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Free-to-play card battler Eternal leaves early access

Two years may as well be an eternity in games

Eternal is probably the strongest of Hearthstone's rivals for the card-game throne, and out of early access today. Dire Wolf Digital's take on the genre is presented in very familiar fashion, but reintroduces many of Magic: The Gathering's more technical concepts without over-complicating things, and eases players in with an escalating solo campaign. Eternal has been in early access for nearly two years, and the road to launch has been "hard and messy", according to its developers, but they're happy to call it done now - just in time to announce yet another 250-card expansion.

Despite being a more complex game than Hearthstone, it's arguably easier to find your footing with Eternal. It offers a lot more opportunities to earn new cards through play than its competitors, and has plenty of single-player content for those who want to train against themed AI decks before going online. It gives you a bit more wiggle-room to re-learn concepts like 'instant' cards that can interrupt enemy turns, multi-coloured mana, and a slightly more complex combat phase. It's not quite as arcane as Magic: The Gathering Arena can get, but does require some focus.

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Leaving early access isn't that big of a deal for Eternal - more a symbolic milestone than anything - but seems a good excuse to mention the game. With the PC version stable for the foreseeable future, Dire Wolf are shifting their focus to an Xbox One launch later this month, followed by gearing up for the launch of the Defiance expansion. Right now there aren't too many details beyond a single card teaser posted on their dev-blog here, but they should be dealing out the new cards some time in December. They'll be announcing a bit more about the new expansion over the weekend.

You can find Eternal here on Steam, where it's free-to-play. Android and iOS versions are also available via the official page here.

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