Last year The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was critically regarded as one of the best video games ever created, sweeping up Game of the Year awards in every corner of the internet, including Stevivor’s own categories of Best Role-Playing Game and Overall Game of the Year. The open fantasy world CD Projekt Red built was outstanding and with its final expansion, “Blood and Wine”, fans of the franchise have an opportunity to explore a brand new location with the highly skilled monster slayer Geralt of Rivia for one last time.
Shortly after receiving your first initial quest in “Blood and Wine” you’ll be set on the task of trying to track down the beast that has been tormenting the kingdom of Toussaint. This quest will lead you to a new region that will immediately stand out as one of the franchise’s most visually spectacular yet; all of the colours pop right off of the screen — there’s just so much green.
The area is also very big; as you zoom out of the map you’ll see exactly how much land it is that you’ll be able to explore. The CD Projekt Red developers who were on hand during our time with the game showed off all the content markers you can uncover, and there’s a lot. Over 30 hours of gameplay, to be exact, according to their current playthroughs.
After just spending a few minutes back in The Witcher 3 it made me remember why I enjoyed the series so much. The narrative is superb; it’s on a level that not many other games come close to. Not only are you progressing story elements through the narrative, but in some situations you’ll learn key strategies of taking down monsters by performing certain tactics. I had to relearn this while playing through Blood and Wine as I got to a point where I was repeatedly getting absolutely destroyed during one fight. Finally it clicked; I stopped and read the monster entry in Geralt’s diary. I prepared for the battle by applying the necessary potions, equipping the correct bombs and selecting the best signs. After doing this the fight was a lot easier – I just needed the right approach and patience.
Blood and Wine allows Geralt to acquire some new mutations, while also allowing for a few skills to be enabled at any given time. There is an added layer to mutations when you take the game into new game plus, with a whole different levelling system to unlock their highest potential. Early on in the “Blood and Wine” quest line you’ll be provided a home in Corvo Bianco by Anna the Duchess of Toussaint. You can decorate the interior with items such as furniture, paintings or your armour and weapons. With over 100 new pieces of armour and over 30 weapons, you’ll have a great location for Geralt to show off all his collections from his adventures.
If you haven’t played The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt since its release then there are a bunch of changes to take in aside from what “Blood and Wine” has to offer. From a redesigned interface, combat and movement improvements, to general gameplay and performance fixes, there is a lot of support which has continued to refine an already outstanding game. The quick hands-on we had with Blood and Wine continues to show how much care CD Projekt Red are taking with The Witcher 3 and its expansion content. If you loved The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt for either the world building, storytelling, gameplay or Gwent (yes there are new Gwent cards), then Blood and Wine should be exactly what people are wanting; more time with an amazing experience in The Witcher 3. You can try it out for yourself from 31 May on Xbox One, PS4 and Windows PC.