ID@Xbox Spotlight: Magic Duels: Origins Bring Free-to-Play Card Game Action to Xbox One

Magic Duels: Origins is actually the sixth downloadable Magic: The Gathering game to grace Xbox. The world’s biggest collectible card game has been a staple in the video game scene for years. The Duels of the Planeswalkers series has seen annual installments, operating almost like a sports game. But that’s all going to change with Magic Duels: Origins.

Magic Duels: Origins
will be entirely free-to-play. Yup, free! As you play the game, you earn gold which you trade in for booster packs. If you want to get cards quicker, you can also buy gold, but all gameplay content is earnable just by playing. All content is 100% attainable in-game, for zero real-world money. Buy some, earn some – it’s all up to you. And future expansions will be offered as downloadable content packs for Magic Duels: Origins, keeping the game fresh and preventing the need for full-on yearly iterations.

Accessibility is the other big push this time around.  In
Magic Duels: Origins there’s a focus on bringing in newcomers. And though there is a tutorial that teaches players the basics of the game, most of the learning comes through situational tips as you play.

For instance, if a new card type you’ve never seen before enters the arena, the game will pop up a small message window to explain what it is. Or, if you miss a defensive opportunity and take more damage than you should have, the game will point out the mistake and help you to understand what you could have done differently. It’s like having a
Magic: The Gathering expert on-hand who gives you tips, but doesn’t help you cheat.

Even the deck-building is streamlined: You can ask
Magic Duels: Origins to auto-build a deck for you, setting parameters like mana types and then letting the game take it from there. For new players, this is a fast way to get a balanced deck – and for more advanced players, it provides a good baseline to start customizing an expert-level deck.

More experienced players will also find plenty to challenge themselves with the return of the Two-Headed Giant multiplayer mode and the brand new “Solo Battle” mode allow for a virtually limitless amount of customizable battles both online and off to help earn more wins and more currency.

Magic Duels: Origins
continues the Planeswalker storyline, with five new Planeswalkers that you learn about through the game’s story mode. The story mode poses challenges – like winning a match with a weaker-than-usual deck – and this is where players earn gold to buy more booster packs.

Magic Duels: Origins
is set for a July release on Xbox One. Get ready, deckmasters!