Being a die-hard Witcher fan has always been an uplifting experience. The travels and story of Geralt of Rivia have been great so far. Which is why my hands on with Witcher 3 was such an exciting delight. I was a bit disheartened to learn that the game was pushed back to a May release back in December, but I knew it was to make the best experience that I could possibly live.
The demo starts out at the beginning of the game of going through the tutorial. This is a nice refresher for vets or for those who are new to the series. It opens with a flashback in a dream of with what appears to be Gerult’s past life with his lover, uncle, and what I assumed to be his daughter. As you go through training the young Witcher you are allowed to take optional dialog to get a hold of the controls. Once training is complete the dream turns into a nightmare, and Gerualt wakes up to be concerned as he only has bad dreams about the woman if she’s going to be in danger. They quickly are ambushed by creatures as you engage in your first battle. Like previous Witcher titles combat is to be carefully planned out. You have an assortment of minor spells at your disposal along with your regular and silver swords. Combat felt fluid and fast, but you can always slow down time for a moment during spell selection to regain your bearings. Players will still need to be quick on their toes in order to stay alive. When the battle was over I was able to really look and explore the world around me. I remember from my time watching gameplay at PAX Prime 2014 that the entire world can be explored. If you can see it, than you can go to it given enough time. I looked far over at the fields and mountains, thinking to myself that everything I see is a place that I can go to. This countless and endless exploration coupled with the look and beauty of how real everything looked captivated me.
From the place of battle you decide to gather information in the nearby town. Hoping to find information on this lost female from the dream. You come across a man in danger with a griffin and after helping suggests that you look for information at the nearby town. When you enter the town you are free to do what you please. You can take a number of quests to help the locals or you can get right to business and try to gather information. I took this time to help a stranger who was being attacked. His house was vandalized and you offer to help track down the culprit for some money in return. You can use your heightened Witcher sense to track footprints leading to where the culprit ran off to. Realizing that I wasn’t going to complete this quest before my time was up I went for story progression in the local tavern. Interacting and questioning NPC’s lead to various choices at diplomacy to gather as much information as I could. I could use my words, or I could use my abilities to trick someone into giving me information. It was about this time that my experience with Witcher came to a close.
Witcher 3 looks to be a title not worth missing. The amount of time that can be invested in this adventure along with all the different outcomes from choices made gives players countless hours of gameplay experiences. Witcher 3 is due out on PS4, Xbox One, and PC May 14th, and should not be missed.