Witcher 3 (warning: spoilers)

After 117 hours, I've completed my first playthrough of the Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. I actually bought a new laptop specifically so that I could play this game, since my Acer Aspire with GeForce GT 640M could barely keep up with the Witcher 2. I've had enormous fun with this game and I'm very much looking forward to playing the two expansion packs, Hearts of Stone and Blood & Wine. However, after such a satisfying ending, I feel the need to take a bit of a break for a while. More details (and spoilers for all three Witcher games) after the jump:

Geralt atop the battlements of Caer Morhen, wearing his shiniest suit of armour
I started out very focused on the story missions, especially in the starting area of White Orchard. Unfortunately you cannot return here until you have finished the game, so I ended up skipping a lot of content. In particular, I was very wary of Gwent, having sunk way too many hours with the awful dice poker minigame in the Witcher 1 & 2.

My first visit to Skellige was also very brief. It was only once I had returned to Caer Morhen and commenced the quest "Brothers in Arms" that I really began to take my time to savour the game and indulge in side quests. I regret that I never got to play gwent with the Bloody Baron, but I very much enjoyed all of the interaction with Dandelion, Letho and Dijkstra. I found the Whispering Hillock quest very odd, especially in the context of what you later discover about the "ladies" of the wood, but I'm glad that Phillip Strengar and his wife had a happy(ish) ending.

Assassins of Kings

I liked the way they introduced the choices from the Witcher 2, making it unnecessary to import your savegame. Unfortunately I killed Aryan La Valette, the obstinate little brat. Needless to say, the baroness wasn't too happy to see me show up at her manor in Novigrad during the Witcher 3. I surprised myself by choosing the Blue Stripes commandos rather than the Scoia'tael in the Witcher 2, even though I had sided with the elves in the first game. This may have had something to do with a certain Temerian named Ves...

After allowing Roche to kill Henselt in the Witcher 2, I could hardly fault Letho for assassinating Foltest and Demavend at the behest of Emperor Emhyr var Emreis. Hence, he is still alive and makes an appearance in the Witcher 3, as mentioned above. Roche and Ves aren't too happy about fighting alongside him at the battle of Caer Morhen, but they are professional enough to set aside their differences. In fact, I end up assisting Dijkstra, Roche and Philippa Eilhart in their plot to assassinate King Radovid V of Redania. Unfortunately Dijkstra betrayed us afterwards and I had to kill him and his men to prevent him from killing Roche and Ves.


Although Dijkstra urged me to declare my love for Triss after smuggling the mages out of Novigrad, I couldn't bring myself to do it. The mages needed her to lead them to Kovir, how could I ask her to stay? Finding the wilted rose of remembrance in Triss' apartment was a very poignant moment. She was the primary love interest in Witcher 1 & 2, so it felt very odd for the third game to force Geralt and Yennefer to end up together like they do in the novels of Andrzej Sapkowski.

On the other hand, I was very happy with the fate of Ciri at the end of the game. Even on a second play through, I doubt I would choose either of the alternative endings for her. I don't feel that I should say any more than that.
Something ends, something begins...


Matt Moores said…
Matt Moores said…
YouTube video: 20 Awesome Details in the Witcher 3
Matt Moores said…
imgur album: Illustrations from Blood of Elves book by Denis Gordeev

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