Being someone who played the Witcher 3 originally on the PC setup as well as a bit on the PlayStation 4, I was a bit skeptical in regards to how exactly the game might look on the Nintendo Switch. There’s a reason Nintendo Switch specializes in non graphically intensive games like Breath of the Wild or Mario Odyssey. The portability has to come at a cost, so obviously, the Witcher 3 Nintendo Switch edition isn’t going to look as good as it did on the other platforms.
That being said, it didn’t actually look that bad at all. Sure, the textures were more sloppy and the view distance was really pulled in along with a few other downgrades. However, if you play the game in the Switch’s most unique handheld state, the game actually looks really crisp on the small screen. Obviously, when you dock the Switch, it’s going to look pretty gnarly, especially if you played on the PC version like I did.
The small resolution of the handheld screen on the other hand really does smoothly display the Witcher’s monster fantasy filled world in a delightful fashion. I’m glad the settings are also very user friendly in how you can scale and adjust the HUD to fill the small screen.
This was something I was worried about since the Witcher 3’s HUD is pretty heavy and takes up a big chunk of the screen. I’m glad to see that CD Projekt Red really took care of every detail as they usually do with their games.
What about The Witcher 3 gameplay on the Nintendo Switch? All we’ve discussed so far are the graphics and not really much about the game itself. One thing I’ll start off commending the Witcher 3 Nintendo Switch edition is its remarkable stability. Specifically, I’m referring to the smooth framerates over anything else. I love how the game almost never dipped whether in combat, exploration or when the environment acted up.
Places like the Velen gas swamps had frame rate dips in even the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions so technically, the Witcher 3 was more stable than both of them on the Nintendo Switch. PC remaining at the top of course.
That pretty much sums up what differentiates the Witcher 3 on the Nintendo Switch in comparison to its other console counterparts. But what about the game itself? How does that fare?
I mean the long list of awards the Witcher 3 has won should answer that question fairly bluntly if I’m being honest. If you haven’t played the Witcher 3 yet, you’re missing out on one of the best RPGs of all time. This is actually a great opportunity to get into it if you own a Nintendo Switch. One problem I had with the original game was getting the time to play it since I was moving around a lot. The Nintendo Switch takes care of that problem now doesn’t it?
CD Projekt Red went all out delivering the content on The Witcher 3. The game is so jam packed with story related content that you’ll often find yourself playing the game for months on end just doing the main story itself unless you do a dedicated binge of it. Besides that, the game also has a lot of side content that sets the tone for the grim world and setting of the Witcher 3 so damn well.
One of my favorite things that the game did was setting up all the entwining storylines in a weave of threads that connected at the most interesting points. Some of the most minor details in an earlier quests would play a major part in the next few quests somewhere down the line. I loved those holy shit moments the game had when you saw the connection to something you didn’t think much of in the past.
Another major commendation the Witcher 3 has in its belt is how much your choices and decisions matter. Often a times in RPGs, developers make the subtle mistake of giving you an illusion of free will when in reality, the story progresses exactly the way it should.
While the Witcher 3 does have a set chain of events. major keypoints along the way are determined by the player themself. This includes the fate of certain characters as well as an entire war going on in the North.
The Witcher 3 follows the story of Geralt, a mutant monster hunter known as a Witcher, who’s latest quest is to find his adoptive daughter Cirilla. The quest itself has a moral gray line set for the player where you can either treat the quest as a contract given by her father, or as a heroic personal quest where you truly see her as your daughter. Whichever option you pick determines the result of the main events that follow. Things that might not seem like a big deal at the time later on reveal themselves as something way more crucial.
Besides the main base game itself, the Witcher 3 features two DLC packages that are included in the Nintendo Switch edition. These are the Hearts of Stone and Blood and Wine expansion packs. What I absolutely adore about these DLC is that they can easily serve as their own games.
Unlike most modern games nowadays where DLC are essential components subtracted from the main game, the Witcher 3’s DLC is actually added on content that expands after the main game.
Hearts of Stone follows the story of a deal struck with an entity that nobody really knows about. The story, voice acting and course of events in this DLC were honestly better than a lot of full fledged RPGs out there.
Gaunter was one of my favorite characters, especially with how he was foreshadowed from the very beginning of the game. I also loved how the entire questline puts you in the very middle where neither side is completely right or completely wrong.
The second DLC, Blood and Wine, takes you to the beautiful land of Touissant which makes it actually feel like you’re playing either a sequel or a different game entirely. Kudos to CD Projekt Red on this accomplishment.
The story surrounds the beast of beauclair, something I won’t spoil since the reveal itself took me aback as well. One thing I failed to mention is how the Witcher games are actually based off a book series and the reason I’m telling you this now is that Blood and Wine actually features a beloved book character as well besides the main cast itself. Be on the lookout.
So yes, the Witcher 3 is definitely worth a purchase on the Nintendo Switch if you haven’t played it already. If you have, consider this an opportunity to go monster slaying and Sorceress banging on the go, such as during a flight!