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The Witcher 3 Hearts Of Stone Review – Dues Need Be Repaid, And He Will Come For You

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The Witcher 3 Hearts Of Stone

The Witcher 3 is a game that needs no introduction. The role playing game developed by CD Projekt RED is a massive open world open game featuring an engaging story, charming characters and some very good quests that take the player in and only let go when the quest is done, like the Bloddy Baron questline where the Witcher Geralt gets involved with a rather dysfunctional family in order to gather information need to complete another quest. More of this has been added to the Witcher 3 by the first expansion called Hearts of Stone.

The Witcher 3 Hearts of Stone main quest is a quest intended for players who have reached level 30 and, as such, it’s quite difficult to complete it as soon as it’s possible to reach the Seven Cats Inn near Novigrad, where the events of the expansion begin. Thankfully it’s also possible to play Hearts of Stone as a standalone with a pre-leveled Geralt and a selection of potions and items. The main story quests of the base game are unavailable when playing Hearts of Stone this way but it’s still possible to complete Witcher Contracts and other sidequests if the player so desires.

HoS1

The Witcher 3 Hearts of Stone expansion, unfortunately, doesn’t include any major gameplay change. The only real additions are a couple of skills and Runewright Enchanting which allows players to add a variety of enhancements to weapons and armor pieces by using Runestones. It’s a nice addition but it’s not a really big one, considering  how very few will be able to take advantage of it due to the huge amount of coin needed to enchant items. Not that it’s really necessary, as at difficulty levels below Death March, these enchantments are pretty much superfluous.

With the gameplay experience not really getting expanded, one is left to wonder what Hearts of Stone exactly expands. The map, for starters. Once Hearts of Stone has been purchased, players can explore new areas close to Oxenfurt like a few new villages and Points of Interests such as new Monster Nests and new Bandit Camps, which reward players with a variety of items, many unavailable in the main game such as the Order of the Flaming Rose equipment set and more. The enemy roster has been expanded by Hearts of Stone as well, with players having to fight the new nasty Arachnomorphs, the warriors from the exotic region of Ofier and more. As a book reader, I have been pleasantly surprised by the inclusion of the Ofieri warriors: the region is only mentioned once during one of The Witcher short stories and it’s nice to see the team expand on the world Andrzej Sapkowski created in his novels.

Ofieri warriors

With not much getting added to the game by the expansion, it’s up to the main quest’s story to make Hearts of Stone a worthy purchase for fans of The Witcher 3. The story begins with Geralt, perpetually lacking funds, looking for work near the Seven Cats Inn located not far from Novigrad. A contract pinned on the nearby notice board catches his interest, leading him to meet the charismatic Olgierd von Everec and his gang. Little does Geralt know that this job will lead him to battle truly hellish creatures, receive unexpected help from Gaunter O’ Dimm, the vagrant Geralt met at the beginning of the game in White Orchard and get involved with powers and mysteries that were better left alone. It’s very difficult to say why the Hearts of Stone story is good without spoiling everything but be assured that it’s definitely one of the best quests of the game, a multi-layered quest with plenty of twists, surprises and nice little touches, such as the children singing the Master Mirror song, that make it feel incredibly fulfilling. The return of the medic Shani from the novels and the first entry of the series is also very welcome for long time fans of The Witcher. Making the main quest of Hearts of Stone even more memorable are also some very unique bosses, which are quite challenging at times, choices that can lead to different outcomes and different endings and a permanent change for Geralt that players can talk about with Yennefer, Triss and Ciri, something that makes the events of Hearts of Stone feel truly part the game’s story.

Toad Prince

Everything considered, The Witcher 3 Hearts of Stone is a terrific addition to the game developed by CD Projekt RED. The expansion doesn’t include any major gameplay change or feature but the excellent story , intense boss battles and a variety of nice touches make it a more than worthy purchase. Hearts of Stone is simply more of the best features of the Witcher 3, that0s true, but when the quality is so high, there’s really nothing to complain about.

As a long time gamer, Francesco has survived more zombie invasions, meteor strikes, magic spells than he can count. He still keeps fighting today to bring hope into countless gaming worlds. Or destruction, depending on his mood. Writing about video games was only the natural step for such a dangerous life.

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The developer of Stellar Blade is currently working on implementing a Photo Mode feature for the popular PS5 game, Hit

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Stellar Blade is an exceptionally aesthetically pleasing game, and we are not solely referring to the attractiveness of the protagonist, Eve, and her various outfits. The campaign features several visually captivating moments, which is customary for major PS5 titles, and fans are eager to capture them all. Thankfully, the developer Shift Up is currently working diligently on a Photo Mode, which is expected to be the next significant addition to the game after the recent Boss Challenge update.

Director Kim Hyung-Tae informed the Japanese magazine Famitsu that his team is diligently working on the feature at maximum efficiency, aiming to surpass expectations with its implementation. “Regrettably, immediate delivery is not possible; however, we are keen on implementing it,” he stated. “If we decide to proceed with the implementation, we are committed to ensuring that it is of excellent quality. Therefore, we are currently engaged in the process and kindly request your patience for a short period of time.”

Photo modes have experienced a surge in popularity over the last ten years, with inFAMOUS: Second Son being the pioneering game to introduce this feature. These modes enable you to temporarily suspend the progression of time, granting you the ability to precisely capture and structure gameplay according to your preferences. Subsequently, you have the option to incorporate a multitude of effects and filters to customize your images.

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Frostpunk 2 offers a thrilling combination of post-apocalyptic survival strategy and intense political maneuvering

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Frostpunk 2 is the follow-up to a morally challenging strategy game that has captivated players, and it appears that even more difficult decisions await in the sequel. The game is set to release on PC and Xbox Series X|S on July 25th, with plans for a later release on PS5. Thanks to IGN, we were treated to an in-depth preview of 11 Bit Studios’ dark and gritty survival city builder.

Players are faced with the challenging task of making difficult decisions in order to endure the impending storm. They must carefully navigate through various ideological technology trees to reach their inevitable outcomes. Considering the shortage of manpower, are you planning to employ underage workers to fulfill the demand? What is the most efficient method for controlling a rebellious population: using brute force or employing religious manipulation?

In Frostpunk 2, players are transported to a world 30 years after the catastrophic global weather event that challenged their survival skills in the original game. The world remains frozen, with the most pressing danger now coming from fellow survivors vying for scarce resources and the growing democratic nature of your own people. Take a look at the trailer below to get a taste of what makes the series truly exceptional.

Can you handle the challenging decisions necessary for your survival? Are there any boundaries you refuse to cross? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Baldur’s Gate 3 had a more manageable development process compared to Larian Studios’ previous RPGs

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According to Swen Vincke, the founder and CEO of Larian Studios, the level of crunch on Baldur’s Gate 3 was lower compared to their previous games like Divinity: Original Sin 2. Crunch, also known as “crunch culture”, refers to the overtime that many developers are often expected to work when production deadlines are approaching.

According to GamesRadar+, Vincke was questioned about the challenges that emerged during the game’s extensive development and whether the studio had to work under intense pressure. Vincke mentioned that they are investing less in BG3 compared to their previous projects. We definitely did. We encountered unforeseen events.

Vincke highlights Larian’s global studio setup as a method through which the developer alleviated the pressure. This structure was established to guarantee round-the-clock coverage, specifically designed to prevent individuals from having to put in additional effort to resolve late-night issues. The Belgian developer has expanded its reach by opening a seventh office in Poland.

According to Vincke, employees who had to work long hours were compensated with overtime pay. He also mentioned that after 8pm, the offices would be nearly empty, and weekend work was a rare occurrence at the studio. Expanding on the topic, he clarifies: “We didn’t excessively push ourselves, but we did have to put in some extra effort.” And I believe, honestly, there will always be a sense of anticipation when you’re working towards completing a project, particularly when there are numerous intricate elements that need to be integrated.

Did you know that the development of Baldur’s Gate 3, with its immense size and scope, involved developers working tirelessly to meet the deadline? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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