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вторник, 8 ноември 2016 г.

Gwent Beta Preview - Lose today to win tommorow



In 2015 under the skillful hands of the guys from CD Projekt RED came out the third installment of The Witcher. Among the many interesting things the game added both as mechanics and story, it also added a new mini-game - Gwent. The game became so popular among the fans that they demanded it to be made into standalone game. Strange enough CD Projekt listened and now you can enjoy Gwent on its own. 

Before I start this preview I must say that Gwent is in closed beta test and the only way to play it is to sign up for the beta and receive a key. There are a lot of things which are work in progress, but the base of the game is set and the main mechanics are there so I think I have a pretty clear opinion on Gwent as it is now. 




The base idea of Gwent is really simple. You have a deck of cards, in it there is a leading mechanic depending on the faction to which your deck belongs. There is no mana or any other resource necessary to play cards. Each card you play affect your or your opponents score. To win you must win two out of three rounds. You win a round when both players pass and you have more points. You will be surprised how many ways are there to achieve that. 
At the start of the next round you draw cards, the board is cleared, all cards from it discarded and you start from zero points again. 

Does not sound that hard, right? It does not, BUT in Gwent you draw cards only at the start of each round. Two at the start of second round and one at the start of the third. There are characters and other cards which let you draw too but they are not that many. 
In other words you need to know your deck perfectly and carefully plan how and when you will try to overcome your opponent. You can try to push the first two rounds or you can let him win one and take the other two etc. Often in the middle of the second round you will know can you make it or not. Sometimes even in the middle of the first you will realize that you have over committed and you do not have the cards to take second round. But most of the times you will be in situation where both players will try to trick each other in over committing so they then can trigger their decks and safely push to the victory.

  


May be here is the place to say that although taken from The Witcher there is no need for you to have played the RPGs if you want to enjoy the card game(I recommend you to do it though, the games are one of the best in the genre). If you have not played The Witcher you will miss the "A-ha" moments when you see familiar monsters or favorite characters, but that does not affect your gameplay or your enjoyment from the game in any way.






Of course as original as Gwent is, it cannot go without some things which all digital CCG games have. Here also you will find boosters to buy, PvP and friendly matches. There is no ladder mode for now, but I expect this soon also. Interesting mechanic which you do not see that often is essentially tipping the opponent at the end of the match. If you say GG ( Good Game) to him/her(or he/she to you) he(you) will receive small amount of bonus materials for crafting cards. I am still not positive is this a good mechanic as right now everyone are saying to everyone GG thinking that this increase their chance they themselves to get a GG. But this lead to very deep and dangerous waters so let us just say that it is an interesting mechanic.


Conclusion


Gwent for sure offers a fresh breeze to the genre. CD Projekt has come up with simple at first look, but actually original and highly strategic card game which despite its habit to throw you into thinking rounds ahead, does not continue for hours, it is actually no more than 20-30 minutes per game. I try to limit myself and not recommend every game which I like, but this one I am positive have something to offer to everyone who are fans but a bit tired of the genre.

For now the only way to play is to sign up for the closed beta test. CD Projekt are fairly generous and there will be few give away waves so you have a good chance to get into the game.

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