Is Witcher 3 for adults
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
A country torn by war and sinking into hunger and poverty, rich princes and kings who defend their power and position by all means and a hero who has to fight his way through the trials and tribulations of a medieval world in search of his foster daughter. At first, this description sounds like a typical fantasy story that seems to be known from novels. This description also applies to the last part of the Witcher game series for the time being, as the Polish original artwork by Andréj Sapkowski contains a number of short stories and novels about the hero stories and monster hunts of the witcher Geralt of Rivia.
"The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt" stages the stories known from the novels as an RPG with an exciting main plot and no less interesting subplots. Characters such as the Bloody Baron, the Beggar King and the warring parties of the northern kingdoms and the Nilfgaard Empire as well as the framework story that an army of ghost riders chase the foster daughter of the protagonist create a captivating atmosphere and will be remembered. Graphically opulent landscapes with blowing grass and swaying trees bring many computers and also the current consoles to their hardware limits. However, the detailed representation helps to create a believable game world.
As a witcher there is seldom boredom
The protagonist Geralt von Rivia, a sorcerer and monster hunter by profession, travels to the three large areas of Weißgarten, Velen and Skellige in the land of Temeria. Here he meets all sorts of monsters, deserters, bandits, kings, magicians, herbalists, ghosts and, last but not least, the dark knights of the wild hunt. The eponymous army of the wild hunt is an old European myth of a mounted knighthood who hunts a forest woman. This is where the parallels to the game emerge. The Wild Hunt is looking for Cirilla Riannon (called Ciri in the game), who has a breakneck past in the original book. However, little of this is shown in the game. Ciri's paths through Velen, the large city of Novigrad and the Skellige Islands are woven into the main plot through chapters that can be played for the first time. Thus, the passages in which the protagonist receives information for his search are not only presented by mere film sequences, but the player has the opportunity to experience them himself in a playful way.
Lots of side tasks and difficult decisions
"The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt" is characterized by its open game world. When the end of the game is pursuing a task, there are many new tasks waiting along the way. Geralt gets the orders from bulletin boards in almost every village. Here the residents or soldiers can have monster hunts, treasure hunts or smaller side tasks pinned in the form of notes. These tasks are almost always connected with well thought-out stories and refer other genre representatives, who construct the side tasks as a monotonous collection of wolf skins, etc., to the bench.
In addition, the player is repeatedly asked to make decisions that may not always have a direct, but in the further course of the game have a significant effect on the course of the game. For example, the witcher is approached by soldiers in a tavern at a crossroads. One now has the choice of resolving the situation through a fight or persuasion. Depending on the solution, the witcher is not immediately let through to the Bloody Baron and has to use a hidden entrance. Such decision-making options, which at first do not obviously reveal their effects on the later course of the game, offer a special tension. The players are always in a conflict between rather good-natured and hard decisions. The outcome for the plot remains uncertain. It can happen that entire quest lines can be omitted with a single decision.
The main story, which lasts about 50 hours, is extended by the exciting side quests with about 100 hours of playing time. With 16 additional free additional content, new visual customization options for characters and previously additional side tasks are added. However, additional content will also be available for purchase, which will expand the game by 10-20 hours and a new region.
Monster hunts are not for children ...
As already indicated, the title can only be described as adult entertainment. The characters and the communication with each other are consistently marked by a rough tone. So one is called a mutant who should "piss off" depending on the region and has no business here. The rejection of so-called “non-creatures”, i.e. elves, dwarves, witchers, magicians, etc., is clear from such incidental hostility towards game characters along the way. In the war between Nilfgaard and King Radovid, magical and non-human beings are tolerated at most, up to and including the fact that they are hunted and killed by witch hunters and a religious association “The Eternal Fire”.
Since there is not little fighting as a monster hunter, the level of violence in the game is particularly high. The violence is embedded in the context of the game world, but in the representation of the so-called “finishing moves”, beheadings or splits of the opponents appear in slow motion with lots of blood splattering. Some witcher orders, which often revolve around missing NPCs (non-playable characters), are characterized by searches for clues, on which one often comes across tattered corpses. The depiction of death and murder is omnipresent in "The Witcher 3". Hanged deserters or former prisoners of war are cruelly but atmospheric dangling from trees or stuck on stakes along the way, and the lonely scenes of various battles also bear witness to the cruelty of the war. The oppressive mood can be illustrated by many examples: witch burnings are shown in full in a cutscene, starving farmers and war refugees crowd at the gates of the capital Novigrad and the ostensibly predatory bandits secure the survival of their families with their raids. The representation of opponents, such as monsters, ghosts or demons, does not have to hide behind horror games. Even smaller opponents, such as drowned people or nekkers, are accompanied by frightening noises, so that brief moments of horror can also arise here.
All that glitters is not gold…
There is little doubt that "The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt" is an entertaining game due to its impressive graphics, exciting storylines and interesting characters as well as a seemingly endless world. However, one can also cite a few points of criticism. The player can influence the depiction and development of the witcher a little through the freedom of choice, but Geralt's fundamental superiority is undisputed and gets nonsensical scratches in some places. Stealing objects will not be punished as long as guards are not aware of it. If these catch the witcher, however, one becomes involved in a fight without alternative, which Geralt can rarely survive, as the guards are much stronger. Any monster, no matter how big, powerful and enchanted or cursed, is seldom a problem for the witcher. A pair of castle guards, however, quickly become doomed if you let go of an apple or a water bottle. Here the continuity is not given at all times. The same applies to battles with monsters. In some side quests, these are significantly stronger than their counterparts in the main story.
Another point of criticism is the portrayal of women in video games, which has also been discussed in the trade press for several months. The video game series about the witcher has been characterized by an explicit representation of sexual acts since the first game. The last part doesn't change that much either. The protagonist Ciri is depicted with an open blouse throughout, many of the female characters in the main plot offer, depending on previous decisions, the opportunity to pursue a tête-á-tête at least once, and the fundamental decision to portray women open-heartedly and with little differentiation is not a contemporary depiction. There are fewer old women than old men in the game world, and the difference in body shapes is significantly more variable with the male characters than with the female characters.
The role play creates an almost believable gaming experience. Since the original and the fundamental conceptual model of the Central European Middle Ages is shaped by violence, war, persecution of minorities, prostitution and ominous sects, many of these topics can also be found in the video game. The presentation is seldom critical and should be viewed as entertainment for adults.
Despite the contextualization of sex and violence, the images shown are not suitable for minors. The very explicit depictions of blood, dismemberment, torture and the like are not only part of passive cutscenes, but a core element of the gameplay. Furthermore, there is a very rough linguistic contact between the characters. This is characterized by (fantasy) racism and vulgar language. Memorable witch burnings as well as deviant sex practices could have a disturbing effect.
Overall, "The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt" is a very detailed title that is sometimes very demanding. The beautiful graphics and the exciting stories offer entertaining entertainment, but only for adults.
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