It’s arrived gamers, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is upon us and last night there were some serious amounts of hours put in here at My Games Lounge. So as I rather sleepily type on my keyboard here I think its best to go through some of the first impressions checking out this awesome game by CD Project RED.

Firstly, the digital copy on the PS4 was able to be played just under 10GBs into the 32GB download so if you are getting this digital make sure all the settings are right for downloading in rest mode but at least the start of the game is open to you one third of the way in. Starting up you are presented with a comic style recap of the previous games and go into the game’s beautiful cinematic. While the style changes a little the quality does not, after a flashback tutorial section and some getting used to using your horse, you’ll already but wowed by the incredible detail in the game and how striking everything looks both up close and far away.

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The team have done a fantastic job balancing the textures so that up close you can see some amazingly created armor and clothing detail and a real solid look to thinks like necklaces and other jewellery, that in other games can look more 2 dimensional. There are a few frame tears and stutters when the game sometimes loads in a cut scene and auto-saves but, being honest, that is being incredibly fussy as it was a few seconds if that.

What I really, really love about the start is the game sets the tone and pace really well early on. Games can be tempted to go out all crazy at the start with huge action scenes that can fizzle out. The Witcher 3 has shown some cool gameplay but there is a marker laid down to say “this is an RPG, talk to people; investigate and make choices”  while there is action and combat it makes you talk to people right away and get used to playing the game as a true RPG.

I like that, I like it a lot.

Combat is pretty responsive but at the same time requires thought, now I am going for the game on Death March difficulty as part of an upcoming gameplay diary so my comments here are about the highest difficulty in the game (I saw a golden trophy and couldn’t say no). From reports normal is more like a “hit-it-till-it’s-dead” system that lacks the strategy required of playing slightly harder so Blood and Broken Bones difficulty may well be the minimum for seasoned gamers or Witcher fans. If you’re just in it for the story and fun Normal should be fine to stop the game being boring.

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Smacking buttons will not cut it in most fights, AND one trick of other games is actually less useful here. I would usually go for the high impact hit over smaller, faster hits BUT so far, especially in the fight with the griffin, the quick hits and use of the Witcher sign that gives you a forcefield (Quen) is essential. At level 1 it gives you one hit of protection which can really save your life. Learning when to parry and block (which I suck at!) is also something you need to learn quickly but be mindful bigger creatures will whack right though it.

The scope of the game here is huge it really is, it’s already getting full of things to do after 4 hours or so and there is far, far more to do that just the first area but right now I’m getting to grips with the main plot and will move on to some side quests soon.

Later tonight I will post a MGLet’s Play on my first few hours and some tips on beating that pesky griffin on Death March (be prepared to die a lot BTW!) and we’ll have something on the Witcher every day through the rest of May (nice rhyme eh?) so keep it My Games Lounge for more The Witcher 3/

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