Don’t you love it when something takes you by surprise, something you didn’t expect to enjoy, you end up completely immersed for hours and days on end.
That something for me is The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt 3 (out now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC).
I have said before in this column when reviewing the brilliant Bloodborne that role-playing games are not my forte.
And while I would still say it is not the genre that gets my gaming juices flowing, Bloodborne and now the Witcher have definitely changed my perspective forever.
Before playing this wonderfully crafted work of art I read that its Polish developers CD Projekt RED had said it would not be necessary to have played the previous games to fully enjoy Wild Hunt.
I can verify that, what I can’t tell you is how much of an improvement it is on past Witcher games.
But you only have to play it for a short while to realise this is the real deal and a game to keep you enthralled for a long, long time.
The combat revolves around an action role-playing game system combined with the use of magic. Apparently the fighting system has been completely revamped and Projekt Red has brought in some new mechanics like witcher-sense, fighting while on horseback and at sea, swimming underwater, and using a crossbow.
Additionally, the game’s hero Geralt can now jump, climb, and vault over smaller obstacles with mechanics likened to hit game Uncharted.
I won’t sit here and pretend I’ve played it all the way through. Apparently I would need over 100 hours to do that – I’d be divorced more quickly if I even tried – such is the vastness of this epic openworld masterpiece. This really does push the boundaries for next gen gaming. Each action you perform will affect the world in some way. Every quest has a huge array of options on how to complete it, and the outcome, we are told, is different each time.
An awe-inspiring video game and very much the benchmark for all others to strive towards, the Witcher will have you well and truly bewitched.
Version reviewed: PS4. Rating: 9.5/10