Gaming Week In Review: ‘Hearthstone’ expansion live, ‘For Honor’ free weekend, ‘Monster Hunter Stories’ demo
The latest “Hearthstone” expansion, “Knights of the Frozen Throne,” is live.
“Hearthstone” has always been a light-hearted take on the Warcraft franchise, but sometimes this digital card game puts a darker spin on the world of Azeroth than the popular MMORPG that spawned it. First, we peeked into an alternate universe in “Whispers of the Old Gods,” where the Cthulu-like Old Gods broke free of their prisons and consumed the world. Now, we see what would have happened if The Lich King, lord of the undead Scourge, had succeeded in conquering the world and turning its heroes into his undead servants.
“Knights of the Frozen Throne” is the 10th expansion to “Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft.” It includes 135 new cards and a set of special missions that culminate with the players confronting the Lich King himself. Those talented enough to defeat the Lich King with every class will unlock Arthas as a playable hero for the paladin class, the man destined to become the Lich King.
The expansion introduces two new mechanics: hero cards and lifesteal. Hero cards replace your hero with a new one, changing their hero ability and adding a small amount of armor. Lifesteal makes it so all damage done by a creature heals the player. In true Lich King fashion, the set also focuses on the deathrattle and discard mechanics.
Alongside the new expansion, Blizzard released a series of short comics that show the gradual corruption of the game’s heroes into their new death knight forms, as seen on their respective class-specific hero cards.
You can learn more and read the comics here or experience the new set for yourself in-game.
Watch the trailer below:
Ubisoft’s popular hack ‘n’ slash fighting game “For Honor” is free to play this weekend.
While the popularity of “For Honor” has dwindled in recent months, the game still has a lot to offer for those willing revisit or pick it up for the first time. The game’s first two DLC classes, the Centurion and Shinobu, were added a few months ago and the next two, the Highlander and Gladiator, are just around the corner. For those on the fence, this weekend you can play the game for free, courtesy of Ubisoft.
From Aug. 10-13, the game is free-to-play on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4. This gives access to the campaign mode and all online multiplayer modes. The game will also be marked down 50 percent during that time for any players who want to pick up the full game. Any progress made in both multiplayer and single player will be saved so that players can keep their progress, even if they don’t decide to buy right away.
Nintendo debuts a new demo for Capcom’s “Monster Hunter Stories” RPG.
The “Monster Hunter” franchise is known for being one of the most hardcore handheld games around, being equal parts zany and nerve wracking. But it seems Capcom has decided to take the game in a couple of different directions, first announcing “Monster Hunter World” and now “Monster Hunter Stories.”
While the base franchise is an action RPG, “Monster Hunter Stories” takes the classic turn-based approach more reminiscent of the common JRPG. Instead of just hunting down the world’s various monsters and turning them into a variety of weapons and armor, players will steal monster eggs in order to hatch and tame new companions.
If you own a 3DS, a demo of the game is available now on the eShop, with the full game coming out on Sept. 8. While hardcore fans of the series might be turned off by the cutesy art style and more casual game design, the game shows promise for such a drastic change in gameplay. It’s a take on the “Monster Hunter” universe we haven’t really seen before and with “Monster Hunter World” still far on the horizon, it’s a welcome deviation.
You can learn more here.
Watch the trailer for “Monster Hunter Stories” below:
Gaming Week In Review is a semi-regular column by Mathew Brock devoted to recapping recent news from the video game world each week.
You can follow Mathew on Twitter: @MathewQBrock.