If you’ve been paying attention to my posts lately, or to my Twitter feed, you can probably guess why I didn’t post yesterday, and I suspect you’d be right. I’ve been trying to write about it and I’m not quite there yet, for a variety of reasons. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, please forgive the vaguebooking; all will be made clear soon enough.
Instead, let’s talk about something how I’m either too old, too liberal, or both to play video games any more. Despite shit-talking it when it came out, The Witcher 3 went on a steep-ass discount a few weeks ago– I got the game and both expansion packs for $20, if I remember right– and I was in a period of mourning the lack of video games in my life at the time and so I went ahead and picked it up. I mean, fuck it, right? This thing got Game of the Year awards from basically everybody, and I’ve been wrong before, right?
The Witcher 3 is exactly the game I thought it was before picking it up; it is not only bad in all the ways I thought it would be bad, it manages to be worse than I thought it was going to be in several critical areas. I have been gaming for a very long time, so it is likely that I have played a more misogynistic game than this one at some point or another, but I can’t recall what that game might have been. This is a game that very, very badly wants to be taken seriously, but the overgrown adolescents who coded it think that “serious” means that you get called a cunt everywhere you go, and mistake adult content— there are lots of tits, oh so many tits, and oh so many whores, and so many of the swear words– for adult complexity.
I would probably have really loved this when I was sixteen. That’s who it’s aimed at, and regardless of the actual chronological ages of the designers, it’s who it was made by. There are bits of the gameplay I do enjoy, but I commented to my wife this morning that the game’s greatest feat is managing to remain perfectly balanced on the razor’s edge where I’m enjoying it just enough that I’m still playing, but it’s not actually good enough to make me forget the parts that make me want to quit– so I’m still playing, but I hate the game for maybe half the time I’m playing it.
I don’t mind the stabbing. I don’t even mind the crafting and alchemy, which is normally a part I do my best to ignore in most games. It’s whenever I’m not in control of the character– ie, cutscenes– that I want to throw my PS4 out the window and cultivate a new hobby.