Hey there! Lee from Defiant Development here, ready to give you the low-down on what we’ve been doing with Hand of Fate 2 lately.
I’ve had to bite my tongue on this one for a little while, but I’m happy to report that Hand of Fate 2, the card game that comes to life, will be releasing next year on PS4 and PS4 Pro. I’ve spent two conventions dancing around this question with a litany of non-answers so, if nothing else, this is a huge relief for me.
If you’re attending PlayStation Experience, you should swing by the Defiant Development booth! We’ve got a brand new demo showcasing the big features of Hand of Fate 2 — the Dealer’s Challenge Board, our powerful new deckbuilder, and the debut of our new companion character, Captain Estrella Fiore. More about her later.
So let’s talk about Hand of Fate 2! Like its predecessor, (Hand of Fate 1, available for purchase on all good Playstation Stores) Hand of Fate 2 mixes deck-building collectible card games, tabletop roleplaying, and third person combat. The player puts together a deck of cards representing fantastic encounters and magical equipment, which get folded in with the Dealer’s cards and laid out on the table like a dungeon.
As the player moves their piece around the board the cards flip over, revealing a challenge, a fight, or a continuation of the story. If the player ends up in combat the view flies into the card and the battle plays out in real time. If the player gets to the end of the challenge they unlock more powerful cards. If they lose they’ll have to start the challenge over again. In Hand of Fate, player progress is ultimately measured by the size of your deck, and the more cards a player has unlocked the more tools they have at their disposal to counter the Dealer’s challenges.
The first Hand of Fate told the story of a solitary hero, but in Hand of Fate 2 the player is assisted by a handful of AI companions. Companions aren’t just an extra blade (Or pistol, or hammer, or in the case of Malaclypse, a lute?) on the battlefield; they’ve got their own storylines and encounter cards and each has a unique way to break the rules on the tabletop.
Some of the most interesting parts of the original game emerged from the unexpected interaction between cards and equipment — a surprising continuation of the story, or a hidden narrative branch unlocked by a newly acquired piece of loot. Companions are a whole new variable for us to introduce to the mix and we can’t wait for you to explore their possibilities.
Let’s take a closer look at our most recently announced recruit: Captain Estrella Fiore. Estrella isn’t just the most stylishly swashbuckling companion we’ve announced so far (Seriously, look at that hair, that eyepatch!) she’s also potentially the most versatile. Her sword and pistol combo deals major damage but her real value becomes apparent once the player starts knocking enemies down. In Hand of Fate 2 players can quickly dispatch downed foes by activating cinematic finishing moves. But as cool as these attacks look, they’re slow and easily interruptible. That’s why it’s so handy having a furious pistol-wielding cyclops in your deck; Estrella shoots anyone attempting to interrupt the player’s coup de grace. Teamwork! Pow!
Most of our companions are eager to join the player’s quest, but Estrella’s motivations aren’t quite so clear cut. For starters she’s a high ranking Captain in the Imperial Army, one of the game’s new enemy factions and represented on the tabletop by the Steel suit. Players first encounter Estrella while they’re dealing with a mutual enemy, the Frost faction’s barbarian hordes. As long as the player remains on the Empire’s good side Estrella will be a powerful ally. But the heart of the Empire is rotten, and the player — and Estrella — may need to make some tough decisions in the future. It’s great to have a pistol wielding duelist watching your back. It’s another thing altogether to have them shooting you in it.
Estrella joins the ranks alongside the previously announced Malaclypse the Bard and Colbjorn the Barbarian and we’ve still got one more companion to reveal. That will have to wait for a future update, however. We don’t want to tip our hand too early.
(Holy cow. I think I made it through the entire blog post with only a single self-indulgent card idiom. That’s got to be a new company record)
Hand of Fate 2 is scheduled for release in the first quarter of 2017. For more information, check out our website, or our Twitter feed.