The Might & Magic series of games have been incredibly popular in almost all of its iterations, and so after the popularity of the Heroes IV card game, it seems that Ubisoft’s decision to release Might & Magic Duel of Champions is a a very smart one – after all, what goes better than high-fantasy and card games?
Produced by Ubisoft Quebec, Duel of Champions is a free-to-play – yes there’s that phrase again – online card game for PC that is also cross compatible with the free-to-play iPad version, meaning you’ll be able to have real-time battles across platforms. Transition between accounts and play will also be seamless as both versions directly mirror one another, so when you’ve attained a card or won a battle on the PC it’ll be directly correlated in the iPad version; and nicely the iPad version isn’t just a companion to the PC game, it’s the full game in the palm of your hands.
The mechanics of play are relatively simple, you’ve got to use all the creatures and characters at your disposal to whittle your opponents health down to zero before they do the same to you. Having never played a trading card game in my life – bar Pokémon, which I gave up around 8 years ago – I’m not overly familiar how it all works, but rest assured it’ll keep you trading card aficionados completely enthralled. It works on a model of line of sight, so you can block moves of your opponent by placing a defensive card within the line of sight of their attacking move – or so I think.
There are many modifying factors that change exactly what happens when you place a card down onto the table, which is why – being the card game noob I am – I’m having such trouble fathoming what exactly happens in battle from the short preview time I got with Duel of Champions. There are different factions that each of the cards belong to: Bastion, Inferno and Necropolis. Bastion dish out the holy damage, Inferno the fire and Necropolis do that whole undead shtick. As you have five event cards you can use in battle, along with units you can deploy, battles sound like they can get confusing incredibly quickly – seeing as everything layers up to provide a very deep combat system for you to explore.
Thankfully though, it will have a tutorial system to ease new players into the depths of play – meaning your head won’t be swimming with information right from the start. As I’m sure that it’s so blindingly simple to grasp when you actually get your hands dirty with the game – rather than have someone explain to you how it all works.
In terms of the F2P mechanic, once again a “fair-to-play” mechanic is coming into the game, meaning that you won’t be punished for your chosen route to playing the game. It’s seen that skill is much more important than money when creating a deck and besting your opponents. That being said I imagine that the option to pay comes in forms of buying booster packs for your virtual deck – although I was told that you can actually purchase cards for free via money you earn in game, so who knows – other than Ubisoft Quebec, who didn’t go into a lot of detail about the system.
Already available on PC in the form of beta, you can dive right in and join others in creating a deck worthy of vanquishing your foes. Thanks to a matchmaking mode, as well as daily tournaments and a leaderboard, you’ll find plenty of reason to keep playing and coming back for more card based fun. Personally this isn’t my type of game, which you can probably tell from my incompetence at understanding what’s going on, but for those interested it definitely looks like Ubisoft are ticking all the right boxes.