Written by G. Russell
One Game A Week is a bunch of words from my brain to yours about whatever game has been occupying my time the most over the last 7 days. Once a week, EVERY week for the duration of 2015. God help us
Lets talk about stuff. Witcher stuff. Not the stuff in the game itself (I’ll get to that in a bit) but the goodies that developers CD Projekt Red saw fit to secret away inside the box that the disc comes in. Cause, frankly, it’s just a little bit special.
You see, I’m a sucker for a good bit of packaging and a handful of extra goodies. Back during simpler times, I used to do a blog about my vinyl collecting habit. The main reason for this was that the punk, hardcore and metal bands whose releases I was buying would frequently offer up the most stupendous packages that, for me, buying vinyl would often become about far more than just the music (for better or worse, I guess). Just take a look at something like this, like this or like this for an example of what I mean. Limited edition runs, spray painted cardboard containers, stamped envelopes containing classic show flyers, hand numbered sleeves, patches, stickers and tea-stained lyric sheets. Oof. Just so much cool stuff. It all felt very unique and individually prepared (it often is, by hand, by the bands and labels themselves) and left with an overwhelming feeling that this band cares.
Now, the Witcher 3’s packaging isn’t quite on a par with punk vinyl, but compared to the vanilla state of most standard editions of physical videogame releases (where you’re lucky if you get a health & safety leaflet), it’s a delight! Let’s have a look…
Pretty amazing. Within that box, housed in a lovely cardboard sleeve, you get an enormous map, a thank-you note (!) from CD Projekt Red, a lore compendium book, stickers, full game manual and a 31 track soundtrack CD. A soundtrack CD! Just thrown in there! This level of extra stuff is usually reserved for those £100 special editions (and yeah The Witcher 3 has one of those too) but here, CD Projekt Red have included it all within the price of a standard game. It’s deeply impressive. And it makes it feel like they care. Like they wanted to make sure that we know they care. That they’re grateful. And that they wanted to present you with a package to be proud of. It’s not often you see that.
The game itself? Well, I’m only 16 hours into an experience that will likely see me spending 5 times that amount when all is said and done so it’s probably a bit early to say that it’s shaping up to be the best fantasy RPG I’ve ever played. Too early to say that the world of The Witcher 3 is one of the most incredible game-worlds I’ve ever set foot in; drenched in detail and designed with a level of craft that is almost unheard of. Maybe too early to say that just wandering across its map, pinging from side quest to side quest, already feels more rewarding than anything in The Elder Scrolls series.
It probably is too early to say all that. But, fuck it, that what I’m saying.