The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - Blood and Wine Previews

While we continue to contain our excitement for a couple more weeks until the release of CD Projekt RED's Blood and Wine expansion for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, there are at least a few more hands-on previews of the add-on to take in while we wait.

Console Domination starts us off:

Blood and Wine is set in the lush Mediterranean Toussaint, a more vibrant and luscious sandbox than Skellige or Novigrad in the main game. that being said the map size is around that of the playable area in Skellige but with less water and more land, being host to around 20 new monster types that are sure to be a blast to hunt. Dialogue wise there are about 14 thousand lines of dialogue compared to the 6 thousand found in Hearts of Stone, almost all but ensuring that the fantastic writing and direction that makes the Witcher's dialogue so interesting will not be lacking. Also added is a new dye item that changes the colours of your clothing, although it can only be obtained in the new area.

Another new feature is the vineyard in Toussaint that you are given as part of a quest. This serves as a hub for all of your activities in the DLC as well as a showcase for some of the game's new features. Spending cash can upgrade the vineyard from a cheap shack to a house worth living in, complete with new displays for your armour and weapons. There is also a workbench to test out the games 12 new mutations that grant access to huge powers, such as coming back from the dead with full health and critical hits from signs that cause enemies to explode. These new features will take a solid investment to unlock but the reward is great.

Press Start takes us further:

The expansion also sees the introduction the of Dynamic Point of Interest system. While not much more detail was given, these are essentially landmarks in the game world the player can effect change on, from how it appears through to the presence of enemy NPCs in the area.

Along with a revamped user interface, the expansion also brings with it a number of other exclusive features like new mutations and combat abilities. For those that purchase Blood and Wine, it has been confirmed that features such as these will carry on into Hearts of Stone and the base game.

And Player2 caps off the trio:

From here, things start to open up Geralt is introduced to the bodies of those murdered, as well as anyone who may have seen what went down and who may have caused it. It becomes apparent pretty quickly that this is gearing up to be a big, complex narrative, with intertwining paths and stories already appearing to take shape.

A big narrative isn't all you should expect from Blood and Wine. You are given access to a vineyard, which also doubles as your main hub, that you can modify and play around in. You can also dye your armor (Geralt looks amazing in pink) and even put your unused weapons and armor on display inside the vineyards homestead. The level cap has also been upped from level 60 to 100 to accommodate those of you who can't get enough Witcher-ing action. Most importantly, though, the overall inventory has been further cleaned up and refined, bringing with it an actual sense of function and purpose something the vanilla version of the game sorely missed. Thankfully, you won't need the Blood and Wine expansion to get the updated inventory as this will roll out in a free update for all Witcher 3 owners when Blood and Wine is released.