Duels of the planeswalkers is based around the 2012 core set for the card game magic the gathering. The opening gives you some back story to the game, other than a vague understanding of the characters involved it has no relevance to the game though.
The campaign mode is a series of challenges and battles against different opponents. The “prizes” for winning these challenges and battles is a series of unlockable cards for your deck and other decks to play with. The scant amount of cards you unlock during the game (some 16 cards per deck with no cross over) is all you have in terms of deck customisation. All in all the most difficult part of the campaign is the control system. Though the tutorial teaches you the rules of magic the gathering card game it does very little to explain how to actually play the game. Combined with a very console friendly menu system the game is pretty difficult to navigate around. The revenge mode is essentially just an extra difficulty added onto the normal campaign.
Arch-nemisis is an incredibly challenging game mode. You and 2 others (either AI or online co-op) the aim of arch-nemisis mode is to win a 3 V.S. 1 battle (your side being the 3) against an opponent who has “schemes” to aid them. The challenge comes in surviving the schemes (a lot of the time being ones to destroy all your creatures or to take control of all your creatures) and the stupidity of the AI (never pressing an advantage) whilst they play as individuals instead of as a team.
The controls for mtg:dotp are very much optimised for controller play. From the auto target to the interrupt system, even extending to the menu navigation. Unfortunately this makes it rather awkward to navigate/play for pc users. The assisted targeting system is fairly useless in that it gives you no actual benefit and stops you from doing things you can actually do but that has been ruled by the developers as something you won’t want to do. The deck management system is pretty weird, once you have unlocked cards they are added automatically to your deck and it’s up to you to remove them, though the game still only shows 60 cards in your deck if you don’t. The interrupt system
The audio for the game is a repetitive mix of ambient background music and what can only be assumed to supposed to be exciting music when anything interesting happens in the game. The sound effects are stock for set actions, though they do try and give enough differentiation for you to know that something different has happened.
The backgrounds are a little underdeveloped but that is a given due to the nature of the game. The card artwork and cinematic’ are well done. Though the only real cinematic is at the start of the game. The in game animations are pretty poor. Perhaps having some form of animation for each individual card in certain circumstances would be a worth while endeavour.
All in all though, mtg:dotp is a fairly engaging game though the only reason it has to replay it is the multiplayer. New players may be better off getting the older game with it’s expansions before buying this one.
Though the control system is designed heavily towards the use of the pad, and the phase system of play is implemented a little poorly, the actual game is fairly engaging and worth muddling through.
The actual graphics for the game are focused around the card artwork more than the rest of the game that’s all you look at through out the game. The audio is pretty weak and there are few unique sound effects, but this is in benefit of the game as they would be too much of a distraction from the tactical side of the game otherwise, therefore for audio and graphics combined.
Not a category I normally do, but mtg:dotp has a lot of potential as a returnable game. Though you can get through the campaign mode fairly quickly and pick up most of the achievements along the way, once they start releasing expansions for the game and make the decks more customisable they have a good base for a well made game.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.