Magic: The Gathering Arena and Hearthstone are competing for the hearts of card game players every day, luring them in with flashy animations, tight gameplay, and ever-expanding content. Did you miss the previous two rounds of their competition? Here are Part 1 and Part 2. But we’re all aware that in order to create a long-lasting relationship with gamers, the best games need to present immersive worlds, cool characters, and epic storylines. Let’s see how these two perform in terms of lore.
Lore, or as some call it, “fluff” is an important aspect of any game. Slinging spells and killing bad guys is fun to an extent, but knowing why they are evil is what takes games from a fun past-time, to a respectable medium and a lifelong obsession for a whole generation.
Worldbuilding is everything. The vistas, places, characters, and their histories are what get players involved and makes them look forward every time new content is released.
Hearthstone is based in Azeroth, the world of Warcraft. This is one of the most beloved universes in all of gaming – home of noble kings, mighty orc chieftains, corrupted mages bargaining with demons, and never-ending conflict.
That being said, Magic has a whole Multiverse with countless worlds who are home to all of the above and then some. Every Magic plane of existence is masterfully crafted by a team of game designers, writers, and artists, and is very distinct from all the other ones. And the little spark that makes it so special is the inclusion of Planeswalkers – powerful mages who travel and explore all these diverse worlds.
Speaking of heroes, Planeswalkers are usually the main characters in every Magic storyline, though there are also tons of non-Planeswalker protagonists. They are many and very different from one another, and some are admittedly much blander than others.
How about Hearthstone? Remember, their tagline used to be “Heroes of Warcraft”, so they are all about their main guys! The 10 classes in the game are all iconic and players get attached to them, arguably more so than they do to their Magic Planeswalkers. Even a simple Murloc can turn into a mighty hero, and that’s saying something about Blizzard’s talent in character creation.
How about the bad guys? Magic has tons of them. From the notorious god-pharaoh-dragon-planeswalker Nicol Bolas and his crony Tezzeret, all the way to the mysterious, but positively evil Raven man, every Magic set comes with a cast of villains to defeat.
Hearthstone has its own cast of baddies, but they are taken a lot less seriously. From the fearsome Kel’Thuzad who really loves his cute little cat to the League of E.V.I.L., these cartoony, literal mustache-twirling villains are there not to threaten us, but to be the butt of the joke. And that’s amazing.
MORE HEARTHSTONE VS. MTGA:
- Hearthstone vs. MTGA – Part 1: Gameplay
- Hearthstone vs. MTGA – Part 2: Deck-Building
- Hearthstone vs. MTGA – Part 4: The Final Round