Witcher 3 Expansion Screens Reveal La Belle Toussaint

The first expansion for The Witcher 3 [official site], Hearts of Stone, let Geralt into new areas of the game’s map (and is pretty great, says Cobbo). Expansion number two, Blood and Wine, will be a larger affair visiting a whole new area of the Witching world, the France-y Toussaint. And what does Toussaint look like? A lovely place for your summer hols, going by the first two ‘screenshots’ (they look touched-up to me).

“The first half of 2016” is still as specific as developers CD Projekt RED will be about Blood and Wine’s release date. And this blurb is about as much as we know about it:

“Blood and Wine is a 20-hour tale that will introduce the all-new in-game region of Toussaint, will take Geralt to a land untainted by war, where an atmosphere of carefree indulgence and knightly ritual masks an ancient, bloody secret.”

But now we also know it’s pretty! Well, beneath the ‘cinematic’ black bars, what looks like a fair bit of artificial sharpening, and the high angles we’re unlikely to see in-game. But that mountain! That castle! Those rolling hills!

The Witcher 3 surprised me with just how pretty it was, as I’ve come to expect dramatic skies and bright colours from screenshots to be dull and washed-out in-game, so I don’t imagine it’ll look too much worse than this in reality. Maybe, a few years from now, big-budget games will have learned from TW3 and be offering us lovely bold colours.

That screen up top ↑ is the palace of Beauclair, RED say, while I believe the one down there ↓ is a vineyard-y place. Famed for its glug, Toussaint. You can see the full-size screenshots here and here.

From this site

28 Comments

  1. Erayos says:

    I was amazed at the first artworks/screenshots of Novigrad back before the release of the base game, I’m still amazed today about this, they definitely do know how to city.

  2. Kollega says:

    Aaaaaand cue the “but does it have a wingsuit?!” joke.

  3. padger says:

    That looks fucking fantastic. I should probably finish The Witcher 3…

  4. Premium User Badge

    Mungrul says:

    I dearly love Witcher 3’s Novigrad, but as with all ambitious open world games, I find myself wishing I could enter every last house. I know that this is technically very hard to do, but I can dream :)

    Bethesda’s solution, to use a separate map cell for interiors, is simply not acceptable. No matter how hard they try, you always end up with a Tardis effect.

    • SMGreer says:

      In fairness, you can enter an awful lot of the buildings in Novigrad, even ones that have nought to do with quests.

    • cannedpeaches says:

      Bethesda’s solution also, I’m finding as I sink time into F4, means an immersion-breaking load just to enter a one-room building. F4 is at it’s best when you hit “Open” on a door and it just opens and you walk inside. TW3 was the best at this, in Novigrad not as much but in Oxenfurt (smaller, more manageable) they kind of nailed it. And even in other areas, you don’t end up with that kind of over-obvious signaling that “Hey, this is a fake door, you see? Can’t go in there.”

      • carewolf says:

        It annoyed me on isles, especially around the castle if you walk down the mountain. There are a lot of doors there that lead in interesting direction, but they are all non-functional.

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      Still, a step forward compared to TW2’s doors nightmare.

  5. Meneldil says:

    I don’t get it: isn’t Temeria supposed to be the Witchery equivalent of France? People there have french sounding names, and the coat of arm is that of the middle age french kingdom.

    Is Toussaint even more french?

    • Meneldil says:

      That being said, the first screenshot looks like HoMM5 haven, put into a RPG. And as far as I’m concerned, that’s pretty exciting.

    • TheAngriestHobo says:

      CDPR has stated that there are no direct equivalents to historical kingdoms. There’s a buttload of inspiration taken from them, but if you try to find an exact match, you’re gonna have a bad time.

      Still, if it helps, try thinking of Toussaint like the Kingdom of Burgundy. Basically French, but independent.

      • Meneldil says:

        Nitpicking, but Burgundy wasn’t a kingdom, but a duchy.

        Of course, the states of the witchers aren’t direct copy/paste of Middle age kingdoms, but they’re still pretty close. The same applies to many fantasy settings (Game of Thrones, Warhammer and what not). We haven’t seen that many places throughout the three games, but those we have certainly feel heavily inspired by real history. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

        • prostetnik says:

          Nitpicking your nitpickery, but Burgundy was indeed a kingdom, at least until the 14th century. Emperor Charles IV of the HRE was the last to be crowned king of Burgundy in 1356, shortly afterwards it fell to France.

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            Maltose says:

            How much of that did you pick up by playing crusader kings?

          • Hedgeclipper says:

            I’d have to check for the exact number but I can think of at least three distinct kingdoms of Burgundy off the top of my head. Burgundy has always been a promiscuous name (a bit like Roman empires).

    • RedViv says:

      Think Burgundy, but really weirdly out of place in this world being straight fairy tale, where the caves have become like Shrek’s swamp at the start of the first film. Plus there might be an ancient evil thing sleeping below, but that’s only hinted at by the “monsters” in the last book.

    • MattMk1 says:

      I don’t really see Temeria as being heavily inspired by France.

      I mean, Velen in Witcher 3 is in Temeria. And a lot of the first Witcher also takes place in Temeria, around Vizima.

      I don’t recall either area having a “predominantly French” vibe.

    • misho8723 says:

      Velen in TW3 is in Temeria and that region is heavily inspired by (and based of) slavic culture

  6. TheAngriestHobo says:

    I’ve recently gotten back into my second playthrough of TW3, so this is great encouragement to stick with it (as is the fact that I haven’t played through HoS).

    I have to say that the screenshots we’re seeing look a little oversaturated, though. I’m not sure I like how vibrant those colours are. It kind of looks like a badly calibrated Skyrim ENB to me.

    • IaIaFhtagn says:

      I would love those ENB settings, never having been much good at setting my own. Although I’m a colourblind gamer, so ‘overly vibrant’ is a really nice change for me.

  7. Person of Interest says:

    (they look touched-up to me)

    I would have expected they were burned badly enough by the “downgrade” launch fracas that their marketing team would be too shy to publish anything more polished than a smartphone pic of a washed-out TV playing the Xbox One version of the game.

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      Still, something a little more understated than an LSD trip would be more than fine.

  8. Premium User Badge

    Ninja Dodo says:

    Looks great. I think I’ll probably save this for a second playthrough though as I just finished the game proper. So good. Haven’t been this impressed with a game in ages.

  9. thelastpointer says:

    Okay RPS, strip this image viewer popup nonsense from the site NOW. Enough time has passed. You have subscribers, supporters, ads, please spend $10 on this. :(

  10. waltC says:

    About those screen shots…notice how far back the camera is? Wouldn’t it be great if the expansion brought zoom back into the Witcher 3? That would be the only thing I’ve missed in the series since the first one–zoom out/in!

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    gritz says:

    “The Witcher 3 doesn’t do awe.” – Alec Meer, 2015.