CD Projekt Red officially unveils the box art for Blood and Wine, the final major expansion planned to release for its critically acclaimed RPG The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
Of all the big releases set to hit over the course of 2016, one of the best bets to live up to its hype is not a wholly new title, but an expansion to one of the most critically acclaimed games of 2015. The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine looks set to be a massive new adventure for monster hunter Geralt, and now its box art has been revealed in the wake of release date rumors.
The cover depicts the titular Witcher sat on a throne with a goblet of wine in hand — at least it seems to be wine, it could also be blood. Some kind of hideous vampire with tattered wings, fearsome claws, and an active set of fangs is climbing up the back of his chair.
This seems to confirm that vampires will be a primary antagonist in the expansion. Early promotional materials referred to a ‘bloody secret’ being kept by residents of Toussaint, the setting for Blood and Wine, but it wasn’t clear whether the reference to blood was an indication of vampirism or just violence.
Indeed, Toussaint is set to be a very different locale to Novigrad, where the base game played out. It’s a land that’s primarily concerned with leisure and luxury — at least on the surface — and that’s reflected by the attire, pose and general demeanour Geralt is displaying in the cover art.
Blood and Wine is the second major expansion pack to be released for The Witcher 3, following the well-received Hearts of Stone. CD Projekt Red also released several smaller pieces of DLC for free, eschewing the sort of content-gouging some studios tend to pursue with lean season passes.
Given the enormous amount of praise that has been laden upon The Witcher 3, the team will no doubt be looking to end things on a high not with the release of Blood and Wine. There’s a high bar to clear, but at this point it seems likely that the final expansion will live up to the content that preceded it.
The more pressing question is perhaps where does CD Projekt Red go from here? We know that the studio is working on an ambitious RPG titled Cyberpunk 2077 — but based on the enormous success that its work on The Witcher has brought about, it remains to be seen whether the team will leave the franchise behind entirely.
The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine is expected to release this summer for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.