The Witcher 3 Contains One Of Gaming’s Most Beautiful Moments

The chills. Goosebumps. Teary-eyed. These are all things some may experience when they hear a great song, or watch a great movie. Both those mediums are considered art forms and a certain scene in the Witcher 3 calls front and center as to why video games should be recognized as an art form as well.

 

We encounter this scene in CD Projekt Red’s newest title when Geralt and Zoltan stop in to hear Priscilla sing. She preforms the song ‘The Wolven Storm’ and from the moment she started playing, the developers show why video games are in fact a beautiful art form.

It takes something special to feel real emotions when you’re just staring at pixels in the shape of humans, but as the townspeople cried and got emotional, I felt empathy for them as Priscilla’s singing had brought me to an emotional state as well.

Now I can’t say if this is the most beautiful moment in gaming history, only time away from The Witcher 3 will prove that, but it is clearly making its case.

The music, the lyrics, the tone, the camera work, all of it was just perfect. They all culminate to create something that should be held up and praised. Yes it is something to create a great video game, but to create something that shows that video games are a viable art form is a feat in and of itself.

This is a moment that I want to show people who don’t play video games and show them how far our medium has come. I don’t mean to come off as a prisoner of the moment, but when a piece of art moves myself in a way that this scene from The Witcher 3 did, it needs to be credited as such.

I hope that my fellow gamers will look at this song and this scene with as much reverence as I am. This sort of thing only works toward people on the outside respecting video games as a true medium of art and if that doesn’t make it one of the most beautiful moments in gaming, I sure as hell don’t know what will.

The scene is such a simple one. Just a lone girl singing and playing a song, yet the emotions it conjured up in me are much more than that. I tip my hat to the folks at CD Projekt Red and thank them for this experience.  It’s not every day that  video game emotionally moves you.

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4 thoughts on “The Witcher 3 Contains One Of Gaming’s Most Beautiful Moments”

  1. Beautiful song… but while there are other games that have moved me without fancy graphics I think the “almost real but just not quite” literally got in the way of empathizing with the audience. Probably need a better graphics card. Still could only take away so much for what was a breathtaking scene.

    BUT, personally I found the scene was really “made” or brought to a true crescendo by the lyrics and context. Gaming is an interactive medium. You get to decide how invested you are in the plot line by the attention you give to the details that are available in the form of books, optional dialogue and “easter eggs: throughout the side quests.

    For all these reasons I think that it was the lyrics and their profound import for Geralt… after the song the dialogue offers the opportunity for him to make a snide remark about how big a mouth Dandelion had (the bard who, incidentally, narrates the plot in past tense). Specifically regarding what he shared of Geralt’s personal life with Priscilla. Hence the fact that the “lilac” and “berries” and “raven locks” clearly refer to Yennefer.

    SO, what we have is a room full of people spellbound by the beauty and heartbreak described in a song… and unbeknownst to them the lone figure who inspired the song is the outcast in their midst. It makes it all the more heinous when after he stands to applaud the song (only because a friend nudged him too) he is confronted by a woman who he saved from a gang of toughs (depending on your choices in the game… it might have been specific to my playthrough!). The woman decries him as a murderer despite the fact that he protected her and Geralt, without showing any emotion whatsoever, leaves a room full of people who (without realizing it) have been moved to tears by the story of his life.

    Basically I am adding praise onto what is already here… praise that I want to attribute to something that ONLY a video game offers… an interactive story where you really get a sense of how Geralt handles situations from the point of view of the player. I think this is important to add to the current praise because it is the player’s investment in the story that gives deeper and deeper meaning to the moment in the game.

    I must say Witcher 3 is a true indictment of all these “faceless/voiceless” everyman heroes from Skyrim/Fallout/etc that seem to be in most sandbox games… it is no wonder they resort to some silly “Mother Teresa” or “baby eating” moral mechanic (to use zeropunctuation Yahzee’s damning critique). Witcher 3 has an awesome character who the player “flavors” but since it is a coherent storyline they do not try the impossible task of fitting that storyline to every possible character type. Instead the player sees how Geralt handles his “moods” which the player decides. He could be grumpy throughout the game but it would not change the underlying character… in fact the other characters seem to note the player’s choices not as character traits but as whims of a character they already know in the story… as it should be.

    But yes indeed… bravo to the scene and all it represents in gaming!

    1. Holy shit dude. I’m glad my writing inspired you to comment in such fashion. I think the song is such a moving one. Like you said, I wish the audience was a bit more realistic and lifelike, but all in all I loved the scene.

  2. Just played this scene in-game and then immediately Googled and Spotified for more information. Couldn’t agree with you more, perfect example of why our medium is so powerful.

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