After what’s undoubtedly been a busy few days over at CD Projekt Red, the developer offered up a nugget of good news for fans of The Witcher minigame inspired free-to-play battle card spin-off Gwent. The studio announced via a usually drab quarterly results spiel on Twitch that it is developing a standalone single player version of Gwent titled Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales. Understandably the stream didn’t attract quite as many viewers as the Cyberpunk 2077 demo.
Though brief and nestled at the end of the 40 minute long presentation, the news should please both Gwent devotees and Witcher fans eager to delve back into CDPR’s gritty high fantasy world.
Though a single player iteration of Gwent has been in the works for some time, this is the first time CDPR have revealed Thronebreaker would not be incorporated into the hugely successful Gwent: The Witcher Card Game as a story campaign. With a heavy emphasis on RPG elements which grew in scale as development progressed, as well as the expected Gwent-rich gameplay, CDPR explained the game merited to sever ties and become an entity of its own.
Thronebreaker will offer upwards of 30 hours of carefully woven narrative interspersed with card playing sections used to advance the game’s ‘actions’. Though this was briefly covered we imagine this refers predominantly to fighting engagements and resolving confrontations with NPCs. We imagine a game play loop in the vein of The Banner Saga series where game play is compartmentalized between turn-based battle sequences and sections travelling as a caravan through the game world. In classic CDPR style, Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales will rely on choice-driven exchanges with wide-reaching consequences.
CDPR didn’t indicate whether Geralt would be playable or whether hero duties would be assigned to a known quantity or a brand new character. From the screenshots released when the Gwent story campaign was announced, it’s apparent Thronebreaker will remain a broody, atmospheric affair though in a radically different and hand drawn concept art style.
No word on a release date yet or whether Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales is a PC exclusive or will be ported over to consoles. CDPR released a teaser when the game was still part of Gwent, which you can peruse at your leisure below.