Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Review and Gameplay: Page 9 of 11

Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Review and Gameplay
The epic conclusion to The Witcher trilogy

Side content

Monster lair, monster lair, monster lair...oh, another monster lair.

If you look at your map, you'll see there are a lot of "?" marks on it (if not, then visit a notice board first). These are all points of interest which hold some form of treasure, challenge, battle or bonus. Each area map is littered with these, so there's a lot of extra content and goodies to pick up. Except, this is also the only flaw in the game - dead weight. Moving to an open world is always a risky move, because it demands all that new space be filled up. While Witcher 3 isn't as bad as most games, it still has a few too many copies of bandit camps, monster dens, guarded treasure etc. Even in the very first map you encounter 4-5 bandit camps.

The issue here? It's just a bandit camp where you kill, loot and forget it ever existed. Props should still be given to the fact that there is a reason behind their existence somewhere on the notice board, but it doesn't change the fact that this is just a disguised "Clear x/5 bandit camps" task. Yes, there's a huge map and it needs to be filled up. I don't mind some running around, but dead weight is dead weight. It's there to fill a void or extend time, not offer any real substance. Apart from the very first area, Witcher 3 has too much dead weight, period.

An example of side content that's NOT dead weight is in the new gambling game - gwent. Forget those dull poker dice, this is a real game within a game! If you're into any sort of trading cards (and most of us RPG players are), you'll really enjoy this. You get to build a deck and face other opponents who also have their decks. If you beat your opponent you win a card, which you can add to your deck. Some cards you can even buy of merchants who sell them. This is side content, but it's side content with its own point. It's engaging, it's gives players another major goal to work towards, a change of pace even. If it's not your thing, you can skip it entirely and not miss out on anything of particular value for the main game. 

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