By Sam Coles:
There are few games that stand out in the industry, but if you delve into the indie market you’ll find some that stand out. That is what Hand of Fate 2 does with its interesting concepts; think of it as a mixture of a tarot card reading, Dungeons and Dragons and a sprinkle of Arkham Asylum’s combat. What we get is something truly unique and deeply engaging which will keep you hooked with each scenario.
Hand of Fate 2 doesn’t really have a primary focus when it comes to a story as you are making your own story with the card system. How it works is that you are thrown into an area and presented with a scenario which you can either tackle it head one with combat or you can take the passive route and avoid violence entirely. When you are presented with the situation the dealer will give you several cards which tip the altercation in your favour or cripple your abilities. This system is great as it keeps things fresh and unpredictable as well as making you feel weak because it can negatively affect you and have to work around these tweaks. What I like about this system is that it’s not about violence because you can negotiate with characters you encounter on your travels, whether that is paying them off or using your sharp conversation skills to worm your way out of a tense situation.
Not to say it’s all about staring at a card dealer throughout your play time, if you thirst for blood you’ll be thrown into hack and slash combat scenarios which are good and serviceable if not by the numbers if you’ve played and hand to hand combat game *cough* *cough* Batman. Combat is very much like the Arkham games where you’re in an arena where you’re surrounded by enemies and have your light and heavy attacks coupled with a counter which you can use when enemies telegraph their attacks. It’s not bad by any means and it gets the job done, but it is the same attack engine we have seen time after time since Batman Arkham Asylum released all the back in 2009.
Visually the game looks pretty good; it runs on the Unreal 4 Engine which looks fantastic with decent looking environments and beautiful lighting. However the same cannot be said for the character models which look very goofy with their eyes and body proportions that look like two rolled up carpets leaning on petrol pump, plus their faces are too clean lacking blemishes.
Overall Hand of Fate 2 is a fantastic game with a unique hook with the tarot card system that will keep you guessing with each encounter. If you have a gaming PC or PS4 get this game as it is not terribly expensive and you’ll have hours of gameplay to keep you occupied with this unique gameplay style, yes the combat is by the numbers but that is just a fraction of what this game has to offer.