I was a fan from the first game in 2015, it had a few flaws but it was different and addictive. The dealer from Hand of Fate 2 starts with a bold statement “Each element of the game has been improved.” This talkative character isn’t lying. Our dealer pulled out the review card so let’s take a look at my impression about this card building action game.
- The basic gameplay remains the same and is the strong point from developer Defiant’s game. Narrative and mechanics have been greatly improved and now feature even more differences. The fact that you don’t know what card will be coming next provides some luck-based but addictive gameplay. The mechanic of risk and reward is pretty unique, even for the deck-building genre. All the small and big choices you make will have consequences in short and long play sessions, giving lots of replay value too.
- Story has a lot more meaning in Hand of Fate 2 with a more connected campaign. You have around 20 missions that keep giving you story elements, it is also really fun getting to know your companions. (Not mandatory) You can choose how far you want to go with the story from Hand of Fate 2, if you just want to play the game without having to read or hear dialogue than that’s totally possible too. The mini-card-stories that randomly pop up in the path are surprisingly interesting and provide some great text-based adventures.
- Visually the game looks very atmospheric, you immediately know ‘this is Hand of Fate” something that many games miss: personality. Variation is key and the game uses many different environment to keep things fresh. Developer Defiant clearly put more time and love in creating a much more believable and consistent
- A big flaw from the first Hand of Fate was the basic combat system, it has been improved, the dealer has promised that, so it’s true! Sadly enough it remains a little too basic though. I am glad with the improvements, especially the companions are a welcome new feature. Fighting enemies continues to be a dodge and attack approach while building your combo meter to do a more powerful attack. Hand of Fate 2 has more enemy variation and weapons so it surely spices up the replay value.
- Bad luck? Remains bad luck… it can be really frustrating to have bad luck in Hand of Fate. More than halfway through a mission or even more? Die and you will have to redo everything. Sometimes dying is out of your control because the cards are just out to get you. It’s something you slightly control while building your deck but you will have to live with the fact that not everything is in your control.
- One thing that annoyed me a lot was the constant visual clipping errors. Enemies going through environments, falling through rocks or wooden crates, it doesn’t really destroy the gameplay but it hurts the immersion and overall visual look. Every game has these issues but Hand of Fate 2 has it quite a lot.
[8.3/10] Developer Defiant brought us a more complex and polished Hand of Fate that improves each and every aspect. It is a brilliant deck-building action game that truly is one-of-a-kind on Xbox.
Dev: Defiant Publisher: Defiant
Played on: Xbox One X | LifeisXbox received a digital review code, provided by Stride PR. Dae Jim played the first Hand of Fate for 9 hours and Hand of Fate 2 for 11 hours.