By Alice O'Connor on July 2nd, 2014 at 5:00 pm.
14 days. That’s all. Another two weeks and then Magic 2015 – Duels of the Planeswalkers will be out, Wizards of the Coast have announced, and I can get my fill of card games for the next year. It’s been difficult, as someone with a history of growing worryingly fond of card games, to avoid the rise of Netrunner and Hearthstone. Everyone’s having so much fun but muggins here.
But it’s fine. That’s all fine. Magic 2015 arrives on July 16 and it seems to have actual proper deckbuilding across all modes this time, and I’ll play it for a few days then be done. It’s fine. I’m fine.
Rather than limiting players to pre-built decks with unlockable extras, Magic 2015 supposedly let me gleefully rip the foil off virtual booster packs and build decks out of their cards to use in any mode, single-player or multiplayer. This brings it closer to Wizards of the Coast’s proper virtual MtG, Magic Online, but the game’s still limited to only a small selection of Magic’s squillion cards.
Speaking of which, this year’s core set (and I believe DotP 2015) includes fourteen cards created by video game designers including Brad Muir, Markus Persson, Brian Fargo, and Edmund McMillen. I am quite pleased by how Notch’s card recreates Minecraft–destroying land to get resources.
Pre-orders are open on Steam at £6.99, and we know we shouldn’t pre-order games but OH MY GOSH pre-ordering a virtual booster pack with another 10 cards how could I resist? Not that I even know how much a booster pack will cost in-game. Probably not too much, though given the series’ history I’m wincing imagining ways it’ll try to wring more money out of players.
DotP games have sold ‘extras’ like instant unlocks for a deck, or shiny ‘holographic’ versions of cards–nice but ignorable–for a while, but Magic 2014 took the piss a bit. Its sealed deck mode, the only one with proper deck-building that year, was limited to deck two slots. If you want to open more packs to build decks with a new set of cards, another slot would cost you £1.59. That’s Magic and that’s Wizards of the Coast, I suppose. I stood strong. I resisted.
(I did crumble and try to play Hearthstone recently, but ended up locked out of my entire Battle.net account. I consider this a sign.)
Anyway, you’ll catch a glimpse of the deck-building in this trailer which comes with a decidedly unmagical, yet perhaps quite Magical, soundtrack: generic metal with roaring and wicked shredding.