We were lucky enough to have a look at the latest build on Gwent (the card game spawned out of Witcher lore) whilst at Gamescom and were thoroughly impressed. The latest build is beautifully designed with UI and gameplay elements that stretch far beyond what was available in the Witcher 3.
Specifically we were blown away by the art design of each and every card in the game – each design is credited on the card page – producing a sense of pride which emanates into beautiful pieces of work to illustrate every creature and character in the game. The designs of some special cards are also interactive and animated adding an extra level of polish to an already beautiful game.
The gameplay starts with players choosing specific decks which tailor to a certain style of play – this allows for a lot of diversity and challenge as each style has its own strengths and weaknesses. Playing cards, and the concept of how to win is simple enough to have an enjoyable game without much explanation. I often found myself somewhat confused as to how long rounds were meant to last – or how to track how long was left and was sometimes caught out by a round ending out of the blue. Another issue players encountered happened when they used every card in their decks early on and the game played out into somewhat of a stalemate – this appeared confusing although avoidable.
CD Projekt Red also revealed the single player elements that will be coming to the game after launch as well as new game modes and factions (Nilfgaard) that will be added into the standard multiplayer game. The single player campaign will include over 10 hours of content and take place in an open-world top-down map with various points of interest. Choosing to visit these points of interest has an effect on the story itself and exploration is rewarded with new cards for items, people or spells. If a character dies in the single player campaign’s story – their card will also leave your deck, showing the relationship between story elements and gameplay.