Magic: The Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalkers 2014 Review
Xbox 360 | PS3 | PC
Magic: The Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalkers 2014 Box Art
System: Xbox 360, PS3*, PC
Dev: Stainless Games
Pub: Wizards of the Coast
Release: June 26, 2013
Players: 1-4
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p Violence, Blood, Suggestive Themes

Yet the most engaging mode is the newest addition to Magic 2014; it’s called Sealed Play. Here, you are given six sealed Booster Packs to unwrap, and must create a deck of only forty cards from this pool. There is an inherent excitement about not knowing what each pack will contain, and Sealed Mode is probably the closest fans of the real card game will come to draft rules (as well as digitally unwrapping a crispy, crinkly pack of cards). There is even a campaign specifically for Sealed Play, as well as a multiplayer mode.

Magic: The Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalkers 2014 Screenshot

Along with all the unlockables and game modes, Stainless Games has also addressed technical issues from past versions. Load screens are very quick, the turn timer is slightly faster, and the interface has been fine-tuned. Little adjustments such as the option to attack with all your creatures rather than having to individually select them makes the game more accessible and engaging for all.

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Magic: The Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalker 2014 will never trump the physical card game, though I don't think that is its intention. For me, it was a way to become reacquainted with the rules and mechanics without the embarrassment of asking a group of veterans. It offers plenty of challenges for solo gamers and a great deck building tool that, with a little time, will have every card seared into your memory. Though not as socially engaging as playing with others around a table, the online multiplayer runs smooth, with players eager to show off their combo skills in the handful of impressive game mode. And best of all, at a mere ten dollars, it is by far the cheapest way to get your hands on a plethora of digital cards.

By
Sean Engemann
Contributing Writer
Date: June 28, 2013

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.5
Graphics
Many of the animations are recycled from past versions, but the hand-drawn artwork is represented nicely.
4.4
Control
It's a simple button scheme that you'll have down pat after only a couple encounters. The menus and deck-building tools are user friendly.
4.5
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The best tutorial narration ever. The synthesized fantasy tracks are great as background ambience, though they do get a little repetitive.
4.6
Play Value
It's not the real thing, but at ten dollars, it's an incredible value with a great selection of modes and plenty to unlock.
4.4
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • 10 decks, each with cards to unlock
  • 250+ cards unlockable through gameplay
  • Single-player Campaign across the planes of Shandalar, Ravnica, Alara, Innistrad, and Zendikar; plus 11 revenge matches
  • 4 deadly opponents, including the Planeswalker Chandra Nalaar
  • Multiplayer modes; including Two-Headed Giant and custom games
  • Sealed Play Mode--introduces deck building
  • 10 puzzling challenges

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