If you read our review of the original release of Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012, you’d know that we really liked this upgrade to the video game version of Magic: The Gathering. If fixed many of the problems with the original game’s interface, and while it wasn’t completely bug free; it was a great adaptation of the game and a really great way to teach new players the game without much investment of money. For about the price of two booster packs, a new player will get a fully featured version of the game to learn from with multiple different deck styles to try out.
This week, the first expansion for the game was released. Titled Ascend into Darkness; the expansion is sort of tooled around the upcoming trading card set Innistrad as it features Planeswalkers from that set along with six preview cards from it in the new decks. There are three new decks included, and each are pretty fun. There’s a Mono Black deck that’s a classic (and poweful) Underworld Dreams/The Rack combo deck. There’s a White/Green Aura deck heavy on the creature enchantments, and then a Red/Blue deck filled with haste creatures that leave play at the end of your turn. Of the three, the Black is definitely the best. That combo has always been powerful, and fun, to play with and it’s a joy to see it back.
The other big feature of the expansion is the ability for you to play the Archenemy. You can do this both in multiplayer as well as new campaign levels as you play the Archenemy against three computer Plainswalkers. There are also a few new traditional campaign levels featuring the new Planeswalkers added to the expansion as well as Archenemy challenges. New achievements and trophies have also been added.
In all, it’s not a bad expansion for only $5. If you already have Duels 2012, this should be an instant download for you. The new decks are a lot of fun, and it gives you more campaign levels and challenges to complete, as well as a small preview of Innistrad. It’s available now on XBLA, PSN, and Steam.