One of last year’s bigger surprises for me was the action/role-playing game Hand of Fate, a unique mixture of card-turning and action-based segments where you could literally change your destiny with just a few simple moves. The game works with a unique concept and rolls with it – literally – as you build up for better cards and eventually become a true player for your adversary to fear.
So why stop there? Defiant Development has opted to return for even more of the same action with Hand of Fate 2. Although the game is only scheduled for PC, Mac and Linux at this point, we’re holding out hope for Xbox One and PS4 versions – namely because that’s where the original game excelled, at least as far as I’m concerned.
Like the original, Hand of Fate 2 is divided into two halves. The first once again introduces you to the stranger you played in the original, but many years later. He holds a grudge and wants to win a match again, so you agree to play him. However, this time around, you can make dialogue choices to control the conversation, and still go for a big risk to see how it goes. Hey, when you play the cards, sometimes you need to take a chance.
Card-playing is only part of the picture, as the other half relies on action sequences, where you can battle against enemies and see how you fare. How the action sequences play out depends on what cards you pull from the deck, so you never know what you’re going to get until you’ve pulled. Fortunately, the character we saw in action from the demo was more than ready to wipe out a few foes over the course of their turn.
Along the way, you’ll need to collect gold as you work your way up to the final objective, and gain some strength as a result. But you’re taking a big risk – if you bite the dust, you’ll lose everything you’ve gathered and have to start fresh.
Fortunately, you won’t be alone, as there are new cards where you can assign companions to help you along, providing you secondary abilities and having your back long enough to let you complete the battle. You’ll still need to literally play your cards right in order to survive, but it never hurts to have an ally, especially when you’re heavily surrounded. One personal favorite that was introduced during the demo was Malaclypse, who provided you with additional help via magic.
Strategy really is the name of the game here, as having the right cards can make all the difference for you. Plus, if you play them right, you’ll be able to pick up bountiful rewards in the process, making the chance you take all the worthwhile.
So far, the game looks like a big improvement over the original, even if the formatting seems quite familiar. As you can see from the trailer below, it definitely has a more polished look to it, along with a better variety of enemies. And, of course, the voiceovers are pretty sweet thus far, with a flair for the dramatic.
Hand of Fate 2 should definitely appeal to those who loved the first game, and maybe even draw in new players that would benefit from catching on to its concept. After all, it’s not every day you play a card game where you gamble with your life, is it?