The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Developer: CD Projekt Red
Platform: PS4, XOne, PC
Nominations: Game of the Year, Best Role-Playing Game, Best Score Soundtrack, Best Performance (Doug Cockle), Developer of the Year
While The Elder Scrolls is still alive in people’s minds, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is a brand new hit in the fantasy genre. It’s dark, sexy, violent, and brings in an atmosphere that’s more vivid than recent games.
Based on the book series, The Witcher Saga, The Witcher 3 brings back popular characters such as Geralt, Yennifer, and Triss and picks up where they left off from the previous installment. You can either carry over choices from Witcher 2 or start off completely anew in this world. Will you stay with quirky Triss, or go back to seductive Yennifer? There are a lot of choices to make throughout the game–each one affecting the ending in a different way. Even if this is your first time experiencing The Witcher, it’s a bundle of fun and doesn’t require much knowledge of the universe.
Like with any open world fantasy, the world is your playground. The forests are extremely lush and are accompanied by countless amounts of places and things to explore, from monster nests to buried treasure. Question marks will gradually start to fill up the map with undiscovered goodies, making the game look endless. And it’s not like the story is cut short to make time for these treasure hunts; it’s just as long and jam packed with fascinating monsters and lore (just look up what the Botchlings are [I just did, they’re super creepy]) to find. The side quests are fun and plentiful, ranging from typical rescue missions to Witcher Contracts. Just those alone can take up a big portion of the day.
Geralt is a mysterious individual whose personality is shaped by the player’s choices. He can become a kind individual, or selfish and cruel. His dialogue provides the player with enough choices to determine which route they want him to go. And if they want to add in a lusty side to him, they can partake in a brothel or two. There are so many roads to cross with him and each one makes for a satisfying adventure.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt provides the player with hours upon hours of entertainment (I haven’t met a person who has beaten it fully). The amount of detail that went into the world makes it a great nomination for Game of the Year. -Yasmin Kleinbart