Incredibly polished card game with a unique gameplay
Despite not always being massive sensations, card games have always enjoyed a certain level of popularity. Almost every generation, one or two titles rise above the crowd to take the world by storm. Even titles who don’t get become a phenomenon develop cult followings completely devoted to them. Nowadays, card games have continued their presence through video games. From real-life card games like Magic the Gathering, we now have digital card games like Hearthstone. Artifact is Valve’s entry into this enduring genre. Can it stand a chance against the card game giants?
Design and Aesthetics
Just by looking at its designs, it’s clear that Artifact has had a lot of thought put into it. This game has exquisite art. One look at this game’s concept art would be enough to convince you of its ambition in terms of worldbuilding and aesthetics. All of the 3D models have been meticulously crafted with tremendous amounts of details. The actual game interface has a lot of decorative elements on them, but they’re still rendered clearly and are very easy to understand. The cards themselves are magnificent works. Their back has a minimalist black and gold color scheme with a triangle at the center, and at the front, the artwork on the cards are gorgeous and highly detailed. This game has a lot of strengths and weaknesses, but its aesthetic is definitely one of its strengths.
For the most part, Artifact’s mechanics are similar to its peers. Your objective is to use your deck of cards to defeat your opponent. There are several types of cards, with each type color-coded to be easily distinguishable as well as to represent their special abilities. Players who are familiar with RPG class systems featuring tanks, mages, and merchants among others won’t have any difficulty adapting to Artifact's card system.
What makes Artifact unique is its three-lane playing field. Each lane has its own enemies, and players must defeat two out of the three lanes in order to win the game. Players only use one hand for all three lanes, so they must think hard about which lane to use each card to make them more effective.
There is one major criticism being levied at Artifact, and that is the fact that it’s a total money vacuum. It should be mentioned that this game is not free to play. In addition to buying the game, most of the cards you need to play the game are also sold separately. What’s makes it even worse is that for some cards, there is no way to get them without having to pay.
Very Polished But Is It Worth It?
No one can deny that Artifact is very polished. Its design and aesthetics are beautiful and highly detailed. Its gameplay strike s a good balance between original and familiar. Overall, it is a great game. Nevertheless, we cannot ignore the expense that it expects the players to spend. Once you start playing, you’d better be prepared to invest a lot of money into it in order to enjoy it.