My history with The Witcher games goes about as deep as a sauce pan. Via Steam, I put a sizeable handful of hours into both the first and second games combined, and both failed to capture my attention. And, according to the Internet, I must have done something wrong, because The Witcher games are, as many profusely claim, among the most compelling and immersive games, ever. I certainly don’t doubt that, nor would I ever say that the games are less than what they are based on my pitiful experiences with them. But I can say there was one singular reason why I wanted to play The Witcher 1 and 2 in the first place: because I wanted to be informed enough to play The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
That was when The Witcher 3 first came out in in 2015.
Hm. How time has flown.
Having picked up, put down, picked up again, and put down again the previous Witcher games since, I’ve been wary of jumping into The Witcher 3 for no really good reason. The game’s length, as well as my own fear of not enjoying it, play into that wariness, but lately I feel as though that barrier is wearing thin. And I’m pretty sure that Cyberpunk 2077 is the cause, happily so.
I wouldn’t say I’ve been all-out excited for CD Projekt RED’s latest game, but I have been following its development, and recent showings from the developers of what the game will offer have piqued my interest considerably.
There’s no denying that this is going to be an incredible game, potentially the one that both signs off this console generation and rings in the next. And while the game looks amazing, sounds intriguing, and appears to encompass lots of RPG magic, there’s one thing about that game that remains mysterious to me–its structure. Aside from your character (“V”) existing in and interacting with (and shooting up) the world Night City and its environs, the reveals so far don’t say much about how V’s story will unfold. Granted, there are plenty of nods to the fact that you can do as you please in the game, and surely the shroud over the game’s story is purposeful, but–and perhaphs I’ve become too happy with my BioWare blinders on–I really want to know more about the game’s structure.
This is where The Witcher 3 comes back into the picture.
I’m going to say that the ship has sailed for me as far as The Witcher 1 and 2 are concerned, but I do think that any investment I might choose to make in Cyberpunk 2077 may be best confirmed (or denied) if I can find my way with The Witcher 3. Simply put, it may be the means through which I learn how CD Projekt RED tells stories, structures its games, and why many players think they are so darn good at what they do.
I must admit that I’m not ready to turn my life over to The Witcher 3 just yet–the intimidation factor is a little too intense, still–but the more I see of Cyberpunk 2077, the more compelled I feel to take that leap. Since the game’s not coming out now until November, I’m happy to have little more time to steel my resolve and decide if and/or when to pay Geralt another visit.
Lede image take from The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt press kit, © CD Projekt RED