Preview: The Elder Scrolls—Legends

The beta for The Elder Scrolls—Legends has been going on since April, but very recently a new round of invites have been sent out. I had signed up when it  first opened. The reason was mainly out of curiosity and knowing how big Hearthstone is. Since then, I have played quite a bit of Heathstone and have very much enjoyed it, however I am a casual player more than anything. When I found an invite for Legends in my inbox I was definitely more interested this time around. I wanted to see what made this game unique compared to all of the other card games that have been popping up lately.
My favorite thing about the game so far is the presentation, and I am not just talking about the art. When on the playing field, what you will find is very minimal compared to the large icons and decorations you will find on the Hearthstone playing field. Legends still shares very much of the same gameplay but cleans up much of the clutter in favor of bringing focus to a playing field that has a little more chaos going on. That may sound scary, but it provides a unique angle that makes it necessary to stand out.
Skyrim belongs to the Nords!

Skyrim belongs to the Nords!

When starting up the game you will be asked to choose an avatar;in similar fashion to other games in the series you can choose between the usual races and a handful of portraits within each category. After doing so you will begin the story mode, which is told with some very well done narration and great looking stills. I will be honest and say I lost interest on what was going on about half way through the first nine chapters you are given,  because nobody is going to play a card game for its story. This mode serves as a tutorial for the game and later teaches you news strategies. A clever addition to the story mode is the element of choice. You are presented with a situation and are given two different choices that show two different cards. The decisions you make in this game are not just for moral value; you may not like the particular choice but it might have a card that will be better suited for your deck. To unlock the “Practice” and “Versus” modes you must finish the first nine episodes which is the first act; after completing the second act you will unlock the “Arena” modes.
Each chapter holds different scenarios that can help you become a better player

Each chapter holds different scenarios that can help you become a better player

They key difference in gameplay is the fact that there is not exactly just one playing field, there are two. The whole playing field is split into what they call two “Lanes,” either of which can stay normal or offer a special elemental effect. There are probably a number of them that make an appearance while the only two I have experienced at this point are “Shadow” and “Windy.” The shadow field keeps your creatures hidden for a turn, this lets you place a card on the field without it being destroyed right away when it becomes your opponent’s turn yet at you run the risk of taking damage yourself if they have nothing else to deal it to. The windy field offers a whole other level of trickery by blowing any cards you place there to the other field after a turn. This can help if you place a very strong or effective card there so it can do its work. When it gets blown to the other side, it can be utilized to aid in the attack or provide some needed defense.
In this scenario both lanes contain the windy field, the cards were blown back and forth during the match

In this scenario both lanes contain the windy field, the cards were blown back and forth during the match

Leveling up works in a very similar fashion to Hearthstone as well, except for one little twist. Your starting cards can actually level up too. I don’t yet know if this is a one time thing but in the tutorial is does say that this will happen for starter cards. When a certain card does level up it will grow into a stronger class. For example, a Whiterun trooper may get promoted to captain which would make him stronger and and some sort of effect to him. To my surprise when I progressed further, I found that when some cards level up you are given a decision on what you want that card to turn into. I was given the option when one of my creatures had leveled up—one option strengthened his power while the other strengthened his defense.
I had the option to choose a strong offense or a strong defense.

I had the option to choose a strong offense or a strong defense.

During my time with the game I sort of got lost in it. I looked down at the clock on my phone and realized I had been playing for over three hours. I found that there is much depth and strategy that will be pleasing to hardcore fans of the genre though the biggest thing that Legends has going for it is that many are familiar with the the lore. With the Elder Scrolls franchise being available on consoles along with PC, The Elder Scrolls—Legends has the potential to draw in a crowd that Hearthstone does not. Someone like myself who has played a game or two from the series may not know all the events that have taken place in the the series’ universe, but we know the races, characters, creatures, and many other things that are within it. There is no word yet on whether The Elder Scrolls—Legends will make it do android devices, but it will eventually make it to iOS for fans who do not own a PC.

L.J. Lowery

Born in southern California, but currently residing in Lafayette, Louisiana. Loves Hip Hop music, comics, and video games. Events/Media Coordinator, Podcast Producer, and Public Relations.

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