Geralt of Rivia’s monster-hunting adventures conclude with Blood and Wine, CD Projekt RED’s final DLC expansion for the award-winning RPG, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
The Witcher 3 ranks as one of the best games that I’ve ever played. Set in a beautiful world, with a fantastic story and excellent gameplay, it’s a fantasy epic absolutely without peer.
You can spend literally hundreds of hours playing the main game and another 10-20 hours with the first expansion, Hearts of Stone. Blood and Wine adds a further 20-30 hours to the game across a huge new French Riviera-inspired region, Toussaint.
A stark contrast to the war-torn lands of the main game, Toussaint is covered in vineyards and rolling hills in which is nestled the capital city, Beauclair, looking like a fairy-tale citadel from a story-book. The new area rivals the islands of Skellige in size, likely taking a good hour to walk from one end to the other.
I’ve played a few hours of Blood and Wine and I’m please to say that it retains the same high calibre of gameplay as before. The developers have made some tweaks to the UI and inventory system (for instance putting books in the glossary). Story-wise, this expansion of The Witcher’s adventures can be played at any time (as long as Geralt is levelled to 30), with the world adapting to the new story.
Fans of The Witcher 3 are going to eat up Blood and Wine’s expanded story. It features the same mix of monster hunting and political intrigue as the main game but in a new land that feels very different. As well as a new land to explore and new quests, Blood and Wine adds new armour and place for Gerald to call home.
After my exclusive preview with the expansion I sat down with Jamie Bury lead animator at CD Projekt RED to talk about Blood and Wine.
Vic BStard: What was the inspiration for the new area in Blood and Wine?
Jamie Bury: Toussaint gets a brief mention in The Witcher books and it seemed like a perfect match for our second and last expansion. After hundreds of hours in No Man’s Land we felt like it it’s time for a new and more colorful setting.
VB: I love the little details in the game. Is there anything in this new expansion that players may overlook?
JB: There’s is. We put in lots and lots of references and links to the main game and to previous Witcher games. Did you noticed how the cats are finally reacting to Geralt’s appearance? That was always part of the books but never featured in the game. Some fans and players pointed it out so we took note and added that. In general, we have been trying to listen to our fans and community as close as possible and we hope it shows.
VB: Does the expansion add any new types of monster?
JB: Yes! We got at least 20 new types of enemies. You might not like all of them. Horrible stuff! Good news is: with the new and improved mutation system and lovely new gear you should be ready to get rid of those creatures.
VB: Is it best to play the expansion after the main game or during?
JB: That’s totally up to you as it has its own story line. Some decisions from the main game will be reflected in Blood and Wine, of course.
VB: Blood and Wine is a new area rather than an extended side quest, isn’t it? Does it expand on any of the lore that we come across in the main game?
JB: It is. While Hearts of Stone was an expansion of the main map from The Witcher 3, this is taking you to a completely different and new area with new characters, a completely new look and a huge and beautiful new city called Beauclaire.
Besides having that new area Geralt also gets his very own place to live – a beautiful vineyard in the heart of Touissant. This is kind of a hub for your next adventures, you can rest and recover there and you might even meet some old friends stopping by for a visit.
VB: Can you tell me anything about the expansion that you’ve not told anyone else?
JB: Yes! Watch out for the three little pigs!
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is available now on Windows PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4. The game’s final DLC expansion, Blood and Wine, will be available for digital purchase and download on 31st May.