Tag Archives: the witcher 3 wild hunt

The Witcher 3 reveals the Hearts of Stone

witcher3heartsofstone

Back in September we brought you the teaser for The Witcher 3’s incoming DLC, Hearts of Stone. It’s been nearly a month now and for those of you wondering where this might be, well, Bandai Namco Entertainment Europe might just have some good news for you.

Today, Bandai Namco have released the launch trailer for Hearts of Stone and you can see it at the foot of this very page.

This expansion to The Witcher 3 will cram in over 10 hours of new adventures, introducing new characters, powerful monsters, unique romance and a brand new storyline shaped by your very own choices.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Hearts of Stone DLC will launch on the 13th of October.

The Witcher shows a Heart of Stone

witcher3heartsofstone

I remember looking on in jealous wonder last May as our Rich reviewed The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt. CD Projekt Red and Bandai Namco Entertainment Europe have certainly hit paydirt with this IP and they’re looking to expand the franchise further with the announcement of some new DLC.

The Hearts of Stone DLC will pack in over ten hours of fresh adventures, new characters, powerful monsters, unique romance and a brand new storyline, which will be shaped by gamer choices.

Become Geralt once more and experience the new Runewords system that significantly affects gameplay. Each Runeword will impact a different aspect of the in-game mechanics and will allow players to experiment with differing tactics and strategies.

Hearts of Stone will not just be available digitally, however. If you pop along to GAME in the UK at launch, you may well be able to get your sticky hands on a limited boxed edition, as a store exclusive. This boxed edition will contain a digital download code, two crafted physical decks of Gwent, with Monsters and Scoia’tael decks and a detailed manual to explain the rules of the card game.

You’ve not been forgotten if you own the digital Season Pass too, as the developers have launched a special initiative for you, that will enable you to purchase the cards separately. All information on this can be found here.

You will be able to get hold of The Witcher 3 Hearts of Stone DLC on the 13th of October on Xbox One.

Here’s your teaser.

All Witcher III: Wild Hunt DLCs now available

Cd Projekt RED have released the 16th, and final, free DLC for their sprawling epic, Witcher III: Wild Hunt.

Marcin Iwiński, co-founder:

We’ve been releasing free DLCs since launch, and today’s release of New Game +, the 16th and last of them, marks a special moment for us and, I hope, for all Wild Hunt fans as well. They can now restart their adventure and see how the story turns out if they make different choices than on their first play-through. I’d like to extend my thanks to all the gamers who played our game and gave these DLCs a try. Nothing makes a developer happier than seeing gamers have fun with what they created.

The full list of DLC released since launch is:

  • Temerian Armor Set
  • Beard and Hairstyle Set
  • New Quest – ‘Contract: Missing Miners’
  • Alternative Look for Yennefer
  • Nilfgaardian Armor Set
  • Elite Crossbow Set
  • New Quest – ‘Fool’s Gold’
  • Ballad Heroes’ Neutral Gwent Card Set
  • New Quest – ‘Scavenger Hunt: Wolf School Gear’
  • Alternative Look for Triss
  • New Quest – ‘Contract: Skellige’s Most Wanted’
  • Skellige Armor Set
  • Alternative Look for Ciri
  • New Quest – ‘Where the Cat and Wolf Play…’
  • New Finisher Animations
  • NEW GAME +

These can be accessed via the Witcher III: Wild Hunt page, on the Xbox Live Store.

Make sure to check out Rich’s review of Witcher III: Wild Hunt.

Sword of Destiny book review

Sword of Destiny header

I’m a massive fantasy fan and have read the most if not all published collections of Eddings, Feist, Tolkien, Hobb and many more. One thing I don’t read too much are fantasy novels either based on games or books that games have themselves been based on. So when Dave asked me to review Sword of Destiny by Andrzej Sapkowski, a collection of linked short stories featuring the most loved characters from the phenomenal world of Geralt the Witcher, I couldn’t refuse.

The Sword of Destiny, is the second of the two collections of short stories (the other being The Last Wish), both preceding the main Witcher Saga. All three books have been written by Polish fantasy writer Andrzej Sapkowski. The first Polish edition was published in 1992. The English edition was published by Gollancz much later in May 2015.

If you don’t know anything about Witchers or more precisely, Geralt of Riva, then let me begin by telling you the legend of witchers is timeless and brutal. Taken as young children and trained in brutal ways, Witchers are crafted, moulded, into perfect killers. They benefit from increased strength and speed, rapid healing, a near-total resistance to disease and an ability to call upon the elements with limited magical ability are the hallmarks of a Witcher. Witchers take contracts and assignments from Kings, Nobles, peasantry and everyone in between to deal with monsters and demons, worse than the common folk could ever imagine.

The short stories in Sword of Destiny take place before the events of the main Witcher Saga and introduce characters that become major players in the novel, and characters you’ll be familiar with if you’ve played any of the games. The titular story, Sword of Destiny, is in the fact the first story to introduce the reader to Ciri.

There are a total of 6 stories in Sword of Destiny and they are loosely linked in chronological order; the first of which centres around a Dragon Hunt story line which introduces a few of the characters referenced and seen in The Witcher 2 Assassins of Kings video game. The stories include The Bounds of Reason, A Shard of Ice, The Eternal Fire, A Little Sacrifice, The Sword of Destiny and Something More.

As I approached the end of this book, I began to understand the relationship between Geralt and Ciri more than ever before, expanding upon what you learn in the game The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt, the connection that develops and is described makes the book a must read for all those Witcher fans out there.

Thanks to Orion Books for their support

[rprogress value=85 text=”TiX Score 85%”]

Published just a couple of days after award winning RPG; The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt, Sword of Destiny is available from all major bookshops and online retailers for the RRP of £16.99 (softback) or £8.99 in eBook format.

sword-of-destiny

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt review

What’s your ideal game? For me, it’s an adventure across a vast land, that’s not only beautiful, but immerses me the more and more I play. It’s a world full of interesting people, each with a tale to tell. My character would be well-versed in magic and swordplay and there would be a variety of fantastical creatures for me to slay. Does such a game exist? It does…it’s called The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.

The_Witcher_3_Wild_Hunt_Alas,_poor_Yorick

Once again, you take the role of monster hunting Witcher, Geralt – a master swordsman who dabbles with light magic, and is a keen alchemist able to craft potions and oils that buff skills or give an added edge against certain enemies. Geralt is a drifter – a merc for hire – able to hunt down anyone or anything with his sleuth skills. He likes treasure and the company of a good woman or two, his deep voice would even give Solid Snake and Batman a run for their money. It’s a good job he is a likable character, because you will be spending a lot of time with him – The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is huge, and not just in terms of content, the world is massive and begging to be explored.

The_Witcher_3-Wild_Hunt_Skellige_is_a_beautiful_place

Tamaria is full of life – from lush vegetation that sways in the wind to majestic castles lavished in fine furnishing. From dank hidden caves to flee infested peasant villages, the world feels alive and lived in. You’ll need to ride on horseback or sail the seas if you want to get about quickly, and like Far Cry 4, you might not fancy travelling across long distances. Thankfully, The Witcher also has a fast travel system that allows you to quickly travel between discovered signposts. When riding horseback, you can hold down the A button to let your horse take charge and follow the road ahead, giving you the chance to sit back and take in the sights – The Witcher 3’s landscape is stunning (particularly the water effects) and continues to deliver wow moments even when you’re tens of hours into the game.

The main story sees you on the trail of your former ward, Ceri, who is being hunted by the supernatural group The Wild Hunt – it’s impossible not to draw similarities with Game of Thrones’ White Walkers, and the similarities don’t stop there either – like Harry Potter versus Lord of the Rings, I’m sure the comparisons between Witcher and Thrones fans will rage on for just as long.

During the main quest, you always seen to be one step behind Ceri, catching up with people she has met. It’s here when you listen to their tale that you get to take control of her and play out the story for yourself. It’s a welcome break from Geralt, but the scenes never drag on for too long, so never take the emphasis away from him and his journey to find Ceri.

Outside of the main quest there are secondary quests, Witcher contracts and treasure hunts to complete, but these are not just bolted on so that you can level up your character to be able to tackle the harder quests. Each one is well written and never sinks into the boredom of rinse and repeat fetch quests that so many RPGs are guilty of. The tales are often far more interesting and humourous than the main quest, but the genius behind them is in CD Projekt RED’s storytelling.

The_Witcher_3_Wild_Hunt_They_call_this_civilization--I_feel_safer_in_the_woods

Some games place your character in a fascinating world but as a visitor, a tourist taking in the sights, Geralt is no mere traveler. Everywhere you go people will reach out for help, advice or hoping you to be easy prey. How you go about each scenario is up to you, but rather than single-serving, the stories twist and wrap themselves around the whole world, filling in blanks to another person’s tale or having a deep seeded affect on how the world shapes around you. It might not be obvious at first, but every choice you make has a consequence – it’s subtle and the outcome will often present itself when you least expect it.

I really felt for the characters I met, it was like I really got to know some of them, and even became their friend – it was a liberating feeling – especially when so many games use quests as a way to farm additional XP. Personalities of characters changed and hostile acquaintances blossomed into deep friendships – the focus is firmly on the lives and fiction of Tamaria’s inhabitants, far more so than the combat, which is almost there for the ride.

The_Witcher_3_Wild_Hunt-Geralt_torching_his_enemies

At first, I found the combat to be rather clumsy – there’s light and heavy attacks, with parry, dodge and roll for evasion. But this is just one element to The Witcher’s combat; potions, oils, bombs and magic must all be combined with your physical attacks if you are to make the most of the combat. While combat can’t quite hit the fluidity of Assassin’s Creed, it’s far improved from its predecessor. Mindless button mashing is a sure way to getting yourself killed, instead, the combat is similar to Dark Souls II although a lot less punishing, which did mean I endured poor combat techniques for far longer – Dark Souls forces you to learn better techniques or you won’t progress any further in the game – once the combat clicks, like Dark Souls II, it becomes far more enjoyable.

To help you gain a better insight into each creature and how you might defeat them with potions, oils and bombs, there’s a Bestiary – a pool of knowledge on everything you have encountered or read about in books that are scattered around Tamaria. Focusing on potion and bomb creation can easily keep you busy for hours – searching for an elusive ingredient. Unfortunately there isn’t a compendium of alchemy ingredients, so you have to rely on memory, luck or by purchasing the missing ingredients from herbalists.

The_Witcher_3_Wild_Hunt_The_sirens_may_look_beautiful_in_the_water-but_once_they're_out_of_it-they_change_into_deadly-flying_creatures.

The type size in the menus didn’t help my old eyes either; I found it difficult to read when sitting at my screen and had to move closer in order to read the text. Once you’ve created a recipe for a potion or bomb, it can be replenished when you meditate, meaning scavenging for alchemy ingredients is never too much of a chore.

CD Projekt RED couldn’t entirely resist from bolting on a few obvious open-world mechanics, there are numerous fistfight contests and horse races to enter, but these are all rather dull. What I did like was the superb Hearthstone-esque card game called Qwent. By building a deck of at least 22 unit cards, plus up to ten special or Hero cards, you can take on fellow Qwent players 1v1. There are around 150 unique cards, which can bought off merchants or won from other characters and ordered into four classes, each with it’s own strengths, weaknesses and special leader cards. It’s a simple game but it had me utterly addicted, I hope there are plans to release it as a standalone mobile app or so that I can challenge some of my friends over Xbox Live.

I can’t remember the last time an RPG gripped me so much, and it’s thanks to CD Projekt RED’s masterful crafting of the story and allowing me to play out some incredible adventures within the vast open world of Tamaria – The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is about as close as it comes to being my ideal game. Now… where’s my Silver Sword? I’m off to slay some monsters!

Thanks to Xbox and Namco Bandai for their support

[rprogress value=98 text=”TiX Score 98%”]
[xyz-ihs snippet=”XboxOne”][xyz-ihs snippet=”Pegi18″]

https://youtu.be/HbvcypoU5TE

Go your way in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Witcher_3_Wild_Hunt

So, the wait is finally over. CD Projekt Red’s The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is released today. Have you got it? Are you enjoying it? Are you planning on getting it? Are you still on the fence? I know that our very own Rich is enjoying it so far.

If you haven’t made your mind up yet, perhaps the launch trailer will persuade you, that this really has been the main attraction this month, all along. Be Geralt on his quest to find the lost child of prophecy. Go on, take a look, what harm will it do?

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is out, now.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbvcypoU5TE

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Xbox One 1080p gameplay footage

Witcher 3

On the back of requests for console footage we recieved earlier today an email message from our friends at Evolve PR letting us know there is some brand new footage of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt running on Xbox One using dynamic scaling from 900p to 1080p. The introduction reads as:

The video you’re now watching is grabbed directly from an Xbox One console. We’ve been working to give gamers an even better experience on Xbox One and, on day 1, we’ll bring you dynamic scaling from 900p to 1080p. We’re not much more than a week before launch, but we’re still fighting for every line of code — we want gamers to get the best possible experience we can deliver.

Here’s the footage. Let us know your thoughts below.

The Witcher 3 has rage and steel

Witcher_3_Wild_Hunt

It’s close, so close, you can feel the breath of the Wyvern on your neck as you wait to strike. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is released on the 19th of May and CD Projekt Red and Bandai Namco Entertainment UK have ramped up the marketing machine in preparation of the game’s launch.

This trailer highlights the open-ness of the world Geralt of Rivia will be working in and the fact that lots of heads will roll.

Track down the Child of Prophecy, a living weapon that can change the shape of the world. Here’s a tantalising look at the action you can expect.