The Witcher 3: Blood & Wine should be a lesson in how DLC should be handled. Instead of adding a half baked area with a crappy story, instead we get a full fledged expansion with a meaty quest line.
We visit the city of Toussaint on contract from the Duchess. You’re tasked with defeating a monster who has been killing court officials and you embark upon an amazing quest line that is full of mystery and surprise.
The city of Toussaint is nothing to miss either. It’s a beautiful city full of life and colour. The residents treat Geralt as any other in contrast to being afraid of him for being a Witcher.
The only gripe I really have with The Witcher as a whole is the combat which was never really good, I find the only useful sign is Quen for the shield and combat is mostly dodging and rolling and taking a swing or two and then rolling away. Some fights I couldn’t help but feel like I had torn the fabrics of space and time and Geralt had fallen into Lordran and I’m playing Dark Souls. Blood and Wine’s combat is no different but it’s a minor gripe and doesn’t really bother me too much. I never ran into too much trouble fighting.
big problem I did have during the more difficult fights was dying was a pain in the ass, not because I’d failed but because the loading times are excruciating. On average of two minutes with times up to three and a half minutes the combat shortcomings became a bit more annoying with that in mind.
But luckily there’s not too many very difficult fights. And most fights can be avoided should you choose your words carefully during conversations. Which adds a greater sense of depth to the experience because, Gearlt isn’t just a murderer. He doesn’t walk around stabbing men and women left and right he’s a monster killer. So the option being readily available to you to skip a confrontation that’s unnecessary makes sense for the character you’re playing. He even mentions at one point during the main quest that given the option he doesn’t even kill a monster who doesn’t need to die.
Moving onwards and keeping with the point above its even completely possible to skip the final boss should you wish. I would defiantly sway towards telling anyone they should do it because it’s a pretty cool fight, but if the combat just grinds your gears too much then you can avoid the fight all together! Hats off to you CD Projekt. It’s a fantastic choice to be offered for players who are more interested in the story side of things and who aren’t really as fussed with the combat and it leads back in to Geralt not just killing for the sake of it when he (or you) think it unneeded.
Another note worthy point is bugs and glitches in Blood & Wine. Or rather, the lack thereof. Wild Hunt was a bit of a joke when it came to bugs and annoying glitches. Roache being one of the more annoying ones, like when he got stuck in front of doors and you could leave houses. You could forgive CD Projekt Red being their first open world game and they’ve done all the can post launch to correct these bugs. And what they are doing is defiantly working, there’s so few here the only one of note I can remember is a character just not being visible even though he’s right in front of Geralt. More amusing than annoying, it’s a lot better than Roache blocking my exits. Speaking of Roache she’s more responsive than before and her path guiding AI however seems to be a little less accurate than I remember but those are small things.
Blood & Wine is a fantastic goodbye to Geralt. I loved every minute of it and can’t wait to see what CD Projekt Red have in store for the future. I’m hopeful if there’s more in The Witcher series it comes with a refined combat system. Regardless of what they do, I’m confident it will be fantastic. But as for Blood & Wine, I’m glad I was able to see Geralt’s story finish up.
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