Hand of Fate was a complete surprise when it launched last year. The title wonderfully mixed a card game along with action and adventure genres into one fun package. Actually, Hand of Fate represented a Dungeons and Dragons type experience without making the player sit down for hours in order to finish a campaign. The title didn’t ask for a commitment. In fact, some games could last 30 minutes while others could end in failure after just one turn. Hand of Fate was an unpredictable game that although it sometimes depended on luck, also required strategy, fast reflexes, and carefully thought out decisions.

The only criticism that I had with the original game was that the framerate was all over the place. No matter how fun the combat was, the slowdowns marred an otherwise awesome experience. Well, after my hands-on session with Hand of Fate 2, I can say that all of those problems have been resolved. Combat is a lot more fierce and still has a very Fable-like feel to it. There was never a slowdown and the frame-rate was solid throughout the demo.

The developers also added a few new features that make the sequel stand out compared to the original game. There are dice mini-games that have been added through the various campaigns. In these mini-games, players are given a number and they must roll that amount within two turns. Succeeding will lead to a reward while failure will bring something bad your way. Alongside a failure, you can re-attempt the mini-game and the required amount will be lower than it was before. There are also helper characters that will be able to aid you during battle. In my demo, there was a musician who used his weapon in order to buff my character as well as deal damage to the enemies on screen.

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Lastly, the objectives are more diverse this time around.  There was a mission where I had to survive until a portal opened and then head through it to succeed. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that was the objective and I just kept attacking enemies. If it wasn’t for a developer informing me that I needed to exit the portal, I would have been there forever. What I do like however is that the combat missions aren’t just “defeat all the enemies”, instead, the studio has added diversity that will make every campaign even more unpredictable than it already is.

My time with Hand of Fate 2 was short, but really sweet. As a huge fan of the original game, the sequel was one of my most anticipated indie titles at E3. While I won’t spoil the narrative for the second game (just in case readers haven’t completed the original), let’s just say that it’s a really clever and brilliant move from the developers. Every time you play Hand of Fate, the games are unpredictable, unexpected, and unforgettable. It’s one of my favorite indie games on Xbox One and the sequel seems like it will be better in every possible way.

Written by Andrew Gonzalez

Andrew Gonzalez has been playing video games since the NES. He’s owned basically every console since the Super Nintendo. When he’s not playing video games, Andrew is usually listening to music. Follow him on twitter @VersaVulture89 if you want to read about video games, movies, music, and comic books.

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