Hand of Fate 2 is an exceptional game. Playing it on Switch makes it somehow, even better. Being able to play a game in this genre and of this level of quality on Nintendo’s portable console makes it even more enjoyable, which I honestly didn’t think was possible.
Hand of Fate 2 from Australia’s own Defiant Development is a brilliant combination of Dungeons & Dragons storytelling, card and dice tabletop mechanics and Batman Arkham combat. What holds it all together is incredible attention to detail and an obvious love of narrative.
Going into Hand of Fate 2 can be a bit daunting at first, but once you’re in, there’s every chance you’ll have a hard time getting out again.
Hand of Fate 2 Review Switch
Hand of Fate 2 was originally released in November 2017 for PC, PS4 and Xbox One and has now been ported to Switch. As mentioned, it’s a hybrid RPG, tabletop and action game that combines great elements from these genres and combines them in a stunning way.
When you begin, you’re introduced to The Dealer; a mysterious figure who forces you to play his game. As he deals cards, you move your token across them and turn them over to discover the challenge they hold.
Some are simple scenes told through text which require you to make a decision. Others are tests of skill and luck and some are third-person hack n slash combat. These disparate elements don’t sound as though they’d go together all that way but in Hand of Fate 2 they go like wine and cheese.
Each ‘level’ in Hand of Fate 2 features an overarching goal, with sub-goals discovered within the overturned cards. Some cards will hold a special token which can be won by meeting the card’s requirements. Often, these conditions are unknown and can only be won through trial and error.
It adds a level of replayability to the game. Especially considering that these tokens are how you earn new cards. Cards come in several flavours. There are events, equipment, food, life and more. Each card you reveal on the game board will hold an event for you to complete. Equipment, food and life can be equipped prior to beginning each level.
The best part though is that before each level, you get to design which cards will appear. You can design the challenges you’ll be facing and try to tip the scales in your favour.
You can’t guarantee your own victory though, as The Dealer will be trying to trip you up at every turn. His actions and events will force you to lose life, gold and food and if you’re not careful your game will easily come to an end.
When you face a challenge, you’ll oftentimes be forced to choose a card from a group. Some will mean success while others, failure. Choose incorrectly and not only will you fail the challenge, you’ll lose part of your life.
The most action-packed and involved challenges are all played out in real-time though. In these instances, your hero and his or her sidekick will battle against a group of enemies using Batman Arkham inspired combat.
Players can attack, counter, dodge and stun at the press of a button and different enemy types have different strengths and weaknesses. If you’re able to get enough hits in a row without taking damage yourself, you can unleash your ultimate attack and deal huge amounts of damage.
In combat, your weapons and armour are decided by what you’ve equipped in your inventory. Your inventory is, in turn, informed by the cards you’ve added to and earned from the deck. As you play Hand of Fate 2, in every situation and at every turn, you realise that everything in the game is connected and all comes back to you, your planning and a bit of luck.
Should you manage to make your way through the deck unscathed, you’ll unlock the next level, any cards you’ve earned and the chance to do it all over again with more knowledge. Repeating levels is necessary in order to unlock everything that Hand of Fate 2 has to offer.
Keep it Going
With Hand of Fate 2 launching on Switch some months after other platforms, you’re getting a more complete experience from the word go. Hand of Fate 2 on Switch includes all of the previously released content. The includes the endless mode, which sees you making your way through card after card for as long as you can without dying.
However, the absolute best thing about playing Hand of Fate 2 on Switch, is playing it on the Switch itself. In TV mode, you’re getting the same basic experience. But with handheld mode, you’re able to take Hand of Fate 2 with you and play anywhere.
It’s yet another example of the Switch version being better, simply by being portable. Hand of Fate 2 is perfect to play while you’re out and about and it looks immaculate on the Switch’s smaller screen.
If you’re a Switch owner and an RPG or tabletop fan, there is absolutely no reason for you to not own Hand of Fate 2. It’s a truly exceptional title that shines even brighter on Nintendo’s console.
Hand of Fate 2 was reviewed on Switch using a digital code provided by the developer.
Game Title: Hand of Fate 2
- Deep, engaging roleplaying - 8.7/108.7/10
- A true digital tabletop experience - 9.6/109.6/10
- Even better on Switch - 9.4/109.4/10