Thursday, December 20, 2018

Deanna Plays: Gwent Gets a Major Upgrade

Deanna Plays is a monthly feature on this blog where every third Thursday of the month I talk about something related to video games. Sometimes these are reviews of the games themselves, sometimes it's a list of books to read if you play X, and anything in between!

Today I am going to be talking about Gwent, the free strategy card game from the makers of The Witcher 3, CD Projekt Red. 


If you are not familiar with The Witcher or Gwent, let me explain quickly. Gwent is an in-game card game that you can play against NPCs in The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt. In the Witcher 2 you could play dice against NPCs, but I could never really figure it out. Gwent I figured out pretty quickly and I ended up becoming the Gwent Champion in a tournament. Is it really bad that I feel like that is my biggest accomplishment?

I think it was last year I got a notification from my Xbox that I was given access to a beta of Gwent. I thought that was so cool! When I played the game, I was just disappointed. The Gwent card game that they had created just wasn't the same. I loved the gwent in the bigger game and this just wasn't good. I found the visuals and the fonts hard to read and I just had a hard time understanding how the game worked. So I kind of tossed it aside.

HOWEVER! The company has been promoting a new part-card card, part-RPG Throne Breaker so I have been interested in playing different things. I noticed they were promoting Gwent again as being a new game. I was able to download it and start playing it. At it's core this Gwent strategy card game still doesn't feel like the one in The Witcher 3, but they have done some seriously upgrades to the game. My boyfriend even mentioned that he's never seen a game in Beta and then live be so different. It's a lot different, but at the same time it's been keeping me interested, even though I was really bad at it for a really long time. The graphics are MUCH better now, and makes me want to play it more.

So there are some differences that you will notice from this version from the one you may have played in The Witcher 3. One, you have to build your deck. You start off with a starter deck that the AI gives, but as you gain experience and ore you can buy kegs that will give you better cards. So you can edit the cards in your deck, but there are some limitations to it. There are two numbers you need to hit on a maximum in your deck, so you have to plan accordingly. I have to admit it can be really frustrating, but I think the purpose of this is so you have a balanced game. When you are playing you gain in-game currently like Ore that allows you to buy Kegs to get better cards. You also get "reward points" which you use on the map that can give you ore for kegs or unlock leader cards in your deck. There are also daily quests as well, like "win 3 matches using the Northern Realms Faction." Another thing I noticed that makes the game a little harder is that after a round each player gains three new cards. So you really need to strategize.

The game is a free game, so that means there are micro-transactions included. This bums me out, but I play a lot of other mobile games that do this too and I just continue to grind rather than using my own real world money to get better things. I think if you don't mind this, you will like this game.

I think the changes they made to the Gwent card game have been great. If you had access to the game preview previously, I would consider checking it out again. You might still not like it, but I think it's got a great new look and really feels like Gwent to me.

Happy Reads Everyone!

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