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Witcher 3


set
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It's release time. 


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ExpandingMan
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Initial impressions from about 4 hours:

 

They lied about the performance.  They promised a solid 60 fps on GTX980 with maxed settings, in actuality it swims in the 40's.  Turning off the proprietary nVidia hair effects alone restores it to a solid 60 fps (which is definitely worth it, certainly isn't the best hair I've seen).  Still, it's frustrating, they shouldn't have lied.

 

Apart from that, it looks gorgeous.  The LOD fade-in is absolutely astounding, far better even than Far Cry 4, certainly the foliage and distant landscapes are quite amazing as well.  Pop-ins are the closest to unnoticeable I've ever seen, probably by a very wide margin.  The faces don't look quite as impressive as in some of the trailers, but it's close, no complaints.  If I were trying to be really objective about it I'd say it's the best looking game I've played.  (Though, really I'd pick E:D or something, but that's just my personal sense of aesthetics.)

 

Gameplay-wise, the very first thing that I notice is that character movement is unbelievably wonky and awkward.  This was also the case in Witcher 2, so it's not a shock, but it's hard to say what CDProjekt was thinking by not changing this drastically.  I won't get into the reasons why I think it's a big mistake to try to simulate (or in this case, animate) the physics of walking, but certainly Witcher 3 is an affirmation of that.  Combat feels better than you'd expect considering how bad walking feels, but again, it's incredibly similar to Witcher 2.  I'm not really a fan of hack-n-slash generally, so my expectations weren't exactly high, but Shadow of Mordor had fluid enough combat that it raised my expectations somewhat.  Certainly the combat in Witcher 3 isn't even close to that in SoM, but the good news that it isn't grindy and otherwise mind-numbingly boring the way SoM was.

 

The world seems quite large.  Disappointingly it is segregated into several isolated "open worlds" rather than being a single "open world" as in Elder Scrolls, but the regions are certainly quite huge, so it seems hard to complain.  There certainly aren't a ton of interesting nooks-and-crannies to explore as in ES, I suppose one must just concede that it's not that sort of game, it seems more story driven and less sandbox, despite the map sizes.  The dialogue seems relatively well written, as it has in the past for the Witcher games (though I should emphasize the word relatively).  There is enough of it that voice acting matters, and it's good for the most part.  I'm pretty sure Geralt has been voiced by the same guy for all three games.

 

Those are my initial impressions.


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DarkOne
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Your FPS drop could just be Nvidia drivers? I know they came out with something yesterday specifically for Witcher 3. I will be getting this game hopefully next month (hoping to buy a new video card but trying to wait for AMD's new cards.)

 

Strange that hair dropped you 15-20fps, that sounds crazy.

 

I believe CDP said that witcher 3 world is 20% larger than Skyrim so that is impressive. I have fully played through Witcher 1 and I have witcher 2 I just need to play it.


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ExpandingMan
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I have the updated driver that they released yesterday.

 

Keep in mind, they are doing a full blown physics simulation of the hair, so I guess it shouldn't be totally shocking, it just doesn't look anywhere near good enough to be worth 20 fps.

 

From what I saw last night, 20% larger than Skyrim is believable, but it seems to me that there is probably far, far less to be discovered in the world than there was in Skyrim.


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Pinback
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I can't work out why the digital version £49.99 and the disk version £34.99.


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 Anonymous
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Have you checked gog.com?


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Pinback
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Have you checked gog.com?

 

It was GOG and Steam I was looking at although I don't know if I will be buying it as I never got into the 2nd one and if I do I will be waiting until they drop the price down to 20 as they always do in a few weeks time.


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DarkOne
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I still have to play the second one so I will probably pick it up when they have the directors cut version with all the DLC, plus they have been patching it a lot recently and there is like 16 DLC planned for this game if I remember correctly.


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ExpandingMan
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Well, I just finished it tonight (55 hours).  I have to say, I found the ending quite disappointing.  I almost hate to admit it, (because of the genre) but it has the best writing I've ever seen in a video game (though not consistently so).  That created expectations for the ending that it fell very short of.  A very worthwhile and memorable experience for sure, but especially considering the combat system was so lousy, it's not really something I'd expect to score 93 on metacritic.  I'm sure people felt it deserved some sort of tribute commensurate with it's noteworthy and spectacular aspects, but that overshadows its flaws a bit I think.


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set
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I have about 60 hours (maybe 40 of those hours are play time). The game is quite large and quests appear out of no where and others carry on through multiple stages. There's quite a lot to do in the game but it gets boring at times. I think they put a lot of work into the game. 


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ExpandingMan
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I think they put a lot of work into the game. 

 

You can say that again.  Certainly a lot of really talented and smart people worked on this.


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set
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You can say that again.  Certainly a lot of really talented and smart people worked on this.

 

 

http://ca.ign.com/articles/2015/05/29/this-is-how-big-the-script-was-for-the-witcher-3-wild-hunt

 

Considering your average novel is about 80,000 to 100,000 words, the 450,000 words in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt script should give you some idea of its length and scope.

 

Side handled the voice casting and recording for The Witcher 3, under lead voice director Kate Saxon. The company claims the 50 hours of main storyline for The Witcher 3 required 950 speaking roles, taking more than two and a half years to record. The voice recording began at the end of 2012 and was finished earlier this year.


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xeoncat
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I'm probably exaggerating here, but to me, The Witcher 3 is the best game ever made. It has everything I could ever hoped for in a video game, mostly because of large well done quests, even the card mini game is awesome, but that's just my opinion 


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ExpandingMan
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I've played through the main quest-line twice, and am now about halfway (presumably) through the new DLC.

 

I absolutely love the Witcher 3.  It's such an enigma to me, because I'm still not 100% sure why I love it.  

 

It gets most of what I usually think of as constituting a great game horribly wrong.  The combat (which for a game like this, would normally be what I'd consider "core gameplay") is really just awful... does anybody really genuinely enjoy the combat?  I mean, you get used to it, after a while it doesn't feel like railroad spikes being driven through your brain anymore, but it never gets any less awkward, wonky, dreadfully dull.  I have to admit, hack-and-slash is really not my thing, but even so, games like Shadows of Mordor and all of the Arkham games had combat that was far and away more entertaining than the Witcher.  The skills and non-existent stats have minimal effects on gameplay, and I never feel like I'm really getting anything meaningful or progressing at all when I level up.  Pretty much the same goes for the sigh-inducing loot.  I think the BIGGEST problem is actually the way level scaling works, because it brutally discourages you from exploring the gorgeous open world, sinfully undermining one of the things that is really so magnificent about the game.  (I really think that when it came to how the open world is set up, they should have shamelessly ripped off Bethesda in more ways.)

 

But... well it's just so great isn't it?  I mean, I didn't even like the ending, I have so many of the same frustrations with elements of the plot and setting that I do with almost everything in the fantasy genre; but, there's no dancing around it: the writing is spectacular.  I can't always pin down why.  Certainly it has the most believable, engrossing dialog I've ever seen in a video game.  The characters are vivid, and I feel like I get to know them better than in any other game.  There's just something about the mood they are able to evoke.  The lighting.  The thoughtfully placed and incredible soundtrack.  It probably has something to do with the Han Solo - Spock hybrid that is Geralt's character in that game (far more so than in the previous two, in my opinion).  It almost certainly has something to do with the idea of Geralt having a profession, the significance of which is a theme which underlies every aspect of the story, and the intricacies and trade-craft of which are central to the feel of the game.

 

The Witcher 3 does some small part of what Morrowind did for me when I first played it.  I felt so totally absorbed by the vivid and bizarre world of Morrowind.  The Witcher 3 doesn't get there, certainly not, but it's somehow special in so many of the same ways.

 

If I had never played any of the Witcher games (funny story, I wound up playing all three of them when they first came out, despite it not exactly being my favorite genre), and somebody gave me an honest description of the Witcher 3, I would probably chastise others for liking it.  But, what can I say, I love it, I do.  It'll never be my favorite game, in any genre, but it'll always be special.

 

And now, I have more irrational giddiness and excitement for Cyberpunk 2077 than I have had for any other game.  I just can't keep myself from imagining a world and story as wonderful as the Witcher with the gameplay of MGSV or (far better) Deus Ex.  Rationally I know it can't possibly be that good, but man does the Witcher make me think it.  (And of course, cyberpunk beats the hell out of fantasy every time, in my mind.)

 

Well, that's my conflicted love letter to CDProjekt.


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xeoncat
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The combat (which for a game like this, would normally be what I'd consider "core gameplay") is really just awful... does anybody really genuinely enjoy the combat?

 

I'm ok with the combat. Have you tried playing in the 2 hardest difficulty settings ? health only regenerate with food and potions which changes the gameplay a bit. Also all monsters require the right sign/bomb/oil strategy, which is part of the combat system (after a while you can start guessing, "oh this monster I never encountered before looks like a necrophage, so coat necrophage oil on the blade immediately"), but all that strategy probably doesn't make a difference on the easiest settings.

 

But yes, the story, the characters, is what makes it so good

 

 

And now, I have more irrational giddiness and excitement for Cyberpunk 2077 than I have had for any other game.  I just can't keep myself from imagining a world and story as wonderful as the Witcher with the gameplay of MGSV or (far better) Deus Ex.  Rationally I know it can't possibly be that good, but man does the Witcher make me think it.  (And of course, cyberpunk beats the hell out of fantasy every time, in my mind.)

 

Yes!!! it's gonna be awesome 


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ExpandingMan
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Have you tried playing in the 2 hardest difficulty settings ?  health only regenerate with food and potions which changes the gameplay a bit. Also all monsters require the right sign/bomb/oil strategy, which is part of the combat system

Yeah, I'm a veteran of the first two games, so I'm familiar with all that stuff.  I have to say, to me it's lipstick on a pig.  It just feels so wrong and awkward, a little bit of tactics can't salvage it for me.  Like I said, I'm biased, I tend to dislike this sort of combat even when it's relatively good.  But again, I do think some other games (Especially early game in Shadow of Mordor) show that hack-and-slash can be mildly enjoyable (to me), but I'll always prefer a shooter or something.  

 

I've always felt like shooters (FPS, space sims, bullet hell, what have you) were well justified in that they constitute a genre which has proven its validity over the years whereas with hack-and-slash I feel like it's the devs saying "Well fuck.  We were going to do melee, but we don't know how to do that.  Let's just throw in whatever and hope it works.  If all else fails, we can make awkward and boring gameplay even more awkward and boring by requiring the player to carefully time attacks like in Dark Souls.  That way it'll at least be hard and people will respect it."

 

Oh well.  In the case of the Witcher, I find it weirdly comforting that there are at least some people who like the combat in the Witcher, that way I feel like CD Projekt haven't just badly fucked up a major part of the game.  I don't think I'll ever get it though.


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ExpandingMan
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I absolutely love the Witcher 3.  It's such an enigma to me, because I'm still not 100% sure why I love it.  

I've figured out why I have had such a powerful affection for the Witcher: Geralt is Fox Mulder.


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natansharp
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I started this game just a few days ago...i'm loving it! I'm a fan of the witcher series, i love also the books.

I played also the other chapters but i have to say that this is more lighter for my computer. I have an i7 4770k, 8 gram and an old radeon hd 6850...this game runs good at extreme detail level at 1280x1024 without nvidia hair, motion blur (i don't like it) and anti aliasing. I'm pretty satisfied, the game it's fantastic...CD Project rules!


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Pinback
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Just started playing this and really enjoying the game although it dose have endless cutscenes but they tell a good story.  


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DarkOne
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Posted by: @pinback

Just started playing this and really enjoying the game although it dose have endless cutscenes but they tell a good story.  

I have to finish the Witcher 2 and then I will work on Witcher 3, yeah I hear the story of the game is a great one and the side quests that you do or don't do effect your game. And there is a ton of mods out there for Witcher 3 to play with as well.


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Game really suck you into the world and the only other game that I can think to compare it with is Red Dead Redemption 2 which also has a compelling story.


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