A heroic use of your free time

I am a man of many tastes, but I have a few choice passions of mine that take a considerable amount of time out of my life. Among this exclusive list are card games and comic books. Anything that has ever combined the two (most notably Vs. System – curse you Upper Deck for running it into the ground!) has been a friend of mine, and Legacy of Heroes, aside from one weakness, is no exception.

With The Avengers, The Amazing Spider-Man, and The Dark Knight Rises taking the cinema by storm this year, there couldn’t be a better time to capitalize on the super hero trend before it gets old. Legacy of Heroes, a free-to-play browser title on Kongregate, hopes to tackle this opportunity with addicting gameplay and fantastic art direction.

Legacy of Heroes

You begin as a powerful young individual enrolling for the first time in Xavier University the Phaeton Project, a school for superhero hopefuls. As you train, you’ll learn the ropes of the card game and eventually choose from one of four powerful classes: The Strongharms (super strength), The Firesculptors (fire), The Non-Stops (super speed), or The Acolytes (power of the mind).

The main mechanic of the card game is a pretty unique one: instead of whittling down an opponent’s life meter, your goal is to mill them until they have no cards remaining in their deck to play with. There are a flurry of attacks, tricks, mechanics, and modifiers in place to help you keep your deck intact longer than your opponent, but gameplay remains simple with a single card played each turn.

Legacy of Heroes

For a new card game, Legacy of Heroes has a ton of different modes. An extensive multi-chapter campaign allows players to progress and develop on their own, but there are several other modes to indulge in once you’re ready to invest in social experiences. Traditional PvP, Group fights against large bosses, leagues for like-minded players, and even complete draft tournaments are all available game modes right from the beginning.

Like all great free games, there’s always some kind of catch, and it’s unfortunate that this is where Legacy of Heroes finds its kryptonite. While the game’s energy system is completely negligible due to the fact that your bar refills (and expands!) with each frequent level-up, the prices on cards themselves isn’t as generous. To put things in perspective, the game’s best five-card pack will run you $10 – pretty steep considering that you’ll need to buy multiple packs in order to get the best cards for your specific class.

Legacy of Heroes

The most interesting mode – drafting – also required a $10 drop for six weaker “draft” packs, and this was WITH the game’s weekly 40% off sale. While this is by no means anywhere close as bank-breaking as I’ve seen freemium games get, it’s still pushing it a little for the genre.

Games like Magic the Gathering Online can justify higher digital costs because every card holds real-life value. Other games, like Shadow Era, have a very low cost because it’s a digital game purely for fun. Knowing this, it’s pretty tough to have the urge to purchase anything. It might seem like a lot of harping for one thing, but it can be a tough pill to swallow, especially when the higher-priced cards are miles ahead of anything else in the game.

Aside from that, though, Legacy of Heroes is a unique card game with a fantastic comic book art direction. If that sentence alone caught your eye, give it a try over at Kongregate for free. Even if you never touch any of the game’s multiplayer modes or expensive add-ons, the story campaign provides hours of worthwhile entertainment.