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Faeria

Posted by GG Goblin On November - 19 - 2020

More than just the cards to think about.

 
With the early popularity of physical games such as Magic: The Gathering and Pokemon, it was only a matter of time before Collectible Card Games made their way into video gaming. Magic: The Gathering had a few tries before they got the formula right, but then a whole host of other digital CCGs started turning up, including offerings from the big hitters such as Blizzard and Bethesda. Originally launching back in 2017, Abrakam’s Faeria brought its own take on the CCG to the digital table. Since this launch, Faeria has slowly and steadily been rolling out across various other platforms, and was even offered as a free game on the Epic Games Store and is currently available on the Xbox Game Pass for PC (although not for much longer). Just recently though, Faeria finally made an appearance on the PS4, giving the PlayStation fans a chance to experience all that this paid for CCG has to offer.

 


 
This is the first hurdle that the player will have to overcome to enjoy Faeria, the fact that it is a paid for game. The trend for digital CCGs is that the base game is offered for free, with additional cost coming from new cards or themed decks and such. The good news is that the base game of Faeria is not overly expensive on PS4, and while there is an abundance of DLC available for the game, these are items that the player will not initially need to have fun, so the cost is kept low for new players.

 
Veterans of other CCGs will find a lot in Faeria that is familiar. Each battle will involve the player facing off against an opponent, either AI or another player. Both the player and their opponent have life points and the idea is to whittle their life points down to zero to win the match. This is accomplished by summoning creatures, or using spells, that are represented by cards. The player is given a certain amount of Faeria points each turn with which to summon or cast, and unused Faeria are carried over to the next round. Additional points can be granted in some circumstances, and each card has a different point value. The creature cards also have an attack score and a health score, that indicates how much damage they can take and can do. Attack the opponents summoned creatures, or the opponent directly, to bring down their defences and their health.

 


 
So far, so familiar. However, there is more going on in the average game of Faeria than just dropping cards onto a table. Faeria uses a “living board” which brings in a whole new level of strategy. Basically, the game is played over a grid of hexes, with the player and opponent at the top and bottom. Initially there is no path between the two players, and so every turn a player is allowed to place two neutral land tiles, which can create a path to the opponent and give somewhere for creatures to be placed. Adding a further wrinkle to the formula, there are also special lands, one of which can be placed each turn. These lands allow the summoning of special, more powerful, creatures, but players will have to plan much more in order to bring them out.

 
The living board idea adds a whole new level of strategy to what would otherwise be a fairly generic card game. Does the player rush a path to the opponent to begin the attack, or do they expand the land around them and summon an army? Then there is the rush to get the more powerful cards out, those that rely on the special lands. It all works really well, and the game has obviously benefited from being around for a couple of years.

 
Making the jump to console could have brought some control problems, but fortunately playing on the PS4 is smooth and painless with the controller. The fact that coming to PS4 last of the consoles has meant that any issues are presumably ironed out, and while using the controller is not my preferred way of playing Faeria, it works fine.

 


 
Faeria shines when it comes to content. The player is rewarded fairly consistently with new cards to build their own deck, and have an array of options when it comes to modes. This is an area where other card games tend to falter with just a simple versus mode. In Faeria though, there are single player options, co-op battles, and the regular versus battles. There are daily challenges, puzzle levels and even a mode in which the player actually has to pay cards to enter, with big pay offs for the successful. The down side of this much content is that players can quickly find themselves overwhelmed on the difficulty front. Faeria is an easy game to pick up, but a very difficult game to master, and the differences between the beginners and the experts is massive. It can be very easy to make a mistake and have no way to make it back.

 
Visually, the game begins with an incredibly enticing intro that looks lovely. Obviously the nature of card games doesn’t lead to much by way of visual excitement, although Faeria always looks nice and the art on the various cards are very well done, not that most players will spend much time looking at them.

 


 
Faeria offers a unique twist on the regular CCG formula. Building a deck and the simple battle mechanics will be familiar to most CCG players, but then throwing in a whole other aspect in the form of a living board gives players something new to think about. There is a mass of content, and a whole range of DLC offerings, that will keep players coming back for a long time if they get the Faeria bug. Of course, it does help that the game is quite compelling and easy to lose hours to. Collectible card game fans looking for something slightly different on their PS4 would do well to give Faeria a look.

 

 ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 



 

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