Wednesday, June 3, 2015

EXP Podcast #331: The Witcher 3 First Impressions

The world's most serious pest exterminator.
Slaying ghouls, drowners, and nightwraiths: a dirty job, but somebody has to do it.  However, are Jorge and I truly cut out for a life of witching?  Only time will tell.  This week we talk about the early hours of The Witcher 3 and end up wandering down a path full of type faces, open world game design, and griffin heads.

- Here's the show's stand-alone feed
- Listen to the podcast in your browser by left-clicking here, right-click and select "save as link" to download the show in MP3 format, or click play below.

Show Notes:

- Runtime: 36 mins 46 sec
- Music by Brad Sucks


  1. I generally agree with both Scott and Jorges' assessments of games, but I think you guys are being uncharacteristically harsh and uncompromising towards the game. I never played the first game, and only past the prologue in the second, but I'm about 40 hours or so into the third and have been really enjoying it. The combat is much better (simpler/less obtuse), but the game is fairly difficult at the start in White Orchard and the beginning of Velen. There will be a lot of dying and reloading until you get a hold on the flow of combat, and even then you can still be caught unprepared occasionally for whatever reason (didn't use or didn't know which sign a given enemy is weak to, which can completely turn the tide of combat). I will agree that the controls are a bit floaty, but you do get used to them and adapt as you play it more, and that the inventory UI isn't the greatest (but Skyrim's was also colossally terrible and that game seems to be well lauded). You mentioned Bloodborne a lot in this podcast, and while I enjoyed the debrief from last week, it seems like everything that you praised in Bloodborne (depth of story, combat mechanics, having to learn and adapt to the game) you just ragged on the Witcher for. Of my friends who have always played the Witcher 3, the general consensus seems to be one of enjoyment, so not really sure why you guys are having such a negative experience.
    That said, Splatoon is awesome (yes, there is no voice chat; no, it's not that big of a deal and the fact that there are shared serves across regions would make it fairly impossible to implement anyway) and I can't wait to hear your impressions on it.

  2. I agree; I am pretty harsh on the Witcher and it really bums me out that I wasn't able to see whatever the entire rest of the world seemed to see in the game. I think a huge amount of it was that very nebulous "feel;" the characters and world just felt hollow weightless. Add that on top of a cumbersome UI and a story that I don't think is as impressive as other open worlds/RPGs and I'm left lamenting the fact that everyone else seems to be at a cool party that I just can't get into.

    I wonder if it would be different if I had gone with the PC version?

  3. I feel like you guys have been spoilt by Bloodborne. I feel like if you'd not played that, you may have clicked with the witcher a little more. And that's completely fine. I feel like its kind of similar to watching Species right after seeing the masterpiece Under the Skin.

    Also, you should totally play A platoon (and Broken Age!).

  4. After rereading my original comment, I realize I came across a little harsh and/or aggressive about it. The Witcher 3 is good and competent in my opinion, but I'll agree that a lot of the coverage towards it has been somewhat overblown. I think you guys mentioned it in either this or the Bloodborne podcast, but there still hasn't really been a lot of great AAA titles yet for the PS4 and the One, so people are latching on to the decent and niche (but still good) games like Witcher 3 and Bloodborne and blowing them out of proportion. I also very much agree that the game is immensely depressing; one more than one occasion I've come across some ruins, battlefield, or other desolation and have just thought to myself how much the world of the game sucks. That, right after Bloodborne, I can imagine would be rather weighty.