I miss my time with The Witcher 3, and the overall saga of Geralt that started with The Witcher. I miss my time with one of 2015’s best open world RPG games since Fallout 3 in 2008, I miss everything to do with that game. The Witcher 3 and it’s two expansions left me wanting more and yet I felt dead inside when Blood and Wine wrapped the entire trilogy up and said farewell to one of the most memorable trilogies I’ve had the pleasure of playing since the end of Mass Effect 3.
When I booted up, Blood and Wine earlier this year, for the first time since the beginning of The Witcher 3 in 2015,I gasped. I glowed as I saw the opening cutscene of the expansion where Geralt and his friends galloped into Beauclair and the first thing that they threw at me was a boss battle.
Beauclair was a brilliant place to explore. Reminded me of a place that I will never go to and that’s Italy mixed up with the south of France, one of things that Blood and Wine got right was the setting and the tone of Toussaint. When you’re on your horse, travelling the path and the sun slowly dips as the afternoon goes along, you can see the curve of the world and the curve of the sun setting. The whole sky stretches before you and when the night settles and you’re out still traveling, the world lights up by darkness and it’s beautiful.
The world is vibrant and vivid and full of color, and it welcomes you into the world as you do side quest after side quest. Are games, a form of escapism? Of course they are, you can imagine yourself in the world and imagining yourself talking to people within the world, sure they don’t require much like a book or a movie but imagination is the key to everything. Blood and Wine offers you the imagination to go and explore the world while solving a grand mystery that has terrorized the region of Toussaint.
Geralt is a stranger to this world as you are, he doesn’t know much of the customs, but he’s willing to learn as long as it involves two of his favorite things: Drinking and Flirting. Everything about Toussaint is strange to him and to you, you feel like you’re in a different country when you first arrive to Toussaint. It felt like some sort of vacation but more like a business vacation then anything, that’s where it felt until the very end of the expansion.
At the heart of the expansion was the overall theme and it changed Geralt, not in a gameplay way but in a character way. By the end, I knew things about him that I didn’t know before in the trilogy, even in the main game. I’ve been on a journey with this man from the first game, a journey that would change him at the end of his journey, when we all said farewell.
That’s why Blood and Wine has become one of my favorite expansions of the entire year. Geralt ends the saga, a different man and he feels right at home in Toussaint, a place where there’s no hatred for mutants, a place where people can laugh and take liking to Geralt’s sense of dry humor that makes me like him.
Blood and Wine felt like a farewell letter and that’s what it was. A farewell later to you, the audience that has been on this journey that had begun in 2007 with the first game and now, we came to a time and place where everything will end and you probably won’t see these characters ever again. That was the saddest part of the expansion, to watch that last cutscene where Geralt and Yennifer hugged and sat outside in the sun, talking to one another and that’s where for me, the game and the trilogy ended. It was one of the best trilogies I’ve played in years, thanks CDPR for creating one of the greatest gaming trilogies I’ve had the pleasure of playing.