Four months – that’s how long it took me to finish the Witcher 3. And when I finally left Geralt, he was living the good life—living in a vineyard with the love of his life. His ‘daughter’ followed in his footsteps, becoming a Witcher and spends her days on the path. Geralt even outsmarted the devil on his way to homeownership. A lot happened in four months, maybe a little too much.
The Witcher 3 is the product of passion and abundance. There are literally hundreds of hours of content. You can follow the primary campaign, tackle side quests for the citizens of the realm, or even spend time completing monster contracts. None of those sound appealing? How about exploring the continent for treasure? Or how about becoming an expert Gwent player? There’s no shortage of things to do.
In the beginning, I tried them all; I completed all the monster contacts I could and explored all of Velen and Novigrad. If I picked up a side quest, I made sure to complete it and even found some Witcher gear along the way. By the time I finished becoming a master Witcher, I was burnt out. Destroying a random monster nest was cool the first time, but the twentieth time not so much. The same goes for Monster contracts. Your first kill is an adrenaline rush. But by the time you get to the Blood and Wine expansion, you’re thinking, “fuck it,” apply the right oil and get it over with. You want to complete missions and side quests for loot, but there’s a point when the loot isn’t a valuable as it once was. And without a continuous stream of loot, you wonder why you’re even venturing off the beaten path.
There’s only so much time you should spend with a game. We know that all games come with flaws, and for outstanding games, we tolerate them. If you spend too much time playing, and those flaws become unbearable. You notice character models repeating themselves. An essential character in the main story is also a bum in another town. Glitchy character movement, which you let slide, in the beginning, will have you wanting to write a letter to the developer.
And all this extra content distracts from what is one of the best story campaigns I’ve played in a long time. Navigating friendships, political rivalries, and romantic partnerships are where the game shines. Characters never forget how you treated them, which can lead to some unwanted consequences. The game rarely gives you a happy ending outright, and having a story end in tragedy is not uncommon. You have to work to get the ending you want, but the problem is that you’re too damn tired to really appreciate that hard work.