Posted June 17, 2016 by Andrew Cathie in Feature

E3 2016: Hand of Fate 2 Preview

Hand of Fate had a lot of problems when it came out, the worst of which was a very rough combat system, but it quickly became a cult hit among its fan base and was recently included as a free title in Microsoft’s Xbox Games with Gold. When I found Defiant Developments in the Xbox booth at E3 I knew I had to try out Hand of Fate 2 to see how it had improved on Hand of Fate.

Hand of Fate 2 plays in the same manner as the original Hand of Fate, with you progressing through a gameboard made of up cards from a prepopulated deck. Each turn you need to select a card to move to and flip it over if it’s facing down. The flipped card now reveals what is going to happen to you, be it meeting a fortune teller who is warning you of impending doom (that she will only tell you about if you pay her, of course) or coming to a battle against some corrupted villagers who have become monsters. In both of these situations, you are given multiple options on how to proceed, and these choices can affect the game in many ways. In my case, I chose to fight the corrupted villagers, earning me the trust and gratitude of the remaining villagers who gifted me with food. However, I could have left them alone and not risked being harmed in battle. There are more choices to make then ever in Hand of Fate 2 and the impact they have on your overall experiences helped engage me in the game.


The main criticism I had of Hand of Fate was that the combat system was slow, clunky and quite painful to play. It detracted from the overall experience, resulting in me playing less of the game than I think Defiant would have liked. Hand of Fate 2 has completely overhauled the base combat system, resulting in something faster and more polished than what was seen in Hand of Fate. The mechanics remain the same, with a standard swing, parry and evade, but now everything works smoothly and faster than before, resulting in battles that are fun to play. Additionally, you now have charged weapon abilities to use in battle, as well as companions who can assist you both in and out of combat. The combat is vastly improved overall and definitely won’t be holding the experience back this time.

As I played through the demo, I found that there was more variety to the encounters that I found than in Hand of Fate and more mini-games to be found all. The greater variety helped keep the demo fresh in my play through, and this could also help with longevity throughout the full experience.

As I was told by the games creative director Morgan, Hand of Fate 2 builds and perfects the experience that Hand of Fate was meant to provide, and from my relatively short demo time I can definitely agree that it has improved. Hand of Fate 2 is more of what was seen in Hand of Fate, but it has been improved across the whole experience and is a pretty promising title. I’d suggest keeping your eyes out for its release in early 2017.

Andrew Cathie

Rocket Chainsaw's premier Fantasy-loving Editor. I basically play anything and everything that looks like it could be fun or interesting.


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