Review

The Witcher 3: I Really Hate Skellige Sirens

20190505145032_1

Note:  This post will contain spoilers through the Skellige portion of the main quest.  Read at your own risk!

As part of my ongoing documentation in my experience with The Witcher 3:  Wild Hunt, it is now time to discuss the Skellige portion of the main questline.  The best summary of my feelings right before going to Skellige is that I’ve enjoyed my time with the game well enough, but it’s hardly my favorite title of all time.  While I would still agree with this assessment, I can honestly say that Skellige is, far and away, the best of what The Witcher 3 has to offer thus far.

A lot of my satisfaction with Skellige comes from the setting itself.  In my last post, I stated that I expected the area to look barren and lifeless based upon the descriptions that NPCs in Velen and Novigrad had for it.  Well, imagine my surprise when Skellige turned out to be a beautiful and lush set of islands.  I had so much fun just running around the landscape and checking off question marks across the map.

Something I enjoyed less about Skellige, however, was the reliance on boats.  I hate dealing with water in The Witcher 3.  I just find being in the open water to be an exercise in tedium.  In Velen and Novigrad, there weren’t too many water-based objectives and the only enemies I had to deal with underwater were drowners in most cases.  Unfortunately, in Skellige, I have to kill Sirens, which move a lot faster and more erratically because they can also fly.  I spend a lot of time spamming my crossbow button (which, by the way, is the middle mouse button on PC by default?  Why?) and praying that the auto-aim kicks in and gets them.  It’s so frustrating, especially since most of the map markers out at sea are just random treasure chests.  This is a minor gripe, as most of the quests don’t force me out to sea much, but it’s definitely not my favorite part of the game.

Back to the positive comments, though, as I discuss the story to this point!  The Witcher 3 is finally giving me some story bits as Ciri’s trail grows a bit warmer.  In Velen and Novigrad, I didn’t feel like I was doing much to actually advance the main quests since I was being fed details at a snail’s pace.  In Skellige, I’m no longer at a standstill waiting to find out what the actual point of the game is.  In fact, I had to forcibly drag myself away from playing in order to write this post before I head to Kaer Morhen, as I would really like to see what happens next.

20190505105247_1

I’m fairly certain that Yennifer is a large part of the reason that the plot feels like it is actually progressing now.  Now that I’ve actually seen her and Geralt interact with one another beyond her brief introduction at the beginning, I think I’m firmly in camp Yennifer when it comes to my romance choice.  Triss may come off as a kinder and gentler soul, but Geralt opens up around Yen in a way that he just doesn’t around Triss.  In fact, I like Geralt more than I ever have before because I found that his reminiscing with Yen is the most human I’ve ever seen him act.  I will admit, however, that my change of heart towards Triss may also come from having read more of the backstory in the previous games and books and thinking she’s actually a bit creepy.

Of course, like in every other post I have made about The Witcher 3, I have to take a moment to praise all of the phenomenal writing that comes into play when doing the side quests.  Everything I do feels memorable, no matter how small.  There was a quest where I had to decide whether to force a man to take back his crazy spouse who cursed his child or reroute the curse to kill the spouse.  It’s a quest that took five minutes or less to resolve, but it was so well-done and engaging in a way that most fantasy titles try and fail to do.

The highlight of the side quests this time around, however, is the quest to decide who is to rule Skellige in the wake of the prior king’s death.  In addition to finding all of the quests a lot of fun, I saw a legitimate claim by both Cerys and Hjalmar regarding who should be the ruling sibling, making my ultimate choice difficult.  While I went with Cerys, I would definitely be interested in potentially replaying one day in order to see what would happen if I picked Hjalmar instead.

20190508164810_1

If I have any complaints about the Skellige portion of the questline, it’s simply that there isn’t enough of it.  After spending a good seventy hours in Velen and Novigrad, I was a little disappointed to fall in love with Skellige, only to be leaving after only fifteen to twenty hours of quest content.  There are still a few more contracts left to clean up, and I can always clear out more objective markers, but the major side quests are completed much more quickly than in the prior areas of the game, and I can’t help but be a little sad about it.

Since Skellige wasn’t a huge area, I don’t have a ton to say in this update.  At this point, I will probably finish the game off and post a huge analysis piece where I sum up all of my thoughts across these analyses.  I’m both excited and terrified for this, as I’ve never done a thorough analysis before and I am not certain of how it will go, but I definitely feel like I have enough complex thoughts about this game to do this successfully.

What were your thoughts on Skellige?  Let me know in the comments below, but please refrain from spoiling anything beyond where I currently am in the game!

Additionally, if you’re interested in The Witcher 3, consider using my affiliate link to purchase it!  As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.  I’ll get a small commission at no additional cost to you.  Purchase The Witcher 3 on Amazon.

 

Advertisements

20 replies »

  1. I love that your attitude towards the game is growing more and more positive. I know you started off a bit unsure on whether this was the right title for you.
    Skellige is for sure the most beautiful area if you don’t include the expansions. I hope you try Blood & Wine, because Toussaint will blow your mind with its colourful beauty.
    Sirens and water treasures can suck it.
    Can’t wait to hear more of your thoughts. Reading someone elses experience of one of my favourite games of all time is almost as exciting as playing it myself.

    Liked by 3 people

      • I will third the motion for you to play Blood and Wine 😛 It might be my favorite portion of The Witcher 3 experience, to be honest. So many great quests, a compelling story, and beautiful scenery unlike anything in the main game!

        Liked by 3 people

    • I don’t think I’m getting the DLC now, but possibly later? I’m really picky about DLC. I rarely enjoy it and don’t bother with it often unless it’s for my favorite gameS. While I did enjoy Witcher 3, I’m not sure if I enjoyed it quite enough to get the DLC.

      Liked by 1 person

      • As someone who bought the Complete Edition, I highly recommend you get “Hearts of Stone” and “Blood and Wine” DLC once you finish the game if you want more Witcher 3 content. They’re basically 2 long storylines set in different areas and they’re excellent!

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I agree wholeheartedly on the Yennefer aspect: the Skellige storyline is when you finally get to see WHY she is the woman that Geralt fell in love with all those years ago. It’s completely different than Triss, and it’s why I would have a hard time ever turning my back on her in a playthrough.

    Skellige also has one of my favorite contracts: the ancient Leshen hunt. That quest is the reason that Leshens are my favorite monster in the game. SO CREEPY!!!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Yennifer is amazing and I’m so glad we got more time with her. I actually think it’s kind of cruel how we get such a bad initial introduction to her, as I almost picked Triss because of it and would have missed out on an awesome romance subplot.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I’m guessing they lessened her impact at the beginning due to her role being more prominent in the books, while Triss was the figure that the gaming sphere had more familiarity with. But yes: it would be a crime to miss out on such an amazing storyline, the djinn quest in particular.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Skellige was my favourite area before I reached Toussaint, and even then I kept going back to perfect my siren-killing using signs. But I destroyed so many boats I am responsible for the bare slopes in areas. (And if you ever reach that stage, the Skellige deck in Gwent is amazing – best card being Cerys.)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I too hate the Sirens in Skellige! I have no problem with Harpies, all it takes is a good Axii cast and they fall to the ground so I can kill them. But oh man, these damn Sirens just never land until I use my crossbow which has terrible aiming. Sometimes I try to hit them with my sword when I dive but then they hit me first and I miss the opportunity. That’s one thing I don’t like about the combat. I prefer classic hack and slash, whatever that means, like what was in Skyrim and DAI.

    I too have had a change of heart about Yennefer after completing The Last Wish quest. Yeah she does get a bit bitchy and bossy but she’s not afraid to take initiative and doesn’t need someone to pull her out of the fire. She’s independent and takes no shit from anyone. I like how she took full responsibility for the destruction of that garden no matter the consequences. She has a strange way of showing her love for Geralt that isn’t what you’d typically expect, but maybe Geralt seems to like women like that. He seemed like a blank slate when I first met him but I started to like him more too when he opens up to Yen. Although I still like Triss, I see what you mean. I’ve decided to romance Yen and it’s actually got some really heartfelt moments. I want to explore the rest of Skellige but I’m not looking forward to boating around, it’s slow and time-consuming when you take the helm yourself.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I hate boating in Witcher 3! Yeah, I was a little surprised at how badly Yennefer came off in our first meeting, given that she is actually a really cool character later on. I’m not sure if that was intentional on the dev’s part or just some iffy writing showing through. Regardless, I’m glad I listened to people and romanced Yen because I still think it’s better from a story perspective, even though I still probably like Triss *slightly* more.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I hardly ever use boats because they’re slow, I just swim or not even bother looking for the chests. Yeah I know exactly what you mean, and apparently the books can justify why Yen is the way she is so I would like to read them. I just felt like I wanted to give her a chance because there were things that drew my attention in such as her favorite perfume and that necklace oh not to mention her accent!

        Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s