"Mother... What does 'betray' mean?" is the only line in the new story teaser for CD Projekt RED's upcoming Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales. It's a little girl's voice, and obviously intended as a narrative flashback from Queen Meve's childhood. It's an intriguing setup in terms of character development, and it signals a commitment to try to make Thronebreaker as narratively complex as The Witcher games were. The line is followed by a frenzied reel of scenes from the game, all of them with the same art style featured in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt recaps during loading screens.
Thronebreaker was originally supposed to be a single-player expansion for Gwent: The Witcher Card Game, but after some delays and problems in development, it grew into its own standalone title, though it will still include Gwent cards and battles. According to CD Projekt CEO Marcin Iwiński, "Thronebreaker is a proper Witcher tale, with more than 30 hours of story, over 75 side quests, and — at the same time — a game that lets you lead an army into previously unexplored places in the Witcher universe. And all of this is powered by story-driven battles based on the card battle mechanics of GWENT." GameSpot has published a 12-minute video preview of Thronebreaker, which also includes a bit of the Gwent: Homecoming overhaul.
While Thronebreaker is now available to pre-order, the digital goodies "included are not exclusive to gamers who pre-order," Iwiński added. "When buying our games, everyone gets the same in-game content. Doesn’t matter if you pre-order it or buy it after launch. We don’t want to lure you in with ‘exclusive item’ bullshit. For us, pre-orders are all about the anticipation and excitement, and — most importantly — showing support for the studios and games you love. So, if what you see and read in the previews appeals to you, we welcome your pre-order with open arms. However, if you need more time and would rather wait for reviews, do take your time and buy post-launch — you won’t miss out on any of the goodies." This odd mix of strategic consumer-friendly spiel and blunt candor is in line with their past statements, such as "We leave greed to others."
Thronebreaker releases on October 23 for PC, exclusively via GOG. The release on consoles is set for December 4. The suggested retail price is $29,99. It includes the soundtrack, digital copies of the Gwent: Art of the Witcher Card Game artbook and the Witcher graphic novel Fox Children, both by Dark Horse, as well as several trinkets for Gwent. There's additional information about the game in the official website.
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What do you think of the Thronebreaker teaser and preview? Do you think it will be enough to satisfy fans who are eager for a proper sequel to The Witcher? Let us know in the comments below.