Tobold's Blog
Tuesday, October 30, 2018
Thronebreaker impressions

I’m not going to write a full review of Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales. I’m nearly half-way through, and I’m planning to keep on playing. But as the game definitively also has weak points, I’d like to discuss what I like and dislike about it.

The game’s strongest point are the story and the standard Gwent card battles. I’m playing at the highest difficulty, and at that level the battles are challenging enough to be fun, without being unfair. The story is interesting, has a lot of difficult moral choices, and succeeds in creating a believable albeit dark fantasy world.

The strong story has innate drawbacks: The game is fairly linear, and there isn’t much interest in playing it a second or third time. However given the reasonable price tag and length, this is something I can live with.

The weak points of Thronebreaker are the somewhat trivial resource gathering part, and the puzzle battles. Resource gathering forces you to go all over the map and click on things, which just isn’t very interesting. The puzzle battles are non-random card battles with a single solution. You need to play your cards in a specific order to win. If you are the kind of person who rather solves chess puzzles than play a game of chess, that might be fine by you. Me, I find the puzzles somewhat annoying. And they aren’t very well balanced, some are trivial, some require you to foresee complicated card interactions 5 moves ahead. Fotunatly solutions for all puzzles can be found on YouTube.

As a medium to tell a grand story in the Witcher universe with the occasional card battle thrown in, Thronebreaker is an amusing enough game, and I don’t regret having bought it. But I wouldn’t really call it a RPG, and some of the minor gameplay elements are more tedious than fun.

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