The Witcher 3 it is undoubtedly one of the greatest role-playing games of recent memory, perhaps of all time. The sprawling story that follows Geralt of Rivia offers players a memorable world to return to for countless hours. And while the game recently turned seven, we should really be celebrating the sixth anniversary of the best part of The Witcher 3: the Blood and wine DLC story that ended Geralt’s adventure.
Life in technicolor
The research in which the player leads Blood and wine begins when Geralt comes across a notice asking the famous Witcher to accompany two knights to the Duchy of Toussaint. As you drive Roach through the hills and valleys of the earth, a cutscene eventually plays that takes you to Toussaint. The first image is a striking view of vibrant green hills and a piercing blue sky.
The splendid first sight of Toussaint leaves you speechless.
After playing this intro for the first time, I couldn’t help but think about Dorothy’s entry into Oz with the drastic shift from black and white to a larger-than-life technicolor stage. This is what it feels like to see Toussaint for the first time.
The Witcher 3 it’s a good game, but it’s a gritty beauty. Dirt and grime cling to the streets and even the clothes on Geralt’s back, mingling with the blood of the slain creatures and his injuries. The color saturation seems muted to emphasize that while this story has dragons and witches, it’s not one of your childhood fairy tales.
Blood and winehowever, it looks like a fairytale.
CD Projekt Red took inspiration from real-world locations to create the game world of the Witcher 3. Much of it comes from the developer’s home country of Poland. For Toussaint, CD Projekt Red looked to the Mediterranean, modeling the Duchy on Italy, Spain and the south of France.
After recording dozens of hours in this silent world, being thrust into Toussaint feels like a much needed breath of fresh air. The missions and combat are unchanged in quality from the base game, which means they are still very good. Yet only the visual brilliance of the color palette entices the player to commit to at least 30 more hours of content.
Paint the town red
One of the added benefits of this push towards a colorful world is the way it improves the main questline Blood and wine.
Geralt was brought to Toussaint to hunt down the Beast of Toussaint. What originally appeared to be a classic monster hunt soon turns out to be an intricate storyline involving vampires.
These vampires suck blood, claw enemies and are put to the sword by Geralt. This is a bloody affair, as is to be expected when vampires are involved. The heightened color palette elevates the gritty action of the base game into a B horror movie. The blood here is bright and shiny, as one might imagine the velvety underside of Count Dracula’s cloak.
But this joyful feast for the eyes never interferes with the amazing writing The sorcerer 3 the missions are famous. The main line of Blood and wine tells a story of grudges and a desire for revenge. Conveniently use the vampire as a vehicle for this story. They are creatures regardless of time who in their vilest form are driven by a singular hunger without regard for the pain it inflicts. There are obviously more endings, and it’s a joy to experience them all and see which tendrils this story ends up in for its characters.
Along the road, Blood and wine it becomes a fairy tale when Geralt finds himself interacting with a collection of classic characters like Rapunzel and the big bad wolf. All of these encounters are tongue and cheek, but just below the surface, there’s a sharp edge that really makes it The Witcher face the story.
Furthermore, Blood and wine has some of the funniest and most bizarre side quests to enjoy. Separated from the seriousness of the base game, Geralt can get into many cheats including but not limited to: recovering the stolen genitals of a statue, fighting a drunken boxer who only fights drunken opponents, doing paperwork and recovering Excalibur.
A side quest worth highlighting is “The Warble of a Smitten Knight” which sees Geralt playing the role of wingman for a lovesick knight. The research is a long chain that takes place entirely around a Renaissance Fair tournament.
Rest and relaxation
At the center of the Blood and wineIt’s greatness is its ability to break away from the rest of the base game in style and tone. This is the latest content in the game and the ultimate adventure players will have with Geralt of Rivia, at least for now. The team decided to have fun and leave the players with good memories.
When I go back to The Witcher 3, I can’t stand the base game color palette. I want to go back to riding on Roach and doing side missions for fun, not being immersed in the environmental narrative of the hard world. I confess that I modify the game, there are a lot of reshade mods that change the lighting and saturation to make the world a little brighter.
Yet, more than just wishing for a brighter color palette, I find myself wishing for a more colorful world. I find myself returning Blood and wine. For those who haven’t played the base game, there is an option to play Blood and wine with a new save correctly leveled. Or, if you’ve played the expansion before, you can load up your save and Geralt will be waiting for you, lying on his cellar patio, not a concern in the world.
The Witcher 3 is available on PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC and will arrive on PS5 and Xbox Series X | S in the fourth quarter of 2022.