Once More Unto The Breach!
Upon finishing Hearts of Stone, I was still in the mood for more stoic sarcasm from Gwynbleidd himself. And do you know what? CD Projekt Red had me covered, in the final piece of The Witcher 3 DLC, Blood and Wine!
This DLC starts with a simple side quest, which leads you on to meeting a couple of old friends from a far off land called Toussaint. There have been some grizzly murders over in these foreign lands, murders people believe only a Witcher could resolve.
So off you trot on your merry Witchery way all the way to Toussaint.
A Whole New World
When you arrive in Toussaint, you are hit with something games nowadays don’t often put in front of your eyes…colour. That being said, yes the standard Witcher tale has pretty enough colour, but Toussaint is just beautiful. Instantly you will notice how pretty it is, and thats compared to the main game(which is pretty)…oh have I told you how good it looks yet?
Back to the set up, the White Wolf is asked to investigate a recent murder scene by the banks of a river. Then on to a post-mortem investigation. Very early on, you discover a plot to kill a select set of people, and a main villain is shown you. I dislike spoilers, otherwise I’d explain more on the narrative. I will say it’s pretty darn good, but with The Witcher 3, it’s the existing in the world that gives me the most pleasure, along with playing the side quests to flesh out the areas.
What Are You Buying?
Blood and Wine changes things up in a big way, without ruining the core game. For instance, CD Projekt Red have overhauled the inventory menus, added easier and streamlined crafting, added dyes for your armour, and new advanced mutagens which add all new buffs to your silver-haired beastial bester.
The fundamental controls are the same still, which is fine with me. But the additions they have added, just make things less of a headache (which I’m for). There are a metric shit ton of new armour, weapons, and monsters. They aren’t just subtle reskins either…well for the most part. All of your witcher gear can now be upgraded further, meaning you will have to find some schematics.
Toussaint is full of brilliantly crafted side quests, and secrets. Lot’s of Arthurian legend-esque missions, especially a lady of the lake take which was fun. Some cosplay madness resulting mass murder and saving the testicles from a statue, they are all interesting to happen upon.
Play The Hand You’re Dealt!
For those of you that need the Gwent hit, Blood and Wine has you sorted (well until Gwent comes out anyway). There is a full new deck to collect, along with a Gwent tournament you can part take in. I’m absolutely shite at Gwent, I’ve won a few matches.
That being said, the only missions I haven’t finished in the main game, Hearts of Stone and Blood and Wine are the Gwent missions. I just thought you folks would like to know there’s more for Gwent lovers.
Bricks And Mortar
Yet another feature of Blood and Wine, you get yourself a vineyard, and with it a home. This is a nice little game distraction, which strangely hits home that this could really be the last time we play Witcher Geralt. You get a sense of him actually settling down, and slipping on a smoking jacket and sipping a brandy for the rest of his days.
The Vineyard can be slightly upgraded and restored by throwing money at it (like a house in real life). In the house you can display armour sets, place weapons and pictures on the walls, and your books can live on shelves instead of Geralt’s enormous library pockets. It’s a nice little distraction, and looks pretty (don’t think I’ve mentioned the prettiness).
Sunrise, Sun Fall
The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine is a brilliant piece of DLC, it’s a good game in it’s own right. More cohesive than the main game in many ways (I felt the final third of Witcher 3’s main story was bollocks). Blood and Wine works, it ties everything up in a beautiful (It’s pretty), 30+Hrs of hunting, liberating, Gwenting, riding, Witchering gameplay.
This DLC has enough to it, for you to go out and buy right now. If you’ve never been a big fan of Witcher, this won’t change your mind.
If you were put off by the size of The Witcher 3, this is a good way of experiencing it without the commitment. You can currently buy The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt from super-markets new for £12, or even pick up a pre-owned copy, then buy this DLC on it’s own, it’ll set you back less than £30 overall and you get a great 30+Hr game.
Overall I say