Are the cards in this game’s favor?
Sitting down and actually describing Hand of Fate 2 in this article was difficult. It had hack and slash action, it had tabletop elements, it was an RPG, and it managed to also mix in card-based gameplay. But just because it’s hard to pinpoint, doesn’t mean it’s not a great mash up in its own right.
I was informed before starting, that the game is still a year away, and yet despite that, everything showed progress and promise. While there are obvious rough spots, particularly in the action portion, the state of the game as it currently stands is commendable.
This time around, you’re playing as a badass with a long french braid. While she wields a sword and shield to start, the equipable weapons and armor that you can get during your adventure are back once more. I was able to end my demo with a powerful mace that, when you used its power attack, unleashed rays of light that stopped all nearby enemies, and allowed me to absolutely wreck them.
This wouldn’t have been possible in the first place if not for Hand of Fate 2’s new addition: my companion, Malaclypse. A questionable bard that rocks a guitar instead of a lute, he had the charismatic skills to help me during a random card encounter. A merchant wanted to sell me something, but I wasn’t having it. This peddler had something better. By choosing to let Malaclypse handle this exchange, he not only got the merchant to admit that they had this fancy two-handed mace, but also got the price down considerably.
During battle encounters, your companion also joins you and helps with their different abilities, be they buffs or brute strength (Malaclypse helped with ranged combat). And these situations can vary greatly, the developers said. During my demo, I had to fend off enemies and protect a goblin for a certain amount of time, survive hordes of skeletons, and defeat armored brutes. It was good to see some variety, as fighting the same way over and over again would obviously get dull. Still despite that promise of variety, the combat still felt bland, which is Hand of Fate 2’s biggest flaw so far.
All in all though, Hand of Fate 2 is shaping up to be a great sequel for fans of the original, as well as newcomers. While the combat needs some work, it still has plenty of time to improve. The same card dealing gameplay, the same story told through your luck of the draw, the same humor and fantasy and Arkham-esque combat you enjoyed from Hand of Fate is back. This time around though, you’re working for the enemy from the first game, so things might get a little dicey. Let’s hope development of the game doesn’t, because what they’re doing is working so far.