29/11/2017

☆ Review: Hand Of Fate 2 "Roll them bones" ☆ #GameDev #IndieGame #IndieDev

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Hand Of Fate 2 - PS4

When I was growing up in the 80’s and 90’s I would often visit my friend Lee’s house to play video games on his SEGA Master System.

For some reason, we played a lot of World Cup ITALIA 90 which was an awful game but nonetheless held our attention for countless afternoons after school.

Whilst playing on Lee’s Master System we would have to play in Lee’s brother’s bedroom as he had the only TV upstairs.

It was whilst in Lee’s brother’s bedroom that I discovered something called Dungeons & Dragons.


It turned out that Lee’s brother was a Dungeon Master (DM) and he had all sorts of awesome looking dice, books and figures that went with being a DM. 

I was fascinated by D&D from that point onwards. I pored over the books and the character creation sheets as I loved the idea of this alternate world which you could explore with mates and create your own stories.

The problem I had was that I didn’t have the confidence to join Lee and his brother’s D&D group as a newbie and I just admired from afar instead. 

I then discovered Fighting Fantasy books which kind of filled the gap as it meant that I could create my own journey through these awesome books, so it was a half step towards D&D without needing like-minded mates to play with. 

The recurring theme for, me was that I could never find anyone to play D&D with. I even bought the red basic starter edition but sadly no one ever wanted to play it with me!

The thing I loved about Fighting Fantasy books was swapping them with friends in the playground and it became a big thing for me in the late 80’s as me and my friends worked through these awesome books by Ian Jackson and Steve Livingstone. The only thing was that it was missing the social experience that came with D&D.

Then along came HeroQuest. HeroQuest was a D&D like a board game that was made by Games Workshop and it was awesome to play with mates when they came over to my house. It was a slightly watered down D&D but it was so much fun.

It was at this point in my life when my love for video games really took hold and I yearned for a game that could give me the dice rolling of a D&D style game along with the immersive experience of a video game.

Over the years there have been countless video games that were straight up RPGs and I’ve played plenty of those but the turn-based combat system never really got my attention. I’ve always wanted to play D&D with a real DM who gets me to roll the dice in order to decide my fate but also gives me the freedom in the battle to make my choices.

After all these years I think I have finally found a video game that satisfies my thirst for D&D whilst also giving me that special immersive experience that only video games can give you.


That video game is Hand Of Fate 2….

From the moment I loaded this game up, I knew I was going to love it.

It has a DM, it has Dice, it has Cards (like the ones in HeroQuest) and it has awesome real-time combat!

The game is played between you and the DM as he deals you cards that you turn over by moving your player piece onto each card. Each card then reveals a scenario or an event that you are experiencing on that journey or quest. Some events are dealt with by rolling virtual dice on the DM’s table and then attaining a target score.
Other times there will be elements which require you to make choices and other times there will be straight up combat which you are in full control of.

The combat scenarios are particularly engrossing as you are transported away from the DM’s table to the area where the battle begins and you plus potentially a companion will be left to fight it out to the death! 

At your disposal, you will have various weapons and equipment to aid you in your quest. These items come in the form of weapon cards that you can equip yourself with prior to entering the battlefield.

The overall flow of the game makes for a really thrilling experience that mixes all the coolest elements of D&D, Card Games and RPG video games. Throw into that mix some cool writing in the vein of the FF books and then you will understand why I have just stumbled across one of my favourite games of 2017!

The campaign in this game is split into 22 challenges and you opt into those challenges via a cool looking scale model that is situated in the DM’s ancient office.

The DM himself is intriguing as he tells you snippets of information about the game as you play through. He’s basically devoted to this mysterious game that you are playing and has spent the last 100 years refining the original (Hand Of Fate) and creating the game you play today (Hand Of Fate 2)


This game has really managed to steal me away from Hitman and I am now constantly thinking about my next HOF session. I’m around 3 challenges in and each one has been a learning experience as I understand the nuances of the gameplay a little better.

I also like the way the way that it’s split into challenges so that you can pick up the game and play for an hour and then feel like you’ve achieved something by completing a challenge. That really fits with the way I play video games nowadays as game playing time is limited due to kids, life and my wife.

It’s a game that doesn’t drown you in elaborate rules systems and it’s all the better for it. I’ve fallen off of many video games where I have been swamped with unnecessary rules and systems only to get mega confused and then not persevere with the game due to time constraints.

The one criticism so far of the game is the player creator system is pretty basic and it doesn’t feel like you are able to create a very customized character model. It’s a generic set of hairstyles and features compared to the likes of Fallout 4 and the like where you can pretty much create exactly who you want.


Summary:
For me, this game ticks a whole heap of boxes that I have never been able to tick off and I’m so glad that this game is now in my PS4 collection.

If you like the thought of playing in an atmospheric story-based game that draws you in with its looks and unique gameplay then I’d suggest that you pick up a copy of Hand Of Fate 2 right now.

Just one question……how did I miss out on Hand Of Fate 1!!!!

Anyway, I’m off to roll 3 dice to determine whether I’m successful in avoiding a possie of foul-mouthed Goblins, wish me luck!


RATING: ICE COOL

Ratings Explained
ICE COOL (Great Game Recommended)
MELTING (Just Falls Short Of Greatness)
MELTED (Not A Recommended Purchase)

Game Link: PS STORE
Dev Link: Defiant

















Review By Rich