Beautiful Game Ruined by Tedious Missions, Too Many Overlong Cutscenes, Half-Baked Controls and Awful Movement.
Reviewed in the United States on 22 August 2015
"In the past he has raised and overthrown monarchs, battled legendary monsters and saved the lives of many. Now Geralt embarks on his most personal quest to get tangled in furniture while picking flowers and running errands for local peasants."
Maybe that's a bit harsh, but I really feel that's what the game's tagline might be if there was any truth in advertising. Not sure how so many people have been fooled by this game's hype, but I'm guessing a lot of the fans are fans simply because they don't want to feel like they spent this much money on a lemon.
I must admit, I fell for the hype, and I tried, but I'm just not enjoying it, and I can't lie to myself and pretend it's a good game.
On the positive side, the graphics and the visuals are very pretty, so pretty in fact, that I was kinda blinded by them. After playing so many games that made me feel cold, wet and uncomfortable (Skyrim, I'm talking about you), I just wanted so much to spend some time in a warm welcoming environment. The visuals of this game held that promise.
Unfortunately, graphics aren't everything. If they were, this game would deserve all its hype. However, in terms of gameplay, too many of the missions are tedious, the controls and combat are often frustrating, and I find the cutscenes are too many and too boring, and when I try to skip them, it doesn't skip to the end of the scene, nor does it skip to the next decision within the scene - instead it skips about 5 seconds ahead during the SAME cutscene, so I'm hitting "skip" 5 to 10 times during the same scene. Silly choices like this on the part of the developers appear throughout the game, and they make me think this game was rushed out of the door to meet some arbitrary deadline. On the other hand, they must have spent months creating an endless stream of "go fetch" missions, so they had time - they just spent it on the wrong things. I'm beginning to think it would be a better game if I could just remove all the missions and all the combat and just wander around in the beautiful world they've created. On the other hand, I'd still be clunkily bumping into things, getting stuck in doorways and (for some reason) leaping down stairs instead of just walking down them like a normal person would. Maybe the mutations that witchers go through make them incapable of moving normally.
Also, it seems the developers of this game have become addicted to motion capture - half the game is boring mo-cap cutscenes and the other half is spent doing lame collection missions for peasants. If I wanted the former, I'd watch a movie; if I wanted the latter, I could get a job in the real world. Where is the compelling story of a world changed by my actions? Where is the epic that a game like this should bring? Skyrim, for all its flaws, at least had those things. The Witcher: Wild Hunt does not.
I've been playing videogames for 35 years, and I would have thought that, by 2015, all games developers would have at least figured out how to make game characters move competently. Heck, GTA V and Assassin's Creed pretty much get it right. Surely by now it's not all that difficult for folks who actually do this stuff for a living to make game characters able to move around architecture, furniture and people with some grace. Geralt may be a great swordsman when faced by any kind of monster, but it seems that when he's facing a door, a fence or a flight of stairs, he's in serious trouble. Others may be able to get past this, but I can't - not when there are other games that do movement far better.
The game has some potential - it could have been great, but I feel the developers dropped the ball in terms of giving players what we've come to expect from a top-tier title. This game needs some serious work on the basics - it seems the folks behind CD Projekt Red are just not ready for the big leagues.
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