Gwent: The Witcher Card Game Rant!

What in the actual F#@K CD Projekt Red!? 

Gwent is the trading card game that first appeared in the Witcher 3 Wild Hunt. The game is actually based on the card game in the Witcher novels. Gwent is available for free on consoles and PC. 

So you had this great concept for an online trading card game. A game which you implemented really well in the Witcher 3. When I heard the news you guys were gonna turn it into a standalone game I could hardly wait as I truly enjoyed playing it in the Witcher 3. When I got the email that told me I could join the closed beta back in 2016 I could hardly wait to get home to open it up and dive in. 

The game was great, you kept a lot of the original ideas that were in the Witcher 3 intact. You added more cards with more creatures, more spells, more abilities  and more characters not only from the game but from the books as well. I loved how you could only play certain cards on certain rows and how only certain weather cards affected certain rows. I feel like those 2 things alone gave the game so much more depth when it came to deck building. 

Now I am not gonna say I played the game religiously everyday since the very first moment I got my closed beta invite. I was sidetracked by other games, work and just life in general. When the open beta was released on the PS4 I downloaded it there as well, I’m more of a console gamer than PC. Sometime in early 2018 after one my breaks from the game I came home one night and fired it up on my PS4. Much to my dismay you removed the row restrictions for the weather and the other cards as well. OK no biggie, I’ll deal the game was still a lot of fun and I’m still gonna play it and spend a few dollars every so often. I played right up till around springtime. 

Fast forward to November of 2018 and I see the Thronebreaker is about to be released. Normally I’m up to date on game releases especially those from my favorite developer. Somehow this one slipped under my radar. Nevertheless I pre-order Thronebreaker for PC because I’m excited and really didn’t want to wait till December for the console launch. I really had no idea what I was buying, all I knew it was a game set in the Witcher universe.(Big fan of the Witcher series FYI) Thronebreaker releases I download it but only get to play it for a short while. Now I thought the game was kinda neat, I liked how instead of fighting every encounter was a round of Gwent and I liked the challenges as well. I never did open up Gwent though at the time simply because, well life happens. 

About 2 weeks ago I decide I need a Gwent fix so I fire up the PS4 download the latest updates and login to what was one of my favorite online card games. The first thing I notice is that I have to go through this tutorial. OK no biggie, but I find the tutorial annoying, I can’t stand all the talking and how long it feels. So much so that I get so frustrated that I actually turn the game off. I come back to it a day or 2 later and tough it out hoping that this is gonna get better. Nope I was wrong, I truck through the tutorial to finally get to the game and all my cards are now gone. OK again no biggie as I now have almost 100k in scraps to craft cards. 

Here’s my main issues with game. One it feels clunky, it doesn’t seem to flow as smoothly as it once did and is all that dialogue necessary? I mean it looks pretty and all but that’s not why I play Gwent. Yes I truly appreciate the artwork. But the game board is just too much in my opinion. The really big thing that I just can’t seem to get over is you went from 3 rows down to 2. A lot of the spell effects have been nerfed, removed or have completely changed. Weather does not seem to as big a deal as it did before. I really enjoyed playing a weather control deck especially when it mattered which row it was on and there were 3 of them. And why for the love of god did you remove all silver cards from the game? Now there’s only gold cards and bronze cards. I liked how you could only have so many gold and silver cards per deck. I feel like without that option you have taken away a vital aspect of the game. 

How did the game progress from this:

Screenshot of Gwent from the Witcher 3

To this:

Gwent Beta

To whatever this is:

Gwent 2018 release

Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I haven’t played it enough to fully appreciate it yet. 

Either way CD Projekt Red please understand that you are one of my favorite developers out there today. I pray that you never go down the corporate path that so many other developers have.(Keep an eye out for my upcoming rant about BioWare) I am anxiously awaiting the release of Cyberpunk 2077, I will always be a fan of the Witcher series. And who knows maybe in a few months time I’ll change my tune about Gwent. You guys put out great games, I know Thronebreaker didn’t meet your sales expectations but you can’t win them all. 

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