e3 2016

The Elder Scrolls: Legends

Hands-On With The Elder Scrolls: Legends
by Daniel Tack on Jun 14, 2016 at 01:20 PM
Platform PC, iOS
Publisher Bethesda Softworks
Developer Dire Wolf Digital
Rating Teen

At E3 2016, I took a dive into Bethesda's upcoming Elder Scrolls title (No, not Skyrim Special Edition), The Elder Scrolls: Legends. The title is simple to pick up and play, with an easy-to-understand resource system and a clear route to victory by depleting the opponent's life points. Games take around 10 minutes and flow easily from start to finish.

What makes it different from other digital card games is the addition of "lanes." The core game starts with two very different lanes in play,  and the characters and creatures you play over the course of a game can only interact with other cards in that particular lane.

One lane has no additional rules or regulations, but the other is actually "cloaked", and cards that are played there are unable to be attacked or targeted for a full turn after they come into play,  making it the ideal location to place your more sensitive characters or cards that need you to set up a combo.

The second mechanic of interest is the concept of extra cards from your deck that you acquire after taking each 5 points of damage (so you'll get one at 25, 20, 15, etc). These help you come back if you're being pummeled by giving you an additional card, and there are also cards that do special things - or play for free - when they are triggered in this fashion. Even in just a few matches, I could tell there's going to be some interesting deck diversity even with just the initial release of cards. There's also a PVE component, where players can cut their teeth and learn the game mechanics and earn some rewards.

Outside of those two mechanics, things are business as usual – playing characters and creatures, equipping them with gear, and attacking your opponent and their threats in both lanes. The lanes do provide interesting strategic opportunities, as you can try to play a balanced match and control both lanes, or just focus on complete dominance of a single lane. There are other factors to consider as well: Do you work up your power quietly and try to take out your opponent in a single massive attack? Because doing sustained smaller amounts of damage will provide them with potentially free-cost,  powerful cards from taking damage.

Elder Scrolls Legends is free-to-play, and players will earn currency and cards from matches, so it will be possible to work up a collection without purchases. 

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The Elder Scrolls: Legends

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