Initial Thoughts: Magic 2015: Duels of the Planeswalkers

Magic 2015 is the latest video game release based on the ever popular trading card game. You take up the roll of a Planeswalker and duel your way to find the truth at the end of the story.

Magic the Gathering 2015 Logo

Leading up to the release of Magic 2015 I hadn’t really kept up with it much. Granted, that’s not to say I didn’t keep up with Magic the Gathering at all – a friend of mine at least somewhat kept me up on it. It is also thanks to him that I am able to play this release on Steam. I was disappointed to find out that there wouldn’t be a PlayStation 3 release for it, but at least I still had the option for Steam.

While so far I haven’t actually played very much – only cleared one section of the campaign and done a few extra duels to get booster packs – what I think so far is torn. Since I’m a fairly rookie Magic player, I typically set the difficulty to the lowest possible. Well, it turns that is a terrible idea in Magic 2015. Why? The two duels I did with it at that difficulty, my opponent put up absolutely no challenge at all. They played absolutely no lands whatsoever as they had kept a completely land-free hand. After the second win it started to feel a little cheap and that is what prompted me to bump up the difficulty to the next point.

2014-07-16_00007The initial decks you start out with are terrible. Even I knew that, and I’m fairly new to playing Magic the Gathering. To improve your decks, you will have to deal with the ever so lovely random number generator while opening your booster packs. Thankfully, I was able to pull at least a couple better cards to improve my deck.

Upon the completion of the first wing – Innistrad – you unlock a few things. For those who pre-ordered the game you will receive one Premium booster pack which contains 10 cards. Additionally, you unlock one regular booster pack which again contains ten cards. Of course, you unlock the next section, and in addition to that you unlock the ability to do “random” matches in that completed section to get more boosters. Each section has it’s own set of boosters with different cards you can unlock in each. You also unlock more deck customization options. Finally, you unlock the multiplayer mode.

Now, multiplayer mode is the mode I had most been looking forward to. Previously in Magic 2014, I played the Two-Headed Giant mode a fair bit with my friend and we enjoyed working together to win it. That is completely gone in favor of versus only mode. I already miss you, cooperative multiplayer…

Unfortunately, Magic 2015 for Steam launched with an annoying bug. While I’m not quite sure if it’s actually the cause, I have a feeling any Windows 8 players have issues with changing the resolution of the game. Personally, if I try and change it to “wide” mode I get a completely tiny window that one could never hope to play off of – it also isn’t wide. There are no options to change said resolution, forcing me back into “normal” mode. Since I’m currently playing the game on my laptop, this “normal” mode in windowed isn’t really “windowed.” You can click out and so forth, and it does seem to be 4:3… seeing as there’s two “side” bars on my 16:9 screen, but none on the top/bottom. While that bug is annoying, it’s liveable for now. I would like to be able to change the resolution, however, to something a bit better than what it’s currently at.

2014-07-16_00005While I’m hesitant about some of the changes compared to Magic 2014, I will definitely be spending quite a bit of time card collecting to try and maximize my deck. The biggest shame here though is that it seems some cards are actually “locked” in premium packs. Said premium packs are really only available through purchasing them with more money… I’m not exactly a fan of “pay to win” in a game that already cost money to buy it. I haven’t really looked over the cards to see if there’s anything good in there but I do imagine there is.

Finally, on the note of deck building and getting the proper cards, it seems they’ve put “limiters” in for how many of a card you can have in a deck based on rarity. While I haven’t confirmed it myself, this is what I’ve told. It’s a shame really, because I really did quite enjoy my Mind Maze deck from Magic 2014 with it’s set of Lords of the Unreal and Phantasmal Images…

Initial Thoughts on Magic 2015: Duels of the Planeswalkers

It seems mostly okay so far, but I already miss Two-Headed Giant.

About Magic 2015: Duels of the Planeswalkers

  • Platform: Playing Steam Version

  • Genre: Card Game

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