I'm not gonna lie, after spending hours and hours of my life completing the main story quest, slaying monsters and running down every side mission and Witcher contract I can get my gauntlet clad hands on, I still find the most aggravating part of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt to be that darn tavern card game Gwent (and don't even get me started on that Collect ‘Em All side quest).
Gwent turns up all the time in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, seemingly every merchant you come across is down for a game of cards, and there's side quests based entirely around the game itself and Geralt's obsessive compulsive collection of the special cards.
So by this juncture you may have played through The Witcher 3 DLC Hearts of Stone, but have you seen Hearts of Card?
Hearts of Card
Made by Nexus Mods user DickDangerJustice, the Hearts of Card mod replaces all combat encounters with, yes that's right, games of Gwent. The mod description reads thusly:
"Replaces all combat with Gwent. Works with existing saves and should yield the same experience and loot from killing an enemy, allowing for drop-in installation/uninstallation. Has basic scaling. The campaign should be fully playable."
How does that even work? I hear you cry. Well worry not, because there's even an example video detailing Geralt taking on three bandits on horseback.
He runs up to them, draws his sword and... "IT'S TIME TO DUEL".
The battle won, the three bandits fall, suddenly naked, from the backs of their horses with matching pained groans and Geralt stands for a moment to contemplate the damage at his feet.
The mod works by replacing physical combat with a strategic game of Gwent instead. Once either Geralt or his opponent takes damage the game is entered into, and the outcome of the battle is decided by whoever wins the Gwent game.
Emerge victorious and you'll have slain all opponents within 30 units by barely lifting a finger. Fail, and you'll be one left lying on the ground in your pants, groaning at the embarrassment of being slain by a card game. The deck your enemies play with is randomly assigned whilst you use your own, and the difficulty level is set according to the level of your opponent.
Hearts of Card essentially turns The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt into Yu-Gi-Oh!, just more violent and (presumably) with more trysts occurring upon a model unicorn's back (and now we're wondering if that mod also replaces intercourse with card games).
Slaying All The Way
And whilst we're on the subject of mods, CD Projekt Red are currently running a Holiday Outfit modding contest for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. The aim: to create a Christmas themed outfit for any Witcher 3 character (monsters included). The prize: a one-of-a-kind custom made Witcher sword forged by Hattori himself. Nice. Very nice.
They've even included art of a Christmassy themed Geralt, complete with Santa hat, candy cane swords and even a wee smile, as inspiration for the contest. D'aww. Submissions close for the contest on January 5th 2016, if you're interested.
The Witcher 3 beat out its open-world RPG rival Fallout 4, as well as Bloodborne, [Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain](tag:2683985) and Super Mario Maker, at the The Game Awards 2015 last week to take home the prestigious Game of the Year Award, and it's not difficult to see why. But which was YOUR favourite game of 2015? Tell us in the comments below!