With the final DLC for the Witcher coming out in a couple days, I thought that it was a good time to put out my thoughts on the most recent DLC “Hearts of Stone”. I waited awhile to play through it even though I had bought it as soon as it released. I must say that CD Project Red didn’t disappoint!
Hearts of Stone will take Geralt on an all-new, 10-hour-plus adventure into the wilds of No Man’s Land and the nooks and alleys of Oxenfurt, where he’ll try to complete a contract from the mysterious Man of Glass. Caught in a thick tangle of deceit, Geralt will need all his cunning and strength to solve the mystery and emerge unscathed. -Witcher Wikia
What I Liked About It (Spoilers)
The new characters that are introduced are fantastic. They each have their own incredibly unique personalities and they all play a pivotal part to the Hearts of Stone story. I’m gonna briefly talk about the 3 main characters that got added in.
- Shani – Geralt’s newest romance option is actually incredibly smart and very likable. Not that his previous loves were annoying, (except Keira… I couldn’t stand her), but there’s something different about Shani. She isn’t trying to worm anything out of Geralt, nor does she have some dark agenda. She’s a doctor who genuinely wants to help people. It’s refreshing.
- Olgierd von Everec – Olgierd is one of those characters that can sway between being good and bad very quickly. It all depends on how you choose to look at it. His role is an important one; he’s literally the center of the story plot. I liked him a lot. His demeanor was one I haven’t really seen in the game so far, and despite how rough he can be, he’s very likable.
- Gaunter O’ Dimm (Man of Glass) – O’ Dimm took me the most by surprise as far as his character arc was concerned. He played a bigger part in the stories plot than I originally thought he would and he thoroughly managed to creep me out. I had a feeling something was off with him from the beginning, but what he turned out to be was nothing I was expecting. I won’t spoil it, but he is one of the best villain characters I’ve seen in awhile.
What drew me in the most, as it should, was the story plot. The base Witcher 3 story was a great one full of fantasy and war. But Hearts of Stone took a new direction, swerving into the horror aspect pretty quickly. It’s done in a way that you aren’t expecting. There’s no warning when you’re suddenly thrown into a boss fight with a horrifying monster while trying to fulfill one of Olgird’s requests. It’s an awesome path they chose to delve into in a world of fantasy and I enjoyed it immensely.
We get at least one important choice at the end of the DLC that makes me wonder about a possible Witcher 4 in the future. Depending on your choices, there is a possibility that we could be seeing Olgierd and O’Dimm again in a future installment. I have no complaints about that since these two are fantastic characters that I think should continue to thrive within the Witcher lore.
The final point I would like to make is regarding Shani’s possible romance with our gray haired friend. Typically, you get a set romance scene upon fulfilling whatever requirements are needed. With Shani, you get a choice of three items you can give her before the scene occurs. The scene will change depending on what you’ve given. This was very creative on CD’s part because we got to see a side of Shani she may not have shown us otherwise. Plus it’s super funny to watch her throw up everywhere while Geralt’s attempting to romance her.
What I Disliked
I would like to clarify something about the runewords. It’s not that I disliked them because I know they are incredibly useful in the game. They just weren’t on my radar. Like, at all. I talked to the guy once when he was introduced and then never went back. It wasn’t that I was avoiding them, they just didn’t seem important enough at the time and I was able to finish the game just fine without upgrading my weapons with runes.
One thing I did dislike were the number of treasure hunting quests we got. Yes, there was new Witcher gear, but the Ofieri armor and swords worked perfectly for me. The worst part about all of these quests is that the perfectionist in me demands that I complete them all, no matter how utterly bored out of my mind I am while doing so…
That’s all I have for this discussion/review. If you have anything you’d like to add, please feel free to leave a comment! Thank you so much for reading!