Have you noticed that no matter where you are in game; be it Velen, Novigrad or Skellige everybody’s always in the mood for a good old-fashioned round of Gwent? In fact, the expression on the face of whoever you ask for around always seems to perk up with joy and a nod. That’s because nobody can deny a game of Gwent, regardless of if their farm’s cursed, or their family’s captured by witches
The Witcher 3 follows the story of the White Wolf, the butcher of blaviken and many other titles, but we know him as Geralt of Rivia. He’s a mutated super-human devoid of most emotion and is on a quest to rescue his adoptive daughter from a monstrous group of elves known as the Wild Hunt. In his quest, he discovers that Ciri (the daughter) has been sighted in three places: Velen, Novigrad, and Skellige. Thus he embarks on a journey to seek his daughter and find her before the Hunt gets her first. Despite the dire straits, he’s in, Geralt can’t help himself however to the delight of a good Gwent game whenever he finds the chance.
So how does Gwent work? It’s simple. The board has three rows on either player’s side. Rows being for close combat ranged combat and siege combat cards. Each card is placed in their respective row adds to the power a player has on their side. The objective of the game is to have more power than your opponent by the end of the round. This can be done either by exhausting all their cards until they have no more resources to place or by having a deck that overpowers theirs on its own. Gwent is played in a best 2 out of 3 rounds format
Similar to Geralt, it can be hard for the player to resist the game as well. And often a time you forget the harsh reality of the unforgiving Witcher world when you’re in an intense card game with the Bloody Baron himself! With a variety of decks to choose from, power up your collection with unique cards you collect in your travels. Either by buying them from taverns or winning them from other characters. Gwent is an art that needs dedication and time invested into it for a player to really be a deft hand. Whether you play for money, cards or simply the satisfaction of sweet victory. Gwent delivers as a jack of all trades on multiple of these fronts.
The game also features Gwent tournaments across the continent. Although at first glance they appear as simple tournaments, of course, there’s hidden plots, storylines, and quests within them as well. Even if you’re not an avid Gwent player, do make sure you stop by one of the tournaments during any of your detours from the main quests. Gwent’s own exclusive soundtrack also serves as great work music for when you’re behind a desk like me.
Why play Gwent when you can hunt monsters? Well, its no surprise, the feats Geralt can accomplish due to his mutations whether it comes to monster hunting or physical altercations. Therefore one can see it as an excuse his enemies might use against him. “You’re not tougher than me! Tis the mutations!’. These same people, however, have no line of defense should you defeat them at a game of Gwent. Due to the path to victory involving outsmarting and out-strategizing your opponent. A battle of the minds so to speak
I often found myself more obsessed with the idea of Gwent than I was for the main story itself. Stopping for a card game whenever I could, and sulking when I missed out. In fact its actually a mental debate for me regarding what was more important, saving Ciri, or completing my Gwent collection. Latter’s been winning the mental struggle so far!