Witcher 3: First Impressions

By Shamus Posted Friday May 29, 2015

Filed under: Game Reviews 142 comments

I’ve stated before that I do not like the Witcher series. I played the first act of the first Witcher game and quit when I got sick of the dreary visuals, agonizing loading times, awful combat, cumbersome interface, and skeezy protagonist.

I played several hours of the Witcher 2. I liked Geralt more, the visuals were better, and the loading screens were fixed, but I still hated the combat. Worse, the world was so relentlessly dark that I didn’t care about it. “Which group of ugly, undeserving assholes do you choose to help at the expense of the other?” is not a choice I enjoy, and that was the only kind of choice I ever seemed to make. The combat felt like fighting a linebacker with a foam sword. It was time consuming and fiddly and more work than I was willing to put in.

But people keep telling me this series is amazing and fans keep being amazed that I don’t like it. So I’m back for the third installment. Will Geralt and I click this time?

A storm is brewing, but the sun is still out. Grand Theft Auto V is the only other game to pull off this effect convincingly.

I suppose I should say something about the graphics before fans jump down my throat: No, these screenshots are not representative of what the game is “supposed” to look like. This is what the game looks like with the visuals turned to rock bottom. At normal settings, the game runs at about 10fps on my machine. Even with everything turned all the way down, it still struggles to hit 30fps.

Yes, I know I’m long overdue for a graphics card updateGeforce GTX 650, if you’re curious.. But I find shopping for graphics hardware to be stressful, time-consuming, expensive, and irritating. I’ll get around to it one of these days, but it’s really hard to find time to put into a task like that when it’s such a tax on my productivity. So upgrades continue to not happen. But if you don’t harangue me about the state of these screenshots then I won’t harangue Witcher 3 for its system requirements. Deal? Deal. Let’s do this…

It took three games, but I think we’ve finally sorted out our differences. Witcher 3 is – judging by the first few hours – solid, interesting, fun, and (despite the low graphics settings) gorgeous. But there are lots of reviews out there that will tell you what they like about the game, so let me come at it from the other side and list all the stuff they fixed.

Geralt is more interesting. Yeah, the “chiseled white dude with a gravel voice” is as played out as they come. But he’s got a beard this time, which gives him a kind of “wise old man” motif that I don’t see much these days. He’s also got a really horrible sense of humor and a fondness for puns, which I find kind of endearing. I’d still prefer a game where I can just design my own WitchermanOr since we’re making wishes: Witcherlady., but if we have to be stuck with a prefab character I guess I can live with this version of Geralt.

The world is more empathetic. In Witcher 2 you spent a lot of time with nobility and leaders. And they are all assholes. The commoners were mostly anonymous generic peasants, which didn’t leave me with anyone to care about. This time around I’m spending most of my time working for commoners, who are flawed but empathetic. In the last game, you begin the story by participating in a battle. This time around you’re following in the wake of a battle and seeing how the conflict impacted the locals: What it did to the townsfolk, their cattle, their water supply, their morale, and their relationships with each other. You aren’t superman and you can’t make it all better, but I did feel like I was able to stem the tide of misery instead of making things worse in exchange for money.

The fan service feels less juvenile. I know this was a sore spot in the previous games, and frankly I’ve read enough screeds charging games with sexism, or defending them from charges of sexism. I’d love if we could take a few months off from that fight. Anyway, I hated the fan service in the first game, was annoyed by it in the second game, and here in Witcher 3 I’m basically fine with it. It seems to have a Game of Thrones approach to nudity, and I’m not going to complain about that. Your mileage may vary, of course.

The combat is more action-y. The first Witcher was a timing game where you had to click the mouse button in the right rhythm. The second one was… I have no idea what the second one was trying to do. I never felt like I had a handle on it and I had no idea what I was doing wrong. Combat was hard and I felt like there wasn’t a lot of feedback on when I was making mistakes. The tutorial was ghastly. It seemed to take forever, yet the learning parts felt rushed and didn’t give the player a chance to establish competence.

This time around the game did a pretty good job of teaching me to play. It’s a complex fighting system with multiple weapons, magical shields, offensive spells, parrying, dodging, different attack types, and rollingwhich is somehow different from dodging. For some reason.. The game introduces each concept, waits for you to get it, and then lets you fight a sparring partner for as long as you like. It’s still a lot to take in at once, but I don’t know how you could fix that without drawing it out into a multi-stage tutorial that would be agonizing for returning fans.

I still feel like I’m in the dark sometimes. One example of a dozen: In the tutorial it teaches you to “parry” – you hit a button just as your foe winds up their attack and you’ll knock them off balance. I tried it several times on corpse feeder monsters and nothing happened. From there, I wasn’t sure what was wrong:

  1. Are monsters immune to parry? After all, they’re not using swords. Is “parry” explicitly a swordfighting concept, or is it just what the devs are calling “interrupt someone before they hit you”?
  2. Are monsters parry-able, but the timing is different?
  3. Are monsters parry-able, but I was botching the timing?
  4. Are SOME monsters parry-able, and even though it didn’t work here I should keep trying in the future?

But since this ambiguity isn’t getting me killedHello Dark Souls., I’m willing to roll with it and figure this stuff out through trial-and-error. In any case, this time I felt like there is more for me to do than wait for someone’s health bar to run empty. I’m not in love with the Witcher 3 combat or anything, but it’s better than anything BioWare did before Mass Effect 2, and I enjoyed those games well enough.

If there’s a place you wanna go, I’m the one you need to know. I’m the map!

We’re in an open world this time. The previous games felt like they wanted to lock me in a playpen. If that’s true in Witcher 3, I haven’t found the walls yet. I’ve been able to run around, take quests at random, ignore the main quest, and stumble into the den of things that are way over my level. Understand that in my book, these are good things.

There’s a groovy day / night cycle, and a lot of the creatures change their behavior at night.

There’s also a brilliant fast travel system. You can jump from the signpost of any town to the signpost of any other town you’ve visited. This gives you a big expansive world without all the tedious hiking of Morrowind and without the lame instant-teleport of Skyrim. It’s enough help to let you skip meaningless trips between cities but not so much that the world feels trivial.

So yeah. It took three games, but The Witcher and I finally connected. I’m going to hit publish on this post and go right back to playing the game. Even if you didn’t like previous installments, this one might be worth a look.



[1] Geforce GTX 650, if you’re curious.

[2] Or since we’re making wishes: Witcherlady.

[3] which is somehow different from dodging. For some reason.

[4] Hello Dark Souls.

From The Archives:

142 thoughts on “Witcher 3: First Impressions

  1. Daemian Lucifer says:

    There's a groovy day / night cycle, and a lot of the creates change their behavior at night.

    You are missing a couple of letters there.

    1. Groboclown says:

      I think that was an extra letter. The crates change their behavior at night. Just the game I’ve been waiting for!

      1. Otters34 says:

        Finally, a game with an accurate crate-behavioral simulation! They don’t ALL just stand around holding things inside them all day, you know.

        1. Joe Informatico says:

          But how does it rate on the start-to-crate review system?

        2. Sleeping Dragon says:

          Indeed, some of them stand around empty, waiting to hold things! Such as bodies. Or hitmens.

    2. Jokerman says:

      an Craite’s on the other hand… never change there behavior.

  2. Galad says:

    From a Witcher fan, very glad to hear you are finally enjoying a game that’s worth it :)

    “The second one was… I have no idea what the second one was trying to do. I never felt like I had a handle on it and I had no idea what I was doing wrong. Combat was hard and I felt like there wasn't a lot of feedback on how I was doing. The tutorial was ghastly. ”

    Pretty much spot on, it was like a rough draft of this game’s combat system. The game’s strongest point is, however, the story. As Josh detailed in the latest podcast, every side quest is voiced, and has enough thought and details and love put into it to put Bioware/Bethesda to shame. Even the witcher contracts, which are essentially “go kill this monster that is threatening the village/has killed a few of the local people” include talking to locals, tracking the monster, preparing for the battle with oils/potions/bombs/more, and finally facing it in a fight.

    Hope you like it, I’m 75 hours in and have probably barely passed the story’s midpoint. I am also doing just about every side quest though, so that helps increase the game’s length.

    1. Humanoid says:

      Yeah, I almost gave up on the game during the prologue – the courtyard fight in the castle stopping me cold for a while – but I’m glad I pressed on, and the game ended up being my game of the year.

      I’ve heard the Enhanced Edition fixed up the issue of dropping people cold into the prologue, setting up a standalone tutorial to cover the mechanics, smoothing the difficulty of the prologue, and preventing you from doing it totally backwards. Maybe I’ll get around to playing it again prior to any second playthrough of the third game.

      1. Henson says:

        I loved that game’s prologue, but it does NOT work as a tutorial. Can’t even pause the game when bringing up tutorial messages.

      2. Jokerman says:

        I also think it still lets you do the prologue mostly backwards, by pure luck i managed to do it the right way though.

    2. Jokerman says:

      I really don’t understand why i feel invested in shamus liking these games… but but i do. Every time he plays a game in the series i really want him to like it.

  3. Phill says:

    As someone who was put off by the tone of the first two games, a Shamus thumbs up for this one might just sway me.

    And in principle, I feel like rewarding the concept of a good sized game (not just 10 hours of content) made, by all accounts, with good production values and attention to detail in all areas. We need more games like that.

    Plus, second to last paragraph typo: “creates change their behavior at night.” – should be “creatures” I assume.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Same.After reading this,I did a test to see if I could run it.Sadly,no,I need to update my graphics card first.So next year Ill give this a try,I hope.

    2. Jokerman says:

      “with good production values and attention to detail in all areas”

      I have really never seen a game with this much effort poured into it, in every single area of the game, side quests and main quests are indistinguishable.

      I feel naive saying this, but to me it feels like this game was no created purely for profit, it feels artists creating something they want to create just because they love doing it.

  4. Tuck says:

    I am dying to play this, but my PC (mainly graphics) is nowhere near up to the task. Someday…

    1. Zekiel says:

      Nor mine. Instead I’m finally replaying the Witcher 2. Personally I really enjoyed it – felt like it basically completely eliminated the juvenile sexiness of the first game, looked gorgeous (even on a modest graphics card) and had lots of fun characters (not all of whom are completely unlikeable). Sure the combat is not perfect, but I found it to be fine, at least if you start on Easy.

      1. Piflik says:

        I don’t know if I am just master of tweaking, but the game runs fine on my ~4 years old machine* with most of the Settings on medium (don’t know FPS numbers, because they are of no interest to me…the game feels fine). I turned down some of the more taxing features, like anti-aliasing and shadows, but the rest is on medium and I even have some full-screen effects active, lice Ambient Occlusion (just SSAO), Depth of Field

        * i7-2600, nVidia GTX 560Ti, 8GB RAM, subpar HDD (no SSD)

        1. Tuck says:

          My i5-3330 is a little under powered, though it might cope. But my Radeon HD 6570 is well below the necessary requirements. And I’m not sure if my PSU is high enough wattage to support a better card…but there’s plenty of time. :)

  5. Cybron says:

    This games sounds very interesting but I’m not sure I can bring myself to play it without playing the first two beforehand (which I own but I haven’t gotten around to playing yet, in typical Steam fashion). I’d hate to feel lost in the plot.

    1. Jordan says:

      I cannot speak for the first, but it has no real plot relation to the second. A few side characters at best. There’s always the ‘movie’ versions on youtube too, if you’re that way inclined.

      1. Humanoid says:

        The game even comes with a 16 page booklet to help newcomers get to grips with the world and the events of the previous games.

    2. Talby says:

      You’ll probably be lost anyway, the game has a lot of continuity from the books as well. For example one major character in Wild Hunt is from the books and never appeared in the previous games.

  6. Infinitron says:

    Interesting that you’re okay with Game of Thrones nudity but not Game of Thrones narrative (“you spent a lot of time with nobility and leaders. And they are all assholes.”)

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Ah,but you see not all of game of thrones nobility are assholes.Some of them are dicks,and some are douchebags.

      1. Joseph P. Tallylicker says:

        That’s not fair. You’re omitting the kind but incompetent ones.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          Theres only one character that fits that description.And even he is guided by his dick more often than not.

          1. Syal says:

            There’s more of them than that. It’s just they’re all dead now.

            1. Daemian Lucifer says:

              Kind nobles that are dead were competent.Only sam is the incompetent and kind one(though he did manage to get a nice couple of kills),yet he is alive.

              1. Otters34 says:

                Mr. Martin’s characters aren’t important in and of themselves, their value comes from how much exposition they can soak up and make sure never reaches the characters it’d actually help. Sam’s perfect for that!

              2. Joshua says:

                I have to disagree with the cynical take on GoT/SoIaF.

                There are plenty of nobles and commoners, warriors and all others who are alternately honorable, or kind, or selfish, or cruel, vindictive. The series doesn’t go out of its way to punish people for being good, it just doesn’t grant them automatic immunity if they are.

                There are actually plenty of protagonist noble characters who do very well by acting honorable, just like there are plenty of vicious, backstabbing evil characters who die or suffer horribly. Being good can get you favor with other people who come to trust you, but it can also lead to you being tricked or taken advantage of by people who don’t share your scruples.

                Conversely, being evil can allow you to exploit others, but amazingly enough, reputation tends to get around and people start distrusting you and plotting to kill you.*

                Even walking a pragmatic middle ground like Tyrion did as the King’s Hand, or Daenerys does in the East is no guarantee of success. Basically, try to be somewhat trustworthy and good, but be prudent and watch out for yourself, and above all, hope you get really, really lucky.

                *Only Littlefinger seems to be moderately successful as a perpetual baddie, and yet there are indications that his comeuppance is in the works with Sansa.

                1. Syal says:

                  It’s called a Song of Ice and Fire in reference to Robert Frost’s poem about society destroying itself through its own negative emotions. I think the cynical take is justified.

                  @Daemien: what about the Baratheon Boys?

                  1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                    Which ones?The king wasnt incompetent,and was more laid back than kind,stannis is definitely not kind,and I dont remember renly being that kind or incompetent either.Unless you count gay as being kind and incompetent.Or are you referring to the bastards?They werent noble,nor are they shown to be anything other than slaughtered,except for gendry who is still a competent smith.That leaves only shireen,who is kind and noble,but also competent(for someone her age).

                    1. guy says:

                      Renly was not particularly competent, just the most legitimate heir who wasn’t famously strict and therefore defaulted to having the most powerful army because the Reach supported him. Robert was good at fighting and bad at kingship, though he was at least able to recognize that.

  7. Warclam says:

    *Examines “rock bottom” screenshots*
    Uh, looks fine to me. I guess at full settings the game is unspeakable gorgeous or something? The grass is a bit sketchy I suppose, but the detail on the treeline and Jerry’s outfit are still very nice. The minimap looks good too.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      I guess at full settings the game is unspeakable gorgeous or something?

      Seems it is.The nearby grass is a bit sketchy,but the monsters,jerry* himself and the trees are beautiful.

      *I like that nickname for the witcher.

      1. I second the nickname.

    2. Humanoid says:

      For a game that many would justifiably argue is the most graphically advanced of all time, I guess it’s fair to say the screenshots aren’t representative.

      That said, the graphics quality does scale reasonably well with less-than-cutting-edge machines. As so often happens, the game’s reputation precedes it and people overestimate what’s actually required to run it, as demonstrated by Shamus’ stone-age graphics card here.

      1. Moridin says:

        Granted, it’s not exactly new, but there’s been only one generation released after Kepler, since 700-series was mostly refreshes. The problem isn’t the age of the card, it’s that x50 has never been very powerful. That, and Nvidia’s hairworks seems to really cripple anything older than Maxwell when it’s turned on(thankfully, that only happens at high or ultra settings).

  8. Narida says:

    For choosing graphics cards, a list like this one Tom’s Hardware: Best Graphics Cards For The Money: May 2015 is very helpful. Just scroll down until the price gets too high and buy that one. You’ll also need to check that you have the right slot and enough power, but that’s easy enough.

    Did they fix the Witcher’s weird animations when climbing up a ledge/going through a door and general stiffness (rolling only working when your last animation has finished playing, medallion only activating when you’re standing COMPLETELY STILL, lots of invisible walls) from the last one? For some reason I found those horribly flow/immersion breaking.

    1. The Schwarz says:

      Yes, Tom’s Hardware is just what I was gonna say. I bought my current PC in separate parts and while it did take a few days to do all the technical+market research, I’m pretty sure it would have taken weeks without Tom’s Hardware.

    2. Phill says:

      That’s pretty much my strategy for buying video cards.

    3. Rob says:

      The thing that annoys me about graphics cards is that different manufacturers have different stats/features for the same model. So once you’ve finally picked out the card that’s right for you, you have to shop companies to see who adds the most/doesn’t cripple the card to save a few bucks.

      Several years back I got a good deal by going for a GPU model that had extra VRAM/other stuff I can’t remember anymore but was passively cooled (it just had a giant block of cooling fins and heat pipes on top), then modding my case to add an extra outtake fan in front of the GPU to draw away the heat. For a normal user that card would have died of overheating in weeks, though.

    4. Humanoid says:

      I think Tom’s is a bit iffy there – they haven’t had the best reputation for some years now – but with the decline of Anandtech it’s really not a good time for hardware review sites in general.

      AMD are set to announce their new products at Computex and E3, both right around the corner, so they might shake up the recommendations soon, but the current standing orders are, from cheapest to dearest: R9 280 (non-X), R9 290 (non-X), GTX 970. Frankly, I don’t think anything else is worth considering right now, especially at current US street prices. Anything cheaper and you’d be better off saving up, and anything more expensive you’d be better off just buying multiples of the recommended models.

      1. Mike S. says:

        A bit iffy how? Like nearly everyone else, I pretty much rely on them when I’m buying a new card, to the point that if they decided to troll by telling me that a Riva TNT was the best card in my price range I’d probably believe them. Are their card/CPU/etc. recommendations no longer reliable? (And if so, where should I be looking?)

        1. Humanoid says:

          It seems to be a bit hung up on arbitrary price points and misses the bigger picture. Furthermore, I don’t even think the prices listed are indicative of realistic street prices in the US, which might be partly because THG was established in Germany.

          My take:

          The R9 280 can be had for $150 after rebate. Somehow the guide only has this as “honorable mention” which is utterly ridiculous. At $150, this renders anything else within $50 of it in either direction almost pointless. Certainly not the more expensive GTX 960 which is a poor purchase at $185, being hobbled by its VRAM. Not the R9 280X (which the guide flat out says is the best card under $300) it’s going for $190 now, and while at that price point it’s a much better buy than the 960, I don’t see it being $40 better than the 280 non-X.

          No, the next step after an R9 280 is an R9 290 which the guide fails to even mention, and that is the biggest omission of all. At $230 (cheaper than the price they claim for the inferior 280X), it shouldn’t just be mentioned, it should be there in the bloody headline, in big neon lights, with a massive fanfare playing. For anyone who can afford $230, this is the card to get, no ifs, no buts, no conditions. By completely ignoring its existence, I feel Tom’s guide completely loses its credibility. (And yet somehow it mentions the 290X as being good at $330, which is $50 more than it’s currently going for)

          It even makes the GTX 970 at $310 hard to justify. It’s not justified in pure price:performance ratios, but I do still include it in my hard recommendation as the highest reasonable point one can go while avoiding multi-GPU issues, and also additionally for those who for whatever reason must go with nVidia. Probably most important though is because it becomes competitive value once the Witcher + Batman game bundle is taken into account, putting it into line with AMD’s offerings on the price curve.

          And the GTX 980 there, well, if anyone is considering that at the listed price, I recommend a bucket of cold water to be poured on oneself.

          1. Humanoid says:

            The above is probably a bit harder to read as a buying guide, so I’ll post a more digestible card-by-card guide. Prices in USD, after rebate, as per Newegg.

            R7 260X (2GB) @ $90. Absolute baseline, minimum acceptable entry level for a gaming machine. Sadly with the discontinuation of the R7 265 which was a good deal better, there’s nothing AMD offer between this and the next card, the R9 270. Note there is a 1GB model in the market, avoid it.

            GTX 750 Ti @ $110. Slower than the R7 265 that used to occupy this spot, nonetheless a reasonable option here. Also probably your best option for old power supplies, requiring no additional power connectors.

            R9 270 @ $130. So for some reason the R9 270X is $5 cheaper, so skip ahead to that.

            R9 270X @ $125. A fair bit better than the cheaper options above which makes it a solid option, but price also getting close to a big, big leap in performance to the next tier, if you can swing the extra $25. Comes with DIRT Rally as a sweetener (neither the cheaper AMD nor nVidia cards above come bundled with games).

            R9 280 @ $150. King of sub-$200. DIRT Rally as above.

            GTX 960 @ $185. At the price, lines up poorly against the R9 280 in value, and also suffering by way of only having 2GB VRAM, which is starting to be tested even at 1080p. But it does have one ace up its sleeve, the copy of the Witcher 3 bundled with it. With the game taken into account, if you want the Witcher and don’t value DIRT, then it becomes pretty much price-equivalent to the 280, gaining a small stock speed advantage but giving away VRAM and maximum overclocked.

            R9 280X @ $190. Clearly faster than the 280 and 960, but $40 faster? Probably not. In an awkward spot pricewise.

            R9 290 @ $230. Amazing price for a huge leap over anything previously listed, and probably the overall winner for balancing price for performance across the entire spectrum.

            R9 290X @ $280. $50 better than its little brother? Nah. Awkward pricing between the amazing value of the 290, and the fantastic bundle of the 970.

            GTX 970 @ $310. Trump card: Comes with the Witcher 3 AND the new Batman game. If you wanted both anyway, the 970 goes from being marginally overpriced to being great value. Also good if you have an open budget as being the fastest “reasonably” priced card, compared to its bigger brother which is priced in la-la land.

            GTX 980 @ $500+. Forget about it and buy two 970s instead.

            1. James says:

              Ill add a small thing from my build.

              I currently run 2 AMD HD 7770’s and it runs W3 fine on medium/high except in novigrad where i get stuttering.

              Also on cards the Top top end is the GTX Titan X about $800 and has 12gb VRAM, this card is only for enthusiast

      2. Friend of Dragons says:

        I splurged a bit and picked up the R9 295×2 for my new computer; it was a little over 600 on newegg, and by all accounts it performs better&quieter than 2 r9 290s. Certainly it is more power than I really need for gaming, but I love having it for 3d graphics rendering; a frame that maybe took two minutes to render on my old computer is more like 10 seconds on my new one.

      3. Moridin says:

        Considering that 970 has crippled VRAM, I really don’t think anyone should be buying one. Since Nvidia lied about the specs, that would be sending the wrong message.

    5. Mechaninja says:

      I use /r/buildapc. Their beginner’s guide is unreal, which mostly isn’t helpful for me, but their list of places to choose parts and builds (notably http://www.logicalincrements.com/ http://pcpartpicker.com/ and http://choosemypc.net/ ) is pretty amazing. Go through those, set up what you think you want to get and/or spend, then go back to /r/buildapc and post your build, they’ll give you some good suggestions for “oh, you don’t need THAT video card. You’ll get better performance per price for this one”. Stuff like that.

  9. GTB says:

    “…it's better than anything BioWare did before Mass Effect 2, and I enjoyed those games well enough.”

    Why must you hurt me, Shamus?

    1. Humanoid says:

      “This hurts you.”

      “You cannot resist.”

      “My attacks will tear you apart.”

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:



        1. Shamus says:

          You know what they say about assuming.. it makes an ASS of U and ME*.

          * Mass Effect

  10. “It seems to have a Game of Thrones approach to nudity, and I'm not going to complain about that.”

    Have you started watching Game of Thrones, Shamus?

    1. Shamus says:

      Nah. Too bleak and ugly for my taste. I saw 30 seconds of Red Wedding that someone uploaded to youtube. Even not knowing the characters or the sides, I found it shocking and it made me feel awful afterward. I think the full-strength show would just make me miserable all the time.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        But what if I told you that the show has not one,but TWO unexpected inquisitions?First there was the stannis inquisition whose chief weapon is sex.Sex and demon babies,etc,etc.Then there is the westeros inquisition whose chief weapon is poverty.Poverty,and forehead tattoos,etc,etc.

        Though if you thought the red wedding was shocking and gruesome(it was back then)viper v mountain fight would send you into a coma.

        1. Wolf says:

          Possibly not. The context is vastly different and one could argue that the combatants knew very well what they were signing up for. The Red Wedding is more emotionally impacting I think.

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            It wasnt just about the combatants though.And while you could say that the red wedding was more shocking(both were foreshadowed a lot actually),it definitely wasnt as gruesome as one of the best gore effects seen on screen in quite a while.

      2. Cinebeast says:

        My family just started watching the show a few weeks ago — we’re in season three — and now we’re hooked. It is bleak and occasionally ugly, but we’ve found things to love. And even when horrible stuff is happening it’s really addictive.

        For context, I was willing to put up with the ugliness of the first two Witchers. So, maybe not the show for you, Shamus.

        On topic, I’m pretty stoked to hear you’re enjoying the third game. I’ve had some reservations about it, but if you like it, I’ll probably think it’s phenomenal. Might even convince my mom to play it.

      3. Mechaninja says:

        Shamus, I read the first book, book and a half, or maybe two and a half, I don’t recall, as it has been several years.

        They are exactly what you think they are, and if you think it won’t work out, I can assure you that you are correct.

        I’m glad GoT exists, and that guys like Peter Dinklage are able to get good, meaningful jobs, but I’m not going to watch the show any more than I’m going to read the books further.

        1. Syal says:

          I f you really were halfway through book 3, that’s an unfortunate stopping place; the end of the book is relatively positive and resolves enough to make it a great stopping point.

          1. guy says:

            You are a terrible person

      4. djw says:

        Its fine if its not your thing, but its worth mentioning that the Red Wedding is the nadir of the series (at least in the books). There are lots of violent scenes, but that one is by far the worst.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          Not in the show.The viper v mountain fight is waaaaaay more shocking and gruesome.And Im not the type to be easily grossed out by movie stuff,no matter how gory.But yeah,thats just a single 2,3 second scene in a 45 minute episode that has very entertaining dialogue all throughout.

          1. Mike S. says:

            I’m current on the show, so it’s not a personal concern, but should folks consider marking/protecting Game of Thrones spoilers? (Especially since there’s the whole book vs. show thing where things have reached the point where each is in some cases for the other.)

            1. Daemian Lucifer says:

              I considered it,but its over a year old,I didnt reveal anything specific,and the episode itself is called the mountain and the viper,so I decided there was no need.

              Now if I were to talk about something more recent,say the westeros inquisition capturing cersei,that would be a different thing.Even though that one was expected practically from the start of this season.

      5. Alexander The 1st says:

        By any chance, are you able to get access to ABC’s Galavant?

        I’m mostly asking because this is the only context I have of it at the moment, and I was curious if you, or perhaps someone else who watches GOT in more detail, could compare the shows in their completeness.

        1. Blake says:

          Galavant is such absurd fun.
          I’m looking forward to season 2.

      6. Noumenon72 says:

        I found that an amazing way to get into Game of Thrones without the grossness or paying for HBO is just to Google all the YouTube videos with Arya Stark in them. Her story (up through season four is what I watched) is much less sordid and way more cool than what any of the others get up to.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          Um,she witnesses Sean Beans execution,she is there during the red wedding,and a couple of other stuff(the rat scene).Plus,she develops into a psycho as the story goes on.A lovable one,but still a psycho.

          1. Otters34 says:

            It’s absolutely adorable how her story is all about how she’s turning into a D&D assassin, since absolutely everyone she kills is just some general Bad Person. It’s like Jonathan Snow’s early days as a YA fantasy protagonist, only stretching over like 5-6 books and with no harsh revelation of the flaws in that when Martin belatedly remembered this was supposed to be dark.

            When he wants things to be easy for a character, things get EASY.

          2. Except not quite psycho enough, since she says she’s nobody, but she lies.

            And really, if you start getting weird Dark Brotherhood-type powers from somewhere, are you truly psycho or are you just really good at your job?

            1. Daemian Lucifer says:

              I was talking about her treatment of the hound actually.I dont consider faceless as psychos.They are more like religious zealots.

      7. poiumty says:

        “I saw 30 seconds of Red Wedding that someone uploaded to youtube.”

        An out-of-context version of the most depressing and shocking thing in the show is probably not the best starting point. Just a thought.

        Then again the first episode bored the hell out of me, so I’m not sure what would be the best starting point.

      8. bloodsquirrel says:

        I’ll say this about the Red Wedding: In the books it’s treated afterward as an atrocity. The Fallout the Freys are facing from it is bad, and everything it’s architects built is now crumbling. It’s a shocking scene, but it’s important to remember that it wouldn’t have been shocking if that was every episode.

        The worst part of the series is Daenerys’ stuff after the first book. Daenerys is a lunatic, everything in that part of the world is awful, and it takes forever to go anywhere. Barristan is the only character over there right now that I would miss if the whole continent was nuked.

      9. Abnaxis says:

        I’ve never really understood why the red wedding is such a huge deal to everybody. It doesn’t seem all that bad lined up against everything else that happens in the shows/books.

        Did people just connect with the victims or something? I honestly thought the king had it coming.

  11. Rob says:

    The thing that annoys me about graphics cards is that different manufacturers have different stats/features for the same model. So once you've finally picked out the card that's right for you, you have to shop companies to see who adds the most/doesn't cripple the card to save a few bucks.

    Several years back I got a good deal by going for a GPU model that had extra VRAM/other stuff I can't remember anymore but was passively cooled (it just had a giant block of cooling fins and heat pipes on top), then modding my case to add an extra exhaust fan beside the GPU to draw away the heat. For a normal user that card would have died of overheating within weeks, though.

    1. Humanoid says:

      It’s better now than it’s ever been, at least. Still not great, but at least you have the knowledge that the reference card is the baseline that the card assemblers can’t go under. They either go with the reference build as is, or improve on it, so while there’s still the matter of choosing which specific card is the best, there are no longer any traps with deliberately crippled cards.

      (Technically there are some exceptions at the extreme entry level where two cards identically named may either come with GDDR5 or DDR3 VRAM, but these are usually only relevant to OEMs, i.e. when buying prebuilt Dells or whatever)

  12. Incunabulum says:

    I do think this one is a step up gameplaywise, but . . .

    I know that Witchers are sorta outcasts, but it gets ridiculous that you can’t walk 5 feet down a town path without someone calling you a freak or spitting in your direction. Every 5 seconds it seems like.

    There are, like, 5 lines of generic recorded dialogue for generic NPC’s to speak… and they will, at great lengths, whether you want them to or not. Mudcrabs,! Horrible creatures!

    They dropped the awesome potion/oil mechanic of the earlier games for a generic ‘quaff while fighting’ mechanic – only keeping the toxicity to rein in potion use.

    I loved the idea that you prepared before the fight – something beyond making sure that your quick-use slots were filled – and that’s all you had during the fight. The idea that anybody is in a pitched swordfight and is simultaneously reaching into their belt, grabbing a bottle, popping off the cap, and chugging down is ridiculous.

    And the parry mechanic is just broken – you have to do it in a .2 second window at the start of an attack animation. Not too early, not too late. Except most of the time you can’t really recognize the start of an attack until the window’s closed.

    Add in trying to do this while the game absolutely will not interrupt an in-progress animation – hit attack but need to dodge, nope. You will finish that unnecessarily spinny attack animation before you dodge. Which will be interrupted because you got smacked to the ground. And you’ll stay there because it takes Geralt longer to recover from a stun than it takes the mobs to finish their attack cooldown.

    1. Dovius says:

      I do enjoy how they’ve changed the oils and potions from single-use to permanent items that refresh upon meditations with a bigger focus on individual updates. A shame the recipes are pretty much random drops, though (At least in my experience so far).

      1. Nordicus says:

        They’re not quite random drops. Recipes are found at predetermined stashes around the world that are either hidden, guarded by tough monsters or in middle of a bandit camp. They can also be bought from herbalists and alchemists/mages

    2. James says:

      You could drink potions whilst in combat in Witcher 1 Aswell, this is kinda a mix of the two.

      The oil mechanic is weird the bottle of oil doesn’t seam to run out and can be reapplied but i often run out of charges whilst in combat against the bigger boss enemies.

      Parrying can be tricky and on hard messing up is costly, and sometimes necessary against some foes especially in fist fights.

      And yea i’ve sometimes be caught mid animation wanting to dodge or hit my sign or something and gotten hit and killed.

      To answer shamus’s question some foes cannot be parried though this is usually obvious because its a Golem and its huge, or its a fiend and its huge.

      Roll and dodge are in fact to different things used in different encounters, the Dodge is best used against single foes and foes you need to counter hit quickly, dodge roll is best against either large wide hitting foes like the Golems running sweeps or groups of enemies like wolves and dogs and Drowner packs.

      The combat in my mind is a very forgiving version of the Dark Souls forumlae but the player has more tools.

      Also Igni leveled up and Ard leveled up are amazing at crowd control. and actually just in general. i use them more then any of the others combined.

      1. Thomas says:

        I like the recharge thing because I never ever use consumables

        1. kanodin says:

          That was my problem with the old system as well. Even when sitting on a mountain of ingredients to make more potions/bombs/oils I was reluctant to use them because if I could win without them then it’s just a waste of resources. This has even carried over a bit into this game, I’ll chug potions and chuck bombs with impunity but then try and go as long as possible without meditating because I don’t want to waste the recharge until I’ve used up everything.

          1. Sleeping Dragon says:

            I’m like that too with most games, I get overly cautious whenever I deal with a limited resource, almost suicidally so when dealing with a non-renewable one. This will often seriously ramp up the difficulty of a game, as was the case with the first Witcher (I have yet to play 2).

    3. Humanoid says:

      Potion usage in the second game took longer than the actual fights themselves – going into the menu, selecting the potion, the loooong drinking animation – so I ended up never using them. I’m noot a fan of the spammable consumable usage either though, especially the Cuftbertian “consume ALL the food” mid-fight behaviour which is allowed and even encouraged by the game (since food items are healing potions by any other name). The happy medium I’d prefer is out-of-combat only, but instant and hotkeyable.

      As for parry-counters, I’m generally okay with them against human enemies, but it does take time to recognise the attack signals of the various monsters. It’s also not really explained how parrying heavy attacks is generally ineffective (though it might change with skill points put into swordfighting): the tutorial certainly doesn’t explain why parries fail versus heavy attacks, or attacks with a heavy weapon.

    4. Henson says:

      It’s really not as bad as that. Sure, you have two potion slots for use during battle, but as far as I can tell, when you’re in battle you can’t use any consumables from your inventory. You do have to prepare for hard fights because you have to decide which potions to put into quickslots, and perhaps decide to drink a potion/eat some bread before the fight begins.

      The idea of downing a drink in the middle of a fight is a little silly, but I much prefer it to the Witcher 2 problem of being thrown into a fight without warning and not being able to buff up.

      1. djw says:

        You can swap new potions into your quickslots during combat, so it is not much of a restriction.

        I actually liked the witcher 1 approach to this better. The potions had long timers, so you could pre-buff and expect it to last. You could put a few in your quick-slots too, but they competed with grenades for those spots. The number of quick-slots depended upon your gear, so you sometimes had the interesting choice between better armor and more pockets.

    5. Jokerman says:

      The NPC’s repeating themselves was a big problem in the 2nd game too.

      “Did you say something or did you just fart???”
      “I wonder what a Witcher eats”

      It drove me nuts.

      In the 3rd i find it pretty funny when an NPC ends the conversation with a variation of “You Witchers are not so bad after all” Then as soon as you are released from the cutscene “Ugh…Freak”

      1. MichaelGC says:

        Divinity: Original Sin was the worst for that sorta thing. I think it might be updated at some point (or even has been), but to start with they had, like, three stock voiced salutations, but then all the actual dialogue would be text.

        So, you’d click on an NPC who’d super-cheerfully yell: “HELLO!” Then they’d pour their heart and soul out, clearly barely clinging to a shredded sanity as with growing frothing rage they beseeched you to bring an end, bring an end to their torture! Beseeched you to build via bloody muuurrrrder a sanguine shrine to Justice!…

        And then they’d chirpily finish with: “See ya.”

    6. Otters34 says:

      You must remember, Incunabulum, that these are primitive, superstitious and paranoid people who honestly believe that monsters and magic exist. To them, Geralt isn’t the result of a genetic fluke, but the creation of occult forces twisting a human being. He’s not a gamekeeper to them, he literally fights monsters lurking in the shadows of their towns and woods, monsters that are more his kin than other humans. I bet some of those people even believe elves and dwarves are real.

      Joking aside, the limited experiences and suspicion bred by living in close confines mostly with people who look, speak and think just like them were a big part of why medieval Europeans were so prejudiced. It’s annoying, but important to make clear that even Geralt, though mostly indistinguishable from the others, is still seen as Not One of Us by the likes of you and me. That outsider status is a significant part of the character’s outlook and how he relates to other outsiders, including the monsters he fights and kills.

  13. Rick C says:

    Shamus, any chance you could increase the size of footnotes on mobile? I have a phone with a fairly large (5.5″) screen, and I already have to zoom in some to read the regular text, but I have to zoom in a lot more to read footnotes. Here’s a screenshot showing what I mean:


    (on a 22″ monitor, that image is about twice as wide as the actual screen of the phone, which means the text–even after zooming–is half what you see)

  14. James says:

    You mentioned that in Witcher 2 the world felt too dreary and dark, and Witcher 3 you feel is much better much lighter.

    Whilst i agree that W3 has more humor is more emphatic and has moments levity at times, there are without spoiling anything places and plot lines that are very dark and often times very real darkness, and it can be a little much even for me as i had no problems with W2’s dark world.

    Also you talked about Geralt being a much less serious and more interesting i think this is deliberate though for story reasons not because the previous ones were wrong, in W1 and W2 Geralt was suffering from Amnesia, and at the end of W2 he recovers his memories, W3 Geralt is much more like his book representation at least in my experience.

    1. krellen says:

      Adding humour makes darkness a lot easier to take. M*A*S*H is at times extremely dark – but because the show’s tone is overall bright, the darkness never overwhelms you, because you know there is light at the end of that tunnel.

    2. Galad says:

      I’d argue that the dark moments in W3 are much easier to take. Somehow I feel a lot more immersed in this world than in W2’s.

      Of course, the awesome background music and voiceover of meeting certain wood ladies also helps

  15. Darren says:

    A Game of Thrones approach to nudity?

    So all breasts and no penises, I assume? The Witcher 2 was especially noticeable for this: you see full-frontal Triss in the first five minutes, but Geralt never takes his pants off during the game.

    And don’t get me started on the game’s gay characters. Besides the weird scene in the brothel in Act I, you’ve got “lesbomancy” (ugh) on one path and Dethmold primping in a mirror while a slave or something lounges on the bed like no gay man ever has. For all their talk about maturity and craft, their approach to sexuality screams “straight men writing about stuff without considering any other perspective.”

    1. James says:

      I cant confirm it all as i haven’t completed the game, but you meet a gay hunter rather early on and its very understated, he talks about being ran out of town and Geralt first things his a werewolf or something and he just up and says he was in love with the lords son and ran out of town because of it and nothing more is really made of it. it reminds me of the gay pilot mechanic in mass effect 3, it was just a character trait and not some big overtly defining thing.

    2. Daemian Lucifer says:

      So all breasts and no penises, I assume?

      There are a few penises* in game of thrones.In the first season even,episode 5,we see theons dick after the sex scene.And granted,there are few of them(I think the count is 3 or 4),its mostly just naked buttocks for men.But the full frontal(meaning bush) of women is also rare,and mostly its just either tits or ass.Granted,nudity is not proportionally present,but this is a country where men are mostly dominant.


      1. I have it on good (not really) authority that the plural of penis is “penipodes”.

  16. Reminds me a lot of what I liked about Gothic. I might finally have to check this one out.

  17. Irridium says:

    In regards to the whole monster parry thing, what you’re “supposed” to do is parry humanoids but dodge monsters. It’s explained in a few bestiary entries you probably don’t have yet. And even then it’s hinted at and doesn’t say you should do it for all monsters. Which you should because damn near all of them can’t be parried.

    Took me a while to figure that out. Would’ve been nice if they had Geralt quiz Ciri on all this in the beginning so the player had a way of knowing beforehand.

    1. Ringwraith says:

      It’s the sort of logic that only makes sense once you know how it works.
      Like how (generally, few exceptions) you can only parry roughly-humanoid, weapon-wielding, non-giant enemies in Dark Souls.

    2. Poobles says:

      Fairly certain that information showed up on a loading screen for me.

      Also, I think it would be handy if you were told monster info BEFORE fighting and killing one (Like yrden on ghosts is real frikken important). I mean, there are supposed to be books but they are no where near as easy to obtain as they were in the first two games.

    3. Borislav says:

      I’m pretty sure I heard that from someone in the game, maybe at some point in the tutorial – “… and don’t bother parrying monsters …”

      This is a common theme throughout the games though – you can’t parry monster attacks in W1 and W2, so I didn’t even try.

      Also, as a previous comment said – roll is to get out of the way of some bigger sweep or lunge attacks and dodge is to side step and counter attack.

  18. The Other Matt K says:

    I liked the previous ones, but so far am liking this one the best. I do think the combat has been dumbed down a bit… but honestly, I find that to be a good thing. In both of the previous games, there came a point where I had to stop playing the game, spend a day or two doing ‘homework’ to understand the leveling and combat system, and only then felt capable of advancing through the game.

    With this one, the combat seems much smoother (even with its disparate elements), and the enhancements like the signs, potions, whetstones, etc, are less complex mechanics. Which does mean a loss in the purely tactical planning element for those who enjoyed it – as noted, in some of the previous games, there were monster fights where you really needed to perfectly prepare for the fight, and had to be clever in your tactics and positioning in the fight in order to eke out a victory.

    In this, brute force goes a bit further (providing you aren’t jumping enemies twice your level). The planning elements are still there and can be embraced (especially with the right character build), but do seem to have been de-emphasized. But, for myself, I’m generally fine with that, as less time dying means more time for me to roam and quest and grow a beard.

    1. Ringwraith says:

      Yeah, apparently the reverse difficulty curve from the second game is still in effect here somewhat, although if you bump the difficulty up from the normal setting it kinda solves that.

  19. Leviathan902 says:

    Regarding parrying and combat:
    I’m playing on blood and broken bones (2nd highest difficulty) so it may be different but here’s a few general rules:

    Generally you can’t parry monsters so don’t try, and blocking is of limited effectiveness as well (even the lowly drowner can stun you through a block). The best way to deal with ANY monster is dodges and rolls.

    General rule: dodge against smaller mostly bipdedal foes (ghouls, drowners). Roll away from alghouls and larger monsters. Roll away from wraiths because of their teleport behind the back triple attack (which breaks your block). Roll to create space against packs of foes.

    Humans are most effectively dealt with by parrying, the window is decently generous: when he winds up to attack, mash block. A quick dodge to the side when they attack often provides a solid opening as well.

    One last tip: cast Quen AS you’re walking up to a fight for free. When you cast signs outside of combat, stamina regenerates almost instantly, so you can cast quen (which has a decently long duration), then walk up and start fighting and use, say, igni, right away at the start of the fight as well with quen still protecting you.

    Hope that helps someone!

  20. Eruanno says:

    Hey, Shamus! If you don’t have a computer up for it, consider the PS4 version of Witcher 3. It runs at somewhere around the med/high equivalent of the PC version at 1080p/30 fps. Although I guess if you already have it for PC you’d have to buy it twice which is… a little silly. Hmm.

  21. “But he's got a beard this time, which gives him a kind of “wise old man” motif that I don't see much these days.”


    1. Ringwraith says:

      To be fair, he is pushing like a hundred at this point.
      Witchers can live quite a long time if they’re not horribly killed, which is an occupational hazard.

      1. Jokerman says:

        A Witcher never dies in his bed ;)

        1. Sleeping Dragon says:

          Depends on what he sleeps with.

    2. Sleeping Dragon says:

      To be fair Geralt has a number of things going that separate him from your average “Steve” protagonist. Though I only played the first game so far and I’m probably projecting a lot from the books.

  22. Taellosse says:

    Well, that’s interesting. I might pick it up on sale sometime, now. Hadn’t planned to get it at all, as I had much the same experience with the series as you, Shamus.

    1. Humanoid says:

      $38 on GMG (you have to have an account and look at the VIP section to get the price) probably best ‘legit’ deal at the moment. Almost as cheap as going through eBay to get an nVidia bundle coupon, without the hassle.

      Being an honorary Ukrainian via a VPN would be the cheapest outright deal, but obviously a very grey area.

      1. Cyranor says:

        I believe CD Projekt Red stated that the GMG keys were obtained from an “unknown Source” and are recommending that people do not buy from them.

        1. Humanoid says:

          Yeah, GMG certainly botched the pre-orders, I think they were pulled at some point, and on release date itself they ran out of keys and people had to wait for up to a day to actually get the game.

          That said, I’d certainly hope they’ve resolved their issues now that it’s back on sale.

  23. DeadlyDark says:

    I never understand, why being dark is bad? And not that I consider Witcher’s first two games that dark (there are many light moments alongside the dark ones), but if I agree, that it’s bleak overall, I still can’t see why this is a bad thing. And if I can’t root for characters I can still find interesting things in plot, schemes, intrigues, real-world parallels, etc. Also, I can root for openly evil guy (Ward in Agents of SHIELD, for example, he’s the only likable character in the show right now; or if we talk about Game of Thrones, I root for schemer Little Finger more than anyone). I know, that my tastes probably is the widest possible, and I can enjoy both Catbug episode and Red Wedding scene alike, but why would I want to limit my world-view? Why would anyone? I know that some people too serious to like “silly” things, and I hear that many(?) don’t like “gloom” ones. And when I hear that Man of Steel or DKR is bad because they too dark, I remains puzzled “Why? That’s not the flaw, it’s style choice, they are bad because of the big flaws in script, editing and sometimes actors”, and my hope for BvS is that they did change the tone (if they want it, all right) but make a good script that justify the tone. I even say, that Superman 2 was very dark at the moments, and there is no problem in that. So, why can’t anyone enjoy Watchmen/Dark Knight, or Kickass/Kingsman or say Avengers/Thor 2 alike? That’s the riddle for me, I guess.

    That’s the only thing in the article that bothered me. I do not mean to attack, persuade or anything (I’m sometimes bad in identifying if I’m rude or not in the writing), so I apologize in advance, just it’s irked me too much and too long so I decided to leave my opinion.

    1. Alex says:

      “I never understand, why being dark is bad?”

      Because if you’re asking me to spend 20+ hours immersed in a fantasy world, I have to actually want to spend time there. I have to either give a damn about what happens or be having enjoyable experiences, and excessive Grimdark gets in the way of both.

    2. Viktor says:

      I tried reading Game of Thrones once. I was halfway through the first book and every character I liked had been either crippled, run out of town, raped, or was walking into an obvious trap. Why would I keep reading? What enjoyment am I going to get out of more of that book? Darkness is fine, to a degree, but there needs to be some hope or else why bother? And that level is different for everyone, so if you like GoT-style darkfests, fine, but don’t be surprised when I’m sitting over here with something that doesn’t make me want to punch the author.

    3. Otters34 says:

      “I never understand, why being dark is bad?”

      Darkness with no contrasts or periods of relief/catharsis is as tedious in fiction as lightness with no contrasts or periods of anxiety/gravity.

      When you make a story intended to go a long time, requiring constant effort on the part of the audience to get through its twists and turns, and provide only misery and frustration when you get there, that’s a good recipe for losing the attention of the audience. The Witcher series got off on the wrong foot by assuming at first people would be interested in the world and characters because they were Dark and Mature (unlike those SILLY BioWare games), not because they were, you know, interesting and reflective of real-world ambiguities.

    4. Because being ‘dark’ is difficult to do right and easy to do wrong.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Same is true about light,though.Too often it comes as just too saccharine.Otters34 is correct in that you have to have contrast for either to be done well.

  24. poiumty says:

    *appears in a puff of smoke*


    HEY SHAMUS I think your Dark Souls jab wasn’t entirely fair. Parrying in Dark Souls is always a completely optional thing to do, and no enemy ever kills you in one hit unless you’re naked and never put points in vitality or something.

    I expect a 40 page essay of apology, signed in triplicate, on my doorstep by next week.


    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      You win the JOSH DROP THE FUCKING INCINERATOR award!Congratulations!

      1. poiumty says:

        I was expecting the SHAMUS YOU SO TOTALLY DON’T UNDERSTAND DARK SOULS award, but oh well. Always a next time I guess.

        Also Shamus did I miss you playing Pillars of Eternity or are you planning to forever remain defiant in your stance of never having played a Baldur’s-Gate-like game.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          Josh has the incinerator,Chris has the compass,Rutskarn has the puns,so Shamoose has baldurs gate.

        2. Dovius says:

          We were going to give you that reward, but nowhere did you point out that he has yet to git gud and thus has no right no complain. Alas, our hands are tied.

        3. Someone gave him a copy but who knows whether he has time to play it atm or not.

  25. CD Projekt Red just keeps evolving and improving. They have no released what is easily a match for Skyrim and the devs enjoy the fandom that BioWare did during the KoTOR days.

    And these guys will be making Cyberpunk 2077 using a (I assume improved) version of REDengine 3 (their in-house game engine used in Witcher 3).

    These guys just may pull off a Blade Runner’ish game.

    All they need to do is just be a little careful with the pre-marketing (some folks got a bit upset with the presentation video/screenshots of the game a year or two earlier looking way better than on launch).

    There was also a few quick patches post launch, but the devs was super fast to fix those unlike some other dev houses out there.

    CD Projekt Red (and their subsidiary?! GOG.com) never seize to amaze me.

    Cyberpunk 2077 is te game I’m waiting for with baited breath.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      some folks got a bit upset with the presentation video/screenshots of the game a year or two earlier looking way better than on launch

      Thats a legit concern for any game that offers preorders.

    2. Humanoid says:

      Technically the parent company is CD Projekt. CD Projekt RED is of course their development subsidiary, and GOG is their sales subsidiary.

    3. RPS reminded/informed me of Cyberpunk 2077 just the other day. And then told me to “go play Witcher 3” (I haven’t even played Witcher 1…) because it’s unlikely to be out for yeaaaaaars. :/ Regrettably, one pre-rendered trailer with an admittedly awesome soundtrack doth not a game make; about the only thing I’ve got from it so far is a welcome introduction to Archive. But the praise I’m seeing for W3 does give me some cautious hope that C2077 will be an interesting game if/when it does make an appearance because it sounds like CDProjekt are really getting a handle on things now. So part of me is kind of fine with them “practicing” on the Witcher series first. Unfortunately for the rest of me, I want to play that kind of cyberpunk game NOW, DAMMIT! :s I guess I’ll try to re-forget about it until it appears on GoG/Steam for download.

      *slinks back to playing “what if we were actually capable of making a cyberpunk RPG?” with a friend*

  26. Christopher says:

    I’m happy that Skyrimming The Witcher up has only made it better. Surprised to see praise for the combat, although I guess it’s mostly praise for teaching you the combat. What I’d heard before this was that quests were great, the choices were neat and that the combat and controls were still awkward.

    1. Nordicus says:

      Honestly, rather than being Skyrim’ed, Witcher 3 has been Red Dead Redemption’d.

      Despite Skellige being a giant Skyrimmy area, the distribution of content (i.e. very few long “dungeons” that aren’t somewhat story related), and how almost every main story contact has some loose ends to optionally tie up in another quest afterwards reminds me of RDR far more than how Bethesda handles the open world

      Edit: The combat and controls are still awkward when compared to various more polished titles, but it still manages to be a huge step up from Witcher 2 in responsiveness. That is worth something

  27. Mr Compassionate says:

    So your latest Twitter post mentions the Griffon fights but quizzle me this.

    Are the Griffon fights as good as the Griffon fights in Dragon’s Dogma? Once you go Dragon’s Dogma you never go Backons Something, as they say.

    Unfortunately Dragons Dogma has an indisputable, indomitable advantage in the field of Griffon fights. I am certain, though sad, that the Witcher cannot compare.

    1. AJax says:

      I liked it but it’s nowhere near the griffon or dragon fights in Dragon’s Dogma. God, Dragon’s Dogma was so good. I shake my fist at you Capcom for not bringing it to the PC!

  28. Vect says:

    If I recall, within the setting I believe that Witchers can’t be female. Something about the mutagens working primarily for males or something. I might be remembering it wrong, but I don’t think there are any female Witchers even in the books, so there’s that.

  29. Rho90 says:

    Maybe I should give this a chance.

    I started The Witcher 1 and agree totally with the combat. I hated it. It was like a chore for a one click combination for fix attack and not free use of sword as I expected at first. Clunky, clumsy, shackled. But what put me off and had me closing the game was the scene right after the werewolf attack on the villagers. You’re there flirting and laughing with the mother, while in the background the little son is seemingly agonizing. It’s like:
    Mom – Your hair is so silvery, wouldn’t you fear robbers thinking you keep your savings there? hahahahaha
    Son – Mommy, my tummy aches and I’m bleeding. BWAAAAAAAAH
    Witcher – It’s no big deal, I threaten to cut my head and end the silver and they run scared.
    Mom – HAHAHAHA You’re so funny, why don’t we have a drink and see what happens?
    Son – It is cold. I can’t see you, where are you, mommy?
    Witcher – Yes, let’s go right away.
    Son – Mommy!
    Crickets – Cri, cri, cri.
    In a room somewhere. – We must put this camera on those two mellons.

    At that point I rolled my eyes, wondered if that was for real and how a game with such an scene could be acclaimed and uninstalled it not to run it ever again.

  30. Corylea says:

    I adored the first Witcher game — totally, madly, and completely — and I disliked the second one, for exactly that “everybody’s an asshole, and I don’t want to help ANY of these people” problem that you mentioned. I haven’t played the third one, because the second one made me stop caring about the character and world that I’d found so compelling the first time around.

    Maybe I’ll try #3, once I finish Pillars of Eternity.

  31. Me says:

    did you mean the world is more sympathetic

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