#3 Appreciating the Journey
Gameplay Diaries; The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Hearts of Stone
One of the nicest additions to most open world games is the Fast Travel system. The ability to traverse a large world in a second or two can not be underestimated for the success of the genre. However one of the problems with this is the reduction in environment interaction. The Witcher in this regard is richer than most titles from random beasts, bandits and quest distributing peasants among some of the encounters you well meet in between the games major storylines.
So after competing Of Swords and Dumplings I decided to whistle for Roach and embark on a ride out of Novigrad’s southern gate to my next quest “Evils soft first touches. As usual a double tap on the left stick (for those on PC using a controller) altered me to Roach’s position in a Stable behind Hattori the Swordsmith’s workshop. More unusually though he did not move instead I had to go to the strange and mount up. Despite my view getting caught in the rafters it was plain sailing out of the city gate and onto the road.
It was as I passed the city limits with the moon at it’s zenith that I took the time to pause and take this screenshot. The level of detail that the team at CD Projekt RED have added to the landscape at times can be truly breathtaking. The cloud cover and the Moon’s detailing both show a dedication to creating a fully realised world. The same can be said for un-celestial bodies such as the trees, huts and roads that line your path from one story point to another.
It was though as I was admiring the world around me that one of the more devious tricks of the Witcher 3 was triggered, the attack of a monster or in this case 5. The beasties in this attack were mostly Devourer’s and one Alghoul, they were no match for me in the nicest possible way as they were only level 13 adversaries but still the random encounter was a nice reminder as to why traveling by road can lead to you forgetting the quest you have undertaken in the name of Monster annihilation.
So even though one of Witcher series biggest draws is the story do not forget to explore the wider world as you never know what you may into on the roads and paths littered across The Continent.
All images are screenshots taken in game via the Windows 10 Game DVR.