Short answer: Yes, absolutely. Longer answer: They can be ignored, that is if you want to miss out on over 30 hours of amazing content tailored specifically for endgame purposes that only bolsters the entire experience inherent of The Witcher 3 and, to go on even further, quite possibly makes Blood and Wine alone one of the greatest DLCs ever conceived.
Clearly it’s a topic that has its own polarity spectrum and, depending on who is asked, there are varying takes on the necessity of these DLCs. While they may not add any vast changes to the overarching story, there are some awesome takeaways (like a sweet sword called Aerodonight) and experiences that will make players fall right back in love with this beautiful, mesmerizing and time-consuming video game.
The Cons of Excessive Witching
To begin, it’s probably best to peer headlong into the cons of The Witcher 3 DLC, just to get a good and realistic feel about what players can expect on the negative side of things. For one, as said previously, it’s an extra 30 hours plus experience, which is tacked on to an already existing over 100 hours of the game’s main narrative. That’s a lot of time spent in-game, and while it might be a blessing to some, it’s also a curse to others. Especially for those hardcore completionists and die-hard fans who not only want the entire Witcher 3 package but also want to procure all of its glorious achievements. Finishing everything the game has to offer could easily take months.
Some players, specifically those with little to no free time, may never even get to play the DLC (or even the full game) to its entirety, given the fact that it’s so long and actually takes quite a while to level up. That’s why deciding whether to even play the unforgettable DLC expansions is, in of itself, among the most difficult choices players will make in the game. Despite the fact that buying the two DLCs aren’t exactly an issue anymore, seeing that a bundled Complete Edition runs at a lowly $15 on the PlayStation Store, it’s really all about whether or not players are willing to put in all of that time and effort for something that will effectively finish and round out one of the best games ever made.
Fortunately, the DLCs have brought along with them a neat new feature called New Game Plus, allowing for the whole entire experience to be replayed for a second, far more brutal time.
A Whole New World
While Hearts of Stone may have added one of the game’s creepiest moments with the faceless Von Everc’s estate caretaker, Blood and Wine only ups the ante even further by way of Toussaint. Players are welcomed into a completely new fantasy land that bears a striking resemblance to both Italy and France with a more Wonderland-esque twist. There’s also a palatial home vineyard for players to fully upgrade and basically live in for the time spent in the beautiful countryside of Toussaint. Given the fact that it adds over 20 hours of playable content, Blood and Wine is filled with side-quests, Witcher contracts, and treasure hunts of varying interest. There’s also a whole new side of the mutagen slots added in, allowing for a wide range of different customization options for the player’s perfect character build.
The entire stories wrapped into both Hearts and Blood are truly unforgettable. These are in-game experiences that, no matter the type of player, all gamers must experience at least once in their life. The DLCs likewise add a ton of new Witcher gear to collect and other assorted weaponry, like an ice grenade that freezes opponents or the aforementioned Aerodonight, which remains among the most powerful swords in the game. There’s just so much to explore and to unlock within both expansion pieces and, while it may at first seem extremely daunting, their main storylines aren’t that long. They also raised the level cap to 100, allowing any and all players to go even further in their quest to become the greatest Witcher the continent has ever seen.
The Full Witcher Package
Blood and Wine alone rests among the most memorable DLC expansions, from the likes of Skyrim’s Dragonborn to Grand Theft Auto IV’s The Ballad of Gay Tony. Adding a whole different part of the map to an already relatively massive open-world (one of the largest following closely behind Arma 3 and Just Cause 3), Blood and Wine easily takes the cake in terms of allowing players ample amounts of expression, exploration, upgrading, and narrative enjoyment. From warring vineyards to a young woman lost in her own fantasy land, Blood and Wine packs an ample amount of content just waiting to be extracted, and if that wasn’t enough there’s also Hearts of Stone, which itself adds a whole new layer to the game by way of its trickster antagonist, the Man of Glass.
The Witcher 3 DLC may invite extreme levels of time-wasting, yet they’re often the most memorable and enjoyable experiences the entire playthrough has to offer.
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