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REVIEW: Magic 2015: Duels of the Planeswalkers

Name : Magic 2015: Duels of the Planeswalkers
Developer : Wizards of the Coast
Platform(s) : PC, iOS, PS3, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Genre : Card-playing, Strategy
Release Date : July 16, 2014
Price : $9.99
Read more about Magic 2015: Duels of the Planeswalkers
Boxart

Magic 2015 is here and things have changed when compared to its predecessors. Stainless Games has made a few changes and innovations, but it’s not really what we were hoping to see in some areas of the game.

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The primary new feature that was coming with Magic 2015 was the introduction of fully-customizable deck building, but now you can’t jump online with pre-built decks at all. Why couldn’t they keep the option open to play online with pre-built decks? I have no idea why we couldn’t have both options.

You’re pretty much limited to single player once you start the game and the multiplayer is locked until you complete the first section of the game’ campaign mode. Personally this isn’t an issue since I’m still what I’d consider as a beginner when it comes to Magic, and I know I need the practice, but for veterans to the game, this delay could be quite frustrating. Once you unlock the multiplayer portion of the game, you’ll obtain a starter deck of two colours and using booster packs you can build up your personal deck that will be yours for the rest of the game. Unfortunately you’ll find out that your deck is extremely underpowered when stacked against the A.I. and it’ll require either multiple retries to win early matches, or you can dip into your wallet… which brings me to my next point: Micro-transactions.

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I don’t mind micro-transactions when they’re implemented in some ways, but when you’re pretty much being pushed to spend more money just to win a game without luck, then it pisses me off. Magic 2015 is riddled with micro-transactions that will “reward” you with better cards that you’ll likely have an extremely hard time obtaining otherwise. Booster packs are available at $1.99 each and you’d need to purchase fourteen of them to get all the premium cards. I can’t imagine most people want to pay the initial cost to buy the game, and then want to pay an extra $30 to get the cards to build a quality deck.

Remember Two-Headed Giant Mode? It’s gone. Why? No idea! For some reason Stainless Games decided to remove what was widely considered the most enjoyable mode in the game. Nothing was really added as a replacement to this, so its removal is… questionable?

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The game isn’t completely without improvement though. The UI is much sleeker and looks very polished, and the in-game battlefield allows you to interact during the game. When it comes to gameplay though, Magic 2015 is a severe downgrade when compared to previous entries to the series.

Magic 2015 isn’t a terrible game and it still features the core gameplay that many love, but it’s flawed by unbalanced difficulty, micro-transactions, and the removal of certain enjoyable features including 2HG mode. We hope to see the series take a step back next year and bring back some of the features that make Magic: DOTP so enjoyable, but for this year, you’re better off to pick up Magic 2014 (if you haven’t done so) or maybe even try out Magic Online.

Note: This review is based upon the Steam version which was provided by Wizards of the Coast.

Rating
Description
6.0Gameplay
No more 2HG mode, can't jump online right away, can't use pre-built decks for easy online play, and weak A.I. on numerous instances.
9.5Graphics
Very sleek and sexy user interface, dynamic battlefield, and overall clean appearance.
9.0Sound
Pretty much the same as every other game - the soundtrack gets the job done.
8.0 (Average) Final Score
0

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