DC Dual Force Is A New Digital Card Game That Lets You Play Your Favorite Comics
DC Comics has partnered with Cryptozoic Entertainment and Yuke’s to announce a brand-new DC Comics-themed digital collectible card game called DC Dual Zone, slated for release in 2022.
The game will feature multiple heroes and villains from the DC universe, including Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Harley Quinn, The Joker, and more. Decks will be themed around these characters–called Leaders– and each 40-card deck will contain Minion and Action cards based on whichever strategy the player chooses. Card rarities include Common, Rare, Super Rare, and Ultimate.
“We want players to think things like, ‘What does a Batman/Aquaman deck feel like?’ or ‘What about a Superman/Harley Quinn deck?’,” Cryptozoic CCO and co-founder Cory Jones said in an interview with GameSpot. “To be able to pick from two different leaders and mix their two sets together gives an opportunity for way more potential combinations of decks and the ability to be hyper-creative.”
Cryptozoic has been working with DC Comics for over a decade, designing the physical DC Deck Building Game and its multiple expansions. Before that the team worked on the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game, with Jones himself also helping to create Hearthstone while working for Blizzard. “When it comes to game design, CCG designers are sort of what oncologists are to doctors,” Jones says. “They’re both doctors, but CCG designers are very specialized game developers, and here we have people where all they do is collectible card games.”
All of that experience has led to DC Dual Force and its guiding principle, which according to Jones is “making a CCG that any DC fan can jump into and learn right away, while also having a game where any longtime CCG fan can play and feel real depth and strategy immediately.” While the team isn’t showing gameplay yet, what’s being described is an ambitious new take on the digital CCG.
How it works
All cards in the game fall under one of five color-coded factions: Tactics (blue), Might (red), Energy (green), Anarchy (orange), and Tyranny (purple). After choosing two heroes or villains, players will then build decks with the corresponding colored cards. Players are not limited to using just heroes or just villains; the two can be mixed and matched.
Players will start with both of their Leaders in the back corners on the 3×2 grid board. A player can then play two cards per turn, be it a Minion, Action, or one of each, as well as activate Leader abilities using “charges” that accrue once per turn. These abilities can buff the Leader’s attack power or defense, and sometimes include one of ten status effects:
- Ambush – While attacking, cards with Ambush deal damage first.
- Aura – The next time a card with Aura would be affected by any enemy action, instead it loses Aura.
- Frenzy – After KOing a defender in the front row, cards with Frenzy will immediately attack the space behind it.
- Guard – Cards with Guard must be the target of opposing attacks regardless of position on the board
- Hidden – Cards with Hidden can’t be targeted or attacked until they attack.
- Hunter – Cards with Hunter ignore minion protection, Guard, and Hidden.
- Lethal – Cards with Lethal KO any minions they damage.
- Invincible – Cards with Invincible can’t be damaged or KO’d.
- Shield – The next time a card with Shield would be damaged, instead it loses Shield.
- Speed – Cards with Speed can attack immediately.
There are a few rules in place to protect Leaders and prevent quick games; for example, if a Minion is placed in front of a Leader, that Minion must be defeated before the Leader can be targeted. The first player to defeat both of their opponent’s Leaders will win the game.
A focus on PvE
One of the main hallmarks of DC Dual Force will be its free weekly PvE offerings, short one-off chapters that follow an individual comic from DC’s decades of comic history. Jones mentions Action Comics #1–Superman’s first appearance–and the Red Son arc as two examples of stories these challenges could follow, but he says there are plenty of paths to choose from there.
“We’ve also talked with DC about other media as well,” Jones explains. “For example: Black Adam, we could do a month-long series of PvE comics that are all around Black Adam or something like that. We could have a celebrity pick the comics in a given week. There’s a ton of ideas.”
Jones thinks longtime DC fans will be able to appreciate these mini-stories even if they’ve read the comics, saying, “I love Dark Knight and I love Red Son, and here I get to play a little gamified version of it AND collect specific cards from that comic? How cool is that?”
Each of the weekly challenges will come with three free cards given to all players, meaning an offering of 150 free cards per year. Players who miss a weekly challenge can catch up through DC Dual Force’s subscription model, which will also offer a number of five-card packs equal to the price of the subscription and a microset of eight free cards once per month. Pricing on packs and the subscription were not available as of this writing.
The game will also see full expansions a la other card games, with Jones saying there will be one “every four months or so.” He stresses that regular new content is paramount in DC Dual Force, saying that collectible card games like this suffer from a lack of it.
“You think about how few and far between PvE content is for other digital CCGs; it’s expensive, it’s hard to make, and it gets consumed instantaneously,” he remarked. “For us, that we’re able to use all of these beloved comics as the baseline to build all of this PvE content from is such a great innovation.”