CD Projekt RED is at the vị trí cao nhất of its trò chơi as it sends off a series that stands among the best mainstream gaming has to offer.
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The Witcher 3: Blood và Wine reviews – this is what we came for
Three different people have messaged me about something that happens a few minutes into Blood và Wine, the second và final expansion for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
CD Projekt RED’s writing works its magic throughout it all. Personality is what keeps players coming back.
It doesn’t much matter what it is; it’s just a tiny throwaway joke, and not that interesting independent of the experience. But for fans of The Witcher 3, it’s lượt thích a flag going up, or a starter pistol firing. It’s a signal that means “this is what you came for”: CD Projekt RED’s lauded signature style.
Blood và Wine starts the way so many Witcher 3 experiences do: you meet some randos you may or may not remember from the books or past games, fight some other randos, get stomped into the ground a few times by a monster, & poke around with Witcher Senses while Geralt rumbles observations ranging from trite to poignant khổng lồ laugh-out-loud funny. It’s alright, you know? It’s clip games. Maybe you wonder if you can really be bothered doing the whole mở cửa world questing thing again.
Moments later you’re in an inn mediating a shouting match between a loquacious peasant determined khổng lồ enjoy his 15 minutes of fame & a hedonistic knight impatient with the whole world because the grisly murder you’ve come khổng lồ investigate means his favourite meal is off the menu – where other games would have had a deeply seriously relaying of facts, or a comedic scene in which the player character took the primary, wise-cracking role. It wasn’t until the first pair of blood-spattered boobs that I said “well this is certainly a Witcher trò chơi isn’t it” but for me that was the moment in which we really started Witcher’ing.Watch on YouTube
Whether you hare off after the startlingly colourful array of secondary quests or pursue the technicolour main quest, as soon as CD Projekt RED dumps you out into the gloriously beautiful Toussaint (finally, our expectations are answered) all the hallmarks of the franchise shine forth. The constant menace of the monstrous world. The warts-and-all crowds who shelter from the dangers beyond the walls. The hand-crafted wilderness with its breathtaking moments of beauty. Geralt’s quiet humour. The distinctly European flavour of the setting. Being repeatedly smashed into paste by an enemy as you fail the split-second multiple choice kiểm tra of block-dodge-roll again (turn the difficulty down, nobody cares và you’ll still get pasted).
The story is perhaps less perfect than that of Hearts of Stone, with some wobbles of pace và logic, but the trade-off for this is a degree of complexity in branching narratives. There are multiple endings, and significantly more paths to lớn them; at one point you’ll have to lớn choose between one of two completely different mission paths, and then they wind back together for the ending in ways that are still giving me headaches. This is something I enjoy very much.
It’s a world where you can meet a random bloke in a pub & he tells you a story that makes you laugh out loud, or feel a moment of heart-wrenching compassion.
Moreover, every character has a personality all of their own. You never get the feeling someone at CD Projekt RED said “bung a quest giver in here”. It’s always, who is this person? What’s their job? What vì chưng they think of witchers, what vị they think of Geralt? What’s their mood? How does this encounter fit into their day, their life – what is it like from their perspective? and all that gets foregrounded in the writing.
More than any grass animation, dynamic weather system or to-the-clock NPC routine, this is what makes a setting feel alive. It shapes an experience in which Geralt is definitely the main character, whose actions profoundly matter – but he’s not the centre of the universe. It’s a world where you can meet a random bloke in a pub and he tells you a story that makes you laugh out loud, or feel a moment of heart-wrenching compassion. It’s a world where you, as the player, literally the most important person, explore a world that has been built specifically for you – và yet you can still experience sonder.
Other people live in this world; other people have goals and motivations và feelings. They don’t exist to lớn enable Geralt; they don’t exist khổng lồ frame his experiences. He affects them, perhaps in profound ways, và even despite the dulling of his emotional responses due lớn Witcher mutations, he is affected in turn (as are we, hopefully). He moves through their lives and out again; & there’s a sense that their lives go on without him.
Every story in The Witcher 3 – Wild Hunt, Hearts of Stone, and Blood và Wine – has two very important moments. The first one occurs when you step off the railroading of the early introductory quests và contemplate the world spread before you, already bristling with points of interests and the crooked fingers of story hooks. You have a horse, two swords & a bag of tricks; a world of adventure await, a world of characters and stories just waiting for someone khổng lồ come along và provide an audience. He can go anywhere, vị anything. It’s exciting và promising, lượt thích unopened presents.
The second one is at the end, when the sound & fury of the quest lines và monster hunts dries up, the companions leave & Geralt is left alone, in the quiet. The two situations are the same: horse, sword, bag of tricks – it’s just that Geralt is no longer invited to lớn play. The world is still out there, & still full of stories, but Geralt’s role in them has ended. They move on without him, & you know that eventually he moves on, too; one of the keys of the mythos is that a Witcher is never welcome for long.
Interestingly, then, Blood and Wine offers a little bit of permanency, giving the player a chance to lớn settle down. “I’ve never owned property before,” Geralt admits. His only home is a crumbling castle, the headquarters of a dying và perhaps redundant order. Now there’s an alternative: a permanent place, a community, somewhere Yennefer, Triss và Ciri might visit. The landscape has a dream-like golden glow; this is a fantasy happy ending, a reward well-earned by a character who has suffered a great deal and been very, very good both khổng lồ players and developers.
After the end credits of Blood and Stone, Geralt stands from a small campfire và says, khổng lồ nobody in particular, “You know, I would lượt thích to go home.” Retirement, perhaps, awaits.
Our guide to lớn The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine is a good place lớn start exploring Toussaint. Blood & Wine is available now on PC, PS4 và Xbox One.