With a sly and knowing glance towards the camera and a response of “We sure do” to a friend’s statement about deserving rest, the Blood and Wine expansion for Witcher: Wild Hunt came to an end. As Geralt walked off into the sunset at his new home and a chapter of my life concluded, I found myself wanting more and feeling a few curious emotions about the just finished game.
Uncharacteristically of me, I want the franchise to continue on. Yes, in the past I’ve spoken about letting creators end things when they want to and not over-extending a narrative, but more than any other, this is a world I love spending time in. The monsters are beautifully crafted, the quests shifted and threw off my perceptions of what to expect from an RPG so many times it’s a wonder I didn’t develop vertigo, and perhaps most importantly, the stories were astonishing.
But then again, perhaps I am off base. I mean, the game did help me during a tough spot in life.
In that college slump that all too many get stuck in, I was rudderless and without focus. Most days I didn’t even bother to put on pants and all too often I was content to eat food that is normally found in the microwaveable section of a mini mart that also doubles as a meth lab. And then, one day during a chance trip out of town, I picked up the game on a whim and its season pass as well. I went in not knowing what to expect and found myself suddenly engaged again.
The story of Geralt and his adventures throughout the continent brought clarity to my life that had been sorely lacking in all other areas at that time. Stuck in a poor living situation and in a job that I had no passion for? I didn’t let it drag me down all the time. Instead, I played Heart of Stone as a pick me up that enabled me to get through the dismal time before I had my dog.
Disturbed by the odd feelings of jealousy that hit me whenever I would see someone I know find great success and then mention it on social media? All I had to do was divert my time to hunting for Gwent card and weirdly, all seemed right with the world, if only for a brief period at least.
Finally, when I was stressed about housing and the process of finding it in Washington D.C., I diverted myself to Blood and Wine to prevent the calamity from driving me insane and sad.
So, thank you CD Projekt Red, in a way I suppose I grew alongside Geralt. We both began our time with the game thinking things were grim and spent a good later chunk of that time in the same mindset, and now we both are ending Blood and Wine content, excited and curious about what the future has in store. It may be bad, but for now, all we can do is wait and see I suppose.