PAX AUS 2016: Hand of Fate 2

We get a bit patriotic here at Pixel Pop Network. We feel a swell of pride every time we’re given the opportunity to speak with an Australian game developer, even more so when they’ve already had a big success and are on their way to the second. So when we were asked if we wanted to catch up with Brisbane based Defiant Development and talk about Hand of Fate 2 (the sequel to the enormously successful Hand of Fate) at PAX AUS 2016 we squealed with delight.

I was met by Kim Allom who is the producer of Hand of Fate 2 and she took me through the new game, brought me up to speed on the story and let me kick some butt with a variety of weapons and combo’s.

The Dealer is back and he doesn’t seem too impressed. It looks like clawing back from banishment came at a price as he looks a bit worse for wear. But hey, let’s let bygones be bygones right? Hmm, I still don’t think I can trust him, not when the stakes are this high: life or death!

 

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Rather than re-invent the wheel, Defiant has take the original game and simply made it better in every way. While visually the game looks amazing, the tabletop portion of the game felt a lot more streamlined and fluid. For my play through of the game I was using a pre-made deck, however all the customisation and deck building of the original is back and I’m told, better than ever. Challenges play a much bigger part this time and will keep you busy tweaking that deck, exploring and engaging in combat in interesting and different ways. The main story has also been significantly beefed up and requires a lot more from players than simply moving through the deck.

I’m not going to offer up any spoilers here on the storyline, you’ll have to play the game for yourself, but I love the interesting twist Defiant have incorporated and I’m keen to see where it leads.

 

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Perhaps the most noticeable improvement (at least immediately in my time with the game) was the combat. Now don’t get me wrong, combat in the first Hand of Fate was okay but the combat I experienced in the sequel was top notch. Using an Xbox controller, combat was intuitive, fast and satisfying. While I’m often loathe to draw parallels I definitely felt a familiarity with the combat from the Assassins Creed titles. Quickly moving across the battle field, parrying attacks and responding with vicious combinations of my own was thoroughly engaging. Like its predecessor, Hand of Fate 2 allows you to equip a variety of weapons which in turn mix up combat styles. Equipping a large two-handed weapon for instance is slow but deals massive damage, while switching to duel-wielded blades does less damage but is incredibly fast.

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You don’t have to go alone this time either. Hand of Fate 2 introduces a variety of companions who can accompany our hero and help fight the endless hordes, each having their own abilities and combat style. This will come in very handy when fighting the multitude of new enemies that you’ll be facing in the game.

Defiant Development are lovers of tabletop gaming as well as digital, as such if you were to take a peak at the About Page on their website you’d notice the following paragraph down at the bottom: “Our games are born from the passions of our team, and right now our team is really into board games. Ask us about our collection some time“.  So here is some really, really awesome news: Defiant Development have teamed up with our good friends at Rule & Make to produce a Hand of Fate board game!  We also met up with Rule & Make at PAX and you can check out that article on our sister website – Australian Tabletop Gaming Network. We didn’t get any pictures as the game was still in ultra early development but Hand of Fate 2 is in good hands and we’re certain it will be excellent.

I really enjoyed my time at the Hand of Fate 2 booth at PAX this year and I hope we manage to get our hands on a review copy of the game soon.

Hand of Fate 2 is due for release early 2017 and will be available on Xbox One and Steam for PC.

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