With delays upon delays, we were beginning to wonder if 'The Witcher 3' would ever see the light of day. However, from the flawless cinematics to the epic fights, the casual conversations with peasants at taverns to gathering ingredients in the fields, this game was definitely worth the wait – Geralt of Rivia is back, and has over 200 hours of gameplay waiting for you.
It takes mere seconds for you to fully appreciate the world the team at CD Projekt Red have created. Unsheathing your sword for the first time almost feels as good as the moment you mount your horse and begin what is sure to be a journey you won't want to end.
It is not difficult to step back into the shoes of Geralt – a witcher that hunts monsters for a modest fee, of course – and this instalment puts your skills to good use. Each monster you come across challenges you in a new way, and can require battle planning like studying books and brewing potions to defeat the beast/s.
Try not to get stuck on the story missions though, after all life as a witcher is not all boss battles and life or death. Stepping off the beaten track to do various missions for townsfolk has its own rewards, both small and big, that should not be overlooked. Not only are the varying quests daunting to consider, the new open-world map can also be difficult to wrap your mind around. In saying that, although there is fast travel available, the horse riding is so fluid and the scenery so lush that you will seldom be tempted to skip the journey.
There have been a lot of big expectations surrounding this game, and it delivers. The development team behind this instalment have put their all into creating this meticulously detailed world. Whether you have found yourself stopped on the side of a dirt path to watch the stunning sunrise, are sitting in a tavern playing the in-game card game (that's right, a game within a game) or are heading to the barber to trim your beard before an important meeting (from now on, no game should be without dynamic beard growth), you won't want to leave the Northern Kingdoms.