« L'homme c'est rien — l'oeuvre c'est tout. » Je suis né et je vis à Babylone, là où les enfants tuent, dealent et volent...
Decently refined with its potential brought out to maximum, unlike its predecessors Witcher 1 and Witcher 2, W1 that had clunky combat and roaming, and extremely linear W2 with quite an awkward level design (that climbing a ladder hurdle of W2!) and heavily limited exploration options, W3 really rises to the occasion.
Super fluid, rich in quests, monsterhunt contracts and open world roaming, multiple story endings and choices without being condemned to W2 linearity, this gem is the only good game in the Witcher series and probably one of the greatest RPGs out there and possibly even open world games in general.
Quite a lot of fun, if someone ignores incredibly nasty mid-air ball-kicking game mechanics. (As that really should be made easier.)
+ wheel-burning action
+ lots of battle cars, battle car customisation
- very few arenas
- very few game settings, for example no match time settings
- no game mechanics/physics settings
- no way to fully customise teams
- only smaller teams (1-4 vs 1-4, or 1v4), no setting to increase the number of battle cars or make it less unfair (instead of just 1v4, there could be 2v4, 3v4 as well)
- "grinding" achievements which should not be there
- battle car customisation is mostly cosmetic, zero impact on the gameplay (both kinds would be more welcome)
- the ball is very hard to manipulate if it is in the air
... and more. ;-)
Some details and other features were also missing, for example in the past it was impossible to play on a randomly selected level, but it has been surprisingly corrected in the latest content update.
Just a quick review. (Excluding Deep Roads DLC from this review.)
+ solid Party-Based RPG goodness
+ your own faction, RTS elements
+ pretty much everything that isn't listed as a flaw
- little to no customisation of your faction; most of the customisation (except perks) is cosmetic and superficial, you can't e.g. pledge your service to (minor spoiler) the Elder One so you don't really have any freedom at all, you cannot e.g. build more defenses for your stronghold or defend it against invasions, recruit more inquisition forces, and so on, the RTS element is pretty shallow
- no benefit in rejecting agents/companions - illusion of choice - for example Cole - there is no real benefit in not having him as a companion, there is no real alternative choice
- areas are quite small (vs e.g. the Witcher 3, the second Witcher's area - the first big one - is like 4-8 times bigger than Hinterlands)
- invisible walls (vs Skyrim, DAI is terrible with placement of those)
- minor issues, such as (PS4) cannot remap X button (jump button) to any skills e.g. evasion (which functions as "jump" for rogues) and which also would allow for 2nd switch X button for another skill - most times jumping in DAI is pretty useless because of invisible walls; another minor issue e.g. BioWare screwing the game because of amulets of power exploit (ONE of the most important items as they give you or your party member additional skill point), (minor spoiler) the storage chest is available pretty late in the game, no accurate junk item indication, and similar minor deficiencies
- soft level cap; around 25 levels - game is balanced this way but for higher levels you either have to grind or kill dragons you already killed (so no real progress beyond that) - there should be some continuity, e.g. rifts un-sealing themselves and spewing higher level demons, or something
- a ton of farming in the field, a bit too much farming - it's pretty good but it could use some work and be more rewarding, there could be even more table operations for that (and higher levels ones, e.g. for dragon materials that last 24+ hours especially since those materials are finite because of perma-dead dragons), and be even more tied to the faction system (not just for requisitions and faction level, but gather metals to enhance/upgrade your stronghold, herbs to heal/save your troops etc)
- except for "final choice" dialogues, and emotion-based dialogue options, almost no hint how/whether your answer has any influece on reputation with that companion you are talking with - or talking near - and there SHOULD be - as any shorthand dialogue options BioWare give may be pretty confusing - since characters speak something entirely different and with a different tone of voice than suspected (especially those dialogues choices that do not accurately indicate even their tone/attitude or outcome) - the only bad thing about DAI dialogues inherited from other BioWare games - dialogue options should display EVERYTHING one's own character wants to say to avoid confusion what exactly he'll try to say - pretty much hating this and considering it totally unfair (dialogues are like 'guess what BioWare's main character wants to say by shorthand "Damn You"' - especially given that the context is often ambiguous)
- worse modding support than Skyrim; and definitely worse modding support and Game Master mode (well, there's no GM mode) than some of the previous BioWare games (looking at you, Neverwinter Nights!)
- the main storyline quests are... very, very short, only open-world side-quest experience extends the playtime
- still seems a bit rushed in a multitude of aspects, as well as could use more QA (alpha/beta-testing), and well to be honest, bugs are fairly common in all big RPGs
Summing up, a solid game yet not an entirely polished or feature-complete one. Especially the faction feature which could use more character and actual RTS elements.
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