PAX AUS Indies 2016: Hand of Fate 2

Feature article

My play experience with the original Hand of Fate was somewhat limited but I enjoyed a lot of what the game had to offer. There were some areas that weren’t as strong as others but were potentially fixable for a second iteration, which made me very excited to take a peek at Hand of Fate 2. Thankfully I was able to do more than just have a peek and instead I was set up with a demo of their new game followed by a developer interview to answer all of my pressing questions.

Lets get something out of the way, Hand of Fate 2 was very impressive. It maintained the atmosphere, narration and presentation that made the first game so memorable, but added a layer of depth, interactivity and polish to the preexisting core mechanics of the game. Perhaps more impressive was the developers attitudes towards the original product they had created and their intention with its sequel. They were so open about flaws and shortcomings of the first game and they seemed to totally understand how to create a better experience with a second iteration. Once my demo and interview wrapped up, Hands of Fate 2 became one of only a few games I actively recommended for people to check out at the convention.

For those unaware, the idea behind the Hand of Fate series is to create a hybrid deck-builder and third-person brawler experience. Your journey unfolds in front of you in DnD style as a mysterious dungeon master/narrator deals the cards that turn into your dungeons, encounters, foes, allies and loot. You build your own deck as well as the deck you end up encountering but the order with which you encounter those cards is random. Whenever you venture into enemy territory the game swaps perspectives and you fight off your attackers with third-person, Batman Arkham-esque combat.

While we are on that subject, the combat is one of the areas with which the game has far surpassed the quality of its predecessor. The environments you battle in looks gorgeous comparatively but the increased depth of combat is what really makes me happy. Improved animations, better flow, more options (such as a dodge, finisher attack, shield break, dual wielding and more) as well as larger enemy variety made the combat more engaging and less mindless. Differing enemy attack patterns and environmental hazards also played a role in making the combat more dynamic and forces the player to be more adaptive.

Keep your eyes on Hand of Fate 2 because from what I’ve seen and heard the game is shaping up real nicely. I will be actively following this game’s development and if you want to as well you can find the game’s website here.

Begin your journey and let the cards uncover your destiny when Hand of Fate 2 releases on Xbox One and PC in early 2017.