Why Skyrim is still a better game than The Witcher 3 – Reader's Feature

A reader explains why he’s never liked The Witcher 3 and why he thinks Skyrim is still the superior action role-player.

With the news that CD Projekt is having to delay the next gen versions of Cyberpunk 2077 and The Witcher 3 into next year there has been a lot of talk about how The Witcher 3 has aged over the last six years (yes, it’s really been six years!). This has coincided with a recent Reader’s Feature which argued that Skyrim should not be regarded as a classic, which I do not agree with at all.

For obvious reasons, the two games have always been compared as while there are important differences, most obviously Skyrim being first person, they have a lot of similarities and, unless you’re a big a Dragon Age fan, are the obvious front-runners for best fantasy action role-player. Except… I’ve never really liked The Witcher 3.

In the spirit of the previous feature, which made some perfectly reasonable points without getting nasty about anything, I will say that The Witcher 3 is a decent game. The dialogue options and script are definitely much better than Skyrim, and in fact most games, but for me that is not nearly enough to make up for the rest of the game.

In thinking about why it is the game never clicked with me one of the central problems is Geralt. I don’t particularly like him or his voiceover and I don’t want to play as him for such a long game. I think it’s a mistake to play as a named character in an open world game, unless that character says little or nothing themselves – as in Zelda and Far Cry (except the new one, I think?).

I do not want to be playing as someone else, especially someone I don’t really like, for 60 hours in a game that otherwise is supposed to be all about freedom and making your own choices.

The more obvious problem with The Witcher 3 is that the combat is really bad. That may seem a bit hypocritical given that it’s not great in Skyrim either, but not only is first person melee combat largely impossible to get right but while it’s a bit hollow Skyrim’s combat works as intended and never gets too boring or in the way of what you’re doing, unlike The Witcher 3.

There have been many great games with third person sword combat and magic so, unlike with Skyrim, there’s no question that it can be done. But The Witcher 3 is clunky and slow, with poor feedback. There’s far too much of it and far too much of it is very similar. Especially as this combines with the tracking and detective vision parts, which are probably the second worst aspect of the game.

The horse riding is also poor. Riding ‘Roach’ around works from a gameplay perspective by it’s never fun. You don’t want to ride around because riding is entertaining in its own right, you just want to get from A to B or find a new area. I feel that goes for basically all of the action in this action role-playing game.

I would say those are general points that many would agree with, even those that are fans of The Witcher 3, but as my final, more personal, point I would say there is something off about the game’s tone that I just didn’t like. It’s not grimdark exactly, but it is so cynical, and there are so few genuinely good people, that I found the whole thing increasingly draining to play.

I am all for games having ambiguous characters and morals but for me the whole game seemed too desperate to show that everyone was flawed (and by association CD Projekt were being really mature and adult) and I found that got me down after a while. I think Geralt and his friend circle were meant to lift the mood but since that aspect of the game didn’t work for me there was never any relief.

So for me Skyrim is still the one to beat. It easily could be, by the right game, but for me it’s still top dog in terms of action role-players with a fantasy setting and The Witcher doesn’t really come close.

By reader Gosford

The reader’s feature does not necessary represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.

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