Pages

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Why The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt is favorite game material & Blood and Wine unboxing

I'm ashamed to say that I haven't spent too much time on The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and that I still have the nerve to consider it my favorite game of all time. How does that work? It's a simple case of overwhelming amazement. It's the sensation I had when I first played my first video games on a knock-off of an Atari 2600, when I had no clue how video games are made, how they work behind the pretty colors. It's that feeling of awe when I first played a PC video game, which was Commander Keen, and I felt like I was an explorer in a funny alien world that's surprisingly difficult to traverse. It's like when I played Quake 2 and analyzed every corner, every textured detail, gazing at the space texture above the open levels whenever shooting stopped. It's the sense of exploration and excitement at the thought of what I might find at every next corner in Fallout 3, and I'm stopping here, because Fallout 3 may have been the last game I've enjoyed so much that it might have spoiled me.
It might've been the fact that one of my most cherished games (FO3) started slowly to age, and it did not age well, that's an objective fact. Today, I have enough experience to know what polygons and textures are, to see what goes behind every invisible wall, why my character can't jump over a small cardboard box, or can't jump at all, even the limitations of randomized galaxy-huge levels like in No Man's Sky, because they're algorithms of preset data that usually shouldn't extend as far as a real world city, less so an entire Galaxy. There's nothing surprising or astounding about a mathematically developed video game, including the math of marketing. But when a game is lovingly handcrafted by passionate people who want to see their vision come to life as faithfully as possible, then that can lead to a spectacular experience. Your chance of finding humor in a Rogue-like game is most likely through the failings of the system, when the algorithm just fails and the bugs start infesting. There are so many iteration of woods in which you're being chased by murderous robots until you realize it's basically all the same, except trees are shuffled around a bit. You're very unlikely to find Easter-eggs in randomly-generated games. But the entire Witcher video game series is about cleverly crafted events and dialogues you have to progress through. Fun characters, immersive worlds, well thought battle system and an amazing lore. While games like No Man's Sky offer a sandbox the size of a Galaxy and quickly realize it's just that, a box of sand you have to dig deep in to not get bored, games like The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt offer a land filled with history and life, a small part of a world in which stuff happens even as you play an exciting game of Gwent (or dice poker, if that's what you fancy), and happens even more as you actively interact with it, one way or another. And I do like games that offer both a challenge and choices for progression.
I admit that I tried not to spoil myself before I get all the DLC and expansions for The Witcher 3, and I also tried to get both expansion packs as physical copies. Hearts of Stones was the first one and there's plenty of that on shelves, but Blood and Wine has been released a bit pricey and I thought I'd wait for a while until the price drops. Unfortunately, stocks were limited and I quickly found no physical copy of Blood and Wine almost nowhere, so when I saw a stray one somewhere in a store that supposedly had ran out of stock for it, I just had to fork out the full price. Yes, it costs as much as a full, triple A, new game. But it's worth it, because now I own the entire Gwent card set with beautiful boxes. All I need now is a big Gwent board, I don't know how to make that right now, and certainly someone to play with... Until then, I have to stop getting giddy at every little thing I find amazing in this game and start the wonderful adventure, as white wolf himself, Geralt of Rivia.