CD Projekt Red, the developer of The Witcher game series, has reached triple-A status, to become the industry leader in creating RPG video games, largely due to the success of The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt, the latest game in the series and in my opinion one of the best games every made.
Like any good large scale RPG, The Witcher 3 hosts a hefty amount of content and character, such as a playable card minigame within the main game itself, called Gwent. Gwent closely resembles a simplified version of other collectable card games such as Magic The Gathering or Hearthstone (http://us.battle.net/hearthstone/en/) and in many cases players find themselves playing the minigame much more than the epic tale of Geralt Of F####ing Rivia.
Gwent has become a fan favourite among the Witcher community and ever since the Witcher 3’s release the internet has blown up with a s### tonne of tweets, Facebook/Reddit posts, discussions and articles regarding it, including this one. One creative fan even made a mod that converts the Witcher 3‘s combat completely into Gwent: (http://www.nexusmods.com/witcher3/mods/953/?). It seems that everyone wants a Gwent standalone game. So what did CD Projekt Red do? They listened, officially unveiling Gwent: The Witcher Card Game, at the 2016 E3 game expo.
CD Projekt Red isn`t just creating a simple adaptation for some quick cash either, the game, in my opinion, looks to be born of passion and ambition from the studio to wade into the rising waters of the world of simulated card games. Despite the mild oversaturation of the genre, Gwent still feels special from the rest. To think it was initially developed to serve as a minigame within The Witcher 3 and has now garnered so much support to prompt the creation of a standalone is amazing to me.
To break it down for those that don`t, Gwent involves a battlefield with three different levels: infantry, ranged, and artillery. Each card has a numbered value and can be placed in one of the said levels. Rounds end when both players pass a turn and the player with the highest number at the end of each round wins it. Best of three takes home the win.
It’s a quick and fun, yet simple game. While other games in the genre emphasis well thought out and strategized card-based moves, Gwent promotes trickery and feints. You enter a tavern, take a seat and get to playing. When you really should be killing that drowner bounty you got off the last village`s notice board. Hmmm, I wonder how I can f### with this guy enough to make him use all his best cards quickly….should I lose the first round on purpose to make him vulnerable later on…maybe…maybe. These are the thoughts that go through your head as you play this game within a game. All the while listening to the excellent musical score of the Witcher 3 and its fun as hell.
With the standalone release, comes more features and increased depth. With a larger card selection and more focus on how the game’s different card factions will play distinctively different from one another. This is not the simple minigame within the Witcher 3 that you or I know. This will be the true Gwent game Witcher fans remember. Fun, Quick, addictive, and much, much deeper.
As of now CD Projekt Red hasn’t announced a release date yet, but we know it’s going to be a free-to-play title with in-game transactions. There is currently a closed beta, which I myself have applied for, find out more here: https://www.playgwent.com/en