It’s fair to say that, despite the many contenders set to release in coming months, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will likely still be among the games being heralded as the best of the year when 2015 comes to the close. The final instalment in CD Projekt Red’s trilogy lived up to high expectations — and it seems that its DLC will, too.
The studio drip fed smaller pieces of DLC for free in the weeks following the launch of The Witcher 3, but the intention was always to release a heftier expansion at a later date. That content will be titled Hearts of Stone, and we now know a little bit more about what to expect from Geralt’s next quest.
The crux of the expansion is taking down a bandit captain, the nefarious Olgierd von Everec. He’s managed to gain the power of immortality, so it falls to Geralt to find out how to counteract that magic and kill him off, once and for all. The developers promise a heist, strange creatures and a night partying with a ghost along the way.
Gameplay is set to be shaken up by the addition of Runewords. According to information from German gaming magazine Gamestar (which was posted to the official CD Projekt Red forum), a Runeword is constructed from three runes, and then burned into a sword or a piece of armor. These Runewords then offer special effects, which can put a different spin on gameplay. One example given is a Runeword that causes burning enemies to explode when they die, but the relics can apparently deliver a host of different effects depending on the runes that are brought together.
Other additions include a new gear set, five new talents and quite a few new bosses — all of which will be unique. It’s clear that this is intended to be an expansion in the traditional sense of the word, clocking in at around ten hours, rather than the brief DLC that some studios are quick to peddle out.
While Hearts of Stone doesn’t add a new region, the map will be extended in the North and North-East of Novigrad. In addition, players will be able to visit the Oxenfurt Academy, a location at was present in the base game in an unfinished form but only accessible via the use of a glitch.
It’s unclear whether CD Projekt Red has plans to return to Geralt’s story with another Witcher game, so this may well be among the last opportunities players have to take on the role of the hunter. Wild Hunt was an unmitigated success, and it certainly looks like Hearts of Stone is going to be just as engrossing.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is available now for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. Hearts of Stone is set to release on October 13, 2015.
Source: GameStar (via CD Projekt Red Forums)