It’s been well over a year since I finished my play through of the base game of Witcher 3, and it is still my favorite game of all time, but I didn’t want to jump into the DLC right away, afraid I might get burnt out on the game and then not like it as much. Wanting to jump back in after a few months, I then realised last week that a year was probably long enough, so we reinstalled Witcher 3 and gave Hearts of Stone a crack.
Hearts of Stone was the first DLC for Witcher 3, releasing on 13 October 2015. Players return to using Geralt on an all new adventure which spans around 10 hours for the main story alone. Without wanting to spoil too much of the story the basic gist of it is Geralt must complete a contract, from a new character, the Man of Glass. In good ol Witcher fashion, Geralt will find himself in a bind and must use his charisma, wit and brute strength to come out the other side on the right side of death.
The story doesn’t really touch on the events of the main game, and you could probably start the DLC without even finishing the main game if you were so inclined. The majority of the quests in this pack recommend you be around level 34. Given I completed all of the side quests from the main game, I was well over levelled at 38 by the time I started Hearts of Stone.
After finishing the main story, which consists of 10 individual quests, and 6 side quests, you can easily find yourself touching on 15 hours worth of content, throw in the additional treasure hunts and you could be pushing 18 hours. Considering this is a DLC pack for an already giant game, that’s a good amount of additional content for you to be taking a stab at.
Along with the new quests, Hearts of Stone also comes additional Gwent cards for you to collect as well. So fans of the mini game will have something to search for too.
The pack doesn’t include any ground breaking new game play mechanics apart from Runwording, which will allow Geralt to pick up enchanting. If you think of what enchanting is in World of Warcraft, then you basically have Runwording. Being able to enchant your weapons and armour to gain huge bonuses for all sides of the game, ranging from extra health from food, to increased whirl and rend range, or having your armour deflect all arrows. You can really build Geralt into an even bigger bad ass than before.
Considering how much content is on offer in Hearts of Stone, you really would have to be only a passing fan in the Witcher 3 game to not pick this pack up. With almost 20 hours worth of additional interesting story, characters and quests this is a bargain and will allow you to keep playing this historic game for much longer
- New characters
- Interesting new story line
- Large amount of additional content
- Low price
- No groundbreaking new game play mechanics