There’s 5 main maps to explore, making this a really generous slice of content given the quality of the writing and gameplay. My only real problem other than the difficulty was that the game crashed on me – a lot. At least 4 times per map; I don’t think I’ve ever had hard crashes back to the Xbox desktop so frequently.
Initially, Thronebreaker doesn’t look that impressive. The maps are 2D, with low-poly 3D character models on the top, with fairly clunky animation patterns. Those initial impressions get swept away quickly though. The maps zoom in and out as needed for stylistic and gameplay reasons, there’s some clever lighting and particle effects, and there’s also some stunning parallax scrolling used to create some really sweeping vistas. Cut-scenes use a cartoon-book style that works well. The art style is superb. Gwent looks good too, with a good, easy-to read play area and equally good art on the cards themselves.
The game is fully voiced, and very well acted, and there’s also an excellent score on parts of the map that drifts in and out melodically. Music and effects when playing Gwent are not quite as good though – the volume is ramped up a little high, whilst the score and card actions start to get repetitive fairly quickly.
I really wish “Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales” had been patched already on Xbox One. The number of times a relatively simple game like this has crashed is simply unacceptable. Stability aside, there’s little else to dislike about this fabulously deep and well-written game.
With a huge campaign, brilliant storytelling, and excellent, varied gameplay (despite just being card based, and losing a row over standard Gwent), Thronebreaker is worthy of high praise indeed.
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