The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is easily one of the best games in the RPG genre to see release in a long time. Sure it had its issues and little niggles (we are looking at you Roach…) but for the most part it was fantastic.
What can be better than clocking over 100 hours in the main game? Well, a whole bunch of downloadable content should do the trick. The first proper DLC for The Witcher 3 was Hearts of Stone (released in October), which added a whopping 10 hours new content.
The best DLC, though, was saved for last, adding around 30 hours of content that sends the franchise off into a glorious sunset.
Blood And Wine, released at the end of May, added a whole raft of new features in addition to the semi-regular game updates from developer CD Projekt Red.
The Witcher 3 Blood And Wine review: A bright new world
Provided players have finished the core game’s main storyline, or at least ranked up to level 34, the brand new French-inspired countryside area of Toussaint isn’t opened up to you.
The new region is unique in the sense that, besides being a lot more colourful, it was completely untouched by the raging war between hero Geralt of Rivia, The Wild Hunt and the White Frost.
It is a region filled to the brim with the sweet bouquets of Erveluce and Fiorano from the Castel Ravello vineyard, peaceful peasants enjoying a game of Gwent, and knights in shining armour prancing around the main city of Beauclair – ruled by Duchess Anna Henrietta, within the Nilfgaardian Empire.
But it also harbours a dark secret, and if the ordinary townsfolk only knew that the Beast of Toussaint was on the loose, they would shutter their windows and board up the doors immediately. It is for that act reason that Geralt gets summoned to area – the rid the duchy of the beast once and for all, before it kills again.
The main plot will adds about 15 hours to the base game, while secondary quests will swallow up the player’s remaining lifespan. It’s is always a good idea to tackle the secondary quests because not only do they provide more XP, they also open up better gear and surprising new goodies. In total, there are 90 new quests, making the DLC very good value for money.
Apart from some cosmetic changes, the DLC also adds the new Manticore School gear – an armour set that looks like the armour worn by Geralt in the first Witcher title. In terms of stats, it’s not the best armour but it looks fairly impressive and will likely satisfy old school fans.
There’s a sense of closure that hangs over Blood And Wine; Geralt receives his own vineyard, Corvo Bianco, right in the beginning of the DLC where he can leisurely retire once all the monster slaying stops. Here he can spruce up the old joint to look a little bit more respectable, and it also houses a number of tools and tables that Geralt can use to upgrade his weapons.
Some of the other elements that Blood And Wine adds include dyeing Witcher armour, taking on knights in a grand tournament, new crafting tables, more than 30 new weapons – and of course Gwent hasn’t been left out as there is the all-new Skellige deck.
In a strange twist during a main quest, Geralt will also be transported to a twisted fairytale world, where nothing is what it appears to be. While it was a bit odd, it was actually a refreshing break from all the peasants and knights.
The Witcher 3 Blood And Wine review: The end is nigh
The last piece of DLC for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is a rather fitting send off for our hero. We have no idea if there will be a fourth Witcher title, but if there isn’t we are very happy with the way that it ended.
Blood And Wine to some degree also makes us kind of sad. The Witcher 3 was (and still is) a phenomenal game, but it is just a pity that some of the franchise’s biggest changes came very late in Witcher 3’s release cycle.
So with that, we can’t think of a better way to send Geralt off into the Toussaintian sunset – holding his head high knowing for a fact that the game’s best possible content was left until last.
The Witcher 3’s Blood And Wine DLC was reviewed on an Xbox One. Review code supplied by publisher.