The Standalone Version Of Gwent Thrives With New Features
If you’ve played the third sequel of The Witcher series, you probably remember GWENT, the card game you could play within the game. There is no doubt that GWENT is popular among the fans, but there were a couple of eyebrows raised when CD Projekt Red decided to publish a game that will focus on the mentioned card battles. Now, when there is an open beta available, we can freely claim that they were on the right track – GWENT: The Witcher Card Game has a lot to offer, and it slowly grabs its deserved place on the market.
The first thing you need to know that the new installment offers the familiar GWENT formula we already know. However, if you are wondering why the public has received The Witcher Card Game well, the secret lies in the fact that the developers tried to offer a bunch of new features that improve the experience. There are some ideas that they got from Hearthstone, which revived the card battle genre and gave it the boost it needed. Despite that, there are numerous things unique to GWENT, which all make it worth your while.
CD Projekt Red Did It Once Again
The first thing you notice is that the board looks pretty much the same like in The Witcher 3. Once you take a look at the leaders, you realize that the majority of them also haven’t been changed. To be honest, that got me worried a little bit – what if the developers saw a milking cow in GWENT and didn’t even try to make it right?
Fortunately, I was wrong. In a short while, you will find that GWENT: The Witcher Card Game offers new in-game mechanics, as well as significant alterations on how your skills, including attacking, resiliency, and armor influence the flow of the battle. Yes, the leaders that you know are all there, but they come with new portions of much more powerful abilities now. There is a new deck building skill, which enables you to use any cards and combine them into a single pack without checking out their factions.
There are some things you can use to your advantage in the same way like in the original. For example, using mostly monsters in your deck will give you the upper hand if your leader has perks oriented on monsters, such as the skill to spawn other members to the battlefield instantly. However, each card can now play a significant role in the fight, which wasn’t a case in the original. Even cards that were rendered as pointless now can turn the tide of the battle. For example, Cow can spawn level 10 cohorts each turn when it’s on the battlefield.
Gold, Silver, and Bronze Cards
There is a tier system in GWENT: The Witcher Card Game that divides all the cards in gold, silver, and bronze cards. As you can assume, the golden ones are the strongest, but they can now be countered much easier, especially if you have Dimeritium Shackles in your deck. The Shackles are one of the special cards, and their unique ability is to demote golden cards and make them prone to special cards and effects. If you’ve played The Witcher 3, you will recognize most of the new cards, such as potions Swallow and Thunderbolt.
If we are going to be honest (and this is an honest review), we must confess that proper balance was the problem in the first GWENT. Fortunately, the developers realized that they need to work on this, especially now when the game focuses on multiplayer battles. The results are good – spy cards are not as dominant as before, and other huge advantages you could make in the original are now harder to achieve.
As you play the game, you can unlock rare cards that will give you more power by opening the boxes with rewards. Here lies the answer why GWENT is initially free to play. If you want to open more boxes and get the upper hand over others, you can take a shortcut to success by spending money on unlockables. Yes, you can also play it fair and earn the in-game currency as you achieve milestones or win battles, but there is still the good old formula of paying to become better. This is very similar to the monetization system of mobile games like Star Wars: Galaxy Of Heroes.
The Upgrade System
There is an interesting twist to the upgrade system. In each keg, which is the box that you open for rewards, there are five cards. The system generates four of them randomly, but you have the choice of a selection of cards to pick the fifth one you will take. Naturally, that means that you need to discard the others offered, but it’s a neat twist that makes things more exciting when you unlock new cards. You can also use transmutation to increase the stats and abilities of your cards, which is another way you can get the upper hand over your opponent.
GWENT: The Witcher Card Game offers both single player and multiplayer modes, and the good news is that everything works smoothly when you cross your cards with people from around the globe. Matchmaking seems to be fair, and there were no problems of any kind with the server, even though the game hasn’t been officially fully released yet.
If you are into card games and you would like to make a change from Hearthstone, GWENT: The Witcher Card Game can be an excellent substitute. It is entirely free to play (although there are in-game purchases available) and it can hold your attention for hours. The game is significantly upgraded compared to the original version, and the matches are far more exciting and balanced. The strategy plays a great role, and sheer power won’t be enough for victory in most cases.
The game is currently in the open beta phase, and CD Projekt Red announced that there would be a full release once they are happy with the number of features implemented in the game, which means that we can probably expect more alterations and improvements in the future. If you want to try the game, head to the GWENT: The Witcher Card Game website and play it for free.