The latest trailers to drop for the final expansion pack for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt play out like a classic summer horror movie preview and I for one love every second of them. But do these deceivingly innocent trailers harbor a secret to that of the land of Toussaint and if so what exactly could we expect to experience during out time spent away from Temeria’s war torn lands?
The first Blood and Wine trailer started off with a bright and beautiful summer landscape; something that’s not commonly found in the Witcher games as Velen, Novigrad and Skellige are all doom and gloom like locations, and rightfully so. Seeing such a change in color palette and landscape just fills the viewer with a sense of peaceful dread, as we all know that if people are too happy in these types of worlds then something bloody gruesome is about to go down in this remote and seemingly peaceful town. The music is soft but somber enough to fit; the beauty clashes with horror feel that they are going for and as Geralt and company heads towards the city he makes the comment “it’s exactly how I remember it.” Meaning, this is not Geralt’s first trip to Toussaint, thus he will share some history with a few of the land’s inhabitants that reside in the land of summer. Whether or not this is what draws Geralt back to Toussaint or if it will serve Geralt well during his time in the city is yet to be known.
The soft somber music slowly but surely takes a turn more sinister as the beautiful summer road we see Geralt and company travel down is spliced between footage of terrifying horrors. We see what seems to be a previously unknown monster hunting its prey followed by it brutally attacking, as the creature drags a peasant off the screen and into a dark void screaming in terror. At this moment chills of excitement started to flow through me as I sat up, intrigued to know the secret of the land of summer, knowing full well this man will soon make a fine meal for the creature. The final and most powerful shot of the trailer shows the previously peaceful city of Toussaint that sat off in the distance now set ablaze. Either this is due to mass chaos that has erupted in the streets once the cities dark secret was revealed or it was the work of Geralt, forced to cleanse the once untouched peaceful city of its monsters in an attempt to contain whatever secret it holds from getting out and spreading across the land.
A few weeks later, eagerly awaiting fans are once again treated to yet another spin chilling trailer. This time the trailer dubbed “New Region” focuses on the landscapes, inhabitance, and new monsters of Toussaint. An unknown narrator recounts tales he was told as a youngling, of far off lands, those of which he never believed until he found Toussaint. The narrator goes on to describe what we (the player) can expect to find while exploring this far off land. He starts out with mentioning some main characters we will surely meet on our main quest and then moves on to describe what the NPCs and overall landscape will look like. During this point in time in the trailer we see breathtaking images of vineyards, small villages and a city that blows Novigrad out of the water and the main castle of the Toussaint looks like something made of pure fantasy that rivals Disney structures. The Narrator then continues on telling us tales of what kind of sidequests we can expect to take part in. There is the obvious, Witcher Contracts (wild beast to slay), secondary side quests (maidens to defend) and treasure hunts (long lost treasures). Everything seems typical and what you would expect to find in an expansion pack for the game and then the trailer takes a dramatic turn. The peaceful summer day landscape turns to night as soon as Geralt arrives in town and things start to heat up fast.
The trailer then shows off what players can expect to be fighting against during the main quest of the expansion, but what’s interesting is that once again the real action and tone of the expansion only seems to show itself at the end of the trailer/at night. Now, the way I look at this is during the beginning of the trailer we are beginning our day (in the morning), we then spend the afternoon enjoying what the lands of Toussaint have to offer, but at the end of the trailer (when night rolls around), the monsters of Toussaint come out to play. This is most likely setup this way because Vampires are nocturnal creatures of the night and only reveal themselves during this time, so the question is: can players expect to see a day and night dynamic featured in the latest’s expansion pack? It would be cool to experience the typical gameplay we would expect from the game during the day cycles and then have it all flipped on its head during night cycles when Toussaint’s dark secrets emerge from the shadows. Maybe it will compare to something similar to Dying Light’s day and night cycle of enemy encounters, but not as intense. Something on a smaller scale would do just fine for the game and add some unexpected mystery while traveling the city streets and rolling hills of the vineyard.
It would be great to actually have to keep on our toes while walking around at night always wondering when and where the next attack will come from; will it be a single Gael class of vampire or will it be a pack of Ekimmara? Could the NPCs and villagers be walking past you one minute speaking some random piece of dialogue and then as soon as your back is turned reveal their fangs and themselves as Higher Vampires as they try to take a bite out of you? My favorite part of trailers like these is dissecting every image, word and line of dialogue to try and piece together what we can expect to find during our time spent in these games and with CD Projekt Red’s latest trailers for Blood and Wine, I never wanted to visit the city of Toussaint more than I do right now. The end of May needs to hurry up and arrive.