"`Magic' represents one of the best game franchises ever created, constantly evolving and always offering something new to challenge and entertain players. When we approached this project we asked ourselves how we could expand the `Magic' experience interactively to match -- the answer: by making it real-time and providing significant Xbox Live! support," said Jean-Philippe Agati, senior vice president and head of Infogrames, Inc.'s Los Angeles studio. "`Magic: The Gathering - Battlegrounds' is like no other `Magic' game to date -- it is incredibly fast-paced, eye-popping in full 3D and filled with more strategic fighting action than you can shake a stick at. What's more, we've gone to great lengths to deliver Xbox Live! features allowing players to compete against friends worldwide, track their stats and rank as well as download new creatures, spells, arenas and more."
Created by award-winning game designer Richard Garfield and published by Wizards of the Coast, the "Magic: The Gathering" trading card game made its debut in 1993. Today, there are more than six million "Magic" players worldwide. The card game itself is played between two or more players who attempt to reduce each other's score from 20 to 0 by utilizing the various creatures, spells, artifacts and more in a series of offensive and defensive maneuvers.
Just as in the "Magic®" card game, in "Magic: The Gathering - Battlegrounds" players will choose a duelist and up to two of "Magic's" five colors -- red, green, white, blue, and black -- to attempt to reduce their opponent's life to zero. Of course, getting an opponent to zero will not be easy; players will have to utilize lightning reflexes, strategic brilliance and, on occasion, raw power to overcome an enemy.
An important aspect to "Magic: The Gathering - Battlegrounds" will involve the player's mastery of the five colors in the development of his/her duelist. Each color has a proficiency at certain types of activities, such as attacking, defending and healing. Players will be able to select up to two colors and utilize creatures, spells and enchantments in any combination from those schools. For example, a red duelist may choose to augment the attacking powers of his Lava Dragon by adding powerful green enchantments to his arsenal or increase his resilience by using white's restorative powers instead.
"Magic: The Gathering - Battlegrounds" will feature an engrossing single-player Quest Mode featuring a story that includes characters from "Magic: The Gathering" storylines while also introducing a variety of new characters and locales. Single-player Quest Mode will be composed of six chapters, each featuring up to 15 quests. Most quests will involve battles with resident duelists, sub-bosses or bosses who often control a particular creature or spell that the player has not yet acquired. As the player progresses, the resident duelists get tougher and control more powerful spells. Upon defeating these opponents, players can gain access to these new spells and creatures; the enemy duelist becomes playable within the game; and, the player can select from various clothing and other accoutrements, allowing players to customize the look of their chosen duelist.
In addition to acquiring new spells, "Magic: The Gathering - Battlegrounds" will provide players with the ability to increase their duelist's power with special artifacts. Artifacts are magical relics with varying effects that, when used correctly, enhance a duelist's chances of victory. Every time a single-player chapter is completed by defeating that chapter's sub-boss, the player can select one of several artifacts to add to his collection.
More than 350,000 Xbox gamers are currently enjoying online game play and downloadable content via Xbox Live! "Magic: The Gathering - Battlegrounds" will feature an entire host of features that take full advantage of this new opportunity for extended online play. Xbox Live! features will include: a global ranking and statistics system; new downloadable content; convenient cross title invitations; opponent feedback forums; a robust friends list; voice chat; and more.
"Magic: The Gathering - Battlegrounds" will be available for Xbox and PC in Fall 2003.