Finally reached the point of being about as close to 100% in The Witcher 3 as I’ll ever get. All main quest lines finished of course, every notice board mission, every random encounter I can find online and every question mark visited, as well as a lot of other wondering about.
I don’t know how other people feel about this style of huge open game with such a long play time, but I do get pretty attached to them after playing for such long periods of time. I did a similar thing with this title as I did with Skyrim – played it for a long time, moved to something else, came back, repeated that cycle a couple of times over the period of about 18+ months until eventually everything is done.
Given you can now pick up the GOTY edition with all of the DLC for a fiver or less if you look around (platform dependant), this probably represents the best value for money in a game there is right now taking in to account cost vs game time/quantity and quality as well.
If I were to review this game personally, I’d honestly give it a 98% score. As my steam account attests (and that just covers the last 11 years or so) I’ve played a few games in my time and this is easily one of the very best. The books help a lot of course in character development and plot, but in my opinion CD PROJEKT RED smashed it out of the park in every department that counts. The sheer amount of detail spread through the whole game world beats even Skyrim. Amazing music, solid and sensibly challenging gameplay, huge amounts of quests and a massive variety of monsters to fight and kill. I could go on for ages on different aspects but, as shallow as it is, the graphical aspect of the game really shines out for me any time I play it. Once I’d done all the quests and was left with just ? points to examine, I stopped using fast travel and Roach and simply jogged around the place. The beauty of the natural environment that has been crafted quite genuinely astounds me, I can run from one corner of the map to another and not once feel like I’m seeing repeats of the same landscape, vegetation or structures; not something I’ve ever been able to say about any other game. The weather effects, lighting, noises of the wildlife, everything just combines perfectly. I’m planning on doing a bit of reading in to what sort of procedural generation was used (or not used) to create each plant and tree and how the whole environment was modelled.
I took this screencap just before heading to finish up the very last couple of question marks. In the northern area of the DLC zone Toussaint I stopped by a river to read some of the Bestiary as the sun was setting, the combination of that with the mountain and statue in the background seemed a solid opportunity to capture the quality of the graphics. Problem is of course you can’t appreciate it in a still cap. Usually developers use all sorts of trickery to make every game screenshot look far better than the game when running, but Witcher 3 actually works the other way around.