The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt vs The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Fantasy role-playing games are a staple of the gaming industry, one of the most popular and beloved by players of the genre. Since the dawn of the video game industry, Fantasy RPGs have ruled the charts and sales — the list of the most popular projects includes video games like Dragon Age from Bioware, Breath of the Wild from Nintendo, and Square Enix's Final Fantasy series. However, the most iconic and top-selling games of the decade are The Elder Scrolls Skyrim and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Skyrim vs The Witcher 3 is one of the most controversial and popular discussions among players, and today we're going to explore the pros and cons of both projects.
The Content of Article
- 1. Witcher 3 vs Skyrim Gameplay
- 2. Skyrim vs Witcher 3 World Size
- 3. Witcher 3 vs Skyrim Story and Quests
- 4. How many quests in Skyrim vs Witcher 3?
- 5. The Witcher 3 vs Skyrim Combat System
- 6. Skyrim vs Witcher 3 Graphics
- 7. Skyrim Music VS Witcher 3
- 8. Witcher 3 vs Skyrim: VR
- 9. The Witcher 3 vs Skyrim System Requirements
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is an action/RPG which was released in 2015. The CD Projekt RED creation is considered an iconic game among action-RPGs and one of the best video games ever made.
The Witcher series games are based on the works of Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski. His books' genre can be called "Slavic fantasy" because they combine elements of traditional fantasy, Slavic mythology, and the traditions of Eastern Europe.
The Witcher is a genetically modified warrior who is endowed with many qualities unavailable to ordinary people. He possesses enormous power, instant reaction, accelerated metabolism, and the purpose of his existence is to destroy all sorts of monsters for the money of people, who are ready to give the last only to protect the lives of themselves and their loved ones. Witchers try to stay away from political intrigues and remain neutral in all controversies.
The plot of The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt describes the final chapter in the story of Geralt from Rivia. At the very beginning, you will be able to customize the storyline according to your actions committed during The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings. The story of the Wild Hunt tells about the search for a young witcher named Cirilla. Ciri is hunted by a mysterious otherworldly army, the Wild Hunt, and Geralt has to get on his former student's trail and prevent the tragedy.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim was released back in 2011, but since then it hasn't stopped being one of the most popular games among the players worldwide. Not every game can pass the test of time, but the fifth part of TES was able to stand the test. Skyrim has been ported to numerous platforms, from consoles like the PlayStation and Xbox to the portable Switch or even VR.
The events of Skyrim take place 200 years after the finale of TES IV: Oblivion. The protagonist of the game is an unnamed protagonist (the player creates him in the character editor), who, along with several rebels from the rebel group Storm Brothers, is being taken to be executed in the fortress of Helgen. The hero avoids execution and discovers a mysterious power to gain special abilities by absorbing the souls of the dragons they kill. This is how begins the story of the hero who must save the world from destruction.
During the gameplay you are free to do story quests that develop the main story, or to do optional quests and free exploration of the huge world of Skyrim. You can become a thief and sharpen your skills of emptying other people's pockets, or you can join the cult and comprehend dark magic knowledge or just explore ancient dungeons and mysterious caves in search of treasures and powerful weapons. Skyrim world is immense, and it can take you hundreds of hours to explore it. The game also has three official DLCs: Dawnguard, Hearthfire and Dragonborn.
Each of these two excellent games has the features that set it apart from its competitor. Here's a list of what worked better in one game and what worked better in the other.
Witcher 3 vs Skyrim Gameplay
Since The Witcher 3 is a story-driven game based on Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski, the main character in the series is the Witcher of Rivia, Geralt. You can change his hairstyle and clothes, but as a hero, he will always be the same person: you can only make different choices and choose how to pass the game. Regardless of your actions in the game, you'll almost always be able to guess his reaction to a particular situation based on Geralt's personality.
In Skyrim, you can create any hero you want, and play as you wish. This game allows you to create a unique personality for your character. It provides you with two sides of the fantasy world exploration: completing the story and exploring the adventures the developers have prepared for you or travelling freely in the game's vast open world. Because of this feature, a lot of players never complete the storyline of Skyrim, even after playing it for hundreds of hours.
Even though the gameplay is more exciting in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Skyrim is still more diverse. It applies to numerous weapons, fighting styles, schools of magic, armor, and more. You can make your character a powerful mage that summons magical creatures for the help, or you can train up a thief that will eliminate your enemies while hiding in the shadows. The variety in abilities is one of the reasons why Skyrim continues to be so popular years after its release.
Of course, we can't help but talk about the role-playing mechanics and action in both games. Skyrim remains a game with the freedom of gameplay at its core. The variations in character development are almost countless. The system is based on the skills that are developed with use; it's very flexible and allows you to create a character that suits a variety of gameplay styles. The Elder Scrolls V is great for fans of in-depth character development: it's possible to customize even the smallest characteristics, paying attention to every detail.
In Skyrim, players can go anywhere and do anything they want, aided by various mods and custom expansions. Freedom is exactly what makes it possible to spend 500 hours in this game and continue to spend time in it afterwards.
The Wild Hunt's role-playing system is noticeably more straightforward and more limited — there are only three essential skill branches, most of which have a combat application. Being a witcher by profession, Geralt uses swords even if the focus is on developing skills not related to swordsmanship. And his magical arsenal, in any case, will be minimal. In this aspect, the developers strictly follow Sapkowski's universe's laws, in which witches have only relatively simple battle magic.
Geralt has a unique "witcher senses" ability that allows him to see and hear things that ordinary people can't. During the game, you'll have to search for various clues, chase people and monsters by the scent they leave behind, and find hidden switches and passages in the walls. You press the corresponding button on the controller, and all the witcher's senses are heightened to the maximum. You begin to hear monsters dozens of meters away, see glowing halos around key objects, and fresh footprints left by someone on the ground.
The Skyrim protagonist also has unique abilities. The hero possesses the innate ability to absorb the souls of slain dragons and speak their language. Soon after the main quest begins, the hero will receive the gift of the Voice - the ability to channel life energy into Thu'um, or Shout. Each Shout consists of three Words of Power. The more powerful Shout consists of more words, but it also takes longer to recover before the next use. Words of Power can be learned both through the main quest and during the adventures, finding the walls of the Words. It is enough to get close to the Wall for a character to recognize the Word of Power. However, to use the new knowledge, you need to "unlock" the Word by investing the soul of a slain dragon in it.
The game mechanics are simple: for most of the Shouts, there are three walls containing Words that make one Thu'um. If the hero doesn't know any Shout Words, they will know the first Word when they get to any of these three walls. Upon reaching the second Wall of this three, they will learn the second Word, and after the third, the third Word.
One of the features of The Witcher 3 is the in-game minigame, which you can spend a lot of hours playing. Gwent is a collectible card game in The Witcher 3 world. You can play this game in almost any tavern. The general idea of Gwent is like blackjack - you need to score more points than your opponent, but not to overdo it. But it's a collectible card game, and it has a lot of its own little nuances.
Each player has his own deck of cards. By finding and collecting new, more effective cards for the deck, you can significantly increase your winning chances. The game party is divided into separate rounds. To win the entire party, you must succeed in two rounds. Loss is counted the same way - by the two battles lost.
Skyrim vs Witcher 3 World Size
One of the essential components of the genre is a world where the player can freely move around and explore the locations. Usually, these games are massive, but is there any correlation between the world's size and the quality of the game? In the Witcher 3 vs Skyrim map comparison, which game wins?
CD Projekt RED was serious when they announced that The Witcher 3 would be a huge game. The Witcher 3 map includes an area of approximately 136 square kilometers, including Novigrad, Skellig and other locations. The Witcher 3 is about 3.5 times larger than Skyrim (39 km2), which clearly shows the Wild Hunt vs Skyrim open world's best option. Even though The Witcher 3 has many empty spaces which can be skipped to move from one place to another quickly, the game's map is still filled with a vast amount of content.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has a very living open world. It is interesting to explore because it's beautiful and atmospheric. CD Projekt RED did their best to make each of your visit memorable. You can spend hours wandering around the local forests, looking for the nest of monsters, accidentally find yourself in the cave or the dungeon, and then try to explore the place where you got. Another aspect of Witcher 3 vs Skyrim comparison is interactivity: both these game worlds are highly interactive and immersive but in different ways.
The Witcher 3 offers gamers a vast open world which is challenging to explore even in a few tens of hours. Most of the time the player spends in different caves, bogs and forests, because that's where monsters live; however, cities play an essential role in the gameplay. In The Witcher 3, there are two big cities: Novigrad and Ochsenfurt. We can also highlight the castle Crow's Perch, where the player will find interesting tasks and artisans to create armor. Novigrad is different because it is the setting of many important missions. Cities in the game The Witcher 3 also play a role as markets, because only there you can find artisans blacksmiths and traders of rare resources.
Each location is a separate territory, which can be explored freely. Implemented teleportation points between the signposts also increase the comfort of the gameplay.
In addition to the main storyline, the player can take side quests, special witcher orders, look for items, and visit places of interest. The points of interest in the game The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt are marked with a special question mark. Here you may begin a minor task, find a chest under monsters' control, or stand a captured settlement of deserters.
Skyrim Map vs Witcher 3 Map is not easy to compare because they're different in game design. Skyrim has many small towns and randomly-generated points of interest, while Witcher has tons of manually designed content. Each Skyrim city is located in its domain and is home to the House of Jarl. Carriages allow you to fast travel between cities. The five major cities are protected by walls, allowing you to view their maps separately from the main game map. The other cities have no defensive structures other than natural barriers and are accessible from all directions.
If you want to compare cities in Skyrim vs The Witcher, you'll find many similarities. Most capitals provide a full range of services: trade, crafts, magic and alchemy. Here you can also find large taverns that serve as places of recreation and spreading rumors. There are farms near towns that are sources of various foods. Many towns are guild centers, faction headquarters, or home to prominent clans.
Witcher 3 vs Skyrim Story and Quests
A significant advantage of The Witcher 3 is the atmosphere. The world intertwines Slavic myths, the Middle Ages, and colorful characters; there are no right sides, and Geralt has to decide people's fates based on their actions. It gets especially tense when exploring locations because of the war of the Nilfgaard Empire against the Northern Kingdoms.
In comparing The Witcher 3 vs TES V Skyrim, it is essential to note the high interactivity. Each house can be explored by picking up different items. There is a lively world around; each resident will drop a phrase or comment on Geralt's presence. His actions are remembered by the residents, forming an attitude toward the game's protagonist. The quests often bring exciting challenges. Witcher 3 NPCs vs Skyrim heroes are much more alive and human-like: they're really charismatic and pleasant to talk with.
Although The Witcher 3 is based on Slavic mythology and places the player in the alternative universe of twelfth-century Eastern Europe, it doesn't feel like a historical novel at all. Players can immerse into the events which are interesting to modern people, and Geralt often behaves as a gamer would behave rather than a wandering monster hunter like himself.
The Witcher's official release was postponed several times, as the developers took extra time to polish the project. As it turned out, it was done for a reason. The game world is so vast and complex that you can literally dissolve in it for several weeks. Amazingly, every quest in the game is so thoroughly designed that it is a completely unique story and not just a scripted scenario to keep the player occupied for 20 minutes. After The Witcher 3, many other RPGs now seem flat and primitive to players. Developers of the next game in The Elder Scrolls series will have hard times: boring missions such as "clean out the cave and collect the loot" is unlikely to please those who have played the third Witcher game.
During conversations with NPCs in Wild Hunt, you can choose from several answer choices. The key phrases that allow you to move on to the next part of the conversation are highlighted by yellow, clarifying questions that will enable you to know the speaker better or learn the details of this or that question are displayed in the standard font. Sometimes you have to make a quick decision, in which case a timer appears above the conversation, counting down the seconds you have to think about your answer.
In Skyrim, you can stumble upon a side quest just by walking by and hearing two NPCs arguing. Or find an ancient relic by reading about it in a note found on one of the bandits' body. This chip has always been the key to all the Elder Scrolls, but even now, there are few games with such a concentration of quality content. Don't expect interesting NPCs, fascinating conversations and plenty of fateful twists and turns. The adventures of the Dovahkiin will come to an end without leaving any bright moments in your memory.
The plot of this project is straightforward and monotonous. It is a simple story about the last representative of an ancient race of Dragonborn, who appeared for the first time in a long time and whose destiny is to save the world from the terrifying king of the dragons Alduin. The story itself is elementary and quick and does not carry anything of value or depth. On the other side, the game has several side plots, some of which, although shorter than the main storyline, but many times more interesting, diverse and even more in-depth.
Although the player is given a wide range of tools to create and develop his own character, the variation in Skyrim almost ends there. Apart from the choice of lines in the dialogues, you will find a few other choices that have any effect on the player or the game world. The only exceptions here are the Civil War campaign or individual side quests, which can be completed differently.
How many quests in Skyrim vs Witcher 3?
Because of the automatic generation of quests in TES V, the Witcher 3 vs Skyrim gameplay hours are slightly longer for Skyrim - the average Wild Hunt walkthrough will take around 100 hours, while TES 5 will require about 130. A full exploration of the worlds of both games would take approximately 500-600 hours.
The number of quests in The Witcher 3 and TES V: Skyrim is pretty close: there are 273 missions in Skyrim and around 300 main and side missions in Wild Hunt. Despite the fact that Skyrim actually has an infinite number of quests due to the radiant-quest system, they are not diverse and exciting. In The Witcher 3, on the other hand, there is a vast number of the most diverse and interesting quests. In addition to that, many missions can turn into something more, even if Geralt only took the contract for the next monster. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was the first game that was able to reach this level of quests in a large open world. Explorations in the Witcher 3 vs Skyrim are usually more immersive and detailed; however, you won't always receive rich rewards for them.
After The Witcher 3, the stories in other games will seem dull and ordinary. There are almost no unexpected turns, but the presentation, the essence of the missions, characters, and cut-scenes are made at the highest level. Only the add-ons can be better than The Witcher 3 because the central narrative sets the bar too high for other games.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim doesn't have an interesting and epic story, unlike The Witcher 3, where the story looks a little bit better. Vivid characters, incredible battles, a vast living world and much more makes the story of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt much more fascinating than in Skyrim, the plot of which is hardly fully completed by most players.
The Witcher 3 vs Skyrim Combat System
In Skyrim, your equipment may seem a bit cumbersome. The controls are not as clumsy compared to the other peers of this game, but they are not as smooth as in The Witcher. When it comes to combat, Skyrim vs Wild Hunt combat system is not a difficult comparison. The third Witcher game is a pure action RPG. Battles in it are spectacular and intense action of complex techniques and alternation of different combat methods — both swordsmanship and magic. In the Wild Hunt, there are a lot of unique and tough opponents, requiring their own approach — especially at high levels of difficulty. When you are studying the weaknesses of monsters, preparing the right potions and bombs, thinking tactics to defeat a monster, you feel like a real witcher.
Skyrim is a purebred RPG, and the battles are not as realistic and action-filled. What's worse, there aren't as many memorable opponents and fights. The first encounters, battles, and victories over dragons will take your breath away, but it soon gets boring. Defeating them is not that difficult; fighting with them are quite monotonous and gradually become almost routine. A few opponents, capable of a real challenge to the Dragonborn, will still occur in Skyrim, but they will be few.
In The Witcher 3, Geralt has two types of attacks - strong and fast, as well as the ability to dodge or parry attacks. If you press the appropriate button on time, you can make a counterattack, but the timings are incredibly accurate, so you'll have to get used to them. Going after a powerful opponent without proper preparation will be a bad idea. Make sure that your level is enough for the quest (you can see the requirements in the quest list), your weapon is well sharpened (look for the sharpener in the nearby settlement), and the blade is covered with the appropriate oil, which enhances the attack on certain types of enemies.
Each witch knows how to use so-called "signs" that help him deal with monsters. There are a total of five signs available to you. The Aard mark disperses enemies with a kinetic wave, and Igni burns everything in its path; you also have the Axius mark, which allows you to get inside the minds of living creatures, forcing them to raise their hands against their comrades or accept your view in disputes. If NPCs notice that you're trying to enchant their comrade, a fight will be unavoidable. Each magic token can be upgraded, unlocking its additional abilities. There are a total of five signs in the game: Aard, Igni, Yrden, Quen, and Axii.
Despite its apparent simplicity, Skyrim's combat system is not so simple. In games in this series, you are free to build your character to your liking, literally down to the last detail. You can become a regular mage or necromancer, or you can become a paladin or a silent assassin, or you can combine them all. You can even choose to play and fight in the first or third person.
Perks in Skyrim are an add-on to skills, allowing a character to directly enhance combat abilities (such as increase the weapon damage, decreasing mana consumption, or improving armor effectiveness) or learn new techniques. A skilled archer will learn to draw the bowstring faster, slow down when aiming, and sometimes immobilize enemies on impact. The blacksmith will gain the ability to create steeper armor and improve enchanted items. There are a total of 280 perks in the game, and only some of them look frankly unnecessary. In general, the number of options for character development is limited only by your imagination, and most of these options are quite viable.
Skyrim vs Witcher 3 Graphics
Graphics is one of the top priorities for many gamers; players are used to evaluating games by this parameter and choosing projects with the most colorful visual style. Obviously, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has much better graphics compared to Skyrim, which was released much earlier. However, even if you disregard the graphics' quality and consider only the work of artists and designers, The Witcher 3 will again come out a winner due to its more diverse environment, in-depth world development, and vibrant color palette. Skyrim graphics vs Witcher 3 looks faded and sparse on beautiful landscapes.
The Witcher 3 even years after its release is considered one of the most technologically advanced games, defeating even current generation projects. Excellent detailing of open locations, lighting, display of dynamic weather conditions and character development at the highest level has become the hallmark of CD Projekt. Even the re-release of Skyrim for modern platforms with HD-textures cannot compare with the quality of Wild Hunt's visual aspect. However, TES V's graphics can be fixed with modifications, but it does not count for fair play.
The graphics in The Witcher 3 is really great. Yes, only owners of top-end computers will be able to enjoy the maximum beauty of the picture, but the owners of gaming consoles and medium machines will also get a pretty good picture. The world of the game lives and breathes. The dynamic weather system just adds to the realism of it all. You can spend hours just walking around this world and admire its indescribable beauty. The proprietary graphics engine of REDengine 3 studio has shown itself on its best side, allowing to create an incredibly realistic and atmospheric world.
In Skyrim Special Edition, the developers from Bethesda did a lot of work and not just replaced textures and changed the lighting, as it often happened with modifications. For example, there is a lot more greenery in the game, which is caused by increasing the density of grass and bushes. The snow now looks much more natural, and the number of static objects like rocks, slabs and other things has increased. The game also got volumetric rain, and the flow and speed of water in rivers and oceans are changing in different places; the liquid itself doesn't go somewhere behind the textures but smoothly around them.
The developers of TES V Special Edition redesigned the lighting, making it more natural, changed the colors, and strengthened the visual implementation of lighting effects and updated the systems of light and shadow. So that dungeons and castles now look much more effective.
Skyrim Music VS Witcher 3
One of the toughest items to compare is the music of the projects. Both games have an incredibly elaborate soundtrack; the hallmarks of both projects are the bardic songs found throughout the world. NPCs sing about the events and history of The Witcher and The Elder Scrolls worlds, so you should listen to the travelling musicians to learn something new for yourself. One of the most known songs from the Witcher 3 game is Priscilla's song, which was performed by a very close friend of Dandelion.
Celtic marching tunes and Eastern Slavic chants during battles, epic compositions, soothing pastoral melodies and some amazing tracks that sound during gameplay, will capture the soul of all players.
Skyrim's music, however, is one of the most recognizable and beloved by players. The title theme is instantly recognizable, and so it sticks in your memory and perfectly complements your adventures in this world. Many players have spent some time in the main menu every time they start Skyrim just to enjoy this song. The soundtrack of TES V emphasizes both the graphics and the atmosphere of this world.
Witcher 3 vs Skyrim: VR
Unlike The Witcher 3, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has a VR version. This version is a separate game, and it's not free for owners of the original game, so you'll have to buy it to play it. Nevertheless, the ability to explore Skyrim with virtual reality glasses attracts a lot of players. The graphics or content of the VR version of Skyrim doesn't differ from the original, but for some people the ability to fully immerse themselves in Skyrim is crucial.
The game can be played with the traditional DualShock 4 controller, as well as with two PlayStation Move controllers. You can swing your sword freely, shield yourself, incinerate your opponent with spells, and shoot your archer.
The world map has undergone a significant redesign and is now fully three-dimensional, which from the first person looks impressive. The whole game interface has changed drastically: for example, the mini-map is now located at the bottom at your belly level in the form of a peculiar belt. To navigate in space, you only need to lower your eyes down slightly. Skills progression menu is now fully 3D, too.
One of the Skyrim VR's features is that the developers took the motion sickness problem very seriously. In the game options, you will be able to set up a special filter, which will display a semi-transparent black vignette on the edges of the screen during the movement and rotations around the axis, reducing the negative effects of VR.
The Witcher 3 vs Skyrim System Requirements
When comparing these two games' system requirements, The Witcher 3 loses heavily to the unmodified Skyrim. CD Projekt Red's game is still used as a benchmark for the latest graphics cards and processors, while TES V can be run anywhere. Despite this, both video games were successfully ported to the Nintendo Switch, where the audience warmly received them.
Ultra modded Skyrim vs Witcher 3 performance comparison may vary depending on your PC's installed modes and setup or preferred console. Still, TES V can easily defeat the Wild Hunt in this category. The most picturesque and elaborated game modes for Skyrim are often poorly optimized or even incompatible. You can make Bethesda's creation look even more fresh, sophisticated, and technologically advanced than the Witcher. Still, it's unlikely that you will be able to run modded Skyrim smoothly and receive high performance without high-tech monsters like Nvidia 3090. If you never modded games before, consider using installer helpers and guides for modes — it will help you balance the build of your game.
The minimum system requirements for The Witcher 3 will run on all quite affordable PCs; to run the game on 4K Ultra, you'll most likely have to obtain a video card like GeForce 3070 or better.
- OS: 64-bit Windows 7, 64-bit Windows 8 (8.1) or 64-bit Windows 10
- Processor: Intel CPU Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz / AMD CPU Phenom II X4 940
- Memory: 6 GB RAM
- Graphics: Nvidia GPU GeForce GTX 660 / AMD GPU Radeon HD 7870
- Storage: 35 GB available space
If you want to play Skyrim, you will probably be able to run the game even on a toaster-like PC. The Legendary Edition will run smoothly even on GeForce 240; however, if you want to play with the highest settings or even install high-quality graphics modes, you'll have to obtain something more suitable like NVIDIA GTX 780.
- OS: Windows 7/8.1/10 (64-bit Version)
- Processor: Intel i5-750/AMD Phenom II X4-945
- Memory: 8 GB RAM
- Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 470 1GB /AMD HD 7870 2GB
- Storage: 12 GB available space