The Witcher 3: Hearts of Stone DLC – Review
Follow Genre: Action RPG
Developer: CD Projekt Red
Publisher: Bandai Namco
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Tested on: PS4

The Witcher 3: Hearts of Stone DLC – Review

Site Score
Good: Everything, this DLC is fantastic
Bad: Sets the bar very high for other games (really, it's just that good)
User Score
(2 votes)
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Rating: 8.0/10 (2 votes cast)

Just yesterday CD Projekt Red took away five prestigious Golden Joystick Awards, one of them being Ultimate Game of the Year for The Witcher 3. This newly re-established attention for the action RPG comes at a great time, with the recent release of the Hearts of Stone DLC. This story-driven addition to the game is the first of two planned DLC’s, and turned out to be a fantastic reason to revisit this already great game.

the witcher 3 wild hunt hearts of stone


Our story begins in the city of Oxenfurt, where an exceptionally charismatic man named Olgierd is looking to hire a Witcher to take care of a dirty job. Our friend Geralt happens to have a thing for extra coin, and for taking care of dirty jobs, especially when they involve killing monsters. And Geralt is in luck, because rumour has it that the solution to Olgierd’s little problem involves killing a monster that plagues the sewers of Oxenfurt in return for a hefty reward.

Soon however, it becomes clear that Geralt also has a thing for getting himself into trouble, and he finds himself in less than fortunate circumstances. From here on further, the narrative takes on its characteristic mix of fantasy and folklore legends. Hearts of Stone has an engaging main quest that perfectly balances lore, seriousness and humour. It’s remarkable how easy it is for the game to draw you in. The timing for quests is perfect, and there are enough fun little side missions to keep you entertained while also providing some necessary comic relief along the way.

One of Hearts of Stone’s biggest selling points however is how fantastically its characters are written. We can’t explain too much for fear of spoilers, but keeping CDPR’s impressive track record in mind, you can believe us on this one. Especially Olgierd is a great character, and his addition to the game is very valuable.


Even more so than with the base game itself, with Hearts of Stone CDPR has created a visual masterpiece for current-gen gaming. The attention for qualitative cinematography goes above and beyond. Not only are graphics clear and colour palettes stunning, the game also uses cinematic angles in very clever ways, switching between perspectives to accommodate the tone of the scene. CDPR’s dedicated in-house engine REDengine 3 shines once more.

Hearts of Stone also has a few new areas (we won’t discuss these in detail for spoiler reasons), so expect more excellent world-building and plenty of room for exploration.


The soundtrack for Hearts of Stone is composed by Marcin Przybylowicz and Mikolai Stroinski. Just like the main game, the DLC has a great soundtrack that is very appropriate for what it’s trying to convey. The children’s songs based on Polish legends are a nice touch, and overall the game has fantastic soundtrack.

Geralt and Olgierd’s voice actors are the true stars of Hearts of Stone however, their characters are more believable than ever and especially Geralt’s voice actor gets a chance to really switch things up and show his full potential.


The Witcher 3 is an action RPG. Maybe it’s just because we hadn’t played the game in a while, but Hearts of Stone seemed to include some pretty challenging battles. The first boss almost immediately knocked Geralt out, urging us to rethink our strategy and playstyle before being able to beat him with our second attempt. The game suggests to wait until you’re level 30 to start playing the DLC, and with many starting area enemies at level 32 this does not sound like bad advice. If you’ve played through the main quest as well as a couple of side quests, you should now be at a point where you can comfortably load up Hearts of Stone on normal difficulty and still enjoy a bit of a challenge every now and then. You will have to think more about how to approach different enemies, as some bosses now ask for a very specific approach (one particular boss will be needed to trapped with the Yrden sign, while another should only be approached after applying a specific type oil to your weapon). This is refreshing, as one of the main game’s flaws was its sometimes repetitive combat.

Hearts of Stone also offers opportunities for negotiation and diplomatic thinking exercises. You can make some deontological and utilitarian choices, and further build upon Geralt’s personality through various dialogue options.

Of course there are also many new opportunities to play the in-game gard came Gwent.


Truly, games such as The Witcher 3 don’t come along very often. The game excels at nearly everything it tries to achieve, and it’s hard to pin-point what exactly is its biggest strength. Its graphical clarity comes close to photorealism, the soundtrack is stunning and diverse with various folklore influences, and its elaborate and unique story will keep you entertained for hours and hours. Hearts of Stone builds upon the solid foundation the base game has laid out by introducing a new story-line, with many new fantastic characters and engaging questlines. If you like action RPG’s, you owe it to yourself to play this one.

The DLC is available for under 10 dollars/euros/pounds (which is amazing for over 14 hours of gameplay!), and CDPR is doing a Halloween sale on Steam for The Witcher this weekend, so now is the time to pick the game up!

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The Witcher 3: Hearts of Stone DLC - Review, 8.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

I'm a 24 year old gamer with a passion for RPG's, and the gaming community as a whole. When I'm not gaming, I can be found cooking, reading, or with my partner and pets. Currently on: PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, PC and 3DS.

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