The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Isn’t Perfect, But It’s An Important Step Forward

I came to an abrupt stop after walking for what seemed like miles. I’d managed to make my way through an endless combination of marshland, prairie fields, and forests. I fought my way through bandits, drowners, and big, nasty, flying things. But now, after nearly 100 hours of in-game time spent exploring the Northern Kingdoms (and only scratching the surface) I stood looking out over an embankment that led down to a sandy beach. Beyond the beach was what looked like miles and miles of ocean. The edge of the map, probably. But I knew better. Beyond the horizon lay a beautiful array of islands known as Skellige, and another 100 hours of exploration awaited me.

My adventure had barely just begun.

To read the full review, click here.

The Civilization/Witcher 3 Dillemma

So I’m having a bit of a crisis.

On one hand, I REALLY want to play The Witcher 3 non-stop. On the other I REALLY want to see this epic Civilization V game reach its conclusion. You see, and I detail it in my weekly game-play on Episode 28 – Vinny Z, this Civ V game was started before The Witcher 3 released. I must see it to its conclusion. But to do so takes precious hours away from what is by all accounts the current Game of the Year front-runner.

My Witcher 3 story is moving Geralt all over Velen. I’ve seen the crowded streets of Novigrad, watched bodies sway in the wind as they hang along the roads leading to the Inn at the Crossroads. I’ve met the witch Keira Metz and traveled through another mage’s hideout. I’ve hunted Foglets, Griffins, Werewolves, Tree Spirits — I’ve even helped a sword maker-turned-dumpling-chef named Hattori (Hanzo). And there is still SOOO much to do.

Yet something keeps drawing me back to Civ V.

I’m on turn 402. I’ve entered the Atomic Era. My closest CPU rival is Austria in the Modern Era. We’re at war. Not because I want to be, but because a civilization I have a defense pact with (Egypt, still in the Renaissance Era…ffs, Egypt) was attacked. So I’m now plunged into defending my land from Austria when I really just wanted to win via economy and culture. I had to wipe Spain out not even 20 turns earlier because they also were attacking another ally – who in this entire game has not settled a second city – Venice. For some reason I couldn’t make peace with Spain after taking over Cordoba and when I could Isabella was determined to see either myself or her wiped from the earth.

So she’s no longer around.

I want to go back to The Witcher. I want to ride Roach into a town and slap some Gwent cards down. At the same time, I really want to finish this war with Austria because I have a feeling Poland is trying to move down the west coast of North America into my lands (he currently owns land in what is Alaska and parts of Russia). He already doesn’t like me because I’m a heathen. I gave up on trying to win a religious victory when the Iroquois seemed determined to convert all my cities to Buddhism. But The Witcher…I really want to find out why a vampire is feeding on drunkards who only drink cheap wine in Oxenfurt.

Oh to be a gamer today.