previews\ May 20, 2003 at 8:00 pm

Magic: The Gathering - Battlegrounds - PC - Preview

E3 2003 - First Look


Magic The Gathering fans are in for a treat. The game has just become a lot more visual and a lot deeper.


Magic The Gathering: Battlegrounds is still firmly ensconced in the card game format but the game has added a variety of options and features that will likely draw in players from other genres and reward them with a challenging and evolving gaming experience.


The game, slated for release in November 2003 from Atari, was demonstrated at E3 in Los Angeles. It will be available as a Xbox Live! title.


Features include 70 different spells, 16 levels of play, downloadable content, a wide variety of gaming options including multiplayer and versus modes as well as quest and story modes.


This is real-time strategic fighting between factions. The easier side of the draw, Red versus Green, in a duel mode will take approximately three-to-five minutes to determine a winner whereas the more complex and strategically oriented classes (like the Blue and White decks) will take much longer in a battle.


If you consider the mental challenges associated with the actual card game, then you have an idea of that which waits in Battlegrounds.


The look of the game is similar in style to titles like Gauntlet, with lush graphics and solid animation. The duel screen, because of its smaller size, can seem chaotic, but the player interface makes the real-time combat move smoothly. There did not seem to be anything that truly popped out in the audio department.


Magic The Gathering has a fanatical following, and while Battlegrounds may initially confuse those not familiar with the style of gaming, it will draw players in with its challenging style of play. This is not just a reflexive exercise.

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