This is an extraordinarily fun and attractive game that's easy to pick up, but very difficult to put down, especially with all of the new game additions. The first thing you'll notice in The Witcher III: Wild Hunt Next Gen are graphics so detailed and vivid, the game looks like a computer-generated (CG) movie. Players have the option to select from the visually gorgeous graphic mode, which makes the environments and character models look more realistic than ever before thanks to its ray tracing effects. But this does come at a cost of performance, so unless you're taking a photo of a landscape or a character, you probably want to keep it on the performance mode, which runs at a blisteringly fast and buttery smooth 60 frames a second. That makes fight scenes feel more visceral, more intense and more fluid than ever before. But be warned: Though the combat is gratifying, gorgeous, and raw, it's certainly not for the squeamish. Also, instead of being kept on a short leash, the game enjoys an open world that welcomes nonlinearity. You can explore freely, opt for side quests or monster-hunting contracts, or stick to the main mission(s) at hand; it's entirely up to you. Regardless of how you tackle this game, you never feel like you're lost (unlike in some other huge RPG worlds).
As in any good adventure game, Wild Hunt Next Gen is incredibly deep. For example, Geralt's special Witcher potions provide him with special abilities such as attribute bonuses or eliminating negative status effects from enemies. Though you can buy or find these potions, crafting them by farming ingredients from herbs (and even parts of monsters) is the key to success. You'll also need to make decisions that could take the story in many directions. The game introduces repercussions for certain choices you make (be they political, personal, or professional). For instance, bring an arsonist to justice, and his victim may provide you with a discount at his store, but the punishment may turn the townsfolk against you. There's already dozens of hours of content here, but Wild Hunt Next Gen expands the gameplay significantly by tossing in the previously released expansion packs as well. So if you're interested in fighting against the vampires of Blood and Wine, or defeating the shapeshifters from Hearts of Stone, all that content is waiting for you. There's also more content included that's been inspired by the Netflix show, as well as a ton of items designed to improve the overall experience. For instance, the maps now are cleaner and easier to read thanks to the flood of icons in a region being natively turned off. That makes it easier to determine whether you're going to explore a side quest, main storyline, or roam through the wilderness, without getting lost. Similarly, the changes to the spellcasting sign menu makes it easier to swap between spells, resulting in combat feeling more immersive and bringing out your inner monster hunter as you adjust your attacks in the heat of battle. The Witcher III: Wild Hunt Next Gen is the definitive version of this amazing tale, and once you've leapt into the this story, you'll want to go back to explore the entire series.