The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
(Xbox One, PS4, PC)
By Crispin Boyer
If you vowed to spend the summer exploring the great outdoors but just can’t muster the energy to escape your man cave, slaying beasts in this epic adventure is the next best thing. The game is set in a sprawling open world even larger than the realm of the similar Skyrim. See predators stalk prey in a pristine countryside complete with real-time sunrises and sunsets, torrential rains and windstorms, deserts, dense forests, and secret glades. Traveling afoot, on horseback, or aboard your own ship, you tread along treacherous mountain passes, cross stormy seas to pirate islands, and spelunk foreboding caverns. The realm is dotted with villages, citadels, and merchant cities teeming with shady characters who interact with you in intelligent—and often belligerent—ways. The world even has its own economy and market prices based on your location, local conditions, and scarcity of stuff.
But lest you think The Witcher 3 is nothing more than a hiking simulator with overtures of Economics 101, rest assured: It has all the gratuitous nudity, gore, and salty dialogue for which this series is famous. Once again, you control Geralt of Rivia, an exiled supernatural monster hunter on a quest to protect a kid of prophecy from apocalyptic horsemen. The combat system has been upgraded with more magical and martial moves, and attacks from horseback and at sea. Day and night cycles and weather conditions provide more than just moody atmosphere; monsters take on new powers depending on the time and season. While the gory combat (and nudity) will pull you in, the story and its vast network of branching plotlines will keep you playing long after the sun sets in both the real and virtual worlds.
From the June 2015 issue of Penthouse