Magic: The Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012 was released simultaneously for Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC via Steam on June 15, 2011. Magic 2012 is the direct sequel to the hit title Magic: The Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalkers that was originally released back in 2009. If you’re not familiar with Magic: The Gathering, it’s a collectible card game that was created back in 1993 by a man named Richard Garfield. The main objective in Magic: The Gathering is to dwindle your opponent(s) life total down to zero by using the abilities of the cards in your deck.
Magic 2012 has a storyline unlike its predecessor, but it is very poorly told. The awesome opening movie scene shows you a dying Planeswalker by the name of Gideon Jura. A Planeswalker is a special and powerful being that has the ability to travel between the different worlds that construct the Magic: The Gathering universe. It seems that Gideon has been fatally wounded by the evil Planeswalker Nicol Bolas. Gideon’s only hope is that his newfound allies and fellow Planeswalkers arrive in time to stop Nicol Bolas. Unfortunately, that’s about as deep as the storyline goes in Magic 2012, and the rest of the storyline will be told in little transcripts during loading scenes.
Campaign mode is back in Magic 2012, and it’s been slightly improved. Now when you defeat an opponent, you unlock their deck instantly (except the default decks of Gideon and Garruk). You never have to duel an opponent again once they’ve been beaten, and Magic 2012’s campaign does offer you a little bit of freedom with choosing which opponent you want to duel first. Once you’ve finished campaign, you unlock Revenge mode. Revenge mode is the same as campaign but with more difficult opponents with more powerful cards. Challenges are still in Magic 2012 as well, but they are now incorporated into campaign as side missions.
One new game mode in Magic 2012 is Archenemy. In Archenemy games, three players team up to take out one powerful opponent known as the archenemy. The archenemy gets more life points and a side deck full of powerful cards known as schemes. All scheme cards are powerful in their own way, even powerful enough to make 3 opponents not seem like enough to stop the archenemy at times. An Archenemy game isn’t over until all 3 allies or the archenemy has been defeated. Archenemy mode is really fun, and it has it’s own separate campaign mode and challenges to play through. The Archenemy campaign is where the actual storyline takes place, and it culminates with you and two allies defeating Nicol Bolas.
Archenemy can also be played online against an ai archenemy, and that’s not the only new online game mode. Two-headed Giant has also been added to online play. Two-Headed Giant pits two teams of two against one another. Each team shares a life total between players, and each team can prevent damage to their life total if they so choose. Two-Headed Giant is one of the biggest additions to Magic 2012, and it’s also the best reason to upgrade from the previous Magic: The Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalkers title. 2-Player, 3-Player and 4-Player versus modes have been retained from the original as well.
If you’ve never played Magic: The Gathering before, don’t worry. Magic 2012 comes packed with a tutorial mode and plenty of tips to help you learn the basics of the game. There are also many other new features in Magic 2012 such as the 10 new decks, 16 unlockable cards for each deck, better deck customization and fixed glitches that Magic: The Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalkers suffered from. This is still basically the same game however, so if you didn’t enjoy the original or the real card game, you won’t enjoy this title either. However, if you have enjoyed Magic: The Gathering in the past, then this game if for you. Magic 2012 is a very polished and entertaining game despite an underwhelming storyline, and it comes packed with plenty of features to make it well worth picking up.
Game Review: Magic: The Gathering – Dues of the Planeswalkers 2012