REVIEW: ‘Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales’ (Switch)

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Thronebreaker

Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales is a single-player role-playing adventure game set in the world of The Witcher. This game combines narrative-driven exploration, puzzles, and card battle mechanics.  Developed and published by CD PROJECKT, gamers who love a good story, puzzles, and exploration will immediately fall in love with this game. You play as Queen Meve, ruler of Lyria and Rivia, tasked with facing the imminent Nilfgaard invasion. Meve’s story and the journey are ones of destruction and revenge.

So many things hooked me on Thronebreaker the moment I started playing. From the vibrant colors, voice acting, to the full narration of the story being told and the fact there are a variety of ways that you play this game I was hooked. But, while you can play the game multiple ways, the majority of the game is spent controlling Queen Meve and exploring the land in a top-down way. Similar to The Witcher 3, the map is enormous with so many points of interest to investigate. You can simply beeline and do the main story missions but I feel that’s imperative to explore. Not only is it fun seeing the land and its inhabitants, but side quests also flesh out the characters and Queen Meve. Since you shape Meve’s story and the type of Queen she is. It’s also fun to engage in the puzzles. Think of it as an exercise for the bigger battles you’ll have to face.

Along with investigating, you collect gold, wood, and add soldiers to your army. I found myself constantly exploring and avoiding puzzles and any point of interest, instead I was looking for loot and shrines to raise the morale of my troops. This is because the happier your troops, the more effective they will be in battle. 

Thronebreaker

As for Meve, she has access to a skill tree in the form of her camp. These skills or enhancements grant Meve a plethora of abilities from moving faster on the main map, access to new cards for your deck, and acquiring loot faster. All these can be acquired with the currency you collect. In certain areas you can conscript recruits or depend on the scenario outcome of a point of interest, characters may align themselves with you. When you recruit a character, a certain amount of troops are added to your inventory to create more cards. 

The art and music of the game are amazing, you’ll easily want more story but what shines is combat in good ole Gwent fashion, a card game played by locals in The Witcher universe. You have a deck of cards and each has different abilities and a score which is that card’s strength. The object of the game is to best your opponent by having the highest strength (sum of all the cards you played) within two rounds. Most combat is like this but the majority of the matches, you are given a puzzle and must complete it in the single round. These puzzles can be hard if you are new to Gwent but the devil is in the details. If you read the effects on the cards and have your wits about you, you’ll be able to get past the puzzles. Once you achieve victory, it’s so satisfying that you want the next. 

You have a set amount of cards that you begin the game with however you can craft more if you the currency. Whereas acquiring new talents and attributes in Meve’s camp you need wood and gold, to craft new cards for your army/deck you need recruits. And as stated before, if you’re army is happy, you perform better in battle. There is a symbol (triangle) on the map that is color-coded with a picture of soldiers in the middle. If the triangle is pointing up and the color is orange, your army is neutral.  After each battle, if your army is in good spirits, it returns to neutral. To know if your army’s morale is high, you’ll see the triangle pointed up and the color is green. If your morale is bad, the triangle will be facing down and the color will be red. Luckily, I have not experienced this yet or its effects. With great morale, your cards will have a boosted combat score, and you want that in most battles that require you to simply overwhelm your foe with a high score.

Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales is a gorgeously crafted game and has something for different types of gamers. The game has three difficulties, perfect for those who want to play normally, want a brutal challenge, or just simply explore and enjoy the story. And with Thronebreaker now on the Nintendo Switch, it’s the perfect adventure to take on the go. Just don’t miss your stop wherever you need to go. 

Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales is available on the Nintendo eShop.

Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales
  • 9/10
    Rating - 9/10
9/10

TL;DR

Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales is a gorgeously crafted game and has something for different types of gamers. The game has three difficulties, perfect for those who want to play normally, want a brutal challenge, or just simply explore and enjoy the story. And with Thronebreaker now on the Nintendo Switch, it’s the perfect adventure to take on the go. Just don’t miss your stop wherever you need to go.