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The Witcher 3 expansions could see the return of Shani

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The Witcher 3 expansions

If you played the original Witcher, you'll no doubt remember Shani, a friend of Geralt's from back in the day who played a prominent role in the game's opening chapters, but was absent from The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. But it looks like she might make a return in Hearts of Stone, one of the two expansions being developed for The Witcher 3.

A promotional image for the expansions on the CD Projekt forums and Steam contains an image of a woman with close-cropped red hair that looks very much like Shani as she appeared in the first game. That's admittedly a thin connection, but recall as well that the April announcement of the expansions said they would include "characters both new and dearly missed." That narrows the field of candidates.

CD Projekt confirmed with Gamespot that the image is legitimate, but declined to do the same regarding the identity of the person in it. "As far as the character portrayed on the illustration, we'll leave that for the community to figure out," Community Manager Marcin Momot said.

Hearts of Stone is expected to be out in October, and will add an estimated ten hours of playtime to the game. A second expansion, Blood and Wine, is slated for early 2016 and will tack on another 20 hours.

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.