CD Projekt Red has released a new 37-minute video, with commentary, showcasing a whole heap of gameplay elements from its upcoming Gwent-based Witcher RPG, Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales.
Thronebreaker, which is due to launch on PC on October 23rd, and Xbox One and PS4 on December 4th, is set before the events of the first Witcher game, during the second Nilfgaardian invasion, and follows the story of Meve, a war veteran queen of Lyria and Rivia.
When CD Projekt Red initially began describing Thronebreaker as a fully fledged Witcher RPG, I found the whole thing a bit hard to visualise, particularly given its origins as a solo mode for free-to-play card battling game Gwent. It all makes a lot more sense in the lengthy new video though, with Thronebreaker’s bold art style doing a wonderful job of tying the various gameplay elements together.
It looks incredibly striking, with 2D cutscenes and conversations given a real sense of life through simple but effective animation and environmental touches. There’s even lip-synching to go with the game’s full voice acting, and that attention to detail continues throughout.
There is, for instance, a proper map to explore, with Thronebreaker featuring a total of five different kingdoms. CD Projekt Red says that the world will “react to your actions, as well as your presence”, and there are characters to converse with, side quests to discover, and more. Further points of interest can be located by visiting noticeboards in towns, adding new markers to the world map, including additional quests, challenges, resource locations, and treasure.
Of course, whenever conflict occurs, things are resolved with a spot of Gwent. However, these segments are given a notable lift from what’s come before, with fully themed boards, 3D character models, and ambient effects to add a bit more oomph to encounters.
Toward the end of the video, CD Projekt Red even offers a brief look at Thronebreaker’s war camp, where most of the game’s classic-RPG-style upgrading seemingly occurs. Here, you’re able to recruit new units, manage your existing army, or simply talk with the companions you gain on your adventures, deepening your bonds to improve their performance in battle.
CD Projekt Red previously stated that the full Thronebreaker experience will likely last around 30 hours, and it certainly does look impressive for a game that started out as a simple single-player mode for Gwent. Eurogamer’s Robert Purchese liked what he played of Thronebreaker last month, and we’ll know just how well it’s all come together on October 23rd.