Leap of Fate

Know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em

PCPOWERPLAY - - Preview - WILKS DANIEL

W e’re not sure but we have an inkling that Aus­tralian de­vel­oped in­die game Hand of Fate may have slightly in­flu­enced the de­vel­op­ment of Leap of Fate. Leav­ing aside the ob­vi­ous sim­i­lar­i­ties in the names of the games, both ti­tles also fea­ture a me­chanic in which the ran­domly gen­er­ated lev­els and the over­all mis­sion struc­ture are con­jured us­ing a pack of game spe­cific cards fea­tur­ing en­e­mies, shops, loot and the like. Aside from the fact that Leap of Fate is a twin stick shooter and Hand of Fate is a hack and slash ac­tion game, the other ma­jor dif­fer­ence be­tween the two Fates is that whereas Hand of Fate utilised cards for all as­pects of the game from struc­ture through to re­wards, Leap of Pate in­stead uses the cards only to cre­ate new lev­els to fight through.

Play­ers take the role of one of four cy­ber­punk tech­no­mages (the early ac­cess code only fea­ture a sin­gle playable char­ac­ter at the mo­ment) un­der­go­ing tri­als in the Cru­cible of Fate to dis­cover if they are in fact the most pow­er­ful mages around. The tri­als take the form of a se­ries of ran­domised gauntlets made up of en­coun­ters gen­er­ated via a mys­ti­cal tarot deck. Each card fea­tures ei­ther com­bat or a chance to up­grade in some way us­ing the mana ac­crued through killing en­e­mies. Com­plet­ing a trial re­quires the player to shoot their way through cards un­til they can reach the exit card marked with a stylised eye. If they can de­feat the com­bat chal­lenge on the exit card, play­ers are re­warded with an up­grade and sent on to the next, more dif­fi­cult chal­lenge.

Other than com­bat, cards can fea­ture shops al­low­ing play­ers to buy more life, power or keys (used for open­ing some re­ward chests), ran­dom re­ward rooms that must be un­locked with a key and can gift the player with mana, karma (the re­source used for con­tin­ues), health, keys or skill up­grades, or skill up­grade rooms. These fi­nal rooms con­fer a per­ma­nent up­grade to the char­ac­ter that per­sists through death, al­low­ing the player to slowly be­come more pow­er­ful over time even though the game fea­tures per­madeath (un­less you have enough karma for a con­tinue) and forces you to start from the be­gin­ning ev­ery time.

Com­bat, even at this stage, is ex­tremely fast and very sat­is­fy­ing, with a ba­sic at­tack, and two spe­cial abil­i­ties per char­ac­ter. It’s also ex­tremely chal­leng­ing. In its cur­rent state the game tells you that play­ing on easy is the way to go, and even then get­ting past the first trial is a chal­lenge, let alone mak­ing through the sub­se­quent tri­als. Even though the skill tree up­grades are rel­a­tively small and it­er­a­tive, there is still a pal­pa­ble sense of progress to be found in the con­stant cy­cle of death and restart­ing, with each up­grade get­ting you a lit­tle fur­ther. Hope­fully by the time the fi­nal code is re­leased we’ll have died enough and bought enough up­grades that we’ll be able to make it to the end. Fin­gers crossed.

DEVEL­OPER CLEVER PLAYS STU­DIO PUB­LISHER CLEVER PLAYS STU­DIO DUE EARLY AC­CESS

www.clever-plays.com My brain chakra is more

of a mauve colour

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