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What’s Gus Playing? Episode 3

The pint-sized playa’ gets witchy on ya ~

Lloyd Sabin, 16 October 2017

The Witcher 3
Hearts of Stone

The Witcher 3 is still my go to game for almost any mood. Feeling like some creepy scares? Witcher 3. Want some eastern European-flavored dungeon spelunking? The Witcher 3. Scantily-clad fantasy women of all shapes and sizes? Again, Witcher 3.

So it was with some sadness that I completed the main quest a few months ago and shelved it for a few months. Enderal filed the gap for a while but then October hit (despite the 80-degree temps and hair-ruining humidity) and here I am again, needing a Witcher fix. I know there is a kind and loving gaming god because there are the DLC expansion packs Hearts of Stone and Blood and Wine. Blood and Wine is the equivalent of almost an entire other Witcher game, so I saved that and jumped in to Hearts of Stone earlier this week. And all those feelings came rushing back.

A feeling of wonder at the detail of the game world. A feeling of revulsion at some of the monsters – there is a briny, bulbous, puss-filled toad encountered within the first few hours of Hearts of Stone that I failed to get a screen-shot of. You’re welcome. And of course a constricting of my shorts upon looking at some of the new potential lady-dates for Geralt in Hearts of Stone.

I am generous with my newly discovered finds and have posted a few of them below for your perusal. If you are one of the 6 people left on Earth who have not played The Witcher 3 by all means pick it up. And if you are one of the slightly higher number of people who have not bought the DLC packs yet, Hearts of Stone and Blood and Wine beckon.They are by far some of the best value for your gaming dollar that you will find out there. Just look at some of these shots!

Hearts of Stone feels seamless. It begins with you, as Geralt, having to meet Olgierd von Everec. You know, about the contract about that thing with the thing.

 

The visuals in Hearts of Stone are just as breathtaking as they are in the main game.

 

At this point, I have played a total of about 90 hours of The Witcher 3. Not much compared to some others, but enough to become well known in the game world, while achieving a Level 35 for my avatar. This bookseller in Novigrad knows my story and has a few things set aside for me, connected to other quests that I haven’t started yet. Hearts of Stone feels almost as big as Blood and Wine supposedly is.

 

Most of the early part of the story line in the beginning of Hearts of Stone is set in Oxenfurt which, despite its slightly English-sounding name, looks as deliciously foreboding as Novigrad, just smaller.

 

Another shot of Oxenfurt. You’ll see the time stamp reads 11:43am. That’s the darkest 11:43am I’ve ever seen! I love it.

 

During my travels I got mixed up in a bad seen and ultimately survived being imprisoned on a ship and a subsequent shipwreck. Long story. But I survived and here I am again, washed up on the beach, waiting to continue with the story, albeit in a slightly different
direction, after a couple (of 100) restarts after trying to deal with about 8 enemies who were way more powerful than me. So even though you are at Level 32 or so when starting Hearts of Stone, it can still kick your ass.

 

Finally caught up to Olgierd von Everec and lo and behold he is a bad man, burning down wealthy landowners’ estates and such. Or is he?

 

It’s always strange finding a doppelganger of yourself in a game. This is Gaunter O’Dimm. He looks EXACTLY like me.

 

The main story line has led me to this auction house, where I fully participated in the auction, picked up some great (phat) loot and learned a few tidbits about some of the main characters. The auction house scenes lasted about 45 minutes and were some of the most intereting scenes I’ve played through in an RPG.

 

So clearly I have only just scratched the surface of Hearts of Stone and there is a lot more to see and playthrough, but even in a ‘smaller’ DLC pack the Witcher vibe of wonder is still there in full force.

Make sure to check out future installments of What’s Gus playing when I put in some time with some old favorites like Medieval 2: Total War, and yes, some new games like Total War: Warhammer, Shadow of War, Wolfenstein: The New Colossus and more!


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