There are a few inescapable facts in the Magic world: every summer will bring us a new Core Set and a new Duels of the Planeswalkers game. We got a sneak peek at the game at last weekend’s PAX East convention in Boston. While there, I received an exclusive demo from Wizards of the Coast and Stainless Games, as well as being able to interview them a little.
- Duels 2014 will be appearing on Android Tablets, a first for the series
- It will also be launching on PSN, XBLA, Steam, and iOS for iPad
- The game, like the Magic 2014 Core Set, will be heavily focused on Chandra Nalaar and her quest for revenge
- There will be new decks, new encounters, and new puzzles.
- As with previous releases, there will be a new variant mode, like Duels 2013‘s Planechase and Duels 2012‘s Archenemy, but they aren’t revealing what it is yet. I’m holding out hope for Commander, but since it usually coincides with the summer product release, it may be drafting out of Modern Masters
- As with last year, Duels 2014 will be releasing a few weeks before the 2014 Core Set, giving fans a chance to play with some of the new cards before the set’s release
Duels 2014‘s gameplay is incredibly similar to previous releases. The main differences are cosmetic, with a new battlefield, new life counter, and new music. The AI opponent has been improved; however, there just wasn’t time to find out just how much better it is during the 10 minutes I played the game. Having the same gameplay as previous iterations is not necessarily a problem, however. The developers had made a great Magic simulation the first time, and iterative updates are all that’s needed. You’ll still be getting more spellslinging for your $10 than you ever would with $10 worth of paper Magic, with online multiplayer support and an on-hand rules judge who does all the work for you.
I’ll leave you with one of the cards spoiled in the demo, my personal favorite: Shadowborn Demon