Why The Witcher 3’s Open World Remains the Gold Standard

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A Timeless World That Still Captivates Us 9 Years Later!

Story Highlights
  • The Witcher 3’s open world is full of life, ensuring something interesting is nearby wherever you go.
  • The main focus is quality over quantity, with detailed quests and a world that reacts to your choices.
  • The Witcher 3 still remains the bar to meet because of its captivating world.

When someone mentions The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, I imagine massive landscapes, monster hunts, and a world full of life. This game became an enormous hit in 2015, winning tons of awards and selling 50 million copies – it’s a modern classic!

What makes it stand out from other RPGs is its open world. Even though there are many great games out there, The Witcher 3 still holds a special place in my heart because of its vast open world.

Why It Matters: The Witcher 3’s open world remains a gold standard for RPGs because it prioritizes meaningful content, incredible visuals, and player agency.

A World That’s Dense with Discovery

Open-world games are fantastic, but sometimes they can feel boring. You can spend much time crossing vast landscapes only to find nothing interesting. But The Witcher 3 tackles this problem very cleverly.

The developers followed the “40-second rule” explained by the developers in Noclip’s Interview. It essentially means that no matter where you are, you should come across something cool within 40 seconds of travel. This could be anything from a hidden bandit camp to an old sign that points towards abandoned ruins. The game has many points of interest (POIs), ensuring there is always something new and exciting to discover.

For example, Velen is jam-packed with things to do. You can help a guy find his wife, expose a conspiracy in a nearby village, or just wander around and discover a hidden treasure-filled cave. The Blood and Wine DLC is another example of this. It adds a new region with its own secrets and mysteries. The content in the game keeps you engaged and makes exploration fun and exciting.

toussaint in blood and wine in witcher 3
Toussaint in Blood and Wine – Image Credits [Tech4Gamers]

It’s All About The Details

Some open-world games are proud of their massively-sized worlds, with endless square miles of explorable landscape. Yet, size only sometimes means good quality. The Witcher 3’s world knows this. Along with size, the Witcher 3’s world is crafted with care, filled with unique quests that are more than just simple fetch tasks.

A prime example of some of these quests is bringing Ciri back to Kaer Morhan, which leads to an inevitable and intense battle, causing the death of a loved one, or tracking down the missing daughter of Bloody Baron, which forces you to make a heart-wrenching decision that impacts their lives. These quests aren’t just fillers; they’re adventures that narrate the world and its characters, making you feel invested in their stories.

The world tells its own story, too. A crumbly watchtower watching over a battlefield makes you feel the importance of a past conflict. And then there are these abandoned villages that lead to a forgotten tragedy. It’s like the world is telling you a story through the environment. It makes you feel like you’re exploring a world with a rich history.

A Responsive World: Your Choices Matter

The world in The Witcher 3 isn’t just a pretty place for your adventures. It’s a living thing that reacts to your choices. Help a village in trouble by eliminating some bandits; you might see their economy thrive. But if you pick the wrong character to side with, things could go south.

Every big and small decision you make impacts the world around you. It’s not just about ticking off quests from a list; it’s about feeling like your actions matter. That’s what makes The Witcher 3’s world so damn captivating.

Witcher 3 open world
The Stunning Open World of Witcher 3 – Image Credits [Tech4Gamers]

The Witcher’s Lasting Influence

We all know that The Witcher 3 is a game-changer for open-world RPG games. It raised the bar for these games, making developers focus on engaging content, meaningful choices, and an alive and reactive world. Although there are newer games with unique mechanics, The Witcher 3’s open world still stands out because of its emphasis on quality over quantity, its epic side quests, and a world that feels genuinely alive.

With CD Projekt Red focusing on The Witcher 4 now, the hype is real. We can only imagine what boundaries they’ll aim to break next. But for me, it all starts with the open world. Can they capture that same magic, that feeling of a world filled with liveliness and secrets waiting to be discovered? Only time will tell.

A World to Revisit

I totally get you! The Witcher 3 is an absolute gem that never gets old. Despite being released years ago, it’s still one of the best open-world games. Every corner is filled with surprises, and exploring the world is always rewarding. You can immerse yourself as Geralt of Rivia, a legendary monster slayer, and travel the vast world. This makes The Witcher 3 unique, and we keep returning for more.

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