The surprise of PAX East was Elder Scrolls Legends. We heard about the card game from Bethesda at E3 however it has been quiet days since then. Out of nowhere the game appeared on the show floor and fans responded. In a nutshell, Legends is not just another online card game, it really captured us with the depth and changes to gameplay that the game is going to introduce to the market. The best way to describe Legends is that it finds the sweet spot between Magic The Gathering’s high complexity and Hearthstone’s simple fast paced fast driving meta. Legends gives us a thinking card game that carries depth while still keeping things fun for the casual player without repeating itself in a single point meta.
The game board breaks down into two lanes. Each lane has a different element. In the early games we played there was a normal lane which allowed you to attack right away as cards went into play. The other lane was a shadow lane that shielded cards in fog as they came into play (similar to Magic). Having the two lanes immediately causes and interesting split and creates choices into where players put down their cards. You play as a hero similar who deals with their hand and plays cards as you go. Each class has a certain power they can use in the game, but it is limited to only three uses. So you eventually run out of that personal resource. The other thing a class gets is a series of runes which surround them. The runes act like an interrupt and bring a card into play immediately which can be used after you are attacked. This works similar to interrupts in Magic. It is a great addition and gives the losing player a chance to strike back and even the odds throughout the game.
The cards themselves break down into character cards (which include monsters), weapon cards (which can give you buffs), there are also several different forms of ability cards. This mix provides for plenty of options in deck building. The best part is, decks come in at between fifty to seventy cards. It is no longer the quick play thirty card deck. This game has much more depth in deck building which takes it to a higher level of customization.
In terms of Elder Scrolls lore the game has it all. There are a lot of easter eggs within the gameplay that TES fans will fully understand. You will also see benefits from joining up the races within your deck. I asked because we love orcs and wanted to know how they would work together in the deck.
There are also a lot of ways to play the game. You have story modes and arena modes which shape up much different than the standard competitive matches. In an arena you will need to take on up to nine games. Each game you may win some cards which you can choose to keep or discard. These cards can eventually be used to help customize your deck to face future opponents.
Some of the other great features we heard about was that cards themselves level up. You can make choices as a player in terms of which way they go. You could chose a defensive card or take the same card and level it up to a more enhanced card for attack. It was these little details that made us want to know a lot more about Legends. We’ll keep you posted as more updates come out about the game. For now check out their details on the official site and we will continue to bring you coverage.