Posted November 6, 2016 by Andrew Cathie in Feature

PAX Aus 2016: Hand of Fate 2 Hands-on Impressions

Back at E3 2016 I happened across Defiant Development head Morgan Jaffit as he showed off the latest build of the sequel to the incredibly successful deck building/third person combat game Hand of Fate. It was there that I got a taste of the improved combat system, new companions and larger variety of encounters that you can expect to see in Hand of Fate 2. This weekend at PAX Australia 2016 I got the chance to try a new pre-alpha build of the game and go hands-on with some of the new mechanics.

The level I chose, one of twenty two that will be in the full game, introduced a brand new mechanic to Hand of Fate 2: Fame. Previously in Hand of Fate you could get lucky early in a level and draw an incredibly powerful weapon, leaving you overpowered for the remainder. To balance things out a bit, Fame was introduced as a gateway to make you earn the use of extremely powerful legendary weapons. My objective was to gain enough fame by the end of the level to use a legendary hammer against the boss. As I completed acts of bravery, like saving villagers from burning houses and fighting off bandits, I gradually made a name for myself, growing in fame. I eagerly equipped the hammer as soon as I had enough fame, battering enemies around me as I walloped them with great force. The best part of the Fame mechanic was that it allowed the final battle to be built around the use of this legendary weapon, and also meant that I didn’t end up overpowered early and lose concentration and grow bored as I destroyed everything in my path. It’s an interesting new mechanic and one that I feel will benefit the overall game design in Hand of Fate 2.


Throughout all of this I was reminded of the improved combat mechanics in Hand of Fate 2. Controls are more responsive than they were in the original Hand of Fate and there are more varied enemy attacks than previously. Animations are a bit less stiff and combat has a better flow. The big inclusion to combat is the new companions that are included in Hand of Fate 2 and in this demo I got to try a new one, Colbjorn. Colbjorn is a big, hulking companion that wields two swords, hits heavily and knocks enemies back. Inside of combat he was like a battering ram, knocking enemies around and stunning them so that I could wade in and deal some killing blows. Outside of combat, he also brought me an extra dice roll in any encounter that required it. With the promise of more companions to come, each with unique abilities, it’s plain to see that Hand of Fate 2 is going to have much more variety than the original game.

Overall, my time with Hand of Fate 2 was positive, just as it was at E3 2016. Defiant Development continue to impress me with each showing of the game, as they build on the base created with Hand of Fate by adding new mechanics, companions and encounters, and by improving other aspects like the combat, animations and graphics. Hand of Fate 2 looks like it will be a highly interesting and fun game when it releases for PC and Xbox One in Q1 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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