The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - Hearts of Stone Reviews

Now that CD Projekt RED's Hearts of Stone expansion pack for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has had more than a full week to make an impression and settle into gamers' minds, a variety of additional websites are offering up their final critiques.

PC Gamer gives it an 82/100:

The Witcher 3 has an unusual problem to overcome: in a game with an abundance of sidequests most players will never experience, what's the appeal of this particular one? I hear these concerns, and felt them going into Hearts of Stone. I enjoyed the 12+ hours I spent with the von Everec saga, though it did serve to reinforce some awkward truths about the core game, namely, that the combat and character progression really needs the epic scope of a 100 hour campaign to sustain them. Oh, and there really is a lot of running back and forth in this game, isn't there? As a new self-contained saga though, Heart of Stones is unparalleled RPG storytelling. Just make sure you bring an investment in the fantasy.

IGN gives it a 9.0/10:

The story in Hearts of Stone alone would make it worth getting, but it succeeds on other levels as well. The fun new enemies and bosses, along with the customization potential of Runewords make Hearts of Stone a very well-rounded package that shouldn't be skipped.

Eurogamer gives it a 3/5:

So. Yay? Nay? Maybe? That depends on how much more The Witcher 3 you can take. If you're a fan, if you're keen for more content, if you're just not done with the world, the answer is: yes. Absolutely. Hearts of Stone probably won't do much but aggravate you if you had no appetite for the core game, but for others this is more of The Witcher 3 in all its imperfect glory.

Kotaku eschews a score:

Given how good most of The Witcher 3's free DLC was, it shouldn't come as a shock that the first paid expansion is similarly high-quality. All the same, I wasn't expecting to like Hearts of Stone quite as much as I do. Hearts of Stone does precisely what a good expansion should: It gives us more of what we liked about the original game while expanding on it in interesting ways.

Stuff doesn't score it:

If you're already a big Witcher fan this is an absolute no brainer, and even if you thought you were quite happily done with the game, it's worth the asking price just to steam though the main story in order to experience some of the best, most unusual characters, writing and quests in the series yet.

Polygon doesn't score it, either:

Here's the thing: There's already an enormous amount of that in The Witcher 3 proper. It's not a game light on content by any definition, and my time with "Hearts of Stone" doesn't put it near the top of the game's best-of list. If you've absolutely exhausted The Witcher 3 and want more, then "Hearts of Stone" is definitely that. But most of the way through the story, I don't feel especially compelled to play more.

Shacknews gives it an 8/10:

Overall, Hearts of Stone is a great addition to The Witcher 3 if all you're looking for is more of the same. If you're expecting something game changing or different, then this isn't a DLC worth your time. I enjoyed my time back in the Northernlands, roaming the wild and decapitating monsters, but when you get down to it, Hearts of Stone feels like it could easily have been included in the base game, although that isn't necessarily a bad thing.

GamesRadar gives it a 4.5/5:

It's a testament to how good The Witcher's world, characters, and stories are that all of these issues - especially the combat, which is a core pillar of its gameplay - are worth dealing with to experience. While Hearts of Stone doesn't fix Wild Hunt's biggest problems, it provides a hell of a reason to hop back into this perpetual short story machine. It's the video game equivalent of a novella, fleshing out a little bit more of this fascinating world and the people who inhabit it by providing more of the superb storytelling we've come to expect from CD Projekt Red.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun goes scoreless:

Hearts of Stone reminded me exactly what I loved about it the first time around, and all I could think when the credits rolled was how much I look forward to firing this game up in a few more months and concluding both Geralt's final adventure, and one of the PC's finest RPGs. Give or take a few giant bloody spiders. Grr.

Technobubble gives it a 4.5/5:

All in all, Hearts of Stone is a breathtaking experience that builds on the excellence of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. If the well crafted story doesn't reel you in, the gameplay and new monsters and bosses likely will. If you loved Wild Hunt, you'll definitely want to give Hearts of Stone a shot.

VentureBeat gives it an 88/100:

Hearts of Stone is a collection of some of the best quests The Witcher 3 has to offer. Its story is cohesive; its characters are worth meeting; and the thematic diversity is worth seeing. If you've already beaten the original experience, these quests are worth checking out. If you haven't, make these quests a top priority.

Metro gives it an 8/10:

There's also the problem, if you can call it that, that The Witcher 3 is already so massive that it doesn't really need any new content. But while you could argue that Hearts Of Stone should have offered more in terms of gameplay improvements the storytelling and characterisation is a notable, and welcome, change of pace. Think of it as a digestif to savour after the main game, and to prepare for the more substantial epilogue to follow.

The Escapist gives it a 4.5/5:

Hearts of Stone, despite not really adding that much new "stuff", tells an amazing, engaging story that is worthy of the $10 price tag. While The Wild Hunt was the conclusion to an epic, climactic saga, Hearts of Stone is simply another story in the life of Witcher Geralt.

We Got This Covered gives it a 4.5/5:

Ultimately, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt'˜s first paid expansion is a marker by which gamers will come to judge future DLC releases for all titles. For a meagre price it recaptures what was so impressive about the main campaign, before adding a host of new features, stories and themes to re-challenge its faithful players. The ten-plus hours of story content are one thing, but the way this expansion has continued my love affair with the world of The Witcher is somewhat of a triumph. Fans should not hesitate in adding this new quest line to their collection, whilst anyone yet to experience one of Geralt's adventures can add this to the list of reasons as to why they should.

GameSkinny gives it an 8/10:

Hearts of Stone provides that excellent experience we're used to from the Witcher series. With a solid amount of quality content that will keep you busy for at least a dozen hours, a $9.99 price tag doesn't seem so bad. If you're a fan of the Witcher, or even just a fan of epic role-playing games, you won't be disappointed with Hearts of Stone.

PlayStation Universe gives it a 9.5/10:

Hearts of Stone is how an expansion should be made.The story alone is worth the price of admission, while its cast are instantly memorable and leave you questioning your own moral compass. The new enemies and bosses are a blast to fight, and - despite the high prices - the new Runeword crafting system has strong potential. Hearts of Stone is, quite simply, an expansion owners of the Witcher 3 can't afford to miss.

TechRaptor gives it a 9/10:

All in all, Hearts of Stone is exactly what we should have expected from CD Projekt RED after Wild Hunt, and it makes me incredibly excited for the next expansion, Blood and Wine, next year, which promises to be near 20 hours worth of content. To reiterate, if you liked Wild Hunt, you will certainly enjoy your time with Hearts of Stone.

And Twinfinite gives it a 4.5/5:

Hearts of Stone never feels tacked on at any point, and although the side activities are a bit lackluster there are more than enough highs to make the singular low seem insubstantial. This is a true expansion, one that builds excellently on the already amazing base game. CD Projekt Red did an amazing job with this one and kept true to their word that they would only charge if worth it. The Witcher 3: Hearts of Stone is most definitely worth it and a testament to how an expansion should be done.