Back when we ran another certain website a strange card game/roguelike/action combat game made its way to Steam. It was Hand of Fate from Defiant Development and wasn’t like anything we’d ever played, except for the combat which was like several other games we’d already played. That wasn’t a big deal, because the mix of everything into one big stew ended up being a tasty package indeed. I tend to not follow Steam as close as I should so I wasn’t aware of a sequel in the works but last week it stopped being in the works and became a full-fledged release. In other words, it was a happy surprise to be playing Hand of Fate 2 over the weekend.
Hand of Fate 2 picks up pretty much where the last game wrapped up. Not story-wise, this one takes place 100 years after the first game. Gameplay-wise, however, you won’t have any problems jumping into this game if you’re a veteran of the first.
The Dealer will draw cards that hold your fate and place them on the table in a pattern which you can then explore like a dungeon. Each card has a different encounter on it, some with FTL-like events where you can pick your actions from a list, some with combat. The combat is real-time and pretty much a cut and paste job from the Rocksteady’s Batman: Arkham series or Shadow of Mordor/Shadow of War. You swing like an idiot and block when an icon appears above your opponents’ heads and, if you’re quick, pull off special moves once your hit meter reaches a certain point. I suck at this combat, but it’s easy enough to get the hang of that even I can make it through most fights without wanting to throw my laptop through a window.
The new game adds character customization (in a clever way), team members that can fight alongside you and offer you quests and whatnot, and a bunch of other new stuff:
- A world transformed – 100 years have passed since the Dealer was usurped and the Game of Life and Death gained a new master.
- 22 exciting new challenges that will push your deck-building skills to the limit – Hunt fiendish assassins, reunite star-crossed lovers or build up a fortress to withstand a raider assault!
- Enlist the aid of all new companion characters – team up with them in battle, or have them bend the rules of the boardgame in your favor!
- Hundreds of new encounters, artifacts and items to earn and upgrade.
- Enhanced action-RPG combat – shred foes with quick dual-wielded daggers or brutalize them with heavy two-handed hammers. Build up your combo meter to unleash powerful special attacks!
- Engage new foes united by all-new card suits – Cross swords with disciplined Imperial soldiers, purge corrupted mutants and fend off northern raiders.
If you loved the original Hand of Fate, this is probably old news to you and you’ve been playing since last week. If, like me, you liked the original but are easily distracted, the sequel is available now for PC/Mac/Linux on Steam.