The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - Hearts of Stone

Once you play Hearts of Stone you'll want to invest in The Witcher 3's Season Pass

By Grayshadow, Posted 21 Oct 2015

After five months we’ve finally gotten a brand new full expansion of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Called Hearts of Stone this standalone story has players to either play using an existing file or immediately using a level 30 default character if you’re still unprepared for the trials ahead. Somehow CD Projekt RED found a way to combine a romance, horror story, and fairy tale into one cohesive tale that kept me hooked until the very end. 

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Don’t expect a brand new land to explore, instead Hearts of Stone has players traveling further north and east ofNovigard. It takes time for the main story to get going. The missions start off as busy work eventually things begin to gain traction and a new chapter is started.

Centering around two men, the first being a nobleman named Olgierd von Evric who acts more like a bandit than a man of class. Here Olgierd ask Geralt to eliminate a monster in the Oxenfurt sewers, nothing difficult for an accomplished Witcher. However as you might assume things don’t go according to plan and Geralt finds himself being rescued by strange man named Gaunter O’Dimm. This enigmatic figure hounds Geralt for saving him and expects a favor in equal value. Eventually a compromise is made where with von Everic and O’Dimm’s debt can be paid for at once.

It’s clear that CD Projekt RED took care in developing the missions for Hearts of Stone. You’ll head into a crypt of Olgierd’s dead family and encounter ghosts, attend a peasant’s wedding and have fun dancing, place bids on exotic items, and even plan a heist. Each mission is varied and had Geralt visiting old and new areas, each with unique outcomes. This doesn’t mean that the entire expansion is light-hearted fun, during the second half things take a turn for the worst. Before I could blink the charming tale become a nightmare.

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Those who played the first Witcher game will find a former ally join Geralt, Shani the medic. Expect to spend a largeportion of time with Shani and even pursue her as a love interest. Like Yennefer or Triss attempting to woo Shani grants access to some entertaining dialogue, especially during the wedding. Be prepared to see Geralt say and do things outside his persona, some of which had me tearing up in laughter.

The mysterious story is the major driving force behind Hearts of Stone, however combat is a strong second. Intense boss battles and challenging minor adversaries will have players dancing around the battlefield. New enemy types introduced in Hearts of Stone join the ranks of the core game, such as spiders who will constantly attempt to dodge attacks until they surround Geralt to maximize offense attacks.

This doesn’t mean Geralt doesn’t have any new tricks to use. New runewright options allow you to enchant your gear withrunewords and glyphwords, replacing any glyphs and runes already equipped with more powerful effects. Other new additions include Axii spreading to other enemies if the currently inflicted one is killed, Igni spreading to other enemies more efficiently, and placation granting numerous bluffs when your adrenaline meter is filled. 

The Witcher 3,Wild Hunt,Hearts of Stone,CD Projekt RED,Noobfeed,WB Games,

For $9.99 it’s hard not to recommend Hearts of Stone. Not only does it offer a massive amount of content but stands out from other DLC expansions that deliver less for more. Despite visiting familiar areas CD Projekt RED does a fantastic job of making these feel like new strange places. Coupled with exciting missions and intriguing characters Hearts of Stone builds on everything that made the core game fantastic. Once you play Hearts of Stone you’ll want to invest in the Season Pass.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Review

Adam Siddiqui, NoobFeed
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General Information

Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch
Publisher(s): CD Projekt RED
Developer(s): CD Projekt
Genres: Role-Playing
Themes: Fantasy, Action, Adventure
Release Date: 2015-10-12

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