The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - Hearts of Stone - Análisis
In the impressions of when we had the opportunity to play Hearts of Stone in the offices of CD Projekt in Warsaw we told you how those first steps were, bucolic, humorous, with a rhythm that moved away from what we were used to in The Witcher. Without going into greater detail (we don't want to gut the plot) we can say that this expansion is a compendium of everything we like about Geralt's adventures , both digital and printed. Following the spirit of Wild Hunt, we see again that the narrative potential of this character makes the best of himself with the little stories, with the stories, the plots full of characters that are developing and growing before our eyes.
In The Witcher 3 nothing is what it seems to be at first, and this is true to some extent in Hearts of Stone, although it follows very basic rules. There is anticipation of these plot twists, but the writers have been smart enough not to hide it. The whole story unfolds naturally, with the right rhythm and, except for a small moment that extends somewhat more than it should (a little past the equator), it has perfect times. It is even allowed to innovate from the point of view and offer something new. It is at a very specific moment, but audacity is appreciated and, indeed, the effect works.
Contrary to what other Western role-playing games do, in which the great story rules, in Hearts of Stone there is no such constriction and we can freely enjoy this small plot, both integrated with the rest of the game and loose, with a game dedicated exclusively to her. Mind you, we will not only find missions related to the main story, but there will be a handful of hidden side missions out there that, as always happens with this saga, can surprise us by shading elements of the main story. The optional is optional, but it is delicious to do so and always gratifies the player .
In Hearts of Stone, the important thing is the characters and their surroundings. Their motivations, why they do what they do. Geralt, through us, is a great voyeur who meddles in everyone's life and we discover that things are always more complex than they seem. That the bad ones are not always so bad , or that they have motivations as valid as the hero who wants to oppose them; A hero who is not always as blue as we might think. It is the grace of The Witcher, who has a panic to Manichaeism and shuns him like a swarm of alghules before a bonfire in San Juan. In Hearts of Stone it goes a little further and the circumstances lead us to empathize with absolutely all the characters of the plot, so that the decisions we make will have a real implication on the part of the player.
Hearts of Stone remembers in many points the plot of Bloody Baron , possibly the best of Wild Hunt. We do not refer so much to the similarities in development, but to the way in which he reels the characters, confronts them with their past and allows us to see a real evolution in their personality. We see trauma, we see change and not necessarily going through redemption or forgiveness. They have to cope with their past acts and face the future with the weight of that burden. Geralt is the catalyst for this change, not the main piece. We are witnesses protagonists, but the real weight of the plot does not fall on us, but on the rest of the characters.
In Hearts of Stone the plot works like a small buffet. Now we live a light and fun situation, now a scenario that has more of survival horror than otherwise, a little later we get fully into a robbery movie (including recruiting moments) for, just a few seconds later, move on to another mystery and crime. And at all times the game takes these elements and makes them their own. It does not adapt Geralt to these situations, but vice versa. The magic of The Witcher is that it is capable of taking anything and making it its own , fitting it masterfully into a fantastic medieval framework and making us forget that we are seeing an adaptation of Ocean's Eleven.
Hearts of Stone is a masterful expansion from the plot point of view . The history it offers us is long and full of different situations. It has action (a couple of its fights are really challenging), it has exploration, adventure and, above all, a series of absolutely brilliant characters. We might want more playable elements, something more chicha apart from the new glyphs that allow you to add powers to weapons and armor, but where The Witcher is really good is in his ability to tell stories and how the player endorses them with his decisions . And here, Hearts of Stone does not fail.