Galakrond's Awakening is the new Hearthstone adventure and its first chapter has just become available, adding more story content to the game. This is not an expansion (those are free and are limited to the introduction of cards), but instead a campaign (in this case two) in which you must face bosses controlled by the artificial intelligence. We've had several of these adventures every year, but Galakrond's Awakening is actually closer to the ones Blizzard released a few years back.
The most important feature is that Galakrond's Awakening rewards the player with exclusive cards, a structure that was absent from the latest adventures, as they were also free. This basically makes Galakrond's Awakening mandatory for any competitive player, since there is no other way to get the cards (you can only create them with dust after purchasing the adventure). If, on one hand, it is an interesting reward for those who normally invest in these adventures, on the other it means an unfair incentive to players that don't usually care for these kinds of adventures.
As for the adventure itself, it will be divided into four chapters and launch on the following dates:
- Chapter 1: January 21st
- Chapter 2: January 28
- Chapter 3: February 4
- Chapter 4: February 11
Each chapter includes two campaigns with three bosses and offers four cards, except the first chapter, which guarantees seven cards. This means that, in total, the adventure includes 24 bosses and 35 exclusive cards. Each boss can then be faced in Normal or Heroic mode, although it is only necessary to defeat the bosses in Normal to gain access to the cards. As for prices, we are talking about €6.99 / £4.99 or 700 gold coins per chapter, while the complete package can be purchased for €19.99 / £16.99. We should note, however, that the first League of Evil campaign is free for all players - but you will have to pay for the League of Explorers campaign.
The plot of Galakrond's Awakening follows the confrontation between the League of Evil and the League of Explorers, which we have been following over the past year. In each League's campaign, you will play as one of its members against a boss from the opposing League. In Normal mode, the game is a little restricted, with more story events and players forced to use a deck provided by Blizzard. If this first chapter serves as an example, bosses in Normal are quite easy and you should have no problem defeating them with the default decks.
As for Heroic, things are slightly different. Although the bosses are the same, their skills are superior, and you will have to face them with one of your decks. In our case, we used the Warrior's pirate deck, suggested by Blizzard in the deck creator. It is not an optimised deck for these confrontations by any means, but we still managed to defeat them without facing major problems. It seems these bosses are considerably easier than the Heroic bosses from other adventures, but as we mentioned, we only played the first chapter. It should also be noted that, after completing a campaign in Heroic, you will unlock an exclusive card back of the corresponding campaign.
We're disappointed with Blizzard's decision to return to this format for adventures. Associating cards exclusively with adventures seems like an unfair incentive, moreover, we liked the random nature of previous adventures more than the linear format of the story before us now. On the other hand, the bosses themselves are imaginative, and the narrative moments are funny, with some surprises happening in the middle of battle. As for the cards, they have quality, as you can see in the examples below.
While the adventure itself is fun, but we cannot fully support this format - hopefully Blizzard will return to the old setup for future content drops. And with regards to the full review, we will share our thoughts after the fourth chapter has come out, on February 11.