The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is truly one of the best RPGs of our time, but will its second and final expansion pack send Geralt of Rivia on retirement with a bang or will it be a bloody mess?
The first expansion pack for The Witcher 3 (Hearts of Stone) was short, sweet and to the point, none of which is a bad thing. In fact it was a lot of fun and added over ten hours to an already massively long game. It was the perfect excuse to step back into the shoes of Master Witcher, Geralt, and the long awaited Blood and Wine expansion will even further exceed our expectations and hopefully change the mind of gamers of what DLC should really be like.
To show just how imminent the release of Blood and Wine is, CD Projekt Red has released a teaser trailer that’s enough to get the blood pumping. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is a gem of a game in itself. Its large scope and intuitive narrative proves that developers who truly love their craft can create something beautiful. The expansions are held to the same standard as the main game itself, and in Blood and Wine’s case even more, as developers have stated that some aspects of the game have been built from the ground up just for the latest expansion. The game will not only add ninety new quests, but will also add 100 new pieces of armor, over 30 new weapons, a new interface, new mutations, new Gwent deck cards (if you’re into that kind of thing) and an completely new map to explore with new monsters to fight, all of which will add over twenty hours to the game.
It seems that CD Projekt Red really wanted to make the last Witcher 3: Wild Hunt expansion pack all that and a bag of chips and I must say they have succeeded at doing so. This expansion will cost players who have not purchased the season pass $19.99 with the season pass costing $24.99 which includes Hearts of Stone and Blood and Wine. This is interesting because DLC for the Witcher 3 added hours upon hours of new gameplay and game content. Combined, the two expansion packs clock-in around the same length as The Witcher 2 and only cost $24.99 while other DLC packs run players upwards of fifty, even sixty-dollars for significantly less content (Star Wars Battlefront and Call of Duty), most of which is bare boned garbage (map packs and weapon skins) that was removed from the main game with the intent to sell it back to the player for an added expense.
Most players like to defend their favorite developers for pulling such a stunt by claiming it is the only way they can make back a decent profit, but if that is the case, why does this added expense almost always end up screwing the player in the long run? CD Projekt Red has essentially created another full game, with some of its content being made from scratch and with everything they have jampacked into these expansions they could have easily sold them off as The Witcher 4: Geralt’s Final Hunt only $59.99 but instead they are basically giving their added content away that took them months to create because they get it. “We could sell extra content to gamers ‘down the road,’ but we don’t believe in that. We believe patches, fixes and additional content should be provided to gamers free of charge. Only something REALLY big, and something that will not make you feel ripped off, justifies a price tag… If we ever decide to charge you for something, we think you will appreciate what you get in return.” said Kondrad Tomaszkiewicz, game director for CD Project Red.
CD Projekt Red has spent more time and attention to detail on their expansion packs than most developers nowadays spend on their main game. It’s not always the developer’s fault; most of these companies are forced to answer to higher ups who are disconnected with gamers and the industry in general, as all they are concerned about is how much money they are making for the shareholders (more people who could care less about gaming.) What my tangent is trying to say is The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt expansion packs are worth your mighty dollar bills and CD Projekt Red has worked their butts off to earn every penny that they make. I just wish more developers would look at what they are creating and consider doing at least half that effort when creating their DLC packs and in some cases main games.