Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Reviewed On: PS4
Developer: CD Projekt RED
Publisher: CD Projekt RED
Distributor: Megarom Interactive
Release Date: 30 May 2016
CD Projekt RED has been known for its spectacular game design since the original Witcher hit shelved, and the quality of the studios’ games has been escalating tremendously over the past few years. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt first released full of bugs and performance issues, but since the Hearts of Stone expansion, this was all smoothed out.
Now with the release of The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine, the game has received a massive overhaul both graphically and technically. A new UI welcomes players back to the game with an easier to navigate menu system.
A dangerous creature has emerged in the Duchy of Toussaint, Geralt is summoned to the city to uncover the mystery behind the deaths of a few civilians and royal guards. A beast known as the Beast of Beauclair has emerged from the shadows and the Duchess herself has made it number one priority to vanquish it as soon as possible.
The storyline is complex, with twists and turns at every story arc and some pretty dramatic choices which you have to make during your time in the land. The biggest new feature in the expansion is most definitely the new land of Toussaint, as it is the first time we have had a brand new area to explore since the original game released last year. The land is beyond beautiful, with views which really take your breath away and brand new locations to explore and beasts to kill. Every step you take in Toussaint is an experience like no other. Birds chirping peacefully and streams of water trickling down the mountain scape.
At the centre of Toussaint, the main city of Beauclair sits atop a mountain and is visible throughout the valley. It is also used as a focal point throughout the land. Wherever you are, a simple rotate of a camera will reveal the city so you can see exactly where you are.
Toussaint might be in turmoil with a deadly beast around, but the people and quests you undertake are wonderful to play through. Many a laugh took place during a few of them, and the tone is much lighter this time around, compared to the darker story from Witcher 3: Hearts of Stone. Characters all add to the vibrant story and lore which you can slowly digest, and everyone you meet is memorable to some degree.
New enemies mean a new way to approach combat, with enemies needing a more tactical approach than ever before, and some just need a fast and swift kill. It was a breath of fresh air to tackle new enemies and some rather challenging boss fights, which tested our wit. Some fights took a few tries before getting the approach nailed down, while others were a little easier on us. All enemies are also harder in level, which means if you followed the game’s level system and entered this expansion on level 38-40, then you will need to move up the ranks again before you can take on the harder areas in Toussaint.
New Witcher gear is also available called the Grandmaster Gear. This means that you can take all the gear you once farmed for in the original game, and give it one last makeover in strength and looks, to finish off the journey with. Mutagens have also been brushed up on which means you can improve your skills and upgraded even more. Geralt even owns a house now in Toussaint, which can be upgraded and changed. Some quests even give you the opportunity to let someone come live with you, opening up some backstory to their lives.
The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine really goes out with a bang and makes us wish that every game out there offered the same experience for our money. As you follow Geralt’s story from the start, all the way to the end of the expansion, you cannot help but feel a wave of sadness as you know it is the end of a masterpiece. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has been one crazy ride, which we will never forgot, and its latest expansion is truly a marvellous experience.