There is almost no studio like CD Projekt, capable of taking care of any of its productions, even the most modest ones. They usually have the ambition, and what begins as a small project often enlarges its scale considerably to offer us much more for the same value.
A clear example of this was with Blood and Wine, a dramatic expansion for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt that offered us more than 40 hours of new adventures with our favourite sorcerer/witch hunter when the initial idea was to last 20.
Now, history repeats itself with Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales, a title that was born as a mode for the Gwent: The Witcher Card Game. However, it ended up growing so much that they have finally decided to sell it separately as a completely independent product, offering us an Exciting role-playing adventure like never before in which letters and narratives are the main characters.
The war through the cards
As we say, one of the great pillars of this release lies in its narrative, with which the scriptwriters of CD Projekt again demonstrate that they know how to write stories and dialogues like nobody else, full experience built with fascinating and brilliantly constructed characters.
So, this time we will embody Queen Meve, ruler of Lyria and Rivia, the Northern Kingdoms, who will have to face the invasion of Nilfgaard in a bloody war full of unexpected turns and unforgettable moments.
We have a very literary style and the impression that transmits at all times is to be reading a good book, with the peculiarity that many of the decisions of its protagonist will have to be taken by us, something that will affect multiple ways to the main plot and the conclusion of the story.
Of course, none of these choices will be easy and will continuously test our moral values. Here there is no “good” and a “bad” option, so there will be few times when we will have no choice but to opt for the lesser evil and act according to our principles.
The weight of our decisions is greater than ever since. As regents, our actions will have a significant impact on our people. We may want to do “good” and be merciful, but a hard punishment at the right time could prevent us from giving an image of weakness in the face of our enemies.
Of course, the script always maintains a dark and very mature tone, full of complex and delicate themes that are surprisingly current. This is nothing new in the Witcher game, so it’s important to remember them.
In general, it is one of the best-written games we have ever had the pleasure of enjoying, so if you are passionate about good stories and the fascinating world created by Andrzej Sapkowski, here you will find everything you have fallen in love with this universe and more.
Moreover, in CD Projekt, they know that there are many fans of The Witcher but not Gwent, so an optional level of difficulty has been added that will allow us to skip all the battles and enjoy the narrative only.
In the gamer, we will move freely through several maps of considerable size, being able to collect resources and participate in all kinds of events and secondary activities, such as treasure searches, puzzles, fighting and conflict resolution through decisions.
There are a lot of side missions (more than 70), and all of them are well cared for and well treated as the main ones, something that the developer cares about. The magnitude of the adventure, completing the story is a task that will take about 30 hours so that this figure can rise considerably as soon if you intend to finish it all.
Once in combat, we will have a board divided into four ways, two for each player, in which one represents the back guard and the other the vanguard. Each turn, we can place a card and put into practice the different abilities of our cards if they are available, something that can also be applied to the unique technique of our leader.
As you can guess, each card has its characteristics and unique values, something that we will have to take into account when making our plays and creating decks that enjoy good synergies.
In the standard battles, the objective is to win two of three rounds, getting a score higher than that of our rival at the end of each one, which derives from the sum of the numerical values of all the cards we have placed on the table.
But Thronebreaker goes far beyond merely proposing classic Gwent games since we will not stop participating in combats with many different variants and conditions that will force us to redesign our strategy completely. As soon as we have to prevent enemy cars from fleeing, they have to deal with a spy who moves through our ranks and who can only be damaged by surrounding him with cards that add value higher than his.
In case this is not attractive and striking enough, we will also encounter an infinity of “puzzles,” where we will be asked to solve a situation with a series of predetermined cards. These challenges have seemed even more interesting than the fighting, as they have very fundamental approaches that will force us to put our gray matter to good use and study each card with great care to find the move we need to make.
Another detail that we liked a lot is that these letters represent our army and our lieutenants, so our decisions may cause us to win new cards and even lose them by doing something that is not to the liking of any of our followers.
What has not convinced us so much is the pace of acquisition of these cards since it is prolonged, preventing us from making many variations of our deck and forcing us to play with the same strategies over and over again. Also, these tactics, in general, are usually beneficial from the beginning, which ends up negatively affecting the feeling of progress.
Regarding its graphics section, although nobody expects any technical warning of a game of these characteristics, the truth is that we have to admit that it is a beautiful title and with a careful artistic direction, offering us varied backgrounds full of details and elements, first-level illustrations and proper character design.
Finally, the sound leaves us with a soundtrack of excellent quality, and that maintains that folk touch that suits the stories set in this universe. The effects follow the same line, but what is remarkable is that all the dialogues of the adventure are fantastically well performed, with very successful voice choices, something vital to get us fully deep into the story.
Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales is a great game that perfectly combines roles, cards and a beautiful story to offer us another great adventure with the CD Projekt quality label. The pace of progression may not be fully measured, but that does not prevent us from thoroughly enjoying and following Queen Meve’s adventures in her struggle to prevent her kingdom from being invaded. If you were left wanting to know more about this fascinating world, don’t think about it and give it a chance.
We prepared this review with a digital download code provided by Terminals PR.