What’s Gus Playing? Episode 5

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GrogHeads’ Garden Gnome of Goodness goes granite ~

Lloyd Sabin, 30 October 2017

Yes I covered Witcher 3 Hearts of Stone just a couple of weeks ago but I am so, so, so in love with the game that I am still playing it. Plus, it’s very close to Halloween and this particular part of the Hearts of Stone DLC – taking place in the von Everec manor house – is extremely well done. It is plain old frightening in some spots and I have to say, unexpectedly well done…even for Witcher 3, which is consistently fantastic.

Plus there’s evil, fairly attractive demons, wraiths and ghosts that will make you question your sexuality

The player is sent to the von Everec manor pretty close to what appears to be the end of the main story line of Hearts of Stone, and you get to fill in some major backstory on Olgierd von Everec: how he became character you’re ‘not so sure about,’ where he came from and how his head and scalp got so badly damaged. Plus there’s evil, fairly attractive demons, wraiths and ghosts that will make you question your sexuality. See below for more!

Oh and how could I forget – if you choose the correct path through Hearts of Stone, you can get some, as is tradition in all Witcher games. In this particular case it is with an old love interest named Shani. You attend a wedding with her and it is up to you to decide how you want the evening to end, as long as you are a gentleman about it.

I posted a few shots of that below as well because I haven’t matured since I was 14. To the screenshots!

Things are going swimmingly at the wedding, as you eat, drink, party and dance.


As the evening progresses, things get more romantic. Sweet, bruh.


Clearly Shani likes you. A lot. What about Yennifer and the other women you’ve wooed? What about loyalty, devotion, dedication! Don’t ruin the moment with thinking.


Right, so after romance comes the scares. The first character you meet just outside the von Everec manor house is The Caretaker. If your erection lasts for more than four hours from the previous love scenes, see this guy.


Congratulations! After a tough boss battle with The Caretaker, you get to enter the manor house, which is a character in and of itself. Lucky you…


Of course the house needs a little work, after the horrific, occult-laden events that occurred here not-so-long ago. The sound work in this part of the game is also extraordinary, reminding me of some of the best levels of Thief, like the Shalebridge Cradle.


You also get to meet this fine specimen. She’s not just any wraith in a painting…oh no…she is central to this entire nightmare. It was around this part of the game, where she and her minions make some quick, unfriendly appearances, that I needed some new drawers. Very well done scenes.


Sure you did, Olgierd, sure you did. This section of the game also makes use of many flashbacks, which the player has to think or fight his way out of. Some were very challenging and some were sad, getting to see who and what the wraith you were terrorized by earlier used to look like. You also get to see what the house used to look like and although it was not a wreck, it was still terrifying, even in better days.


Houses don’t get haunted for no reason…


Towards the completion of these segments you actually have a conversation with the wraith that terrorized you earlier and the story, once it falls in to place, is quite tragic.


Once you put all the pieces together you have to make some difficult decisions on how to treat the ghost of the house. Once the decision is made you finally get to sniff some fresh air again and are freed of the dark, claustrophobic, musty manse. You may even find yourself missing the interior once you are out. Almost.


What a well done level! It actually did scare me at more than a few points that I didn’t expect, which is what made it so effective. Great stuff, and yet another reason why I recommend getting The Witcher 3 as soon as you can, along with Hearts of Stone. Happy Halloween!

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