The Battlefield

MicroProse’s version of Magic: The Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalkers is definitely one of my favorite games. I really enjoyed its unique gameplay, which combined action-RPG elements with Magic: The Gathering’s card strategy. Over the years, I’ve searched high and low for similar games (Etherlords, Battle Forge, Magic: The Gathering – Battlegrounds) to scratch my card strategy itch. But none had delivered the same experience I had with Duels of the Planeswalkers. So when I saw a Magic: The Gathering game with the same title on Steam a couple weeks ago, I jumped as fast as a first turn Ball Lightning and pre-ordered the game.

Sadly, however, even though it shares the same name with my favorite Magic: The Gathering PC game, this game isn’t a Duels of the Planeswalkers re-make. It’s entirely a different game (that’s what I get for buying impulsively). In this version of the game, the action-RPG elements are out of the window. So no more random card loots or buying cards to improve your deck. Heck, you can’t even build your own deck. Instead, you get to choose from two preconstructed decks (a red and green one) at the start of the game and then fight opponents through stages, similar to beat em up games like Street Fighter. However, defeating an opponent will earn you a new card to improve your deck. In some stages, winning against an opponent also unlocks other preconstructed decks.

Overall, even though it’s not what I really wanted or expected, I still find Stainless Games’ version of Magic: The Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalkers to be very enjoyable. In fact, I had a hard time letting go of the game just to write this quick review. While the lack of custom deck building is definitely a big issue to me, and one that I really want to be included in future expansions, the AI is at least proving itself to be quite a challenge. The price, too, is cheap enough for frugal gamers like me. I won’t recommend this game to just anybody though. But if you’re a Magic: The Gathering player, former or current, I highly recommend this game.

Note: This review is only about the Campaign Mode.

Score: B-


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