Skip to main content

The Winking Owl Of The Elder Scrolls: Legends

Card draw

Settling down to watch The Elder Scrolls: Legends [official site] bits of the Bethesda conference, I discovered a winking owl, some plot information for Bethesda's card game and also that the banana bread I made last night makes a perfectly serviceable breakfast.

Watch on YouTube

Thoughts on the advert:

1. There is an owl with a flaming eye which seems to contain a universe. I am not sure what that means. Is this owl winking at me?

2. Okay, I think the owl is winking at people around a campfire which must be kind of unsettling.

"Dude, can you ask your creepy owl to stop hitting on me?"

"Oh, he's just got the universe in his eye."


3. Then a Khajiit turns up. The only memorable Khajiit for me in an Elder Scrolls game was the one who dealt in stolen goods from Oblivion who would purr "are you loooooking forrr a feeeeence?"

4. Maybe he will eat the pervy owl.

6. Something something war with the high elves.

7. I guess you play as either the dude or the owl. I'm hoping for the owl. An owl can be a moth priest called Kellen, yes?

8. It's kind of interesting that the only hint of cards in this advert for a card game is that the characters don't move, they're just still illustrations with the camera panning around.


There's a two-lane battlefield format when it comes to the board. It looks like it splits the play area in half vertically. There's also a health pool for your hero and the ability to place minions and play damage cards or spells or whatnot. If you've played Hearthstone you'll get the basic idea.

Bethesda also mention playing against real people with arena and battle modes, versus the AI in various formats, and following a single player campaign.

I don't think we've really written anything detailed about TES: Legends so I've had a look at some of the dev blogs and gameplay videos. It looks like the lanes end up dividing the board into quadrants. You have your side of the left lane, your side of the right lane, and then the enemy sides of each one. The lanes serve to divide up your resources, so minions in one lane can either attack enemy minions in that lane or the enemy hero.

As you might expect, the object of the game is to get your opponent's hero health to zero. But as you inflict certain amounts of damage they'll get to draw cards automatically (I guess it symbolises them rallying or instinctively defending) so they might end up with some useful resources after you batter them.

There's deck building, but also the ability to train cards? I'm thinking this is perhaps about being able to upgrade stuff by playing with it a lot or meeting certain conditions?

Watch on YouTube

I stopped playing Hearthstone ages back, but if I did feel the itch for digital cards again I must say I'm not really seeing much here that would tempt me to go to TES: Legends over returning to Hearthstone. There are some twists on the format and the lane idea might be interesting, but it also might just end up overcomplicating matters. I'm also just not attached to the Elder Scrolls universe in the way that would be particularly rewarded by this game. I adored Oblivion and enjoyed Skyrim but those experiences were about how I played those games rather than wanting to see the worlds remixed in other ways.

I'm not going to write it off without playing it, obviously, but the marketing - which presumably would be about bringing someone like me (who enjoyed previous Elder Scrolls games) in - really hasn't made any of this stick out to me. Or maybe it's more about picking up people who have fallen out of love with Hearthstone but still want wizard cards?

Here's the recipe for the banana bread. I swap their icing suggestion for icing sugar, a bit of water to make a small amount of thick paste-like water icing and some chopped pecans. I mix the icing with the pecans and then make a kind of nut-based mohawk down the seam of the loaf.

We have oodles more E3 2016 previews, news and and other oddments for you to check out!

Read this next