The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Review Journal Day 10 – Card Shark


Almost 30 hours now and The Witcher 3 isn’t backing down. I’m finally at a point where I feel I’ve got a good grasp on every system in the game. Each upgrade, weapon, and piece of armor is now a carefully calculated decision rather than a hopeful guess.

What I’m Loving

My quests page is filled with dozens of things to do, but it isn’t overwhelming me. Each is filed under a category (ie. Witcher Contracts, Main Objectives) and is marked with an appropriate level to reach before tackling it. I lust after some of these higher level quests, but I’m perfectly content with my current affairs.

I’m loving the amount of things to do in the world, and the amazing fact that none of them feel gimmicky or too repetitive. Many open-world games fall into the trap of developing a handful of mission types and then dumping them all over the game space. It’s a quantity over quality issue, usually spurred on by constricting budgets rather than incompetence.

The Witcher 3 has somehow managed to usurp this common issue and offers a massive amount of high quality quests to discover and experience. To top it off, there’s already a free DLC mission inbound. All this content is incredibly refreshing in an industry being marred with piecemeal products and unsavory DLC strategies. But has CD Projekt Red gone overboard with content?

What Concerns Me

"UPDATE FROM LAST JOURNAL: Increased competence in fights has lead to far fewer deaths and thus my concerns about cutscene skipping are slowly fading away. I’d still appreciate a better solution, but I don’t think most players will find issue with it."

As strange as it sounds, I’m now concerned that The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt contains too much content for some players. It may sound silly, but hear me out.

After about 30 hours I’ve only reached 12th level, and the game holds no end in sight. For most people (me included) this is a good omen, but there’s certainly a segment of players who dislike a game that requires so much time and dedication.

The Witcher 3 does a good job of keeping your quest screen under control with smart organization and level indicators, but I can certainly see choice paralysis affecting some players. If you were to stick to the main objectives and played on the normal difficulty your progress would definitely be more rapid than mine has been, but with a mod to increase the leveling rate already surfacing, it’s clear that this is an issue for some people.

This is probably the best kind of concern I could have for a game, and it once again demonstrates my struggle to find anything patently wrong with The Witcher 3.

What Shocked Me

In my first journal I briefly mentioned Gwent, but didn’t yet have an informed opinion on it. Since then I’ve become quite the “Gwent enthusiast”, I challenge everyone I meet and buy every card I come across.

I’m shocked that I’m enjoying a game within a game. Before Wild Hunt, the closest I ever came was liar’s dice from Red Dead Redemption, but that was hardly an original concept.

Gwent is a unique product of CD Projekt Red, and it’s short, sweet, and ever-changing. The card game simulates a war, with rounds representing battles. The first to win 2 rounds wins the game (or the war).

Your cards are a range of close-quarters, ranged, and siege units, with a special leader card overseeing the fight. In addition to units there are weather effecting cards to shift the battlefield in your favor and other various boosts and debuffs.

The most important factor to keep in mind when playing Gwent is that the hand you’re dealt must last the entire game. This leads to interesting strategies and tough decisions. It’s as much a game of strategy as it is one of bluffing.

You can outright win if you have better cards or better luck, but you can also beat an opponent by making them play too much of their hand too soon. To embrace the analogy: you can lose a battle and still win the war.

More from GameSided