The Witcher 3: Wild HuntOverview -
'The Witcher' video game franchise is based on a series of novels by Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski, first published in 1992. It has become quite popular and inspired TV and film adaptations, comics, a board game, and of course video games. CD Projekt RED released the first game in their 'Witcher' series in 2007 on the PC, and the second one was released in 2011, both to warm reviews. 'Wild Hunt' is the third entry in the series.
This is a pretty game, both in the environment and the characters. Faces and models are highly detailed, and despite the Xbox One’s lower resolution (par for the course for us long-suffering Microsoft devotees, I’m afraid), the game still manages to look "next-gen" without much trouble. Some of the nature scenes in particular are very nice, fitting for a game in which the lead character’s profession requires him to be outside most of the time. CD Projekt RED has touched up their proprietary engine to allow for HDR rendering, showing more details even in very bright and very dark environments. Occlusion and shading are realistic as well, allowing for distinctive shadowing. The menu and UI are the only hindrances - they can be a bit awkward to use and the text is difficult to see, even on a larger TV.
Most of the audioscape is a success. Music is dark and stringy without slipping into monotony or depression, sound effects are thick and clear, and the voice acting ranges from above average to inspired. If there is any problem with the voices, it’s that Doug Cockle, longtime actor for Geralt, is trying a bit too hard with his raspy, badass Batman impersonation.
CD Projekt RED have addressed many of the complaints registered with previous entries, and leave me very little to criticize in 'The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt'. Gameplay, world design, and the story are big draws as the Witcher's world is as well realized and deep as anything going. This is an easy title to recommend to just about any gamer.
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