It’s a shame about The Witcher III

White Orchard
I was looking forward to The Witcher III for a long time, but I’ve learned my lesson, or so I thought. I refused to pre-order the game until reviews hit. When they did they were almost universally positive so I opted to pre-order the digital version so that I could get started early and save 10%.

It took me all of 10 minutes of playing before I noticed a terrible problem with the console version of the game: the text was too small. I thought at first it was just me because my eyes are old and tired and poor (just like the rest of me) but I quickly saw the same complaint from many places on the Internet. (It might not seem too small from these screenshots unless you’re reading this blog on your TV screen 10′ away from where you’re sitting.)

Main MenuNot a single review that I read mentioned issues with text size, though a few did (rightfully) criticize the clunkiness of the UI. And that is the last time I rely on reviews from gaming sites.

There’s a patch coming to the PS4; I guess it’s already out in Europe. It increases the size of the loot pop-up windows which were certainly the place where the ‘small text’ issue was felt most and I’m hoping it helps, but I still am waiting for a more general way to increase text size.

I love so much about the game but every time I play I get an eye-strain headache after 30 minutes or so. It’s just not worth the cost to try to play. At least on the PS4 there’s a built-in screen zoom and that helps but it’s really tedious. Open Inventory, pick an item, Screen Zoom and pan around to check it’s stats, exit screen zoom, pick the next item, Screen Zoom and pan to check stats, etc, etc.

Mind you there are other issues too. The UI in general isn’t very well thought out. For example your gear wears down and has to be repaired. But when you visit a vendor to do those repairs, the UI lists all your gear with no indication of the pieces you’ve actually got equipped. So if you have 6 longswords in your inventory with similar names and stats, but one has stats a tad better so you’re using that one, when you go to get repairs done you have to first examine your character sheet, make a note of the name and stats of the sword you’re wielding, then talk to the vendor and open his repair panel and find that sword and repair it.

And as things stand now, each bit of this process might require a screen zoom.

Main MenuSadly I’ve set The Witcher III aside for now and I fear that by the time they patch out these issues I’ll be involved in something new. I’m kind of disappointed in CD Projekt RED (particularly after I learned that they had the same issue in The Witcher II) but I’m really mad at every reviewer that covered the console version of the game and didn’t make note of the text size issue (and many of these same sites have since run posts about the issue).

It just seems like such a trivial thing to let slip through and mar an otherwise amazing game. It’s a damned shame.

5 thoughts on “It’s a shame about The Witcher III

  1. It’s not completely true. When I repair swords it’s shown if it is the sword I use at the moment. In the middle of the screen. PS4 version 1.02

  2. @Individual — I’ll look again. Maybe I missed something or maybe it was added in 1.02? But thanks for the correction/update.

    @Cuppy — I sure hope they fix it. The word I got was that they were “looking into it” but you wouldn’t think it’d be something they couldn’t address so I’m hopeful. I just hope it’s soon since I’m so easily distracted by the new shiny (in my case Elder Scrolls Online on PS4)!

  3. Glo and I were just talking about maybe picking this up, but we were debating console vs. PC, and if we went console we’d also need to finally bite the bullet and get PS4s. I just like this type of game better on a console. Glad I saw this review before we’d done that as I’m sure we’d have the same problem! Thanks, Pete. You just saved me a small fortune.

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