With Witcher 3 only just under a week away now, the reviews are finally in from many of the big sites and the impression is that the game is a masterpiece of gaming. It sets a new bar for the action-RPG genre and crafts an incredible open world experience that's not just empty, it's full of life, vibrant characters and incredibly addictive moment-to-moment gameplay.
Gamespot gave the game 10/10 saying that: "It is more than its thematic turbulence that makes The Witcher 3 extraordinary, actually. Excellence abounds at every turn in this open-world role-playing game: excellent exploration, excellent creature design, excellent combat mechanics, excellent character progression. But the moments that linger are those that reveal the deep ache in the world's inhabitants."
Xbox Achievements gave the game 92 and said: The Witcher 3 is a huge game, spread across a vast continent encompassing boggy swampland, idyllic fields, rocky islands and sprawling cities, in which Geralt will encounter beggars, monsters, kings and thieves. Yet despite the grand nature of his adventure, the stories Geralt encounters are always personal. This is a game about people and relationships, wives and husbands, fathers and daughters, brothers and sisters.
Game Informer gave it 9.75/10 and wrote: Ever since The Witcher's 2007 debut, the series has been raising the bar for choice and consequence in role-playing games. Every entry in the series has taken the concept one step further, but The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is the most ambitious attempt yet, showing the ripple effect of tons of choices across a large world. CD Projekt RED doesn't disappoint, proving once again why it's a genre juggernaut. With abundant improvements, a bigger world, and more exciting choices on every level, The Witcher 3 is one of the best games I've played in recent years, providing a stimulating challenge on and off the battlefield.
Kotaku simply said that you should play the game, and this: Wild Hunt's combat is a significant improvement over The Witcher 2. It finally feels as though the PC-focused CD Projekt Red has warmed to controller-based combat, and the majority of the game's controls sit happily beneath the player's fingers. The left trigger puts Geralt into a guarded posture, ready to ward off most regular attacks.
The lovely people at Eurogamer aren't reviewing the game yet, they're doing interesting impressions pieces as they play through it. Their full review hits after May 19th. A snip from Eurogamer though: From a purely aesthetic perspective, the Witcher 3 is gorgeous, of course, offering a wild world rich in detail and carefully primed ambiance. I've lost count of the number of I've stopped to gawp as the setting sun bathed the world in golden hues, or paused, captivated, as an incoming storm whipped through exposed boughs.
IGN offered a 9.3/10 and wrote that: It's also worth noting that though you will get along fine without playing the first two games in the series, without the context provided by the Witcher novels, Ciri is more or less a complete stranger until the last quarter of the journey, which made it difficult to care about finding her as much as The Witcher 3 expected me to - especially given the slew of intriguing characters who are relegated to supportive background roles.
Destructoid gave the game 8/10 and noted that: From the very start, The Witcher 3 is a return to form in terms of presenting the core Witcher lore from the first game. Unlike the second iteration, where many elements important to the overarching story were teased or merely mentioned in passing, you get to see more events up close. You'll have the chance to experience The Wild Hunt itself even more-so than the original title, which is going to be a huge bonus for fans of the series. You get to delve deeper into the world as a whole, and the more personal take on Geralt makes it even better.
This is just a small cross-section of the reviews, expect more to appear on Youtube, other sites and blogs. We've yet to get our hands on the game, but rest assured from the writeups and impressions so far across the web - this is a Must Buy 2015 title as far as I can see.