Hearthstone is a fun, free-to-play card game made by Blizzard Entertainment that can be played on a PC/Mac and mobile devices. It’s a great game to play in short bursts and can range from 5 to 15 minutes – perfect for commuting while you wait for your bus to arrive or when you have a bit of spare time. While you can indeed play for hours, there’s never a requirement for that long commitment. Plus, there’s also that addictive, cards collection and the satisfaction when your combo cards are in play.
Hearthstone’s new game mode, Mercenaries, is like a whole new game of its own while borrowing Hearthstone’s fun and digital collection aspects. It’s a free game mode inside Hearthstone, with RPG-like elements and heroes’ progressions system.
While you can only bring 6 heroes (or called mercenaries in the game mode), there are tons of mercenaries to unlock, collect, and use. Similar to Hearthstone, you can have from Rare to Legendary mercenaries but according to Blizzard, you can indeed complete the game with just your 6 starting, basic characters.
Thanks to Blizzard, I was given the Diablo and the Lich King’s Bundle Packs which contains 50 packs each to open. If you like, here’s the video of opening the whole 100 packs to see what I’ve got:
Like Hearthstone, you can get the mercenaries from opening these packs that you can get in game or by purchasing the packs with real money, or in-game coins. You can also craft mercenaries if you get enough Mercenary Points that can also be used to upgrade the corresponding mercenary skills.
But know that Legendary mercenaries don’t mean that they are better than Rare mercenaries. They just have different skill sets and can work with different combos (for example, some mercenaries work better when you have more Orcs or Dragons in the team). It’s fun to collect though, as they are familiar heroes if you also play Hearthstone or World of Warcraft and using them in-game does bring nostalgia.
The combat system in Hearthstone Mercenaries is simple and fun, and is similar to those traditional JRPGs turn-based combat that gamers are familiar and in love with. Mercenaries skills can be leveled up and you can also unlock and equip equipment and treasures while playing.
The new game mode has both PvE and PvP so if you just want to chill, relax, and enjoy the single player element, you can play just the PvE component much like playing a Single Player/Solo mode of Hearthstone. Each mission (or called bounty) is pretty short in nature and you can repeat them as well to get random Mercenary points over and over (much like grinding but optional).
While at a glance it may look like Hearthstone Mercenaries is a really simple game, it definitely has a deep combat and combo system hidden from plain view: skills have speed rating (which decides who goes first), the rock-paper-scissors trinity system, the mercenaries’ passive abilities (that give lots of dynamics during each battle) and more.
In Normal mode, the battles are definitely easier and you can go through the missions without thinking much of which mercenaries to bring or what consequences are there if a specific enemy goes first in the round. You definitely want to be better prepared in harder difficulty modes though, only reserved for those who like challenges.
It’ll also help if you replay some of the missions to farm Mercenary coins so you can level up your mercenaries’ skills which definitely give you the advantage.
I like Hearthstone Mercenaries as a new game mode (that’s also free) where everything is optional. Still in love with Hearthstone and don’t have time to play another game? Sure, you don’t need to play it. You only want to play it to chill? Just play the PvE aspect and stay away from PvP (which is what I’m doing at the moment).
We weren’t actually expecting a full-blown new game mode such as this from Blizzard, but it looks like the team have designed it well and they are not just throwing another game mode just because they can.
Make sure to try the new Mercenary game mode the next time you open your Hearthstone app.