The Witcher 3 Finally Won Me Over

This as close to being "won over" as I can get Geralt to look.

Last week, I asked for advice for finishing The Witcher 3. You had some great, if not sometimes intimidating, tips. This weekend I took some of that advice, and now I'm here to say: oh my god you guys Witcher 3.

Reading through your comments, I was happy to see I wasn't alone in being cowed by the size of The Witcher 3. You all had some excellent and thoughtful advice, from setting the difficulty to easy, doing what comes naturally, not being a completionist, treating it more like a TV show, or just getting so wrapped up in the story you can't help but keep playing. It was a great discussion, so check it out if you're looking for inspiration

Here's what I eventually decided to do: Over the long weekend, I vowed that I would only play The Witcher 3. On Saturday, when my roommate asked me to play Overwatch with her, I stonily replied, "Witcher 3..." She was confused and possibly disturbed. I brewed some coffee and plopped down in front of my PC. I heard my roommate laughing with our mutual friends on Overwatch's voice chat. I closed my door with determination.

I'd left off at the beginning of "The Ladies of the Wood" quest, which at the time meant I found Geralt (sans Roach) standing in the middle of a swamp being asked to use his Witcher Senses, a command I couldn't remember how to execute. I fumbled my way back to a town and spent some time relearning the controls and the systems. I looked through all the useless garbage in my pockets, none of which I needed to craft the recipes I had at my disposal.

I re-read the character guides, the heaps and heaps of quests I was under-levelled for, and some of the tutorials. I Googled alchemy, and armour, and how to put points into Geralt. The game started coming back to me. I chose a low level Witcher contract at random and set out to do it.

The world of the Witcher 3 is huge and busy, with question marks and treasure hunts and people in distress everywhere. One thing led to another, and then another, and then another. Without the temptation (or the pressure) to play another game, I just kept going. It was a bit like being a kid again, when I only had the one or two games I could beg my parents for. If I didn't like what I was doing in The Witcher 3, I looked for something else in the game to do instead of switching to another game -- but I quickly ran out of things I didn't like doing.

Most of Saturday passed before I realised I hadn't even gone back to "Ladies of the Wood." In fact, I was on the complete other side of the map, knee-deep in tasks and adventures.

While waiting for the subway Sunday morning I pulled out my phone to play a round of Threes and then promptly put it back in my pocket, recalling my vow: no other games. As I stood on the platform without a phone game to entertain me, my thoughts drifted to what I wanted to do in The Witcher 3 that day.

I started making a plan for tackling the story. I Googled up some more tips and some armour guides and the answers to a couple technical questions I was struggling with. And then I went home and played the whole rest of the day, ignoring that plan completely because I got caught up.

It's hard not to get caught up when Geralt gets shirtless so much, tbh...

I finished the Witches' quest Sunday night, closing out the Bloody Baron's storyline with a lot of, shall we say, feelings. A lot of you mentioned the Witches being the place where you got hooked. Me too. Those witches were creepy as hell, and as soon as their storyline ended I couldn't wait for another one.

I played until 2am, woke up at 10 Monday morning, and immediately booted up the game again. It was the last day of my long weekend and damned if I wasn't going to Witcher my brains out. My roommate told me the weekend was technically over since it was Monday and I could stop playing The Witcher 3 if I wanted. I closed the door on her.

Steam tells me I now have 51 hours on record in the game, and 69 (nice) screenshots, most of which I'll admit are Geralt without a lot of clothes on. I'm nowhere near done -- I haven't even gone to Skellige yet because I don't feel ready to leave the area, even though I know I can come back. I've distracted my colleagues banging on about the game --

had some less than elegant adventures --

and have not entirely taken Luke Plunkett's advice --

Most of my screenshots of Geralt look like this. I'm sorry.

I'm pretty sure I won't finish this game any time soon, but I've decided that's OK. I'm sorry if I ever doubted you, Kotaku readers and colleagues alike. This game is rad as hell. I'm nowhere near done, but I already don't want it to end.

At this point, I should probably tape this advice from AKBrian to my wall:

I think the secret to playing through the Witcher 3 is to remember that sometimes your body needs food and occasionally you should also sleep. This will make it easier to play more of the Witcher 3, which you absolutely will want to do once you get rolling.

Also remember to check your email and social media so that friends and family don’t start worrying about why you have seemingly disappeared from the face of the planet while absorbed in said game.


Comments

    One of the best games ever. Story, visuals, sounds, voice acting and adult themes - all pretty much perfect. Sad no more Geralt!
    I want to go and do the Blood and Wine again to laugh at the alter Geralt trying to pick people up!

      Played it through on PS4. Waited 6 months and then bought it on PC. Playing it again.

      In the months after playing it on PS4 I would find myself just randomly thinking about the game. About Geralt. About situations.

      Always the sign of a great game. No regrets. In my top 5 of all time, no doubt.

    I may have to track down the original US article's comments.

    There were good points in the AU posts to be sure, one even said 'you'll be back, raving about how you can't stop!' - and here we are.

    Witcher 3, like Dark Souls 1, is a game where its initial install base actually becomes a marketing tool (weapon, really) - when a novice wants to dive in, the community is open and welcoming.

    Another worm on the hook, fresh meat for the taking.

    I'm stuck in Skellige and have been for over nine months now. It's quite a good multiplayer game because people I ask for help can instantly click with me and help me through as if they're right there beside me.

    I too have jumped back onto the Witcher 3 bandwagon, having finally finished the main quest over the weekend.
    The end sequence left me a blubbering mess, and I got one of the good endings! I loved it.
    I'm currently playing through the Heart of Stone expansion right now, with Blood and Wine following after.

      Yeah, I got the best ending (Imperial, not Witcher), and it definitely hit me directly in the Dadfeels. I may have welled up a little.

      Hearts of Stone is awesome. The villain is orders of magnitude better and more unsettling than any one in the main game. It's a really nice, compact story expansion.

      Blood and Wine is also absolutely fantastic, and if it was made by any other developer would be considered a whole separate game.

    I still remember thinking how great the Witcher 3 was right after completing the Barons quest line, at that time i was still sort of on and off. I continued to play on and off thinking this game was great. However once I reached a certain part of the story that had me back at Kaer Morhen(everyone who has completed Witcher 3 Wild Hunt knows this part), I can honestly say the game had me wrapped and I could not literally play anything else. The game had completely enraptured me.

    Got a fairly decent pc last year and haven't played the expansions, already own it on ps4 so the big question is , get goty edition on pc or season pass on ps4?

    I want it. Just decided that I will get it the next time it's on sale on Steam.

    I will get it cheap on steam, however I honestly loved the original but struggled with the second, only making it through the starting area. I think they are genuinely just overwhelmingly large.

      Hottest tip is just relax, don't feel daunted and do whatever you feel like that session. One of my best memories was a whole evening of sailing in Skellige with no aim. I found a small island with an altar and a sacrificed bear on it facing out towards the greater ocean. It didn't do anything, it was just there. That's good Witchin'.

    I have always stayed away from RPGs genre because of being too ' talk to this' and ' talk to that'. However, I tried Witcher 3 and it was amazing for some time. Then, life happened. When I tried getting back into it again, my progress was all lost and I had to start all over again. I think I did about 60-70% of main story. I tried but gave up only after 5 minutes.

    I don't know how people are able to finish this game multiple times. Hats off to you people.

    Last edited 19/01/17 3:10 pm

    I love these massive open-worldy RPGs but always get to the stage (admittedly after 100-200 hours of playing) where I have had enough of all the side-quests and just want to get it finished.
    Then I suddenly come to the end and feel really quite sad and empty for a time like I've lost something really important.

    Good game. Good decision. I would have happily talked to Kirk Hamilton about Witcher stuff and been his Witcher friend but apparently I'm not good enough.

    I also agree with Luke, get armor.

    Best game of the generation. People that have started it and not finished or finished it and not played the expansions confusing me. If there is one game to buy expansions for, this is it!

    If you're a fan and want more Geralt I'd suggest reading the books (or getting them on audiobook). They're great reads and actually tie in really well to the stories in the game.

    I'm playing through for the first time on PS4, and have just completed the Bloody Baron storyline.

    Yes, it's absolutely gripping. Which is lucky because it is one of the most buggy AAA titles I have ever played. Entire scenes where character Audio is silenced, Roach getting stuck in a tree, getting completion status when failing quests, or one case where I can't interact with a guy to complete the quest. The game is actually so engrossing I can forgive it all these faults.

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