Choose your Fate in a world where Old Wood meets the Dungeon Gate as you deal damage to over 100 different monsters that stand in your way. Before beginning your journey you must select a character to play and a pet to accompany you through your travels. Although there are many different types of weapons to wield, you can also take out your enemies or evade death with several different defensive, offensive, healing, and escaping spells. Along the way you can collect over 400 different items including weapons, accessories, and armor to sell for money or keep and upgrade. Every level you enter is randomly generated to offer a unique experience through each stage of the game, and features such environments as mines, dungeons, tunnels, and caverns.
Fate, simply put, is one of the best PC games released. It's elegantly designed and hopelessly addictive. The core gameplay is pretty easy to grasp. Fate is basically a single-player Diablo clone. From the dungeon-crawl premise and town portal spells to the inventory management system, Fate will remind you of Blizzard's classic hack-and-slash fest. But it's unfair to simply classify this game as nothing more than a remake of Diablo; there are some significant differences between the two games that make Fate an even better single-player experience.
First, there's your pet sidekick. When you start the game, you choose to bring either a cat or a dog along with you. Little Fluffy (yes, you can name your pet) isn't just for show, either. It's a crucial part of the game because they gain levels and fight alongside you -- and they never die. When a pet's hit points reach zero they just run around in circles and flee the area until you heal them. Most importantly, however, is the fact that you can feed them fish (which you have to catch yourself) to transform them into creatures that can do serious damage. Different fish transform the pet into different creatures, so while some may turn your little terrier into a wyvern, another may turn it into a dire unicorn or a poisonous spider. Usually a transformation only lasts from two to 10 minutes but it can mean the difference between life and death in a tough fight.
The character system also adds a lot of custom options. There are no base classes such as warrior, monk, or wizard. As you amass fame and experience you choose precisely what kind of character you want to make by choosing to place experience points wherever you wish. If you want a magic-wielding character, just continue to boost the magic trait as well as the magic attack and defense skills. Want a tough fighter type? Just add experience points to the appropriate traits. This loose class system means that anyone can wield magic or carry a huge double-bladed axe if they meet the item's skill requirements, and is a fantastic way to balance the game. A great melee weapon usually requires a high strength trait to wield, so if you're pumping points into magic you won't be able to use it.
The items, from the weapons to the vast array of armor and trinkets, are all randomly generated (as are the dungeon levels), so you will never get bored with seeing the same items over and over again. The dungeon level tiles do get a tad repetitive, but the layouts and the designed are all created on the fly.
There's also a twist when you die. The game gives you three options: you can restore yourself to full health at the same dungeon location, but you take a significant hit to experience and fame; you may opt to get transported to a "nearby" level for a fee in gold, or you can get transported three levels up (closer to the exit) but you leave your gold behind. It certainly leaves you with plenty to think about after you bite the bullet.
If you're after a deep and complex storyline, Fate probably isn't the game for you. Fate is all about amassing loot and turning your hero into a famous adventurer. You start off in the town of Grove, which has a few inhabitants from whom you attain quests. After you get a few quests (usually involving finding an item or killing a dungeon level boss and his bodyguards) you head off into the dungeon to take care of business. That's the story.
What makes Fate stand out, though, is the enormous amount of pure charm and personality that the developers put into it. Your pet dog scratches his ears, barks, and sniffs around the area. If you have a cat sidekick it licks itself and meows and purrs. The music is perfect and the 3D graphics are bright and colorful. Some of the items that you carry emit powers even when idle. If you have a sword that does fire damage, for example, you'll see flames constantly lick around the blade, even as you walk around town.
The monsters inside the dungeons are also varied so that you aren't going to run into the exact same stuff for five or six levels. There are some wildly creative monsters in the depths of the dungeon, over 100 in all, and I don't want to spoil some of the surprises, but fighting Werebulls and Owlbears that are about three times the size of your hero provides a great adrenaline rush.
After you have reached the "end" of the game you may choose to retire your hero. You may then take one of your treasured pieces of equipment and pass it down to your heir if you want to play the game again, and you'll start off with higher fame score because of your lineage.
Since its release, Fate has developed a cult-like following. Mod tools have been released so fans can create their own goodies. WildTangent deserves a huge amount of praise for delivering a remarkably addictive dungeon crawl, it's a fate anyone who enjoyed the solo portion of Diablo shouldn't hesitate to meet.
People who downloaded Fate have also downloaded:
Forgotten Realms: Demon Stone, Dungeons & Dragons: Dragonshard, Diablo 2, Fable: The Lost Chapters, Dungeon Siege II, Final Fantasy VII, Elder Scrolls 3, The: Morrowind, Fallout 2
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