The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has enjoyed critical acclaim and commercial success since it’s release back in May, with many, myself included, considering it to be a serious Game of the Year contender, for it’s spectacular open world, sophisticated storytelling and diverse range of quests. While developer CD Projekt RED has supported the game with a steady trickle of free downloadable content largely consisting of additional costumes and side quests as well as a frequently requested New Game Plus mode, two full expansions were promised before the game’s release and the first of them, titled Hearts of Stone, now has a release date.
Out October 13, the expansion will feature more than 10 hours of brand new content, including a new storyline, an additional romance option and a gameplay mechanic called the Runewords system, which apparently has an impact on multiple facets of gameplay. The quests are recommended for players at level 30 and above so new witchers are unlikely to get near the content too soon in the game’s already lengthy 90+ hour campaign. No digital price was revealed but the expansion will also be available in a boxed retail release for $19.99 but there won’t be a disc in the box. Instead, you’ll get a download code for the expansion as well as two physical sets of Gwent cards, the game’s fictional and increasingly popular card game. Hearts of Stone and the planned second expansion are also available in a season pass available from digital stores for $25.
CD Projekt RED has made no secrets of it’s belief in regards to downloadable content. Operating under the philosophy that people who pay money for a product should only have to pay for substantial add ons, the company has been keen to point out the difference between what they consider DLC and expansions. Harkening back to older add on styles like those of Starcraft and Baldur’s Gate‘s expansions, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt‘s expansions are set to both be longer than most modern full priced games, with the second, titled Blood and Wine, set to release in the first calender quarter of 2016 and will include more than 20 hours of content and a brand new region to explore in the game’s already gargantuan open world.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. It’s really good.