Ok so I’m only like an hour in the game and this seems premature but as someone who is all about story in video games, I have never been more impressed right off the bat.
I took a side quest in White Orchard, the Devil in the Well. I could have adult ignored the bulletin board but clearly the game is steering your toward it. Anyways, it was such a fleshed out story for an insignificant side quest.
There’s a wraith haunting a well and people need to use the well since the River is dirtied by dead bodies from the war (that alone is good enough premise). This farmer asks you to get rid of it because his daughter is sick and needs fresh water to get over the sickness.
You go to the village and find the wraith, deal minor damage before it disappears. Then it turns into an investigation like LA Noire lite. In Skyrim I would have been done by now. Nope. You piece together clues about why this wraith is haunting the we’ll. You piece together a fleshed out back story about her getting married and then there was a struggle. You find her diary and discover her body hung in the well. You pull it out and dive in the well to find her bracelet and burn it to to break the bonds blah blah blah. Fight the wraith save the day.
BUT THE STORY OF THIS WOMAN DOESNT END THERE.
You collect your reward and you can ask the farmer if you heard of this woman before. He says the herbalist knew her. I go there and the hut is locked. I have to go take the griffin contract to be able to see the herbalist.
Boom done. Herbalist tells me she was friends with the lady and her family moved out there because of a dude with the manor lord. He tried to convince them to come back and gets nasty from there. The woman makes a comment about the lords son and we can now see what she was killed.
Story over right? I’m pretty satisfied with that conclusion.
I track down the hunter for the griffin quest. By choosing to continue the conversation I find out he is an outcast. Geralt thinks he’s a werewolf and offers to help.
No. Turns out he is gay. He was lovers with the lords son. It was discovered and the lord son hung himself.
There was no mention of the woman, Claer, who was hung. But we can gather that she made a comment about the lords son being gay and that’s why she was killed.
Like how am I still getting more info about a random side quest as I do the main quest? It’s insane how fleshed out this world is already in the first hour. This is some Robert Jordan-esquire world building.
If every side quest is gonna be like this then I must do them all.
Sorry for the long post. I’ve never encountered this much plot weaving in a video game and honestly this is what side quests should be.
TL;DR: side quest are fleshed out and the stories intertwine and are peppered in other quests in an epic example of world building and it has ruined side quests for me in games like Skyrim.
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