Magic 2014 – Duels of the Planeswalkers Review

We review Magic 2014 – Duels of the Planeswalkers the latest game from the Magic series. This release sees the introduction of a new game mode which allows you to build your deck before battle.

Another year, another instalment of the Magic the Gathering. Does 2014 hold any improvements over last years version? Definitely, but its not perfect yet.

If you’ve played the Magic games in the past few years then you’ll already have some idea what they’re like. The main concept of the game hasn’t changed, and its mostly just a cosmetic makeover. However, one feature has been added this year that players have been asking for – fully customizable decks!

Stainless Games added some other new features to the game too including a sealed deck variant, and redesigned menus, and of course a redesigned in-game HUD. The campaign itself now features some decent voice acting that tells a story of a Planeswalker. The campaign it pretty much a series of matches that pit you one on one, but you’ll also come across special matches called ‘Encounters’ which add a new challenge. In encounters, the computer will use a looping strategy to beat you and the longer you play the more diverse the strategy will become. It’s all about figuring out what the computer is trying to do and then countering them accordingly.

Some of the cosmetic differences are welcome, but I don’t care for others. Some of the text in the game and your life bar is beyond tiny so unless you have a 50-inch TV or larger you likely won’t be able to read it easily. It’s all about cleaning up the screen but its a little too simplified at times. 
Having mentioned the sealed variant above, lets talk a bit about that. Sealed campaign allows players to access booster packs from which you can actually construct a deck to play from. The freedom of being able to construct your own full deck pushes the game even closer to the feeling of being a physical card game.
Whether or not you approve of the changes from year to year, it proves that developers are listening to feedback from the mass majority of their community, and tweaking the game to get better and better with each instalment. While Magic isn’t for everyone, its basic tutorials can intrigue even the the most basic beginner (that was me in 2011) and it can captivate you again year after year.
Magic 2014 allows you to customize full decks, and it has sealed deck variants, and the encounters are pretty cool. All the new with the old make it a sweet package.
2014 brings a sleek upgrade to visuals, fancy artwork during story scenes, but some text and parts of the HUD are a little tough to read, even on a 42
Decent voice acting is introduced this year, but the rest is pretty standard music and sound effects. Nothing that'll make your ears bleed, but not that memorable either.
8.5Final Score

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