So, over the vacation. I played and finished The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. While I find it difficult to talk about a game like this, I'm going to give it a shot.
It feels like I have little to say about games that are story-driven. I mean, I could tell you about the story, and how good/bad it is, or you could just go play it, and experience the story for yourself. So, what I'm going to do instead, is talk about smaller bits and pieces of the game that I appreciated. So, let's get to picking about.
I want to start this of by talking about our main character, Geralt of Rivia.
Geralt, the professional
In The Witcher 3, there are these special kind of side-quest, called "Witcher contracts". In these quests, you take bounties from people around the world to kill a specific monster. All of these quests kind of work the same. Talk to person - haggle for price - accept contract - talk to witnesses - go to last place the monster was spotted - use witcher sense to find clues/tracks - find monster/set up an ambush for monster - kill monster - return for reward. The surprising thing about these very repetitive quests were that they made perfect sense being repetitive. And that fact made them very endearing. See, being a witcher is not only something Geralt IS, it is something he DOES. It really felt like Geralt nine to five. This feeling of Geralt being at his job is also hammered home with his general disinterest or professional courtesy toward the contract issuers. He's not there to save them or to solve all of their problems, he's there on the job.
Geralt, the friend
An aspect of The Witcher 3 that I really appreciated was how much you get to hang out with Geralts friends. There are quite a few side-quests related to the extended Witcher family, and even some places of the main story takes some serious time to hang with Geralts friends. There is this really entertaining and humanizing moment in the game where Geralt and some of his old Witcher buddies get together and drink themselves under the table. It's messy, it's ugly and it is everything that happens when old friends reconnect. It seems like the game is more interested in you communicating with these people, rather than explaining who they are, and I really dig that. It really brings home the feeling that Geralt is a person, not just an avatar for the player to explore the game with.
So, this article is a bit on the short side, but I will revisit The Witcher here on multiple occasions. Just as soon as I can find the right words to put to paper. It's really difficult for me to talk about a game like this, a game that hangs its hat on the story, rather than the gameplay.