What is the best open world game of 2015? The RPS Advent Calendar highlights our favourite games from throughout the year, and behind today’s door is…
RPS Feature 2015's best open world game!
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).
RPS Feature Fiction vs. folklore
The Northern Kingdoms of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt [official site] is a realm ravaged by war, pestilence, and greed. And, try as he might, Geralt continually finds himself trapped between the political maneuverings of the Northern Kingdom’s most ambitious contenders. So it’s easy to forget that Geralt’s true calling in life is as a monster slayer. Lucky for him the Northern Kingdoms has no shortage of monsters.
While some of these beasts have enjoyed plenty of spotlight in other fiction, CD Projekt Red have dug deep into their own Eastern and Northern European ancestry to bring to life a mythology underrepresented in the echelons of generic fantasy creatures. We’re all familiar with dragons and vampires, but what about the lesser known beasts that bloody Geralt’s blade? The leshen, alps and botchlings? I’ve rounded up some of my favorite monsters from the Witcher series and the legends that inspired them so that we can contrast their depictions in the game, while getting a mythology lesson at the same time.
The Witcher III: Hearts of Stone [official site], the game’s first major story expansion, is out now. Hearts of Stone adds a new 10-hour quest involving Geralt and The Wild Hunt’s Olgierd von Everec. According to our review, it “shows just about every other company how it’s done,” which is high praise from Richard Cobbett, a man who has played all games.
RPS Feature Between a rock and a hard choice
The Witcher III: Hearts Of Stone [official site] has a simple moral: be careful what you wish for, unless it’s more The Witcher III, obviously. Taking place after the main campaign, though not at all related to it, Hearts of Stone is a ten hour tale of ambition, of regret, of manipulation, cruelty and sorrow that gets to push aside fears of the incoming apocalypse in favour of focusing deep on the series’ love of finding compassion in the most cynical of situations. The worst I can say is that it’s ‘just’ more of The Witcher 3 to play, but rarely has that word more deserved its air-quotes.
Here’s Wot I Think, as if you haven’t already guessed.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt [official site] patch 1.10 is a bit of a monster, it seems. It comprises some 600 fixes, none of which appear to be major but suggest an impressive commitment to refining an already slick game. If you want to find out what they all are, then you’ll need to sit down with large mug of tea and this here 13-page PDF file.
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The launch trailer for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Hearts of Stone [official site] expansion has been unveiled and, as you might expect, it looks very pretty. It’s out one week from today on October 13 and before I go any further, why not pop down below and take a look for yourself?