Beautiful. This new expansion of my favorite game of all time, The Witcher 3, have a major single adjective. It all happens in a different territory of the main game. A vibrant and colorful Toussaint. It was clearly (and admittedly) inspired by southern France and Italy. The very first minutes into the expansion and your head will probably explode. It is gorgeous. The city of Beauclair is amazing. The mountain that is always at the horizon looks stunning (is it possible to climb it? I did not try)
I started a new game dedicated to the expansion. Mostly because I’ve played the whole game in the original TW3 game but when I bought the Season pass including both expansions, it made available the TW3 complete edition for me. However, it does not include all the playing data from the original one, including achievements. Unfortunate. So I decided to test the feature that it generates a new game, but the main mission was already finished. It works fine. Geralt started the game in level 25 or so with a basic high level armor and sword kits.
I also wanted to test the game using the Brazilian Portuguese audio, and English subtitles for the sake of from-to mapping of concepts. I was impressed the not only CD Projekt Red did a text translation of the game but a full voice over and the same for the expansions! That’s why they are my top 3 favorite developers. However, the Brazilian audio is a hit-and-miss. The actor choices are not perfect (Geralt is really cool, but there are some that are weird) but the most critical point is the pronunciation of the Witcher 3 specific things. They are a mess. Beauclair, Toussaint and even Geralt are pronounced differently actor from actor and even from the same actor in the same dialog tree. Using the English subtitles helped be to surpass the confusion.
The gameplay continues top-notch. Added some extra features in the leveling system and the possibility to have your own vineyard. And getting a custom armor with the banners of your family is a very Game of Thrones coolness. However, I personally disliked one of the main recurring enemies: the giant centipedes. Not obvious why they are so difficult.
There are more jokes and culture references that the main installment. The mid-game side story in the world of fairy tales is super-hyper-mega bizarre. And I loved it! No further spoilers. Even inserted there as 100% out of nowhere plot.
The story is original but not particularly fun. The main villain is forgettable. It is a legendary character that you have to meet very few moments, so you are never convinced that he is so good and powerful and charming and wisdom and cool as described by almost all NPCs that managed to know him. I would love to have more interactions with him, becoming friends and then being betrayed. The way it is now, I don’t care much about him. You companion, however, is much more likable.
The final mission (no spoilers) was a bit disappointing. There are a few problems: It locks the player in a series of events, the final boss have a multistep fight and if you die in the last stage, you come back just before the first. Even worse, it brings you back before a cinematic sequence. Arg. CDPR used the same technique on the main game. I hated it. I would never pass this unnoticed if I was called to do beta testing. I was a mix of relief and satisfaction when I finally managed to finish him.
Now I’m going to play the first expansion, knowing that I might be too powerful. If it half of the fun that I had, I would love it too.
The best game expansion I ever played.