Platform reviewed on: PC
Also available on: Xbox One, Playstation 4
Gwent is a competitve card game inspired by the The Witcher Video Game universe. At first, it was incorporated in ”The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt” but finally CD Project Red decided to spawn this great standalone spin off. There is not much to say about the plot; your sole purpose is to destroy every online opponent in your path for fun or in order to climb up the ranks and pray that one day you will take part in tournaments eventually facing off against the greatest players around the world.
For a card game, the graphics are pretty decent. There is a lot of attention given to the cards’ design, espescially with regard to their premium versions. The figures and environments illustrated are so beautiful that you will want to collect them all primarily for personal satisfacion and secondary to show them off to your friends.
The battles take place in wonderfully crafted battlefields that take their theme from the respected faction you chose to play with. For example, if you choose the Scoiatel which are the elves and dwarves of the game, your section of the battlefield will be a lush forest. Should you choose the Monsters, your valuable cards are placed inside in a table that looks like a cemetery.
There are some nice special effects as well. For example, there are cards that control the weather conditions; play biting frost and the row you place it will be filled with a devastating blizzard for some turns that damages gradually the lowest unit in it.
The sound design is good for the most part. The soundtrack mostly consists of themes that can be found in the Witcher games and are a true treat for the ears. Also, when playing the cards, each one has its unique sound effect when placed on the battlefield. However, after a while and after a hefty amount of time spent on the game, the soundtrack will get a bit repetitive.
This is the first competitive card game that I have invested a lot of my precious free time and not without a good reason. The gameplay is astounding. First of all, as I said in the General/ Plot section of the post, you get to choose between 5 factions, each one with their own strengths and weaknesses; Northern Realms (the ”army men” of the witcher universe), Nilfgaard (mostly spies and assassins), Monsters (pretty self explanatory..), Scoiatel (elves, dwarves, gnomes etc) and Skellige (Vikings and Cultists).
Afterwards, you get to pick a leader for your faction who has a unique ability that can be triggered most times at will in order to turn the tides of battle. For example should you choose King Foltest when playing with the Northern Realms faction, you can activate instantly cards when placed on the battlefield and boost them by 1 hit point without waiting for a turn to pass.
Speaking of points, every match is comprised of 3 successive rounds and in order to win, you have to have more total points than your opponent in 2 of them. These points are gathered solely by playing cards that represent units and add up to the amount of total points you gather. However it is not that simple; there are non unit cards that represent spells, tactics and alchemy which can boost allied units or obliterate your opponents army in just a few turns. Using Scorch for example, you send the highest unit on the battlefield to the graveyard no matter if it is boosted or not.
As you can imagine, the combinations are endless and the matches are heartbraking. Many times, I have been winning rounds up until the final turn of the last round for 20 points and when that turn came finally, my opponent played a card that not only bridged the point gap, but surpassed me and won the round and the game. Gwent is a frustrating and gratifying experience at the same time and that is the reason it is so awesome.
Value for money:…..10
It is FREE. Just download and play. The only reason you will want to spend money is to speed up the resources gathering’ process by purchasing card kegs. Try the game and if you like it, you will be hooked and trust me there is no turning back for months to come. You have been warned 😉