GOTY 2015: The Witcher Takes it, But Should it Have Been Fallout 4?

I have a fear that I may be pulled up by any number of readers for my lack of knowledge, but fat Jimmy was busy, so I’m afraid you’ve got me instead.

Suffice to say, the news that the Witcher 3 won the award for game of the year at the 2015 Game Awards, is no surprise to me personally, whether to you it is or not. It’s an amazing game. It’s ingenious, brilliant, witty, and gritty. But the most important thing for any game of the year: it is, of course, fun.

Now out of the other contenders the only one that has graced my Xbox One is Fallout 4. So as before stated, I may not be the best person to judge, merely the one with the most free time.

Even with all of that said though, there is something about this pair of games that is truly special. Fallout, considering that it’s the first of the series I have ever tried, has been remarkably easy to get to grips with, and fun to handle. There are elements that feel more like remnants of previous titles that no longer have purpose, and there are elements that just feel right. An example of the first, to me, is the V.A.T.S. system. A system of advanced aiming, that I personally made it to over level fifty using once, and only once.

I have been told by friends who have experienced other titles that it used to be essential. If you didn’t use it you would run out of ammunition within a matter of moments. I’ve never had a need for it, and it seems altogether unnecessary to me. The big draw for me personally is the (somewhat anticlimactic) story, which is altogether interesting and well thought out. Fun to play and well explained, even if it ends a little too abruptly for my liking. Then we have the crafting/building system. MY GOD THE CRAFTING/BUILDING SYSTEM! As a long time Sims fan, this has been the highlight of Fallout 4 for me, and one of the noticeably absent parts of the Witcher. Although I can’t imagine it working in the latter anywhere near as well as the former, no matter how much I might want to see it.

It’s safe to say that Fallout 4, a game I’ve thrown over 9 full days worth of play time into now, is definitely a good game. Is it as good as The Witcher? That is a difficult, and completely subjective answer. Personally, I don’t think it is.

There is something about The Witcher that is so eerie, spooky and dramatic. I can’t quite put my finger on it. Whether it’s playing as a Van Helsing-esque mutant, or the monsters themselves that you are hired to hunt. Whatever the driving force might be, there is something truly special about CD Projekt Red’s Witcher 3. Again, as far as games go, I had a fair many gripes with the title, but racking up a total play time of over 400 hours, it’s safe to say I got my money’s worth. The other thing is that The Witcher wasn’t, like Fallout, merely substance. The Witcher was art. The beauty, the immersion, it was all so well done that it felt less like a game than a film. It was truly an amazing experience. Fallout 4 is a fantastic game, and an unusually charming one, for the amount of bugs that players face each time they boot it up.

All in all, I’m not all too surprised that The Witcher beat it to the top spot. As far as first time experiences of titles I’ve never touched before though, neither of these games disappointed. Neither left me missing vital previous game knowledge, and both gave me more enjoyment than almost every other game I’ve played. It’s not fair to compare a post-apocalyptic wasteland with a monster-filled medieval war zone, and as a result, I’m glad it’s not my job to do so.

Either way, everyone should pick them up. Everyone should play them both. For those who have, it should be easy to see why the immersive The Witcher 3 clinched victory over so many other big titles.

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