developer: CD Projekt RED
publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
Game mode: single player
The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine is the second major expansion for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, an action RPG that came out in spring 2015. It was developed by CD Projekt RED, the creators of the original game as well as all installments of The Witcher series, which are based on the novels written by Andrzej Sapkowski, a famous Polish fantasy writer. The add-on offers additional tens of hours of gameplay.
Blood and Wine for PC, PS4 and XONE was officially announced a month before the premiere of the original game. Along with the first paid expansion, Hearts of Stone, it complements the list of over a dozen DLCs for Wild Hunt, most of which were given to the players at no additional cost. The production described herein is distributed both physically and digitally, separately or bundled with the aforementioned Hearts of Stone. The developers also prepared a special edition of The Witcher 3 that contains the vanilla game with all available expansions, minor and major alike.
The story of Blood and Wine takes us to the entirely new land called Touissant, one of the few countries in the Witcher universe that have not been touched by war. As it quickly turns out, the atmosphere of peace and bliss in Touissant is but an appearance. In fact, the duchy hides a dark and bloody secret, and thus, the White Wolf will have to face an evil that, once again, can be fought and defeated only by a witcher.
Compared to The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Blood and Wine for PC, PS4 and XONE does not introduce any major changes to the gameplay mechanics, save for a number of novelties, tweaks, and enhancements brought by the subsequent patches for the original game. Just like with Hearts of Stone, the first paid DLC for The Witcher 3, the expansion offers a completely new, multi-threaded plot which is comparable in size to that of The Witcher from 2007, the first installment of The Witcher series. Moreover, the game was supplemented with multitude of side quests, new treasures to find, bandit camps to loot, new equipment and Gwent cards, as well as entirely new NPCs. Unlike Hearts of Stone, the action of Blood and Wine takes place outside of the realms known from the vanilla game. Once we install the expansion, the duchy of Touissant will appear on the map.
In 2015, The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine received a grant of 150 thousand euros (7% of the budget, which totals to more than 2 million euros) from the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency of the European Union. Given the fact that the first expansion for The Witcher 3 had a similar budget, it is easy to calculate that CD Projekt RED spent nearly as much money on the production and promotion of both add-ons as on the development of the first installment in The Witcher series, which cost about 20 million zlotys (around 5 million dollars).
PC / Windows
Recommended: Intel Core i7-3770 3.4 GHz/AMD FX-8350 4.0 GHz, 8 GB RAM, graphic card 2 GB GeForce GTX 770/Radeon R9 290 or better, 35 GB HDD, Windows 7/8.1/10 64-bit
Minimum: Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3 GHz/AMD Phenom II X4 940 3.0 GHz, 6 GB RAM, graphic card 2 GB GeForce GTX 660/Radeon HD 7870 or better, 35 GB HDD, Windows 7/8.1/10 64-bit