Playing 'The Witcher 3' On The Train Has Taught Me Some Valuable Lessons
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is now available on Nintendo Switch. If you've never played CD Projekt RED's critically-acclaimed 2015 RPG before, this is the perfect chance to rectify that. If you've already played it, this is the perfect excuse to play through it again.
Obviously, being available on the Nintendo Switch - a home console/handheld hybrid - affords unique advantages and disadvantages not present on PS4, Xbox One, or PC. The most immediately apparent is that the game doesn't look quite as good, although the fact that such a massive open world game is running on a handheld console and manages to even closely resemble the original is cause for celebration and misty-eyed wonderment.
The biggest advantage is that we can now take The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt with us wherever we go, and let me tell you, I've been having all kinds of fun taking Geralt to places I've never taken him before. I've played under the covers before bed (my wife didn't like that), I've played it on the toilet (my wife wasn't crazy about that either), and I've played it in the garden (my wife was apathetic).
But as someone who spends a good chunk of his time travelling between Nottingham and Manchester for work, I've spent most of my time with The Witcher 3 on Switch during my morning and evening train journeys.
With this in mind, I figured I'd combine my love of The Witcher 3, my experience commuting, and my time so far with the Switch version of the game to provide you lovely folk with a list of things I've learned while reliving Geralt's epic adventure on the UK's charming (if underfunded and overpriced) railway infrastructure.
Save The Sex Scenes For When You're At Home
It's no secret that The Witcher 3 has its fair share of sex scenes, and they're just a little bit raunchy. They're not exactly hardcore pornography, but there's enough nudity present that you should feel embarrassed to be playing it if your parents happened to walk in.
As such, I have to advise the more seasoned players out there that if you can remember when a sex scene is about to come up (behave), or if you've an inkling that something steamy is about to go down... maybe save it for when you get home. I don't know what it's like on your public transport service, but mine is pretty cramped at the best of times, and there are plenty of nosy commuters keen to ogle whatever it is I'm playing.
More often than not they'll just catch a glimpse of me enjoying Super Smash Bros Ultimate or Mario Kart 8, but there was one particularly awful moment recently where a young woman leaned over and saw me watching on as Geralt and Yennefer... reconnected on top of a certain stuffed unicorn.
If you've no shame, then by all means plough on with sex scenes on the train, but try and spare a thought for the more easily embarrassed commuters, even if they really shouldn't have been eyeing up my screen.
Play With Your Headphones In
While you can't really help whether or not a nosy passenger wants to check out what you're playing, you can at least stop them hearing what's going on.
Now, I have to point out I've never played my Switch, or used my phone on public transport without my headphones in because I'm not a tool of thunderingly epic proportions, but if there's anyone reading this who might be inclined to boot up The Switcher on the train sans-headphones... just don't.
We all know that there's some pretty choice language in this game, and you really don't want to have to sit there while a livid mum is suddenly forced to explain to her five-year-old son exactly what a Witch F*cker is.
I mean, this is fairly standard advice for The Witcher 3 on any console. The fantasy world Geralt inhabits is a dangerous one full of creatures that can murder you in one hit, especially early on. The game's autosave isn't exactly the most consistent one out there, so if you're exploring and meet a grisly end, you could lose quite a bit of progress.
I would, however, suggest that it's doubly important to save The Witcher 3 often while you're playing on a train. Why? If you're like me, you might jump off a ledge that's just over twice the height of Geralt, die from the fall damage, and loudly swear because you've just lost an hour of progress.
This unexpected outburst might very well alarm the friendly-looking businessman next to you, who will loudly and passive aggressively sigh, get up, and move to a different seat so he can continue reading The Guardian undisturbed by any potential further swearing.
To be clear, I was fully in the wrong here and felt rather stupid, so... yeah, just make sure you either save often or maintain enough self control that you don't swear on public transport. Maybe just do the latter.
Secure A Window Seat
If you're planning on really diving deep into a session of The Witcher 3 while on the train, I advise you to make sure you've nabbed a window seat instead of an aisle seat, if at all possible.
Obviously, if you're sat in an aisle seat at a certain point there's a good chance that the passenger next to you will want to go to the toilet or... you know, get out so they can get off at their stop and go home.
If you're really immersed in a fight to the death with a Fiend, for example, you might not notice that the old woman next to you is trying to get off at Chesterfield so that she get home after a long day. It'd certainly be an awkward journey onwards to Nottingham for the two of you after that.*
*This one never actually happened because I'm not that awful, but I inadvertently ignored more than a few requests to jump out and go to the loo. To those people I say; you should have gone before you left.
Keep Your Sense Of Wonderment To Yourself
I get that you're probably amazed at how well The Witcher 3 runs on Switch, and that it's a near miracle that you're able to play such a great game while on the commute home, but don't try and lecture complete strangers on how amazing it is that the game is running on Switch because they'll think you're a bit weird and may call the guard.
Instead, save that kind of chat for your partner. They'll also think you're a bit weird, but they've the good sense to keep their bubbling hatred of you under wraps while they download Tinder on the sly.
With The Witcher 3 being out on Switch tomorrow, hopefully as we go forward we can form a network of shared advice and experiences from our time playing the game on the train. If I'm being completely honest though, my above pearls of wisdom really do boil down to just two things; don't be a douche on public transport, and hunt monsters while in transit responsibly. Easy enough.
Featured Image Credit: CD Projekt RED