Ryu’s Bite’s: The Witcher 3

Posted on May 19th, 2015 by Ryu Sheng |

boxTitle: Witcher 3 – The Wild Hunt
Developer: CD Red Project
Publisher: CD Red Project
Format: Steam/Physical/GOG/PS4/XBox
Genre: Action, Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, Medieval

Synopsis:

The Witcher: Wild Hunt is a story-driven, next-generation open world role-playing game set in a visually stunning fantasy universe full of meaningful choices and impactful consequences. In The Witcher you play as the professional monster hunter, Geralt of Rivia, tasked with finding a child of prophecy in a vast open world rich with merchant cities, viking pirate islands, dangerous mountain passes, and forgotten caverns to explore.

PLAY AS A HIGHLY TRAINED MONSTER SLAYER FOR HIRE
Trained from early childhood and mutated to gain superhuman skills, strength and reflexes, witchers are a distrusted counterbalance to the monster-infested world in which they live.

  • Gruesomely destroy foes as a professional monster hunter armed with a range of upgradeable weapons, mutating potions and combat magic.
  • Hunt down a wide range of exotic monsters from savage beasts prowling the mountain passes to cunning supernatural predators lurking in the shadows of densely populated towns.
  • Invest your rewards to upgrade your weaponry and buy custom armour, or spend them away in horse races, card games, fist fighting, and other pleasures the night brings.

EXPLORE A MORALLY INDIFFERENT FANTASY OPEN WORLD
Built for endless adventure, the massive open world of The  Witcher sets new standards in terms of size, depth and complexity.

  • Traverse a fantastical open world: explore forgotten ruins, caves and shipwrecks, trade with merchants and dwarven smiths in cities, and hunt across the open plains, mountains and seas.
  • Deal with treasonous generals, devious witches and corrupt royalty to provide dark and dangerous services.
  • Make choices that go beyond good & evil, and face their far-reaching consequences.

CHASE DOWN THE CHILD OF PROPHECY
Take on the most important contract to track down the child of prophecy, a key to save or destroy this world.

  • In times of war, chase down the child of prophecy, a living weapon of power, foretold by ancient elven legends.
  • Struggle against ferocious rulers, spirits of the wilds and even a threat from beyond the veil – all hell-bent on controlling this world.
  • Define your destiny in a world that may not be worth saving.

One of the most anticipated games of the year launched last night, and apparently fell flat on its face.

Like a lot of people I got hyped over the Witcher 3, and like a lot of people I ignored the fact that there were no ‘real’ PC reviews in the run up to launch, and also ignored the naysayers claiming it’s a console port with downgraded graphics.

Sadly, they were right, sort of.

Graphically the game is stunning, at times. Even on ultra we still have lower res grass a lot of the time, which looks like the spikey hair off of some anime character. However if you discount that, it’s a stunning game with some amazing visuals. I can’t fault, and won’t fault, CD Red for that!

So does the game look like the ‘offered’ 2013 trailer? Hell no, are you serious?

Back in 2013 the game was barely functioning, so they had less to render and have in the world. So sure, it was gonna look better. As the game grew in size and became more complex, then yes some graphical fidelity would be lost. What’s more, anyone who takes a trailer from years ago as being ‘solid proof’ of a games eventual look is frankly an idiot. Ever heard of ‘vertical slice’? It’s that thing that got Sega into so much trouble with Aliens Colonial Marines.

The 2013 trailer for Witcher 3 was essentially a vertical slice, and what we got was slightly weaker, graphically, game. In my estimation, as an average gamer, the game looks pretty damn fine!

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Sadly, that’s where my praise ends. There are a number of programing issues that essentially break the game.

Firstly, and the biggest issue for me, is that once again CD Red have said ‘screw you’ to left handed gamers. If like me you use a left handed mouse, the game decides that the way you’re an idiot who can’t decide how to set up your mouse, and applies its own settings. This results in some damn annoying changes in the way the game works, and frankly got me dead a couple of times because in the middle of a fight you can forget the damn game swapped your buttons.

Next we have basic functionality, or rather accessibility issues. Limited key rebinding, which is yet again a double kick in the teeth for us lefties who use the right hand side of the board and arrow keys.

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Given this is a PC game, all keys should be rebindable, it’s one of the perks of owning a PC. Now, it is true that if you dig around in the .ini files you can rebind some keys, but if the game doesn’t like, or it’s a locked key, it just delete’s the line from the .ini, so make sure you keep a backup of the files.

Speaking of key rebinding’s, those geniuses over at CD Red decided to disable the ‘Prt Scrn’ key for some reason. So now there is no way to take screen shots in game without using a 3rd party piece of software. Not good.

Next we have the generalised issues that frankly are dominating the official and GOG forums, and for the most part seem to be tied to Nvidia cards and the new Nvidia Hair. The game crashes randomly, for no apparent reason. However one chain of thought is that the physics are somehow causing the game not to release the graphics card VRAM properly, leading it to run out of RAM; and ultimately crashing.

I’ve not had any of these issues, or indeed any crashes in the 6hours I played after launch, as these all seem tied to the 9xx series of cards. If you have one of those then my advice is to turn the hair physics off, they don’t really add anything anyway.

There have also been some confirmed bugs, several of the side quests can end up bugged if you accidently do the stages out of sequence. One of the early ones involve killing a Noonwraith, to get it you need to do certain things in a certain order. If you don’t do them in the exact order (either deliberately or accidently) you can’t complete the quest.

There’s also a game breaking one early in the game where you need to meet up and leave time with your buddy, Vesemir, only he’s not where he’s supposed to be (inside getting drunk) so you don’t get the dialogue option to leave. Sadly this is a game over, you have to restart the game completely and hope it doesn’t bug out on you your next playthrough.

So, the big question is: Is the game worth buying right now?

If you’re using a right handed mouse, anything other than a 9xx series GFX card, then honestly, maybe. This is one of those occasions where I honestly can’t give an out right answer. The game has its issues, but on the whole it’s not a bad game.

My overall thought is to advise people to wait and see. Let CD Red release some patches, get rid of the worst bugs (as there are some). There’s no real benefit to buying right now.

That’s it for this bite sized post (though it turned out longer than planned), I’ll return and do a full post on the game once I’m further into the game and understand it’s workings better, and hopefully CD Red fix the damn thing.

Edit:

Another thing to note, several people have now tried to use GOG’s 30 day refund policy; on the basis the games unplayable for them. However GOG are taking lessons from Valve apparently, saying you can’t have a refund, only store credit, and if you don’t like it tough shit. That for me is a big no no. With all the other controversy going on around GOG of late I’m done with them. Posting a blatant lie of a refund policy is illegal IMO

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