The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is widely regarded as one of the best games of this generation, so it’s been a tragedy that so far we haven’t seen it on a Nintendo console. There really wasn’t any way the Wii U could have run this game well, but with the Nintendo Switch, it’s finally possible. And CD Projekt Red has opted to bring their fantastic action-RPG to the device, with admittedly some visual compromises.
That’s okay, though, because it’s still The Witcher 3 with all its DLC included, and it’s still a great way to try out one of the best RPGs around for the first time if you’ve somehow missed out up to this point. Here’s a quick overview of everything you should know about the game before diving in:
What is The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt?
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is the third game in The Witcher series from developer CD Projekt Red, which is in turn based on a series of novels. It’s an action-RPG set in a medieval dark fantasy universe full of monsters, magic, and mysterious happenings. The games and novels follow the story of Geralt of Rivia, a “witcher” or monster hunter with a particular set of magical powers to aid him.
This is the third installment of the game, and the first two Witcher titles have not been released on the Nintendo Switch. However, it is not necessary to have played them in order to enjoy The Witcher 3. Though the story picks up where 2 leaves off, you’ll be given enough information and background to follow the story and Wild Hunt has its own new plot that will keep your attention.
What is the story of the game?
The Witcher 3 opens with Geralt reuniting with his love interest Yennefer and paying a visit to Emperor Emhyr. Emhyr assigns Geralt to look for a young woman named Ciri, the emperor’s daughter and a person of interest due to her lineage and extraordinary powers. The main plot of the game revolves around Geralt’s search for Ciri and the various adventures and troubles he encounters along the way, specifically revolving around the titular otherworldly force called the Wild Hunt that wants Ciri for its own.
You can follow the main plot of the game, but The Witcher 3 is an expansive RPG with a number of side quests and dialogue and action choices that will change the way your story plays out and the amount of information and narrative you learn. You can choose to focus only on the main story, or you can try to do as many other quests as possible and learn as much about the world of The Witcher as you can in the process.
How do you play?
The Witcher 3 is an open-world RPG, meaning you’ll be given locations to travel to in order to follow the main story, but you can also explore the large world on your own and pursue other quests, fight monsters, and interact with characters as you like. Controlling Geralt, you can move around the world and talk to NPCs to gain information or new quests, and also enter action-based combat with enemies. Quests give rewards like gold and experience points, which will help you level up, learn new abilities, and get stronger and more able to take on beefier monsters. Conversations you have with characters may have dialogue choices, which will influence the way the game ends for you, and Geralt can also pursue several different romantic relationships with various possible partners in the game,
In combat, Geralt can use his sword to attack as well as multiple magical powers to damage, incapacitate, or otherwise harm enemies or prevent them from harming him. Geralt’s combat style can be somewhat customized both through obtaining new equipment by purchasing it through NPCs, or by using ability points earned upon leveling up to strengthen certain abilities of his.
There are a number of different kinds of activities, quests, and fights, with an enormous map full of unique locations, story points, and even some minigames. The Witcher 3 is heavily focused on the story, so you’ll want to focus on the game’s narrative beats to get the absolute most out of the game’s 100+ hours worth of content.
What’s new in the Nintendo Switch edition?
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Complete Edition does not include any brand new content. It does, however, include all DLC that has ever been released for the game, including both of its story expansions: Hearts of Stone and Blood and Wine.
It’s worth noting that the entire massive game will come on a single 32GB Nintendo Switch cartridge, and the physical boxed edition of the game will include some goodies such as a map, stickers, and a compendium that can help new players catch up on the story so far and the world of The Witcher. The downside to all this is that the game runs at 540p in handheld mode and 720p docked, so it probably won’t look nearly as good as it does on other consoles.
When can I get it?
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Complete Edition is planned for release sometime in 2019. A specific release date, pricing details, and pre-orders have still not been released yet.