The Witcher 4 Has a Big Lesson to Learn From Wild Hunt's DLC

GameRant 23.06.2023 18:54:13 Tucker Taussig

Many still consider The Witcher 3's post-launch content as the high watermark for single-player expansions, with Hearts of Stone and Blood and Wine both hailed as critical successes. The two expansions had differing strengths, building out The Witcher 3 in distinct ways, and for The Witcher 4's inevitable DLC, CD Projekt Red should aim for content that hones in on each of their strengths.

CD Projekt Red unveiled a host of new titles set in The Witcher universe, including a remake of the first game, along with The Witcher 4, otherwise known as The Witcher Polaris, that will kick off a new vaunted trilogy for the esteemed developer. As the studio prepares to ship Phantom Liberty in the Fall, the sole planned DLC for Cyberpunk 2077, all eyes will be on what the studio has planned next ahead of 2024. While it is unlikely any of its The WItcher games will come out next year, CD Projekt Red will most likely peel back the curtain on its intended releases for the franchise.

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The Witcher 3 was a critical masterpiece by most metrics, and left CD Projekt Red with the tall order of delivering worthy post-launch support for one of the greatest RPGs of all time. The first paid expansion for the game, Hearts of Stone, delivered on that order, giving players an incredibly well-crafted story that works within the bounds of The Witcher 3 while remaining self-contained. A tale of mystery, horror, and friendship in three acts, many consider Hearts of Stone to be some of CD Projekt Red's finest storytelling to date. Players were satisfied, but where Hearts of Stone shined in terms of story and character-building, it faltered in building out the world of The Witcher.

CD Projekt Red's second expansion for The Witcher 3, Blood and Wine, struck gold with the Duchy of Toussaint. It was a vibrant, fantasy-inspired land with its own culture, intriguing politics, and most importantly, a whole heap of new monsters for Geralt to slay. Players were enthralled with Blood and Wine's added playable space and impressive depth of content, adding nearly 30 hours of all-new quest lines and secrets to uncover. While Hearts of Stone's story resonated in a more profound manner than Blood and Wine's, the latter was more than serviceable, and paired with a mind-boggling amount of new things to do and places to explore, it is considered by many to be the crowning achievement of CD Projekt Red's history of DLC.

The Witcher Polaris is set to launch in a time when post-launch content is the norm. Live-service games are now pervasive in the industry, with studios constantly raising the bar on the quantity and quality of what is delivered after release. Despite misgivings regarding Cyberpunk 2077's launch and the tepid response to The Witcher 3's next-gen upgrade, the precedent of excellence for CD Projekt Red remains among the highest in the industry, and for its new titles set in The WItcher universe, DLC will take yield almost as much of the studio's priority as their initial launches.

The dream would be an expansion with the masterful nuance of Hearts of Stone's story married to the broad stroke additions to the base game in every other facet that Blood and Wine was. If CD Projekt Red can deliver a DLC with Blood and Wine's expansiveness and Hearts of Stone's literary chops, it could rank as one of the greatest expansions of all time, which is right at the level that the studio is capable of. It is still early to speculate, but it stands to reason that with its recent shortcomings, CD Projekt Red will look to set the record straight.

The Witcher 4 is in development.

MORE: The Witcher 4 Needs Its Own Take on Skellige's Nithing Quest

vendredi 23 juin 2023 21:54:13 Categories:

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