After months of fans having to live vicariously through Twitch streamers or scrounge through the backwaters of the internet for a beta key, CD Projekt Red (CDPR) has opened the beta for their highly anticipated digital card game Gwent to the public, announcing it on the game’s official website.
Gwent takes from the Polish game studio’s own The Witcher series, and the card game was praised as one of the many outstanding elements of The Witcher 3 when it released in 2015. Since then, CDPR has worked to make Gwent ready for release as a standalone game rather than being embedded within the acclaimed fantasy RPG. This has meant changing cards and mechanics for the sake of balance with CDPR’s co-founder Marcin Iwiński stating that the launch of the open beta will coincide with “pretty significant gameplay changes”. Players who were in the closed beta, or are familiar with the rules from the Witcher 3, can find all the changes in this latest release here.
The release of Gwent to the public is a direct challenge to Hearthstone, the reigning king of digital card games. Both games typically last less than twenty minutes, make ample use of mechanics that couldn’t be emulated in a physical card game, and have the same business mode (a free-to-play base game where players can buy cards with real world money or in-game currency earned though playing). Both games also feature characters from already popular and well-established gaming franchises. Therefore, eyes will be on Hearthstone creators Blizzard Entertainment to see what they will do to meet this new competitor.
Players who weren’t lucky enough to get into the closed beta can now try Gwent for themselves with it available for PC at playgwent.com, while console fans can download it from the Xbox Store or PlayStation Store.
Are you keen to get into Gwent or have you already tried it and have tips to share? Do you think Hearthstone should be worried? Let us know in the comments!