TW3 is the game most players name in their top 5 best games of all time, and in terms of action RPGs, it is without a doubt the best ever. From the fluid and deep combat, to the incredible writing, the gorgeous graphics and the deep lore, this is an RPG that you could sink 100s of hours into and still find new things.
There is no game that rivals it, at least not until Ghost of Tsushima. I was planning to get this game a few months after release when it goes on sale, thinking it would just be another generic open world Assassin's Creed type game. How wrong I was. After watching some gameplay I was convinced to buy it at launch, and it was one of the best purchases I ever made. Now, to put this game above TW3 is a very bold move, so here are my reasons for why this game (imo) is the best action RPG of this generation, and perhaps of all time.
- Combat: TW3's combat is great, and I loved how different enemies required different tactics to take down. This is awesome, but there were some flaws. For starters, Geralt's fighting style is very unrealistic. Yes he is a superhuman, but the fact still remains that spinning around like a mad man is not the best way to fight. In Ghost of Tsushima, each and every strike is executed with precision and technique, which makes the combat feel so much more satisfying. Another flaw is the lack of options TW3 has in combat. You have 2 melee attacks (light and heavy) and then some signs. Ghost of Tsushima puts you in complete control. You are given 4 stances. Each stance comes with its own strengths and weaknesses, and its own complete move set. For example the Stone stance is great for quick attacks against swordsmen, but poor against shields due to its lacking ability to perform powerful strikes. This provides the player with so much more control as they choose how they want to fight, whereas in TW3, there is only one style. Not to mention GoT also has stealth for that extra layer of combat.
- Customisation/Upgrading: TW3 was really poor in both these aspects in my opinion. First on customisation. Most armour sets looked ugly, and we were always forced to wear these because they offered the best stats. TW3 had stats and numbers everywhere. You couldn't choose how you look based on what you wanted to look like, but based on stats. And it was a massive grind to be able to get the awesome looking Witcher Gear, only for you to then find generic armour from level 2 bandits to be higher in stats. GoT doesn't have this issue. There is no overload of stats and points and all that shit. Instead, each outfit provides perks. For example the Samurai Clan armour significantly reduces damage taken, the Ronin outfit allows you to be less detectable for stealth, and the traveller's outfit is great for scavenging and finding collectibles. Since there are no numbers beside each set of outfit or weapons, we aren't always having to switch out armour and wear some crappy looking sweater that somehow has better stats than a mastercrafted Ursine armour set. Now in terms of upgrading, as you progress, you get access to more combos, weapons, tactics, abilities etc. The depth of the upgrade system is incredibly deep. Whereas in TW3, although there are a really large number of upgrades and perks, you can only activate a very limited number of them at a time, so you can never be a completely overpowered boss like we all want to be after hours worth of levelling up and grinding.
- Traversal: Lets be honest, travelling sucks ass in TW3. I think we can all agree on that. It was a clunky mess, and it didn't help that Roach was a complete dumbass. GoT has far better traversal, including climbing, way better jumping, and being able to fall more than 2 feet without breaking a leg.
- Story/Writing: Now I'm not going to say GoT is better written than TW3, because it definitely isn't. GoT has great writing don't get me wrong, but TW3 is on a whole other level. However I think GoT is the closest in terms of quality side missions that we've seen since TW3. Side quests are structured as mini storylines, and instead of doing one quest for a random stranger and never seeing them again, you get to know these side characters through multiple side quests throughout the game. TW3 does this sometimes but for the most part you're just helping strangers and never seeing them again.
- Exploration: I think TW3 falls into the same category as nearly every other open world game when it comes to exploration. You've got a minimap, waypoints telling you exactly where to go, question marks scattered around the map showing you where all the points of interest are, and a HUD overflowing with information. None of this is present in GoT. There are no waypoints, no minimap, a minimal HUD and a map that only shows places you've already discovered. To find points of interest you need to keep an eye out for animals who will guide you to them. To find your way to the next objective you need to follow the direction of the wind, and you cannot tag enemies and see them on the minimap to know their exact location, you need to be vigilant and on the lookout because they can be anywhere. Exploration has never been more encouraged than in this game. And for a game as deep and rich as TW3, its a shame it points out everything instead of letting you find things for yourself.
Anyway, those are my main reasons why GoT is better than TW3, and in my opinion the best action RPG to ever grace this fine earth.
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