Log Status

Completed

Playing

Backlog

Wishlist

Rating

Time Played

117h 14m

Days in Journal

52 days

Last played

August 23, 2023

First played

June 11, 2023

Platforms Played

Library Ownership

DISPLAY


One of, if not THE, best RPG's I've ever played. Immersive, deep, and so much to do. If you haven't played this yet it is an essential gaming experience.

I played this entirely on Steam Deck at normal difficulty. It took me about 117 hours to beat, including the 2 DLCs. The game played well on 40hz/fps with mixed settings. I used Steam Deck Gaming's recommended settings linked here and I only had my fps drop below 40 in Novigrad. There were also a few crashes but not a whole lot. I completed the main campaign, most side quests, and both DLCs. I did a lot of the points of interest as well, and plan on coming back to do a "New Game +" run at some point and place some extra restrictions on myself (only fast travel to move to a different zone, etc.).

The story in this game picks up 6 months after the end of the prior game and the north is being invaded by Nilfgard. You are looking for Ciri (your "adopted" daughter) who you found out is being hunted by The Wild Hunt. I won't go into any spoilers or dive deep into the story, but it is expansive and deep. I watched all (or damn near all) of the cut scenes because the story was that engaging. Your choices have very definitive consequences at certain points in the game. After I realized how big of an impact my choices had on certain parts of the story (Bloody Baron), I knew that my choices held a lot of weight. Overall with the story, there was not a dull moment that I can recall. The main campaign did not feel like it was drawn out. Even though It took me 85 hours to beat the base game along with most of the side quests I enjoyed every minute of it.

The world is absolutely teeming with life and activity. There are 7 zones, 4 of which you will spend most of your time in. The main content has you travelling all over so you get to see quite a bit of it. The side content will take you to nearly every nook and cranny the world has to offer and it is breathtaking. Aside from the map itself the world feels lived in with a war going on. You see the effects the war has had on the land, towns, the people. You really see the effects of the war when you you look around or talk to people. In addition to the different main factions you'll encounter groups of bandits and such as well. Overall, you really have to see the world and experience it to understand the level of detail the devs went into with this game. It is hard for me to leave because of that.

The game play is refined to a whole new level in this entry. They made more improvements from the Witcher 2 that make it even more enjoyable. The main game play loop is level up your character and gear as you complete the main quest line. You'll need to do at least some side content to keep up with the suggested levels. The notice boards are brought back which will give you Witcher contracts as well as show points of interest that are scattered throughout the surrounding area. These points of interest vary from places of power, bandit camps, abandoned towns (which you can usually help townsfolk re-inhabit), guarded treasure, and many more. There are also treasure hunts which you'll find as you explore. Some of these treasure hunts are for new Witcher Gear (from the various schools) which can be upgraded as you go along. I focused on the Wolven and Forgotten Wolven gear mainly. You can also find side quests from townsfolk and letters spread throughout the world. It feels so organic and natural, and did not feel at all grindy to me. It was a blast to just explore and complete this content. Alchemy and crafting come back as well. You can use alchemy any time and can collect most if not all resources by collecting herbs, looting corpses, and looting containers. Sometimes it is easier, or required, to buy materials from an herbalist or alchemist. I was able to make all oils, potions, decoctions, and bombs up to enhanced without really trying. Crafting equipment can only be done at a blacksmith or armorer. You will need to work with the two master's to enhance the Witcher school gear though. You also have the character progression which is further refined and allows you to enhance certain abilities. Not so much a skill "tree" but you have 12 slots (which are unlocked as you level up) that you can put the skills you purchase with skill points in. Skill points are gained by leveling up or finding places of power. Romance makes it's return and you can pursue Triss and/or Yennifer which will impact how those relationships develop throughout the game. There are consequences to whichever you choose to pursue. There are other romance options that don't have any real "consequence" to the game and will not mess with your relationship with Triss/Yennifer. Overall, the game play is so well developed and diverse that it keeps you engaged the whole time.

The two DLCs are also excellent. "Hearts of Stone" adds some new content, quest-lines, and mechanics. The story definitely feels different. In a good way though. "Blood and Wine" could basically be it's own game. A whole new region, content, quest-lines, and mechanics. It was absolutely the best way to cap off this game.

This was the most fun I have had in a game in a very long time. It is so engaging and has such a deep and consequential story it is hard to put down. You don't really NEED to play the prior games before this one, but it doesn't hurt. And, you can transfer your save from game to game so the choices you made in prior games will follow you through this one too. With all of the decisions you get to make in the game finding "NEW GAME +" was available after I completed the main story was a nice surprise and I am looking forward to replaying this game in the future. I cannot stress it enough that if you have not played this game yet, DO IT. You won't regret it.