Many gamers recognise The Witcher games as story-heavy action RPGs with a strong emphasis on narrative elements and world-building. And some of you who have played any of the mainline games may regard them as genre masterpieces. While the first two instalments’ gameplay was quite rough, the third instalment appears to have nailed the sweet spot in gameplay and storytelling, earning a veritable slew of awards and accolades from various sources.
While each of the mainline Witcher games had distinct appeals, gameplay elements, and mechanics that distinguished them from one another, the Witcher 3 instalment included a minigame that, unbeknownst to the developers, exploded in popularity. Gwent was the minigame in question, a very simple card game in which players took turns placing cards on the playing field to add points, and the player with the most points at the end of the round won. Following that, the player who won the best two of three rounds would win the match, as well as any money in the pot, if any.
Despite its simplicity and limited customization options in The Witcher 3, Gwent quickly became popular among gamers. In fact, the card game gained such popularity that CD Projekt Red, the developers behind the Witcher games, created and released a standalone Gwent game simply titled “Gwent.”
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Unlike the version in Witcher 3, Gwent expanded on the minigame by introducing a slew of new elements, cards, and mechanics that were intended to add depth and complexity to the card game. While the goal remained the same, accumulating more points than your opponent to win the match, there were many new cards this time around, as well as other mechanics that allowed for a wide range of play styles and deck types.
1) The Story Aspects in Thronebreaker
Gwent has been extremely popular since its release in 2018. One of the most intriguing aspects of its development is that CD Projekt originally intended to give the game an extensive storyline to complement its gameplay, but they quickly repurposed the idea into another standalone spinoff, The Witcher Tales: Thronebreaker.
Thronebreaker, which was released alongside Gwent, is a story-heavy title set in the Witcher universe in which you play as Queen Meve, ruler of Lyria and Rivia, as she journeys throughout the Northern Kingdoms to unite them in preparation for the impending Nilfgaardian invasion. The game includes narration from a character simply known as “Storyteller,” and the player controls Meve as they run around the land in an isometric perspective, conversing with townsfolk and other NPCs and interacting with the environment.
2) The Main Screen
The majority of Thronebreaker takes place in the overworld screen, which is viewed from an isometric perspective, when you aren’t laying down some cards against fearsome foes. And, while your travels in the Northern Realms will take you to various kingdoms, the exploration will always take place in this isometric view.
To move around, simply click on the ground and Meve will walk towards the location. Similarly, there will be several interactable elements with icons on top of them. Meve will interact with these locations or characters by standing near them and then holding down the button for a few seconds, either striking up a conversation with NPCs or looting the environment for resources. We recommend playing Thronebreaker on PC with BlueStacks for added convenience. Not only do you get a much better control scheme and the ability to play the game on a larger screen, but you can also play the mobile version of this game on your computer for free instead of paying for the PC version.
Aside from the interactable elements in the overworld, a series of buttons can be found in the upper left corner of your screen. These are, in descending order:
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Set up camp in a location where you can interact with a variety of buildings, including those that allow you to craft new cards and add them to your deck. You can unlock new features and stronger cards by upgrading these buildings.
4) Regional Map:
Access a large view of the current map, where you can see the location of your current objective as well as the general layout of the terrain.
Examine any important cards, reports, journal entries, or other items you’ve collected on your travels.
In this menu, you can quit to the main screen, save your game, access certain options, and even load the most recent autosave.
7) Your Deck
Unlike in Standalone Gwent, the cards in your deck in Thronebreaker are determined not only by the level of your camp’s buildings, but also by your current story progress. As you complete objectives and progress through the plot, you will be able to craft a variety of cards to customise the play style of your deck.
This is everything you need to know before embarking on a new adventure in The Witcher Tales: Thronebreaker. You’re now ready to begin a new game and figure out the rest of the gameplay mechanics for yourself. If you want to learn more about how to win in this game, check out our deck building and combat guides.
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