The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - Hearts of Stone
Top Critic Average
A satisfying, self-contained adventure that plays to the series' strengths, but doesn't add anything novel outside of its storytelling.
Hearts of Stone subverts some tropes while holding onto others. A delightful romp, if you need more Witcher 3 with your Witcher 3.
The story in Hearts of Stone alone would make it worth getting, but it succeeds on other levels as well. The fun new enemies and bosses, along with the customization potential of Runewords make Hearts of Stone a very well-rounded package that shouldn't be skipped.
Some of the best storytelling so far in the series, and some inspired set pieces, but the chance to refine the gameplay has been sadly missed.
Hearts of Stone may not make any significant improvements to The Witcher 3's core gameplay, but it succeeds largely on the quality of its engrossing narrative.
CD Projekt Red's first paid expansion is well worth the return to the Northern Kingdoms.
Witcher 3's first expansion isn't terrible or great, and that's the problem
At 10 hours, Hearts of Stone is rather brief given the sprawling scale of Wild Hunt, but with that brevity, it never overstays its welcome. It melds well with the overall themes of the core adventure even if it feels wholly detached from it, but sometimes all you need is more Witcher-based antics.
Lasting ten to twelve hours with complex characters, diverse scenarios, stunning new locations, and memorable bosses, this ten dollar expansion stands out in a period when many DLC offerings feel like lackluster afterthoughts. Even though it's an expansion that returns to familiar areas, Hearts of Stone doesn't feel like it's merely piggybacking on the main game, but has its own worthwhile tale to tell.
Hearts of Stone is a piece of DLC that has been done right, genuinely adding to an already great game. The antagonist in this content is for me a better and more interesting character than the members of the actual Wild Hunt from the main plot, and you also learn more about Geralt's past too. If you own and enjoy The Witcher 3 then Hearts of Stone is easily recommended, but go in knowing as little as possible because there are some truly spectacular moments to be had.