Atari today announced that it has shipped Magic: The Gathering ? Battlegrounds, for the Xbox videogame system from Microsoft and PC CD-ROM, to retail stores nationwide. Developed for Atari by Secret Level, Magic: The Gathering ? Battlegrounds is based on the incredibly popular trading card game created by Wizards of the Coast, a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE:HAS). The game is filled with faithful card game translations of classic creatures, spells and enchantments and presented in a visually stunning 3D game environment rife with real-time strategic fighting, devastating wizard arsenals and intense creature combat.
?Based on one of the best game franchises ever created, Magic: The Gathering ? Battlegrounds will truly usher in a new era of strategic fighting gameplay,? said Steve Allison, vice president of marketing, Atari?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 tons of strategic fighting action. Magic: The Gathering ? Battlegrounds also takes full advantage of Xbox Live 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 6 million Magic players worldwide. Just as in the Magic card game, in Magic: The Gathering ? Battlegrounds players will choose a duelist and any 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 plot that includes characters from Magic: The Gathering storylines while also introducing a variety of new characters and locales. Single-player Quest Mode will be comprised 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.Additional Highlights:
- Xbox Live Enabled -- Magic: The Gathering ? Battlegrounds takes full advantage of Xbox Live with a robust set of features including online dueling and chat capabilities, a complete ranking system and statistic tracking. In addition, new creatures, sorceries, enchantments and arenas will be made available to players for download after launch.
- Creatures, Creatures, Creatures -- Magic: The Gathering ? Battlegrounds will feature dozens of creatures that can be utilized by duelists throughout the game. Creatures include the Goblin King (red), who improves the performance of any other goblin under player control; the Krovikan Vampire (black) who can ?resurrect? enemy units to serve his side after defeating them in combat; the unstoppable Avatar of Might (green), who can trample through defending forces and still attack the opposing duelist; the Warrior Angel (white), who can heal the controlling duelist with the damage she deals in combat; and, Horned Turtle (blue) who acts as a barrier to all ground units.
- Super Sorceries ? While creatures get all the headlines an effective sorcery can unleash a devastating, game-ending, world-of-hurt with one simple spell cast. Red features some of the most devastating sorceries with show stoppers including, Inferno, Scorching Missile and Engulfing Flames, which all deal varying amounts of damage to creatures and duelists alike. Not to be left out, the other colors also feature a horde of deadly spells, including Hellfire (black), which instantly kills all non-black creatures; Overrun (green), which grants all green creatures bonuses to attack and defense as well as the ability to trample opponents; Spelljack (blue), which allows a blue duelist to literally steal an opposing players spell if timed correctly; and, Demystify (white), which destroys an enemy duelist?s last cast enchantment.
- Enchanting Enchantments ? Just as important as any creature or sorcery, enchantments can easily swing the tide of battle. Gratuitous Violence (red) grants all creatures with improved attacking power; Test of Endurance (white) alters win conditions by granting the first player to reach 50 health the victory; Liability (black) causes damage to any duelist whenever their creatures perish; and, Pendrill Mists (blue), which steals mana from any duelist after a creature respawns in battle.
- Choose Your Battlefield -- Magic: The Gathering ? Battlegrounds will initially feature more than 15 arenas to battle in. While featuring similar play mechanics, each arena is unique and relates to key geographic areas found in the Magic universe. Arenas include Maraxus? Volcanic Forge, Akroma?s Castle Lucetos, Ihsan?s Forbidden Fen and Multani?s Everfall among many others.
Magic: The Gathering ? Battlegrounds is now available at retail stores nationwide with an estimated retail price of $49.95 and an ESRB rating of ?T? for Teen. Additional information about Magic: The Gathering ? Battlegrounds can be found online at www.mtggame.com, which features downloadable and streaming game play movies, downloadable developer commentaries and strategies, screenshots, duelist information and much more.