Valve finally has a new game. Can you believe it? A card game based on Dota 2, Artifact launched today on Steam. After having gone through for several hours, I can say that there are actually a ton of things going on in Artifactbut it's also one of the most affordable card games I've played, at least in the beginning.
Although he makes obvious comparisons with Blizzard's home and Magic: the rally (whose creator is actually ArtifactSenior designer), it looks much more like a real-time strategy game translated into maps. This should not be surprising given Artifact is inspired by Dota 2, a MOBA who started life as a mod Warcraft 3.
At the same time, it is remarkable how much Artifact feels like a card game in the name only. Of course, you open card packs, build decks, and then hope to draw a good starting hand once every game starts. However, during the current game, each decision and potential compromise is measured in terms of the influence on the positioning and relative strength of the troops on the battlefield.
here's how Artifact is played. Two players start with packs made up of at least 40 cards, but as much as they want. Each has five hero cards, which have a color code: red, blue, green or black. Each match takes place on a battlefield divided into three lanes, with one round involving action on all three, from left to right. These individual lanes have one tower on each side with 40 health. Players' heroes are placed on top of them, dealing damage on each turn unless they are blocked as other creatures and spells are played. When a tower is destroyed, that player's old, who has 80 health, is revealed. One side wins either by destroying the enemy towers of two separate boards, or the Old.
Have a sense?
Probably not. And that's why I skip a lot of important details, like the fact that the turns produce mana, which is necessary to play a card in a given way, and that at the end of each turn, the number of creatures that you killed determines the amount of creatures you have killed. you get money to buy item cards that are added to your hand and can be played for free. ArtifactThe tutorial does an excellent job of explaining, guiding you to separate, as a rule, matches against bots, without getting too deep into the weeds.
After completing the tutorial, then playing many games against human opponents with pre-built and custom decks, here are some of my initial thoughts:
- Artifact should be free to play. This is not it. It costs $ 20. This gives you two starting packs and 10 packs of cards, each normally costing $ 2 each. You also get five event tickets, which can be used to enter drafts to win more cards. But overall, you will probably get your cards by buying new packs or buying them individually on the Steam market. That means this initial $ 20 is more of a down payment than the total price of the game. I have a hard time seeing someone enter into Artifact without continuing to spend more money to progress because, unlike homeThere is no daily mechanism to take up challenges or collect money in the game and use it to gradually develop your collection. You just have to keep spending. And speaking of who …
- I'm already looking forward to spending $ 16 on the most expensive Artifact card. Ax is one of my favorite heroes Dota 2. He is tall, strong, red and, as you can imagine, carries a giant ax. In Artifact, there are special cards adjacent to a hero that automatically appear in a deck when a certain hero is selected. Ax players receive the berserker call, which allows them to confront one of their heroes with an enemy different from the one in front of them. In a game focused primarily on positioning, it's a very big deal.
As a result, Ax is currently the most popular card in the game. That's why it's so expensive to buy. At the same time, my instinct, along with some complicated calculations, tells me that I'd better pay that $ 16 (or less, the price seems to fall quickly) if I really wanted Ax rather than spend so much for card packs in the purpose of having it. This is the magic of a collectible card game attached to a digital market.
- Artifact This creates a good balance between watching in a fun way and not overloading the screen with too much information. The game shows you only one track at a time and it's a fairly fluid game to click between them or zoom out to see the whole picture at a time. It's a lot less Dota 2 and much more homewhich is good in my opinion because home probably has the best user interface of all games.
- I love how little these things worry when you're totally screwed up.
- The big red X on things about to die is extremely helpful. I am not as sharp as I was. Especially when you play a complex card game in bed at 2am. Artifact is great for letting you know what's going to happen before that happens, including how much damage the enemies will suffer and turns at the end of the turn, which will allow you to easily choose the cards to play before being sure of what you want, happens.
- Artifact feels like a new type of card game. We had a glimpse of different ways to make card games since last year, when home Dungeon Runs solo, and more recently with Kill the arrow, a roguelike rampant dungeon whose combat mechanisms are all based on maps. Artifact feels like an extension of these two ideas, taking things like mana costs, creature blocking and tower defense and using them to try to recreate a strategy game experience in a slightly different context. Although I'm not sure to fall in love with Artifact in the same way that I did it Dota 2We're already far from the best new video card game of the year. Sorry, Gwent.