Duels Of The Planeswalkers 2015 Review

Some things just never get old, Magic: The Gathering being one of them. For more than two decades the collectible card game has continued to thrive with each update and expansion, embedding itself as the hobby’s unrevoked champion.

With the help of developer Stainless Games, it has also grown into one of our industry’s most celebrated annual releases, catering for nearly every major gaming platform. Unlike the familiar melee of AAA bruisers, Magic’s reasonable price point and new, albeit incremental, changes keeps it from fading into the periphery.

– ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW –

So, compared to previous games in the series what exactly does Duels of the Planeswalkers 2015 bring to the table? Well, aside from the regular tongue-twister and its solid card game formula, not a great deal. That may sound worrying but it’s by no means a bad thing.

Over the years Stainless has continually tried to think outside the box but sooner or later the studio was always going to hit its peak. This happened last year with the release of Duels 2014. Scrapping some of the series’ more trivial gimmicks, the developer’s previous instalment was all about the core Magic experience. In other words, playing matches, earning booster packs, and building custom decks.

This approach proved popular among fans yet had one niggling drawback. Instead of working it into the core fibre of the Duels series it was isolated in its own game mode dubbed “Sealed Play.” With 2015, Stainless has remedied this issue, the campaign now allowing players to tackle story-driven matches using their very own personalised decks.

mtg20151

As for the actual gameplay itself, Magic: The Gathering remains largely untouched since its 1993 physical debut. Two sorcerers go head to head, channeling the power of land cards to summon creatures and cast spells in an attempt to drain their opponent’s health bar. The only thing that has changed is the roster of cards that can be used during play.

Aside from previous core sets and expansions, Duels 2015 also includes the recent Theros update. Largely inspired by ancient greek mythology, there are dozens of themed additions including huge monsters and bold heroes, all brought to life through some truly terrific artwork.

Other parts of the game that look particularly good are the new interface and updated menus, pulling off a slick, albeit archaic, black and white combo.

Outside of the campaign, there’s little else to be seen. Multiplayer is always at hand but, apart from that, there’s not much new content to explore. With that said, the pursuit of perfecting one’s deck will lead you to replay matches and unlock new booster packs.

What’s Good:

  • Core game continues to endure
  • Looks great
  • Custom decks
  • Plenty of cards to unlock

What’s Bad:

  • Not much in the way of new content
  • Minor stability issues on iOS

It may not have the same wow-factor as seen in last year’s instalment but Duels of the Planeswalkers 2015 is still remarkably solid. Some will argue that much of the content has been recycled but, then again, if we look at the card game itself, Magic: The Gathering continues to thrive while doing the same. Our dreams of a fully 3D video game adaptation may be some ways off, yet Duels provides more than enough to keep us ticking over for yet another year.

Score: 8/10

– PAGE CONTINUES BELOW –

4 Comments

  1. I was looking forward to it but currently it crashes when I hit the main menu. Hopefully they patch it soon.

  2. Strange how there’s no Playstation release this year. I’ll hold out for the Xbox One version. Hopefully that’ll be 1080p, as it makes the text easier to read.

    • To be fair they have never said there won’t be a playstation version. In fact, when asked they just don’t bother answering at all.

  3. I wish this would come out on vita.

Comments are now closed for this post.