Just finished the main story after 116 hours on the second to hardest difficulty. Never played the previous two games. I used fast travel maybe twice. My character build was mostly strength but did upgrade aard and quen.
Favorite part of the game was doing the Witcher quests and collecting the Witcher armor diagrams. Not using fast travel means I had to do some serious ‘splorin. Least favorite part was the beginning. I thought the tutorials would never end. Hands down the part of the game that kept me playing were the interactions with characters. They could go almost any direction!
How my story went: I role played Geralt like a bipolar teenager in the puberty years. In some quests I would do the right thing, like help the woman and child escape from certain doom. Other times I would slaughter everything that moved just because it sounded fun. Ultimately I played more like a pacifist though.
-I romanced Triss because Yen came off as a huge bitch. It felt like she was just using me and so every chance I got to scorn her I did. I pissed her off good at Kaer Morhen.
-I killed Radovid because I was hoping to clear Novigrad of the witch hunters. That didn’t happen.
-I killed Djikstra. His plan to rule made no sense to me. Plus when I chose that dialogue option I figured he would back down. He literally knows I kill tank-like armored beasts for coin and now he wants to fight me with three very capable warriors along side. Idiot deserved to die.
-I was hoping for a chance to let Dandelion die because he annoyed me too. I was half expecting the other bard woman, the one who puts on the play (not Priscilla), to take him out for being a competitor. Missed opportunity.
-The bloody baron got his wife back and left to get her healed. I didn’t like that he did not return though. I saved the botchling and killed the spirit in the tree.
-Cerys is queen. I killed the ice troll, not Hjalmar. I should be king.
-I collected all of the gwent cards. Turned out to be a rather easier side game.
Favorite character was Joachim Von Gratz, the doctor who takes care of Priscilla. Just seemed like a straight up trustworthy matter of fact guy. I liked that about him.
Ultimately my ending seemed rather joyful. Most of my friends survived and had rather happy endings. Triss and I went to Kovir where she made the cheese and I retire. Ciri becomes a Witcher, though that sounds like a silly profession for her considering her skills. The lodge is safe and sound, Novigrad is a free proxy state under nilfgaard rule, and the white frost is stopped.
Minor Things I hated: -The horse controls like an ass. It gets stuck on every damn thing. -the overwhelming tutorials in the beginning. -you can’t jump or climb during combat -the ? Marks in skellige are useless -activating potions/oils is cumbersome
Major flaws IMO:
-have to wait for an artificial level in order to use equipment. This really bothered me as Geralt can create and use whatever level potion and oil so long as he can craft it but he can’t wear nice armor until he reaches just some arbitrary number. I spent the whole game being sucked into the world and this was immersion breaking. It would have been better to make the requirements to make said armor nearly impossible to get until higher levels.
-not gaining xp on lower level quests after you become too strong for them. I didn’t realize this until late in the game and so farming xp at the end to level up in order to make master armor was a grind.
-inventory management is a a mess. Enough said. I guess this happens a lot in RPGs though.
Overall one of the most satisfy games I’ve had the pleasure to enjoy in a long while. I actually watched the credits roll when it ended. I don’t have the DLC but will come back to it at a later date.
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