When this game was first announced last summer, I was really looking forward to it. I’m a fan of collectible card games, and the fusion of a card game with the Elder Scrolls franchise seemed like a perfect fit.
When the game didn’t come out in the winter as planned, I kind of forgot about it. During the delay period, Hearthstone’s latest expansion was on the verge of releasing, so I invested a lot of time in that particular game. Then, right before Hearthstone’s expansion was released, the developers of Legends finally dropped the first information on the game and opened registration for beta testing.
That first wave of information was disheartening. I had already invested time into Hearthstone because I waited “too long” for this game to be released. On top of that, Legends seemed to be a rip-off of Hearthstone based on the information given. Sure, some things looked unique, but it mostly seemed like a re-skin of Hearthstone.
Well, I’m here to tell you that that just isn’t true.
Sure, the game shares some similarities to Hearthstone. There are two heroes that start with 30 health, each take turns spending mana/magicka to play spells and summon creatures, and the last one left standing wins. You can craft cards you don’t own with soul gems, and cards come in the same rarities as Hearthstone cards. However, there are many important changes that makes Legends stand on its own.
For example, the game introduces several new mechanics, such as the multi-lane playing field. This allows for a variety of play strategies, especially since certain rounds will enable a special effect in one of the lanes, such as cloaking your minions on their first turn.
There are also plenty of unique mechanics. For example, each hero has runes that mark certain points on their health bars; when their health is depleted to a certain point, that rune will be destroyed and that hero will draw a card. In addition, there are certain spell types that can be played onto the field, and then used during multiple turns. Plenty of new card mechanics have been added as well, such as Breakthrough, Prophecy, Pilfer, and the ability to move a creature from lane to lane.
Despite the similarities to Hearthstone, these mechanics make the game (and the genre) feel fresh and new. The differences between the two mean a difference in gameplay style; Hearthstone users will be used to a faster sort of meta, but Elder Scrolls Legends players will notice room to breathe during a match. Between the card costs and the max magicka set at 12, games tend to last longer than in the competitor. This allows for a greater potential strategy to be carried out in the game.
The single-player campaign is pretty strong, with a full story and rewards for completing story chapters. The Arena includes a couple different versions, one of which involves fighting against various boss characters which have various strengths. And of course, there’s the standard versus and practice modes. Each of these is fun in their own way, with plenty of rewards and other interesting tidbits to keep you interested.
Deck building is a strong part of Legends, and there is plenty to be excited about. There’s a wide variety of cards; there are numerous creature types (including Dwemer!), plenty of colors/classes (you can have up to two colors per deck), field and instant-cast spells, and equipment. In addition, the deckbuilding section of the game includes a lot of helpful features, including filtering by rarity and showing the magicka curve for the deck.
All in all, I suggest you give this game a try. It’s definitely fun for TCG/CCG fans, and it’s a treat for Elder Scrolls fanatics. Enjoy!
- The Wabbajack made it into the game!
- Decks require 50-70 cards; this is a welcome change from Hearthstone’s hard 30 limit. It allows for some reasonable flexibility in deckbuilding.
- Some of the cards feel kinda like Pokémon Trading Card Game’s Stadium cards. I’m not complaining, either; it works.
- The tooltips present in-game are way more helpful than Hearthstone’s.
Finally, feel free to add me in-game; my game name is joshfong.