Hand of Fate 2 made another strong presence at Pax South 2017 in San Antonio, and to the surprise of all in attendance, included a new build with new features and attributes. Having played the game, myself at Pax West, and been incredibly impressed by it, I took it upon myself to purchase the first game, which was released on the PlayStation 4 in 2015.
Hand Of Fate, developed by Italian based Defiant Entertainment, is a role-playing action game that combines elements of actual real-time combat, and card-deck building. Players face off against a sinister dealer, who challenges you to play his game. The game involves hunting down several very dangerous enemies in a bid for power and great wealth. Players begin their game by selecting their cards, reading their attributes, and making decisions that will affect the outcome of each of the dozen or so missions.
When a card becomes active in combat, Hand of Fate warps into the card, transforming into a battlefield to which players can control their hero, engaging in active hand-to-hand combat. Through this combination of gameplay, players will take down incredibly dangerous enemies, or die trying as the game yields a very intense difficulty.
Hand of Fate 2 has added new features, adding refinements to the combat and the ability to battle through the adventure with an A.I Partner. This latest build of Hand of Fate 2 introduced me to a new villain, new minicamps, and more intense combat. Compared to the demo I played at Pax West in September of 2016, this was a significant upgrade.
My demo started off with Defiant staff showing me my card deck and choosing a recommended loadout. A few moments later, I was on my way. This particular mission had me tracking down the source of a severe famine that was plaguing the innocent villages of the land. I was immediately involved in making difficult choices on my journey. From offering gold to sacrificing food, each decision I made would have some kind of impact. Sacrificing gold would allow me to learn more about my upcoming travels, but would prevent me from acquiring new equipment. Sacrificing food would prevent the hungry pagans from doing me harm, but would lower my health and cause my character to starve to death.
Soon enough, I was taken into a combat scenario. Accompanying me on my quest was a former sailor Extrella, who fought with a sword and a pistol. The enemies were numerous and challenging. New to Hand of Fate 2 was the unexpected defense of wielding shields. When an enemy took too many hits, their shields would go up, and provide a tremendous defense. To conquer, I had to use my bash attack, which is new to the game compared to its predecessor. I had wished I had known sooner, as the enemy dug into my character’s flesh with swords and melee weapons.
As I fought, I noticed the smoothness and polish of the combat. It was, once again, incredibly exciting to parry, dodge, and make decisive strikes against my opponents. Having multiple hits in succession also yielded better results and perks to my character. My AI Partner handled herself very well in combat as well. With the final foe slain, I returned to the card deck to continue my journey.
Unfortunately, I had taken a huge beating during the last bout but had the chance to uncover any valuables through a minigame. The minigame was a pendulum, similar to an old-fashioned clock. If it landed on silver or gold metal plates, it would unlock something important. I had two chances, as I had an AI partner with me. Unfortunately, I failed both and was struck with misfortune. Later on, I had to roll dice to a certain degree to, once again, give me some kind of chance on my journey. My first attempt was unsuccessful, but I eventual rolled to the right number.
I came across another challenge, similar to the first game, where I had to choose a “success” card in retrieving an item. However, the cards were in a carousel that constantly kept spinning. Fortunately, I managed to pick the right card.
Eventually, I made it to my final target, the root of the famine, a Necromancer. I was wounded and at a disadvantage, but I plunged into the fray. I swung my sword at a variety of skeletal warriors. Just as I thought I was winning, the necromancer, which can have reanimated corpses, created more enemies.
I used a special mystical horn, which sent a barrage of arrows around me. Despite having used that several times, the Necromancer formed a shield. Even though i gave it my best efforts, I fell at the hands of my final target, with blood staining the ground red as it ran from my character’s body. With that, my demo was concluded.
Hand of Fate 2 is shaping up to be bigger, badder, and more challenging than the original. This is incredibly positive, as Hand of Fate 2 finds itself in the unique position of being a very distinct game, compared to the competition. Simply put, no other game is doing what the team of Defiant Studios is doing. I am incredibly pleased by what I played, despite my demoralizing defeat at the hands of my target.
Defiant Studios has pledged to have a new, updated build ready for play at the upcoming PAX EAST in Boston, MA. Like the game master from Hand of Fate 2, I eagerly look forward to the challenge!
Hand of Fate 2 is coming to PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 this year.