Artifact, the first new Valve game in five years after Counter-Strike: Global Offensive in 2013, finally has a release date and price, with more details revealed for the digital card game.
Valve announced Artifact at The International, the premier Dota 2 tournament, last year. Gamers were disappointed because many hoped that it would be the long-awaited Half-Life 3. However, Artifact is shaping up to be an interesting game from what has been revealed so far.
'Artifact' Release Date And Price
Valve revealed through Steam that the Artifact release date will be on Nov. 28 for every major PC platform, including Windows, Mac, and Linux. A mobile version of the digital card game, meanwhile, is planned to launch in 2019.
Is Artifact a free-to-play game? Unfortunately, unlike Blizzard's Hearthstone, Artifact will be a paid game. Players will need to pay $20 as a buy-in fee, giving them access to a pair of premade base decks that contain 54 cards, composed of 5 heroes, 9 items, and 40 other cards.
Players will also receive 10 booster packs that contain 12 random cards each as part of the initial $20 cost. Additional booster packs may be purchased at $2 each.
Players who attend PAX West, which will run from Aug. 31 to Sept. 3 at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle, will be able to try the first public hands-on demo of Artifact. They will each receive two free keys to unlock the base model of the game upon its launch, bypassing the $20 cost.
An early hands-on preview by Rock Paper Shotgun revealed that Artifact will feature the three-lane gameplay that is seen in Dota 2 and other similar MOBAs. The website's Austin Wood described Artifact as "an ambitious hybrid" of Dota 2 and Magic: The Gathering. This is not surprising given the role of Richard Garfield, the Magic: The Gathering creator, in its development.
Each lane has one enemy tower and one friendly tower. Players win in Artifact by destroying two enemy towers or killing the Ancient that appears when a tower is taken down.
One of the biggest differences between Artifact and other card games is the lack of traditional turns. Instead, players take rounds, which consists of launching actions and engaging battles in all three lanes.
The rules of Artifact shows a lot of things to digest, though players will have more than three months to prepare for the digital card game's arrival. It might not be Half-Life 3, but it may have what it takes to be an instant hit.