After completing The Witcher 3 I felt a deep loss. I truly became its protagonist Geralt of Rivia; and by the time a legendary career of slaying monsters had come to an end, it was as if a chapter of my own life had ended as well.
A Witcher is a genetically modified professional monster killer. The game follows Geralt on his various quests and contracts, and the friends (and many foes) encountered on the way.
Official website: https://thewitcher.com/en/witcher3
The Lens of Surprise:
Geralt is only compensated for contracts on specific monsters, however, other monsters are uninclined to leave you alone as you explore or transit through the open world. Some of your greatest bouts will start running into a dark swamp ill-prepared and low on health. Contracts themselves can often be much more complicated than initially presented. A degree of adaptability and creativity is needed to be successful in quests.
As per typical in role-playing games, characters accumulate new skills and hone existing ones with time. Geralt’s are physical and combat oriented at first, however more magical and mysterious as the game progresses.
The story is also filled with twists and turns. We begin the game looking for an ashen-haired girl who is later revealed to be Geralt’s long lost adopted daughter Ciri – an incredibly powerful young Witcher.
The Lens of Fun:
An obvious source of entertainment is the freedom of choice we posses within the game, furthermore – being able to see the consequences of said choices manifest in plot changes, Geralt’s relationships and available contracts.
Isolated situations are also uniquely thrilling. Awesome fight progressions and visceral combat options make for an intoxicating interactive experience. The exhilaration of facing danger and ordinarily impossible feats is achieved perfectly.
The Lens of Unification:
The world (The Continent) is fictitious, yet the setting greatly resembles a Dark-Age-like time period. Playing as Geralt in this environment is a cohesive and holistic experience. His clothing and weaponry are thematically accurate and even supporting and background characters have nuanced attires and dialects depending on where you are in The Continent. Whether it be on an island in Skellige or in a quaint tavern in Novigrad, your surroundings are detailed and consistent.
The lore in the world is also very detailed, this becomes apparent as you venture to farther lands and collect a wealth of information on the places, people and creatures you encounter. This attention to detail in both the visual non-visual realms of game design create a foundation for the exciting but, importantly, convincing narrative.
The Lens of the Player:
This game is more than entertainment. The enchanting element is its ability to make its players feel powerful and important. Many look to manufactured fantasies when reality is mundane or disappointing. The more believable the fantasy, the greater the escape.
In The Witcher 3, you are Geralt: a powerful and confident man, known the world over for your bravery, strength and success. You are held in high regard by your peers who reside with you in the great castle Kaer Morhen.
Fun is an ultimately superficial lens, achieved by the most trivial games. The degree of control you have over your life in The Witcher compared to (for argument’s sake) the lack of control you have over your own is an irresistible trade. In the game, a player can be seen and heard as they intend; Pursue travel and career risk and romantic relationships with very literally, just the press of a button.
The Lens of the Elemental Tetrad:
The Witcher 3 exemplifies the axioms of good game design. We are drawn into the game by hyper-realistic character and world aesthetics, a thematically complete universe of which we are the centre. A captivating and malleable story with seamless gameplay maintains our emotional investment in the game.
The game was created with the REDengine 3, CD Projekt Red’s game engine specifically designed for nonlinear open world role-playing video games. The engine runs on top of both 32 and 64-bit Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.