the editor and some IT person or some administrator), but most contributers do it… for free! Most actually do it for the free review copies, or the free access to movie openings, or for the free perks that sometimes come with press events.

            If every single local gaming site paid every single contributor industry rates (and by that I mean what you’d get as a freelance writer for a local or international magazine), not a single one of them would last a few months. They’d be in the red sooner rather than later.

            And even when you look at freelance rates for international sites, to make a decent living you’re going to have to produce content at an incredible rate. And, you’re competing with a whole bunch of other freelancers some who would even write for less dosh. When it comes to magazines, you’re a little better off, but it’s still better to be a fulltimer.

            I hate to break it to you, but if you’re thinking game journos make money, you’re in for a rude awakening. It’s a great way to hone your skills as a would-be writer. It’s even a better place to learn the ropes as an editor and to gain experience, but you’re definitely not making minimum wage. Which is also why so many contributers have real day jobs, and they’re merely writing for sites as a hobby, rather as an actual career.

          • @Sargon_ZA

            July 14, 2021 at 11:46

            Wooooow. I clearly have no idea about any of this, right?

            Jokes. We pay tons of people to write about esports. Sure, not at freelance rates. As a freelancer, I never received those rates anyway. They’re great ideals, but aren’t always met in other industries. We have a scaling payment system that incentivizes anyone to get involved and write – but everyone is always paid for every bit of content – even new or inexperienced writers. We’re nowhere near as big, but find ways to make this work. Why? Because we value our contributors, their work, their insight, and we don’t believe in slavery. Sure, we can’t afford R450 an hour, or R3 per word. You and I both know that’s impossible in this scene and climate. But free? #Jassis, what an ez deal.

            Your response actually makes me sad about the state we find ourselves in (and how people are consistently exploited).

      • Hammersteyn

        July 8, 2021 at 03:33

        LOL, you’re on the other side of the fence now. Water on a duck’s back, thoughts and prayers, be stunning and brave and all that. https://media0.giphy.com/media/n7a1AhYNvvS3m/giphy.gif

        Reply

  5. Pofadder

    July 8, 2021 at 03:09

    I’m waiting for the PS5 update to play it again. I was actually about 150 hours in on a new game plus just before the battle at Kaer Morin when my PS4 was stolen. Lost all my saves. I tried restarting again then but I just couldn’t. So now when the update drops it will hopefully be enough motivation to play again.

    Reply

    • MonsterCheddar

      July 8, 2021 at 03:24

      Also waiting for the PS5 update.

      Reply

    • Mandalorian Jim

      July 8, 2021 at 03:27

      That’s really horrible luck. It’s one thing to lose your saves but then to also have your PS4 stolen. :/ But, you’re right, it’s a game that needs to be revisited.

      Reply

  6. Mandalorian Jim

    July 8, 2021 at 03:25

    I hope it gets a PS5 update, because I think this is one of those games that I would definitely revisit (and I love replaying older games). In fact, I could just delete my last save and return to one of the best ation RPGs to date.

    Reply

    • MonsterCheddar

      July 8, 2021 at 03:28

      I heard one is coming.

      Reply

      • Mandalorian Jim

        July 8, 2021 at 03:38

        It better be, but will it (graphically) come close to the PS5 upgrade of Ghost of Tsushima? I’m not a graphics guy. You know that about me, but I want to see CD Projekt Red bring their A-game – especially after the joke that was Cyberpunk.

        Reply

        • Pofadder

          July 8, 2021 at 05:42

          As far as I know it’s actually a completely different studio doing the upgrade. Which is fine with me because it means they aren’t distracted by the CP2077 debacle.

          Reply

  7. Gr8_Balls_o_Fire

    July 8, 2021 at 04:25

    “all of it is found wanting. Like every other movie after Infinity War…”

    THIS!!! Been saying this for years! IW was the real ending to MCU, would have been so much more impactful if they left it there

    Reply

    • Mandalorian Jim

      July 8, 2021 at 06:58

      I know what you mean, while it was good to see those characters return in EndGame (and apart from the one true loss – no spoilers -), it would have been a lot more impactful, if End Game wasn’t successful. If it ended with Thanos actually standing triumphant even at the end – marking the true end to Phase 3 and then Phase 4 is the aftermath with new heroes filling the shoes of the old, in a world or galaxy completely changed by Thanos. But, hey… Feige has his own vision for Phase 4. I’m not too interested, but I will say, the Loki series has been excellent so far.

      Reply

      • Gr8_Balls_o_Fire

        July 12, 2021 at 03:33

        I would have watched your version!

        As of now, I am utterly off the superhero genre. I haven’t seen any of the new stuff after ZSJL released

        Reply

  8. MaSeKind

    July 8, 2021 at 08:10

    After the Netflix series came out I started playing all the Witcher games again. Even played the second game “twice”; did both the Roche and Iorveth paths and kept all my saves so I could decide which to import into 3. Just a shame you can’t actually carry over all the equipment and stuff you got.

    Started on 3 but only finished the prologue and then got distracted by other games. But I really need to play more cause I never got to the ending of Blood and Wine. I got the message saying “this is the end of the game, so finish whatever else you need to first” and then never finished the game. Again distracted by other games.

    Still listen to the soundtrack now and again, and it always makes me want to drop whatever I’m doing and just play Witcher XD

    Reply

    • Paraiyar

      July 11, 2021 at 05:16

      After the Netflix series I started reading the books. The books are very different and it made me appreciate the games and TV series more.

      Reply

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