My struggle with Online Crack, A Hearthstone Review
Hearthstone, Blizzard’s next game to be released, was recently released into closed beta and I was fortunate enough to get my hands on a key, so I thought I would do a review for you all.
Before Hearthstone was released into closed beta I was very uninterested in the game. Having read very little on Hearthstone and hearing it was set to be made so it could be played on iPads, I just naturally assumed it was a game that would be very easy and with very little depth – my initial thought was Hearthstone was just a cash cow for Blizzard.
Then came the streamers. I’m sure most people who are interested in Hearthstone got interested in it via seeing people stream. I am one of those people. Five minutes into watching someone stream Hearthstone I found myself DYING for a key, I am not sure whether it was the fact that the game was so simple to play yet so in depth or the fact that it was so different to any computer game I had played.
When I finally got my hands on the key I immediately started playing, and then I spent hours – no days – no weeks – no… I haven’t stopped playing. If I could describe this game in two words it would be “online crack”. Hearthstone is addicting, it’s fun, it’s simple, it’s easy to learn and it’s hard to master. Games are over relatively fast so it’s easy to lose track of time when playing it, and the games are almost always unique.
For a game that has been in closed beta for a very small period of time, Hearthstone is actually rather well polished. Currently its main flaws lie in a plethora of graphics bugs from not having borderless windowed mode, and Rogues but obviously imbalances are destined to exist within games just reaching beta and Blizzard have balanced the game quite well so far.
Hearthstone has 9 heroes which are all different characters from the Warcraft saga, each of which have their own unique card set and hero power. Some heroes are currently far, far superior than others, but the balance is sure to come in time.
The game features three main modes; unranked, ranked and arena. Unranked is a great place to try your new deck that you’ve designed and test it out before you go to the land of Rogues a.k.a ranked. Ranked uses what I must assume is a similar MMR type system to Starcraft 2 Ladder, and assigns you a rank all the way up to grandmaster. However it is currently impossible to be demoted from your rank, so ranked feels sort of lacking in terms of thrill.
Arena is my personal favourite mode, whereby you must pay a few bucks or 150 in game gold and are offered 3 hero’s to choose from. You then are shown three cards and must pick one card from the three, discarding the other two, and then repeating this process 30 times until you have a deck. You are given three lives in this mode and are rewarded better loot per win you before you hit the third strike, there is a maximum of 9 wins which guarantees your 150 gold back plus a little extra, so it is theoretically possible to play Arena infinitely without paying.
Overall this game is absolutely incredible for a closed beta and I strongly recommend everyone to try it as soon as it hits open beta. I hope you enjoyed the read as I’m now off to warm myself by the hearth!
Mark Fittipaldi (Petrify)