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Getting Lost In Side Quests

Being 50+ hours into a game you would think that you are nearing the conclusion, that soon you will be able to put it down after finding a fitting end to your travels.

However, in my case after 50 hours, I am still nowhere near the end or even the halfway point of this game.

The last few quests that I have completed saw me painting pictures for a rock troll; diving for black pearls; and returning a soldier’s family heirloom. None of which are actually vital for the game but indeed quite entertaining.  

After watching the Netflix series, I decided that a good use of my time until season 2 was released would be reading The Witcher books by Andrzej Sapkowski. The books are fantastic, they create a world with monsters based of Polish Mythology, I can’t say that until I was introduced to these books, I knew anything about this particular thread of mythology.

Though after reading the books, and taking my love of Greek mythology into account, I had to know more. I read up on this area and then after all, with no season 2 on the horizon, I turned my sights on The Witcher: The Wild Hunt by CD Projekt Red. And this is how my journey into the game began.

It is important to remember that I am not a great gamer, I absolutely love my switch and all of the games on it. But I do not want to even hazard a guess as to how much of the time I have played The Witcher is actually made up of Geralt meeting his end. Which to be honest is a ridiculous amount even with it on the normal difficulty.

So, if we ignore that a good portion of the time spent playing the game has been watching a menagerie of creatures (noonwraiths, vampires, drowners, werewolves, or just every single option of creature you can encounter) kill Geralt in spectacular ways, you would imagine that you have gotten quite far. Though in the main story I have not progressed an incredible amount, I can’t say I’m too fussed about it.

Every single quest, every single person you can speak to adds to the story of the world around you. You never feel as though you are missing out and you are never more than 5 steps from action and trust me when I say, sometimes you want to be. Those tiny dragons are terrifying and don’t even start me on griffins. I have seen 1 cyclops and I ran so far in the opposite direction; I couldn’t even make a guess at what they are like to fight.

The side quests add so much depth to the world that you want to keep doing missions for random villagers in order to hear their stories and how they are treated within the world. Nothing is the same, the world is so developed you are able to learn about how other cultures come to be, how religion is formed etc.

But this is where the issue arises. There are countless side quests, countless question marks, countless villagers to help.

It all adds up. Yes, it can add to you levelling up, which is a positive, but sometimes a side-quest ends and opens up another 5 different options of further side quests.

You’ll think to yourself, “oh I’ll just do these and level up a bit before the main quest line”, then 6 hours later you’re talking to a different group of rock trolls about how they are jealous of humans and would also like some shoes.

The danger of side quests in The Witcher is simply how many of them there are. You will (not can, you definitely will) get caught in a spiral of side quests moving from notice board to notice board taking on different villagers’ requests, and frankly, just to explore and see the world.

The atmosphere and feel of the game just sucks you right in, you need to know everything, and the openness gives you every opportunity possible to make the game a different experience to what others will have. Making certain decisions and completing certain quests means that some pathways will close for you, but for every one that closes another one will open.

I may not have a device that is capable of 4K video output, but CD Projekt Red have made a game that is stunningly beautiful in any output. The world is so vast and stunning, you just want to get on Roach (your horse) and canter around seeing everything.

So if you ever get the opportunity to play this game, I would definitely give it a go, as you will end up loving it.

Feature Image from thefpsreview

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