What We Already Know
Not much. The game was announced in November 2009 as a "an innovative, online, 3D game based on an extremely popular IP," which actually doesn't tell you more than the title of the game. The title was at E3, although we missed it amidst the chaos, and we finally took the time to sit down with it at Comic-Con.
What We're Seeing Now
To be honest, the game didn't look bowl-me-over impressive at E3 earlier this summer, and since we already have Magic Online, and Magic: The Gathering - Duels of the Planeswalkers, do we really need another Magic title? Hardcore Magic players would probably say yes, but the more casual players out there would probably say, "Er ... what's Magic?"
Magic: The Gathering - Tactics falls on the casual side of both of those games, presenting a simple, stylized entry into an expanded version of Magic. It's turn-based, has five colors of mana, and you play as a Planeswalker, just like the card game. However, instead of having a library that you shuffle, all of the cards in your collection are made available to you at once. This is called your Spellbook.
Mana starts at one and increases with every turn (randomly, based on the spellbook), and gameplay consists of moving your Planeswalker and casting different spells, based on how much mana you have available. Spells have power and health levels next to them, . A bar at the top of the screen tells you whose turn it is, or what's coming up next. You'll see things like a Mana Storm slide down the pipe, which gives random amounts of mana to both players.
The goal is, of course, to grind the other Planeswalker into the dirt. You do that through your spells, and for the first time ever, your Planeswalker can actually directly attack and do physical damage. You move throughout the playfield (both spells and the Planeswalker), Environments are based on mana, and are roughly medium sized and broken up into movement squares.
There will be a robust single player campaign that will actually allow you to level up your Planeswalker, giving you extras like more spell slots, and of course, plenty of multiplayer. 1 v 1 to start, and they're hoping for 2 v 2 as well. Spells themselves are rendered to look like the card artwork that they are based on, and in some cases they will even pose the same way.
The game also includes an auction house, to sell and purchase cards (probably using event passes as currency), and you can buy additional booster packs with rares, commons, and uncommons to use in your deck. The Comic-Con build was all-new, and it caught my eye a lot more than it did at E3. The game launches in the Fall for the PC and the PlayStation 3, but hardcore and casual players alike will probably continue to reach for Duels before they try this title.