Hands of Fate 2 is coming along nicely from our last sit down with the game at PAX Prime. The team continues to build out encounters and create a solid mix of card game strategy with action RPG encounters. This hybrid makes for some great player choices. For those who have not played Hands of Fate before, the game combines a board game type strategy against the Dealer who will put you through a series of card reading encounters. These escalate into an action RPG style encounter with full on character combat.
This time around the Dealer returns for a second run at the player. The game has about twenty-two challenges and over one hundred encounters to play through. The dealer puts out a series of cards on the board and you must play through each one. Objectives range from rescuing captured soldiers to finding monsters hidden in the wilderness. In the story arc we played you fought against some northern barbaric raiders.
There are four companions in the game to help you out. I chose the bard-like character because he allowed me some extra help on the cards. In combat, he was not the strongest help, but did well in terms of the game overall. Our mission was to rescue some soldiers from these barbarians. In turn when we got to the boss fight at the end they would help us out. There were twelve cards to move through on the board. You move your token onto each card and reveal an encounter. You can decide what to do in the moment through a dialogue screen. We met up with a merchant to trade and get better items, but you also must be careful where you spend your gold. As it turns out, we only could save four of the soldiers, not all five needed for the challenge. So we went into the boss fight with four.
Once you completed all twelve of the cards on the board game, Hands of Fate shifts you into a full RPG combat mode scenario. This part of the game plays similar to Dark Souls. Your character and companions stand ready to face down a horde of barbarians and a boss. The combat mechanics are easily adaptable to most RPG players. Attacks and dodges can be woven into a solid fight. Using the shield was a bit tricky and blocking was a little tough. The barbarians charged and we were in the melee quickly. The good thing about companions is they will fight on their own. You do not need to worry about choosing their attack either. So the bard used his influence and magic to hold off foes. He was not the best in the fight, but kept the soldiers and my character on solid ground with buffs.
The encounter played out well, I almost wished it was a bit longer as the RPG elements are really fun in the game. Afterwards, you are ported back to the Dealer to begin another round of travels using the card system. The demo was short, but Hands of Fate 2 has a lot to offer players. If you have not played the original now is a good time to pick it up. Closed Beta for Hands of Fate 2 is starting up next month. The game is also set to launch on consoles this year. With more DLCs planned out post launch and the team working heavily to get ready for beta, this is definitely a game to watch. The combination of board game and cards is a fun journey on its own. When you mix in action combat, then Hands of Fate 2 delivers a unique package for any player.