Hand of Fate 2 Image
Metascore
82

Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 14 Ratings

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  • Summary: Hand of Fate 2 is a dungeon crawler set in a world of dark fantasy. Master a living board game where every stage of the adventure is drawn from a deck of legendary encounters chosen by you.

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Hand of Fate 2 Trailer - Nintendo Switch Launch Trailer
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. 100
    Defiant Development has proven that Hand of Fate was neither a one-off hit, nor that it couldn’t be expanded on in a meaningful way. Hand of Fate 2 retains the aesthetics and soul of the original game, but builds on the world’s lore, its mechanics, and its art in such a way that the two games feel generations apart. As I said at the start, this is one of the best games Australia has ever produced. Now begins the agonising wait for the next stroke of genius from this talented team.
  2. 95
    Not content with jut polishing up the formula of the original game, Hand of Fate 2 takes a step forward and defines what a sequel should be. Improvements abound, challenges await, and every single failure begets the promise of a bigger success, if you’d chance your fate in the cards.
  3. Nov 22, 2017
    90
    A truly immersive, inspired leap into a world full of life. Hand of Fate 2 is a defiantly different powerhouse fuelled by pure imagination. Speak to The Dealer, he has a story to tell, and he needs your help writing it.
  4. Nov 10, 2017
    80
    Your fate is decided by a scattering of cards across a table; dice rolls mean death or fortune and your next step could warp you to an insurmountable brawl. Hand Of Fate’s mix of strategic planning, random chance, and meaty combat is both rewarding and addictive. Fighting lacks complexity and doesn't quite stand up to the eventual repetition, but this game within a game is still well worth your time overall.
  5. Nov 22, 2017
    80
    Quotation forthcoming.
  6. Nov 20, 2017
    80
    If the combat were just a touch more dynamic, Hand of Fate 2 would be essential. As it stands, it’s still a great sequel and perfect for anyone wanting the thrills of an RPG without feeling loss. Defiant constantly prod players into the unknown and the results are always fun and rewarding.
  7. Nov 19, 2017
    70
    The tabletop element of Hand of Fate 2 is a blast. The variety in the objectives forces you to build new decks and develop new strategies on how to tackle each new challenge. Some of the challenges are designed so cleverly that you’ll have to discard some previous knowledge of how you thought the game worked in order to solve them. Not only this, but the way you unlock the cards are fair and addictive, adding hours of replay value as you try to acquire all of the gold tokens. But the quality of the overall experience is held back by the repetitive combat.

See all 16 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 1 out of 2
  1. Nov 19, 2017
    9
    If there was one thing I heard people make fun of from elementary school to present day, it was people that played Dungeons and Dragons. ItIf there was one thing I heard people make fun of from elementary school to present day, it was people that played Dungeons and Dragons. It was limited to the nerdiest of the nerds, where people would dress up and role-play as their character in this made up story. I’ve never had the opportunity to play a full on game of D&D, but I’ve played plenty of board games and video games that were inspired by it. One of the biggest struggles in playing (in my experience, and partially why I never got to) was finding a Dungeon Master, and a party with a schedule that matched your own. So what if a video game could provide that piece for you?

    Hand of Fate 2 doesn’t exactly fill the role of DM, although it does something close. The game is played out based on the cards you select prior to starting each mission, which determines the encounters, equipment, characters, and spoils for your journey. The DM character then explains the situations, and you read each card’s situation as you go. If you are completely oblivious as to what you should be choosing for each level, you can have the game auto-select for you. But as the game points out, the AI is only so good when compared to an experienced player. It can mean choosing an encounter with great equipment as a reward opposed to a “freebie” card where you don’t lose anything, but don’t earn much else either.

    You’ll have card stats such as hit points and food that determine whether you live or die. Run out of food, and traversing the map will kill you unless you find more as each step damages you. Other stats like fame will allow you to wield equipment that required you meet a certain threshold. You’ll have gold for purchasing things such as healing, food, weapons and armor, as well as for the various encounters you run into during your travels. You never know when money will serve you better than your sword. Everything is easy to keep track of, as it’s always shown on the screen.

    Quite honestly, the card based part of this title is more fun than I expected. You’ll run into encounters where you’ll have to roll dice to succeed, use a pendulum to avoid combat, or choose the correct option in a dialogue tree. But the section you see throughout this review in the screenshots is the combat. This is a pretty large part of the game, albeit not always the best choice depending on the situation. Diplomacy is often not best executed on the battlefield.

    Combat is simple enough if you’ve played AAA action games in the past few years. In particular, it reminds me of Rocksteady’s latest series. You have a normal attack, a counter/defense button when you see green, and an evade button for when you see red. There is also a bash button to lower defenses if the enemy is covered in stone or has a shield up, for example. Earn enough hits without taking damage and you unlock the equipped weapon’s special ability, which can be merely a critical hit, or it can be something like an AoE attack. There will also be times when you’re prompted with a button to finish the enemy, and you get a neat little animation dependent on the weapon you you’re using.

    While the fighting works, it could definitely use something to make it stand out. I appreciate the different characters that you bring into battle, and the skills they offer against your own, but having more options in this mode would be nice. Something along the lines of Shin Megami Tensei‘s battles, where demons can give up or you can befriend them through a dialogue would really set this apart. The combat works, but adding something to make it a bit more unique compared to what other action games offer would really drive this game home.

    If you enjoy story based games mixed with action and lots of luck, this may be the perfect game for you. With a story you create yourself each time you play, mixing so many things people love about the physical board game with present day action games, it’s hard to not fall in love. Hand of Fate 2 is going to be overlooked by people because it’s card-based – don’t let that prevent you from trying this. There’s plenty to keep you coming back, and you never have to worry about anyone’s schedule to play it, other than your own.
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  2. Dec 8, 2017
    4
    This game could've been so good. The concept seems great. It was described to me as a "card-based rogue-like dungeon crawler with action RPGThis game could've been so good. The concept seems great. It was described to me as a "card-based rogue-like dungeon crawler with action RPG combat and CYOA-style mechanics." Sounds right up my alley! Unfortunately, the awful balancing, terrible combat and total reliance on luck-based difficulty just make HoF2 alternatingly frustrating and boring.

    The combat itself is strictly Simon Says where you mash attack until a prompt appears, and then press the button the game tells you to. It's incredibly stale almost immediately and feels like a half-assed attempt at ripping off the Batman games. I thought that there would be some kind of exploration or something in these little battles but nope, you are in a circle and you fight enemies. That is literally it. After playing for a while, you begin to dread seeing combat cards more than any other, just because they halt the ACTUAL game completely for upwards of a minute at a time. Every enemy takes at least 5-6 hits to kill no matter what weapon you are using, some taking more like 9 or 10. And don't even get me started on bosses with armor that you have to bash against for 45 seconds or more just so you can actually start damaging them. It's a horrible slog from the very first fight and the more you play the worse it gets. The only time you will ever lose is because you get sick of it and just start mashing in frustration.

    So then since there is no actual difficulty in the combat, how does HoF2 challenge the player? Well, it doesn't. This game's idea of difficulty amounts to giving you 4 cards that fail you and 1 card that doesn't, and then making you pick at random. Or maybe giving you 3 dice and telling you to roll a 15. Or maybe just littering the map with an absurd number of trap cards, because the devs want to... punish exploration? Yeah, I don't get it either. There is zero strategy and the vast majority of the time that you lose, it will not be your fault. I grew up playing D&D and game books like Forest of Doom, so I'm no stranger to RNG-based systems, but HoF2 consistently feels unfair in a way that those other games never did. Being forced to grind the same mission 4-5 times in a row just so you can actually complete it and get your stupid gold token is the exact opposite of fun, and only serves to make the game grow staler even faster than it would without this crap.

    Basically, if you are playing for the tabletop aspect, I can't recommend this game. It's too grindy, unfair and repetitive to be fun, and the experience is constantly being interrupted by the subpar combat. But I can't recommend it to fans of action RPGs either. I honestly don't know who this game is supposed to be for, or why anyone would play it. It's probably the most disappointing game I played in 2017.
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