Having played through all four chapters for both the League of E.V.I.L. and League of Explorers on normal difficulty, I can’t help but feel a little underwhelmed by Galakrond’s Awakening. With Tombs of Terror and The Dalaran Heist, Blizzard created these dynamic, shifting, gradually more difficult encounters that always felt fresh and new. With Galakrond’s Awakening returning to the “classic linear adventure format,” I can’t help but feel like it’s a step backwards.
That being said, Galakrond’s Awakening is still plenty of fun. There are a total of 24 unique battles and in each, players take control of a hero/villain with a pre-made deck. Some of these decks and Hero Powers make for some insane synergies and when you lock into the perfect strategy, you’ll watch awesome devastation unfold.
Where it lacks in originality compared to the past two Solo Adventures, it makes up for in story-telling.
The story-telling in Galakrond’s Awakening is far and above anything that has come before. Characters are full of life and energy, they play off one another and really feel almost like real people. It’s great that Blizzard has been able to imbue its card game with so much life and character and is a testament to the work that goes into these expansions.
So while it may not have the freshness and the unique replayability of Tombs or Terror or The Dalaran Heist, it’s a great way to cap off the Year of the Dragon and finish off the story we started all those months ago.
Galakrond’s Awakening Review
Now that Galakrond’s Awakening is live, all players will have access to Chapter one of the League of E.V.I.L. track while the Explorer’s track will need to be purchased. The way this Solo Adventure works is that players can select whether to play as the League of E.V.I.L. or Explorers and will work their way through that storyline.
Players will be able to play through each group’s chapter (provided they own the content) and will get to see the story from both sides. As far as canon goes, I’m guessing that the Explorer’s version of the story is the real one, but that remains to be seen.
Each chapter contains three unique battles for players to tackle. Remembering back to some of the old Solo Adventures, that rolled out in this same linear fashion, I remember some of those battles were super, super tough.
I never really had any issues with Galakrond’s Awakening. At least not on Normal. It really feels as if the difficulty has been dialled down and with good reason. The new cards that players can unlock by playing through Galakrond’s Awakening have the potential to shift the meta so, it would be frustrating for some players if they struggled to unlock them.
The flipside of this is that the battles are pretty simple and over pretty quickly. Playing through all 12 battles for each team probably only took 4-5 hours.
One and Done
While making sure that all players can get (relatively) easy access to the new cards is a good idea, the classic, linear style, coupled with this easier difficult compounds the replayability issue.
For me, there’s really no reason to replay Galakrond’s Awakening on Normal mode and that’s a shame. The decks that Blizzard has curated for these battles are pretty special and as I mentioned earlier, there are some great synergies to work.
If you’re looking for more of a challenge, you’ll want to head into the Heroic difficulty. Here, you’ll be facing off against the same run of Heroes/Villains as before but you’ll need to build your own deck and deal with smarter, tougher AI.
Building your own decks is always a rewarding experience, especially when you create something that works flawlessly. However, I wish Blizzard had also allowed players to attempt a more difficult version of Galakrond’s Awakening with the curated decks.
It would have been just the thing for players looking for a challenge but without the skills and/or time to build their own decks.
Without giving too much away in terms of the plot, I can say that Galakrond’s Awakening is easily my favourite storytelling in Hearthstone. Blizzard really has nailed the story-beats and tossed in a few curveballs here and there to keep things interesting.
Best of all, the banter between characters is top-notch; as you’d expect. I’ll never get tired of hearing Reno prattle on while Elise rolls her eyes and quietly gets down to business.
Rafaam is as larger than life as ever too as are all of the E.V.I.L. characters. What really makes Galakrond’s Awakening a lot of fun is seeing these fights from both sides, being able to play as the good guys and the bad guys and trying to figure out the best way to counter the deck you were just using.
While it’s not my favourite Solo Adventure from the Year of the Dragon, Galakrond’s Awakening is a worthy addition to Hearthstone and a great way to cap off a great year.
Galakrond’s Awakening was reviewed using access provided to PowerUp! by Blizzard.
Game Title: Galakrond's Awakening
- Less fresh and unique than other recent Solo Adventures - 6/106/10
- Excellent story-telling and characterisation - 9/109/10
- Some new battles are amazing - 9.4/109.4/10
- Less replayability than other Solo Adventures - 6.5/106.5/10