Every couple of years, there’s some game that comes out that becomes the milestone against which all other games of the genre are gauged. For strategy enthusiasts, it’s something like Crusader Kings 2. For FPS fans it [should have been] Wolfenstein: The New Order. For the RPG, this year’s choice has become The Witcher 3. If you spend more time on the Internet than you should, like I do, you’ll see dozens of articles and hundreds of comments about the game, extolling its virtues as the pinnacle of open-world RPGs; they’ll talk about how Geralt’s actions have consequences, how the characters’ relationships are true-to-life; how the motivations are real; how you can avoid violence all the time. They’ll go on for hundreds of words, salivating and making sure that you know that they know The Truth: True RPG gamers should be playing The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt.
It is my humble contention that that assertion is bullshit. This is now What I’m Going to Write Today. It’s either this or another thinkpiece, this time about how Bernie Sanders still probably won’t win the nomination because he doesn’t have support among African-American Democrats. I’ll talk about my creds as a not-entirely-enthusiastic RPG gamer, my experience so far with The Witcher, my (much better) experience with Fallout 4, my super-great experience with Dragon Age: Inquisition, and, my super-super great experience with another, surprise game.