- Creative gameplay
- Nice tabletop graphics
- Well balanced
- Fair free to play model
- Passive gameplay
- Long animations
- Dungoneering mode feels random
Chronicle Runescape Legends is a CCG MMO developed and published by Jagex, based on the long-running and successful Runescape MMO. Below is our Chronicle Runescape Legends review based on the initial 2016 wide release.
With the success of Hearthstone, many CCG free to play MMOs are popping on the marketplace. At first glance, Chronicle Runescape Legends looks like one of those copycats on the market. But make no mistake, for this game has a pretty unique take on CCG gameplay that makes it stand out from the rest of the pack.
The game starts by picking a Legend. Legends are the hero characters you play as. There are five playable legends in the game, each with their own different play style and strategies. For example, Ariane focuses on spellcasting, using her spells to deal damage. On the other side, we have the Raptor whose main strategies involve stacking armors and attacks. Each legend is based on a Runescape character, and each has their own exclusive cards that only they can field. Fortunately, these exclusive cards are just a minority. Like Hearthstone, the majority of cards in-game are neutral cards that can be fielded by any legend.
Chronicle Runescape Legends’s gameplay revolves around an “adventure”. At the start of the match, you draw 6 cards and set them on the field. Sounds familiar right? Unlike most other CCG games, here you do not use your cards to attack your rival directly. Instead, they are used as a quest event for your legend. So what does that mean exactly? After setting the card your playable character, your legend, will move to the card you set one by one in sequence. If it’s a support card, you will gain the effects immediately. If it’s a creature card, however, your legend will fight the monster, and you will only get the card’s effect if you successfully defeated it.
Yes, you heard me right; you’ll have to fight against your own cards. This is what makes Chronicle unique. The cards in this game aren’t actually used to attack your enemy. Instead, they are used to strengthen your legend by giving them quests. Each match or adventure is composed of five chapters and each chapter you can play up to four cards. Your goal is to create an effective and successful quest line so that by the end of all five chapters you have a sufficiently powerful legend that can win the final fight with your enemy.
The game has four game modes available. Ranked play is the primary competitive mode. It’s divided into five tiers, with diamonds at the top and bronze at the bottom. Once you’ve reached into a tier, you can never be demoted to a lower tier. Casual mode is available for those that are intimidated by competitive play. There are no penalties or rewards for playing this mode. Dungeoneering is akin to Hearthstone’s arena mode. Chronicle Runescape Legend’s dungoneering mode randomizes you a legend and a deck to play with as you battle against other players continuously in one session. After three losses you automatically exit the mode and you will get a reward depending on how many wins you have. Lastly, we have Solo play. This is essentially a practice mode where you fight against an AI.
The best part about this game is its creative gameplay. The whole questing gameplay is a refreshing take on the CCG genre. Making the creature cards attack your hero instead of the enemy is an excellent gameplay mechanic. It makes the game stand out from the rest of the pack.
The tabletop themed graphics are also beautiful and fitting. The cards and heroes are animated in 3D during battle, they turn into little miniature figurines that fight each other. Sure it might not be flashy, but it fits well with the tabletop theme.
The game is also well balanced. Each of the five legends is pretty much equal to each other in capabilities. No one legend has an advantage over another. It all boils down to your deck building and card placement.
Although staying as a free player is not easy when you can pay real money for boosters pack, Chronicle offers probably the most fair free to play CCG/TCG model for long term play. Hearthstone might still be better for casual play with their brawls and quests but is much weaker than Chronicle after that point.
Unfortunately, there are some bad aspects about this game too. For one, the gameplay is too passive. After you set the cards, you pretty much have nothing to do but wait until the next chapter. You can only watch on as your hero challenge the cards you set one by one. While the battle animations are nice, they get tiring fast and cannot be skipped. You’ll find that you’ll be spending 5-10 seconds setting your cards every chapter then waiting 30-60 seconds for the results. The gameplay is extremely passive.
You also need to grind for the cards a bit like any free to play CCG. Like Hearthstone’s arena mode, Dungeoneering mode provides the most efficient path for grinding cards assuming an above average performance. Unfortunately, Dungeoneering mode feels extremely luck based. A lot of the times the cards and legend you get to play as do not have any synergy at all. It’s all random, so your success in that mode is highly dependent on your luck.
And that’s it for my Chronicle Runescape Legends review. As you can see this game has an extremely unique gameplay that combines CCG card building with dungeon master gameplay. In the end, I recommend this game to anyone, especially those that played Runescape. It’s easily accessible and quick to learn.