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PC

2K Games recently announced Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, being developed by Gearbox Software and 2K Australia – and at Gamescom I sat down with them to talk all things WUB WUB.

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This game takes place between the original Borderlands and Borderlands 2 and focuses on Borderlands 2 bad guy Handsome Jack. Oh, and it’s set on the moon!

Over to James Lopez from Gearbox Software and Joel Eschler from 2K Australia:

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel will be available in Autumn 2014 for the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.

What do you think of it? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

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Watch the world trailer for Lords of the Fallen, the dark and mysterious world of Lords of the Fallen awaits you. Become Harkyn, a convicted outcast from society and now.. humanity’s best hope of defeating a demonic invasion.

Introducing the game soundtrack by the award winning composer Knut Avenstroup Haugen  http://knutavenstrouphaugen.com/  

Listen to the main theme of Lords of the Fallen here

Lords of the Fallen will be available on Xbox One, the PlayStation 4, and PC on 31stOctober.

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The guys and girls over at Colossal Order, who brought us Cities in Motion 1 & 2, let me take a look at their latest project, Cities: Skyline. It seems that every time I play a city builder I’m always disappointed in some way. Either there isn’t enough to do, the maps are too small or for some reason it’s always online. Cities: Skyline looks like it might just be the game I’m looking for.

I got to see the start of a city and so the usual tasks presented themselves. We need to designate zones for buildings to develop, similar to Sim City, and connect everyone up with things like electricity and water. Luckily there’s a lot that Skyline doesn’t do like Sim City.

When setting up the small town with electricity first you select the type of power you want, wind, hydro, coal etc, place the building and then connect it up with your town. But instead of painfully hooking up every single building and house you just connect an area and it’s assumed cables are under the ground. Thank god we don’t have to unnecessarily connect every square foot to a power plant; again.

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And the same theory is applied to water and sewage. Pipes that you lay have a decent sized area of effect around them meaning laying them under your towns requires some effort but again avoids hours of pain and suffering. You also have to plan where your buildings go and draw water upstream from your sewage plant or you’ll pollute your water source.

After a small amount of effort the town was up and running and functioning on a basic level. The UI is hands down the biggest reason Skyline looks so easy to play. Other than your city there are only a handful of tools and features on screen. Everything just looks so simple and easy to do. Although the complexity and micro management is still there if you look for it. I certainly saw some menus that brought out the micromanager in me but the UI remained clean and functional.

Next we took a look at how big a city could be in Skylines. One of my biggest problems with the latest Sim City was how short the games were. Before you know it your map is full and there’s nothing left to do. I can absolutely guarantee that won’t be happening here. The map is huge. You can expand and build to your hearts content. You can even specialize small towns to become focused on one type of industry and connect them to other areas in your city, all in one map.

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Cities: Skyline really could be the city builder I’ve been looking for and wanting to play for so long. The UI is wonderfully clean and looks nice and easy to use. If you should want it, there are loads of micro management options just under the surface. There’s a lot of promise for Skyline and I hope it can become the game I’m still looking for. We’re hoping to see Skylines sometime mid 2015.

 

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First things first. If you haven’t checked out Hex’s phenomenally successful Kickstater page then check it out now here. Apart from anything you can watch the best trailer for a game ever. For those who don’t know, Hex is a digital trading card game with MMO elements. With the hit and miss entries from Magic the Gathering in the video game world I’d say there’s a huge gap for a great TCG. That game is without doubt Hex: Shards of Fate.Game_Screen_1

I played Hex as fast as possible to see as much as I could in my given time. And even after only 30 minutes or so I needed prising out of my chair. This game is going to take up way too much of my time. So you start with a random hand from your deck with limited options to change your hand. You get shards which essentially act as mana and get added to your pool. Different cards cost different amounts and when you have enough shards you can play the card. So with the basics covered everything seems familiar for a TCG.

But just looking through my starting hand it instantly became very clear that Hex is like nothing we’ve seen, especially as far as digital TCG’s go. Each ability and description had me more interested than the last. The cards in Hex are limited only by the creativity of the team making them. Which means there are no limits for Hex. It’s a new game with entirely new and unique cards made specially for the game.

It was so refreshing not to repeatedly read the same three attributes over and over again. Each ability had my mind spinning with the possibilities it could create both for playing games and deck building. I can’t remember the last time I saw artwork both this original and just plain awesome at the same time. The cards look beautiful and I’m so looking forward to browsing through and seeing them all.

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Which is going to be difficult because there are already hundreds and hundreds of cards in Hex and there are loads more on the way. In fact the guys working on Hex have 15 designers working fulltime on cards alone. And that’s an amazing amount. Rest assured there will be enough cards in Hex.

Plus because they’re digital each card has its own stats which can be seen on the ‘double back’. So each of your creatures becomes truly individual. And you can also equip cards with different items you find on your travels. So even if somehow there aren’t enough cards for you in Hex you can change them up quite significantly with a whole roster of equipable loot. Everybody loves loot and why shouldn’t we have equipment in a TCG? It’s a great idea and from what little we’ve seen this is really going to open up the game to some interesting cards.

And just to make sure Hex is something extra special it’s an MMO too. So there’ll be PvE, PvP and the ability to trade and be part of a community. For all of us that have become disillusioned with the Magic franchise. For all of us who can’t go out and be part of a trading community in the real world – or can’t afford it. And for those who just want a genuinely new TCG with great artwork and clever, interesting cards and gameplay Hex is going to be fantastic.

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Hex is also free to play so everyone can get stuck in. Don’t be put off though, Cory Jones (president for Cryptozoic Entertainment) himself says ‘I’d rather go broke than make some bulls**t free to play game’ and I believe him. The entire team is genuinely passionate about Hex. And they should be. It’s creative and genuinely new. The MMO features are unique in a TCG. The UI is slick and easy to learn. There are more cards than you could ever want. And it’s free to play! Hex: Shards of fate is going to be amazing and I can’t wait to play more.

 

All too often pool games have a habit of not quite striking a balance between you being able to win every game in a single turn or your opponent winning every game in a single turn. Well pure pool has a simple but effective way of making sure you don’t have to be a professional pool player to play but still not let you win without challenge.

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So you get showing were the cue ball will go and then where that will leave the ball you hit. When this happens there’s not a huge chance of you missing unless you make a mistake, which is unlikely. But were pure pool kept me interested was when you hit a sharp angle or take a shot from long range. When this happens the markers begin to fade and make it difficult to see exactly what you’re going to hit. There’s just enough for you to take a decent shot but you’re not able to take perfect shots across the table every shot. Not only does this add a challenge and skill to Pure Pool but Its also so rewarding when you get a good shot and the game isn’t there to jump in and take the credit with its training wheel UI.

There’s not a whole load of excitement that can be injected into a pool game as far as graphics are concerned. But the tables, balls and cues are well detailed. The backgrounds look nice but spend their time our of focus which is either not to be distracting or because they’re low fidelity. Considering the amount of time you’ll spend looking at them they do their job just right. It looks pretty and saves power for the important things. Everything is smooth and the UI is as minimalist as possible. It doesn’t intrude and it always feels like it was made to help rather than hinder you.

The main menu is as minimalist as possible too. There’s very little for you to do before you get in and play. There’s a few different game modes to play around with but Pure Pool has one priority and that’s to get you into the game and playing pool. It’s a simple process but it’s one that a lot of games miss (*cough* EA Sports menus *cough*). I just want to play pool and Pure Pool just gets it done.

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Pure Pool is great fun and it does what it says on the tin without any fuss or flash. It looks nice, the UI is exactly what you need and there’s plenty of difficulty should you want it. Or you can always go online. And because long shots aren’t just as easy as short ones there’s actually a point to things like were the cue ball ends up after a shot. It’s great fun and a welcome change of pace from the racing and killing.

 

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Pre-order The Gold Edition of Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris from participating UK retailers to receive new ways to customize your experience, with multiple costume packs, powerful items, and unique weapons:

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Pre order  Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris  from Amazon.co.uk and receive the retailer exclusive Deus Ex Pack.

  • Pick up the Ultimate Augmentation with the Deus Ex Pack, only available from Amazon.co.uk. Pre-order via the link below to receive the exclusive Deus Ex themed skins, including Adam Jensen’s signature combat rifle and the Augment ring, which reduces the cost of treasure chests by 10%.

Pre order Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris from GAME and receive the retailer exclusive Lara Croft Legend Pack.

  • Become a Legend with the Lara Croft Legend Pack only available from GAME. Pre-order to receive the nostalgic Tomb Raider Legend skins including a golden pistol and The Legend ring, which gives your character health regeneration powers and a more powerful torch.

Assassinate Your Enemies with the Hitman Pack, available on Steam and from other digital retail partners.

  • Pre-order to receive the exclusive Hitman themed skins including the iconic Silverballers and The Agent ring, which gives your character increased weapon damage and more powerful bombs.


The Gold Edition of  Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris,  which features multiple exclusive items including a 3″ Lara figurine, an artbook filled with never-before-seen concept art, a folding map of the Overworld, and the Season Pass, will be available on PlayStation 4 and Windows PC at participating retailers on 9th December 2014.

The  Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris Season Pass is also available for purchase separately and includes all future downloadable content including the Icy Death and Twisted Gears Packs. 

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CD Projekt RED has released a lengthy new video of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt in action. The video starts up with Geralt carrying the griffon head into town, and picks up right where the last showing left off. The demo shows him riding through a bustling town, venturing into some murky woods, and taking down both normal and magical creatures.

Put your feet up and watch the 35 minutes of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt in action

Turtle Beach will showcase its new line-up of next-gen console headsets at Gamescom 2014 including the global debut of new Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare limited edition headsets.

New product highlights include:

·     The first gaming headsets for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One with DTS Headphone:X 7.1 surround sound.

·     The first gaming headset to provide fully wireless game and chat audio for the Xbox One.

·     The first headset for the PlayStation 4 with noise cancellation and invisible microphones.

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare limited edition gaming headsets for the PlayStation 4

and Xbox One.

“Gamescom is an exciting show for consumers and retailers, full of great title and hardware debuts, and we are excited to be sharing our most advanced console headsets ever,” said Juergen Stark, Chief Executive Officer at Turtle Beach Corporation. “Industry firsts, like DTS Headphone:X 7.1 surround sound and active noise cancelling, will improve the gaming experience for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 players. The demand in Europe for next-gen consoles has been strong, and we are responding to that demand by introducing console gaming headsets that we believe will excite gamers and retailers alike.”

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

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Gamescom attendees will be the first in the world to see Turtle Beach’s limited edition Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare headsets, which will be on display at the Activision booth Hall 6.1 Stand A041 B040. The headsets, which have been designed in partnership with Activision, feature fully immersive sound and exclusive Call of Duty: Advance Warfare branding.

Turtle Beach’s Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare limited edition headsets are the ultimate accessory for franchise fans and are due to launch in line with the game’s release date.

PlayStation 4 Compatible Headsets

The all new Turtle Beach Elite 800 is the most technologically-advanced wireless gaming headset ever made, setting a new standard for wireless gaming audio. Compatible with the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3, the Elite 800 utilizes DTS Headphone:X 7.1 surround sound and active noise cancellation to create an incredible, immersive audio experience. Both are firsts for console gaming headsets. A completely reimagined preset system allows surround sound modes to be finely tuned for different types of games, movies and music. Presets can be customised and managed using a new mobile app. Dual invisible microphones provide high-quality chat audio and a clean, boom-free look. Rocker plate controls makes using features easy and keeps the Elite 800 looking sharp. Customise the look of the Elite 800 with a wide range of snap-on speaker plates available at TurtleBeach.com. A low profile magnetic charging stand keeps the Elite 800 charged without cables and the rechargeable battery provides up to 15 hours of playing time. High-performance Wi-Fi ensures an interference-free wireless experience, and Bluetooth connects to mobile devices for phone calls, music and more.

The Ear Force Stealth 400 is a fully wireless stereo headset compatible with PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3. A new lightweight, sleek design provides comfort during long sessions of game play or movie marathons. Controls on the ear cup provide quick access to separate game and chat volume, as well as for distinct surround sound presets for games, movies and music.  The built-in rechargeable battery provides up to 15 hours of playing time and new high-performance Wi-Fi ensures an interference-free wireless experience. Acoustically angled, large 50mm Neodymium speakers deliver an immersive audio experience. Swap out the removable microphone for the included mobile cable and use the Stealth 400 on the road as wired headset.

The Elite 800 and Stealth 400 will be available in the Fall of 2014.

Xbox One Compatible Headsets

The Ear Force Stealth 500X is a fully wireless surround sound headset for the Xbox One console. The Stealth 500X delivers digital audio from the Xbox One’s optical connection, and separate wireless channels for chat and game audio. Utilising immersive DTS Headphone:X 7.1 surround sound and a completely reimagined preset system, players can use surround sound modes that are finely tuned for different types of games, movies and music. For example, the game surround sound mode offers presets that have been acoustically tuned for first person shooter, racing, and sports games. The built-in rechargeable battery provides up to 15 hours of playing time, and new high-performance Wi-Fi ensures an interference-free wireless experience. Swap out the removable microphone for the included mobile cable and use the Stealth 500X on the road as wired headset.

The Ear Force XO ONE is a lightweight, comfortable stereo Xbox One gaming headset that is packed full of features. The XO ONE features finely tuned 50mm drivers, multi-step Bass Boost and Microphone Monitor. The high-quality flex microphone is removable for use with mobile devices as a headphone.

With the new Stealth 500X and XO ONE, the Turtle Beach Xbox One headsets line-up now includes five models. In March 2014, Turtle Beach released the first officially-licensed Xbox One headsets on the market: the XO FOUR, XO SEVEN, and Titanfall Atlas.

PC Headsets

Heroes of the Storm Stereo PC Gaming Headset

The Heroes of the Storm Stereo PC Gaming Headset is the ultimate headset for fans of Heroes of the Storm, a new raucous online team brawler that draws iconic characters from more than 20 years of Blizzard gaming history, including the award-winning Warcraft®, Diablo®, and StarCraft® franchises. The new PC gaming headset features swappable speaker plates, so fans can personalize their headset with a unique design featuring their favourite Blizzard heroes.

Ear Force Z60

The Ear Force Z60 is the first PC gaming headset to unleash game changing 7.1 channel DTS Headphone:X Surround Sound on any PC or Mac. Delivering incredible bass response through PC gaming’s largest speakers at 60mm, you get an outstanding audio advantage from Surround Sound Audio Modes for games, movies and music plus Dynamic Chat Boost keeps your communications above the action. Add in quick access to audio controls including separate game and chat volume. All this audio power with no waiting or software to install on any PC, Mac or Netbook

Ear Force Recon 320

The Ear Force Recon 320 brings surround sound gaming to the PC market at a very competitive price. Amazing Dolby 7.1 Surround Sound allows players to pinpoint enemy locations and hear accurate, immersive surround sound with any type of content. A new around-the-ear headset design allows for hours of comfort and noise-isolation plus the ability to personalize the Recon 320 with swappable speaker plates. The Recon 320 uses a single USB connection for PC or a 3.5mm jack on mobile devices. An included mobile cable with in-line mic and multi-function button for mobile controls  ̶  such as answer call, pause music, and skip track  ̶  makes the Recon 320 a true mobile headset as well.

Ear Force Recon 100

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 A European exclusive, the Ear Force Recon 100 Stereo PC Gaming Headset delivers an incredible audio experience for PC and mobile devices in comfort no matter where you play. Swappable speaker plates let you personalise the headset with a unique design while full-range 50mm speakers drive crisp highs and powerful lows.

The Ear Force Z60, Recon 320, Recon 100 and Heroes of the Storm headsets will join Turtle Beach’s growing PC gaming portfolio, which includes three models introduced in 2013 — the surround sound Z SEVEN wired and Z300 wireless headsets, and the stereo Z22 wired headset.  These new headsets will contribute to Turtle Beach’s efforts to increase the company’s share of the PC gaming headset market.

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Today Codemasters has announced the road map for its award-winning FORMULA 1 series of video games with two new titles set to appear across the console generations.
F1 2014 will arrive on 17th October 17 for the Xbox 360, Windows PC and the PlayStation 3.  Codemasters will then introduce a new FORMULA 1 title in 2015 for the PlayStation 4, Windows PC and the Xbox One.

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With F1 2014 is the culmination of five years of experience developing, the award-winning FORMULA 1 video games and delivers fans the most accessible experience yet.F1 2014 will incorporate this season’s seismic rule changes – the most significant in the sport’s 60 year history – including new aerodynamic regulations and turbocharged power units. All but two teams have changed their driver line-ups and new circuits have been added to the roster. Players will experience how 2014’s radically different new cars feel to drive as the season’s cars, circuits and teams are authentically represented.

F1 2014 also delivers a range of enhancements to create the most accessible FORMULA 1 video game from Codemasters to date. A new driver evaluation system quickly identifies player ability and tunes game settings to an appropriate level, whilst re-graded difficulty settings enable players to compete at incrementally higher levels as they become more experienced. Experienced gamers, who enjoy a more serious simulation of the demands placed upon FORMULA ONE drivers, can customise their settings to provide a true challenge.

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delivering all of these changes, F1 2014 will make for an exciting and refreshingly different experience. Additionally, with the new driver evaluation system analysing each player’s skill level and suggesting appropriate game settings, plus re-graded difficulty levels including a brand new Very Easy setting, we aim to deliver a thoroughly rewarding F1 experience for players of all abilities, from the novice to the seasoned pro.”

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“Our title for the new generation formats will mark a huge step forward for the F1 series. We want to be out there earlier in the season and deliver new season content updates digitally as the 2015 season progresses; it’s very exciting for the series and our players.”

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Square Enix, in association with CI Games is pleased to announce the Day One Edition of Lords of the Fallen, a challenging next-gen Action-RPG due for release on 31st October 2014.

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Gamers who pre-order are guaranteed the Day One Edition, and will gain access to exclusive story DLC, additional weapons and the official soundtrack to accompany Lords of The Fallen while stocks last.

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The Monk’s Decipher DLC offers more single player action, uncovering hidden secrets throughout the three worlds Harkyn explores in Lords of the Fallen, while the Demonic Weapons pack includes three devastating new weapons.

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Lords of the Fallen will be available on Xbox One, the PlayStation 4, and PC on 31st October.

Once again I find myself sitting in front of a new Magic game. As a Magic The Gathering card player I have a soft spot for the game. I love the artwork and complexity of the game but these days I struggle to find an opponent to spa with. So the video games are my way of getting my Magic fix, or at least in theory. So far I have been rather disappointed by the series but still get excited every time to see if they’ve got it right.

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Rather than creating your own deck or being forced to use a single deck the first thing you will do in Magic 2015 is choose your colours, and therefore your deck. I’ve always been a fan of white so that was my first choice but then for some reason you are required to pick another colour. Not such a problem as I don’t mind a White/Blue mixed deck but for some reason you have to use a mixed colour deck.

So with my White/Blue deck I proceeded to work through the tutorial. It does a very good job of teaching you everything there is to know and lucky for those who know the game, either from previous video games or the card game, can skip it. Oh rejoice! I don’t have to spend an hour learning how to play a game I already know very well. If you skip you go straight to your first duel which you must first pass in order to proceed. You can also reselect your deck colours so it functions well as a testing duel to make sure you’ve got the right deck for you.

As ever with Magic it’s a tough fight. Especially as you have no options to edit your deck at this point. It can be slightly frustrating as Magic is so heavily reliant on deck building and you’re left against a superior deck with very few options but to retry and strive on.

But as you fight and defeat opponents you earn booster packs with cards to improve your deck. It’s a simple but effective reward system that ensures you deck keeps improving. One of the biggest problems I’ve had with previous Magic games is the lack of new cards to keep altering your deck with. It seems easy to give you a way to grind out for cards and improve you deck but for some reason the Magic games always seem to resist it.

When you get past the tutorial to the main campaign map you will have a series of Planeswalkers to duel with. Each time you defeat one you unlock another until you finish the zone and move onto the next. But Magic 2015 provides you with a repeatable area for each zone that you can grind out to acquire more cards. There’s a small selection of enemies you may fight but you can keep coming back, getting more booster packs and ultimately improving your deck to take on the real threats. This does make Magic 2015 quite ‘grindy’ but I like that.

It also means that eventually you can craft yourself a single colour deck if that’s what you want. I don’t really understand the focus on mixed decks. Sure they’re good but I don’t really want a mixed deck as I always find single colours more effective. I wonder if the game knows this and makes you wait but either way after a couple of hours you’ll have a decent handful of cards to properly make your deck with. The selection of cards is reasonable and there’s just enough to keep you altering and shifting your deck to take down your often superiorly equipped opponents.

But even though the card selection is enough to craft a reasonably potent deck the overall selection is disappointing. Mainly because you’ll need to pay to access some cards. They’re not attainable in game at all. And while you don’t need them it makes online play a tricky concept. If you pay you’ll have a better chance to win. That’s called pay to win. Also for some reason certain cards that your single player opponents use are not attainable either, regardless of if you pay or not.

There’s also not much in the way of game modes either. I usually play the core game single player anyway so it wasn’t too much of a problem but those who enjoyed the challenge modes will be disappointed. Even though I didn’t play them much I still enjoyed them every now and again and the option would be nice. Especially the clever puzzle style modes.

It’s impossible to finish this review without pointing out how irritating the menu is. It’s 100% focused on mobile platforms and it’s obvious. I fumbled around for ages before I understood how to properly use it and the transition animation every time you select something is just plain annoying. If I click something I want a response as quick as possible, not a fancy animation.

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I enjoy the grind. I enjoy the single player. But the pay wall is just unnecessary, even though it wouldn’t cost you that much to acquire all the cards, it’s not what the game should be about. I don’t understand why the game modes are missing. I can’t think of a single reason to remove something that people enjoyed. And while the single player is great I want more cards. Why aren’t there more? WHY?! There’s a lot of different cards in Magic and the relatively small selection in Magic 2015 seems arbitrary. I haven’t collected new cards in years but I probably own more actual cards than are in this game.

However, I am really enjoying Magic 2015 and will be playing it long after this review. But I’d rather pay more for the game and have access to all the cards, even if I’d have to grind out for hours to get one. Those who enjoyed the other game modes will be disappointed with Magic 2015. Some of the negative reviews out there are, I think, overly harsh but it really depends what you want out of Magic. I wasn’t a fan of 2014 and actually prefer this one, despite its flaws. Either way, yet again, so close yet so far.

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