Game: Witcher 3
The Gist: A truly remarkable game that makes it seem like nothing else can every compare. CD Projekt Red accomplished something amazing here. Everything about the game is near perfect. The only quip I have about it is the amount of smuggler’s caches in Skellige and the merchants always running out of money.
Having played and enjoyed Witcher 2, I came into the game expecting quite a lot and I was surprised that the game exceeded my lofty expectations. The story is of Geralt of Rivia searching for his foster child Ciri who is being hunted by the Wild Hunt. The main misions were really good with not much fat on it. Every mission felt as if you were pushing the needle towards your end goal. The side missions were not an after thought and had as much detail as the main missions of other games. You could also pit yourself against dangerous monsters via the Witcher contracts. This however did not have as much breadth in the story telling. The formula always remained the same, investigate the attack and kill the monster. In addition to the base game, the two free DLCs were also tremendously fun. I played the base game twice and the DLC content once.
In the skellige isles, exploration by boat does get repetitive. Unless you would like to farm some coin, I don’t see a reason to visit every point of interest in the sea. This was the only part of the game that I skipped. I might get some flak for this, but bear with me, I didn’t play the gwent missions at all. I knew beforehand how addictive it could get, so I purposefully avoided it to make sure I concentrate on the core game. Gwent can quickly take over the main stage if you let it. I also always found it irritating that the merchants ran out of gold quite frequently. But this is nitpicking at its finest.