E3: Hands-on with Gwent


Digital Card games have made a huge comeback in the last few years. There’s Magic the Gathering releasing digital versions for fans to face off far and wide, and maybe you’ve heard of a little game called Hearthstone by Blizzard? Well, I’m here to say that Gwent keeps up with all of these, in terms of creativity, strategy, and quality. While it is impossible for them to compete with the quantity of cards like its competitors since it’s in its beta stage, the full game will be launching this fall. From what I’ve played and experienced, this game will be sucking away all my spare time.

For those who don’t know, Gwent is a collectible and competitive card mini-game that served as a way to slow down and take a break from slaying monsters in Witcher 3. As you progress, you unlock stronger cards to take down different rivals in the world. By the time you finish Witcher 3, you should have an unstoppable deck. This is one of the first things the team addressed when making Gwent. All the cards have their stats balanced and altered to add and remove effects. For those who haven’t played, you get 10 cards, which you must ration between three rounds of play. The goal is to play cards and end up with a value higher than your opponent, in a best out of three style.

There are no resources or HP in the game. It is a bit more simplistic, yet at the same time you are forced, even more so, to out-think your opponent and predict what they will do. The game relies heavily on deceit and proper strategy. The game’s UI has also had a major revamp from the very basic board we saw in Witcher 3. It adds a very nice bit of flare to the thrills of card combat.

The game will be free to play, with options for microtransactions (no details given at this time), but will, in no way, be pay to win. After the initial launch, CD Projekt Red will also be adding story campaigns that won’t always center around Geralt. The story mode will set you in an isometric viewpoint where you can explore, and as you adventure, you will come across enemies, locations, or allies that may end up taking the form of cards to help bolster your deck. For example, we were shown a set of ruins left by elves, and upon further investigation, we found materials used to make Scorch, a chemical explosive that leaves very little left of enemies. This took the form of a spell card that, when used, destroys the strongest monster on the field. whether it be friend or foe. Many encounters will shape out this way, so you will definitely want to explore the campaigns of Gwent.

You can sign up for the Beta, as it is expected to go live sometime around September 2016. Gwent will be available on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

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