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Genre:Action RPG
Release Date:May 2005
Article Posted:Sept 2007
System Requirements

You have traveled far to reach here. Something drove you away from your family and away from your home to this small village at the gates of a treacherous dungeon. It wasn’t a desire for riches or glory. You did not come here seeking vengeance or justice. No, the irresistible draw was something deeper. It was destiny.

The clothes on your back, a small sum of gold, and a crude weapon were your only possessions. Your only companion was your trustworthy pet. You could not rely on a strong blade or finely crafted armor. You could not seek protection from arcane spells. Yet you stood at the entrance of the dungeon, ready to face the dangers inside, ready to meet your destiny.

Fate is a third-person action-RPG developed by Wild Tangent. With customizable characters and randomly generated levels, Fate manages to deliver a charming dungeon-crawling experience that can be enjoyed at a casual pace. While the game will not appeal to players looking for an engaging storyline, Fate’s casual atmosphere and solid gameplay mechanics still make it worthy of your attention.

You play Fate as a small boy or girl that has just arrived at the village. The character creation process is extremely simple. You have to select a gender, configure your character’s appearance, and come up with a name. You also determine whether you want to start the game with a dog or a cat as your pet. Once you give your pet a name, you can enter the village and begin your journey.

Fate’s gameplay mechanics are highly comparable to those of Diablo and Diablo 2. You will spend the bulk of your time exploring the dungeon. You will have to overcome an onslaught of monsters as you make your way deeper and deeper into the dungeon. The monsters will get tougher with each consecutive level. Along the way, you will gain in experience, learn new skills, and find better equipment to overcome your challenges. You will also have to make regular trips into town to look for new weapons and armor or to sell the excess equipment you are not using.

The basic controls will also be familiar to those who have played the Diablo games. You move your character or attack enemies with your primary weapon by left clicking. You cast spells with a right click. Potions can be assigned to the number keys on your keyboard while spells can be assigned to the function keys. Holding the control key down will make your character run whereas holding the alt key down highlights all the items on the ground that are available to pickup.

Similarities can also be found in the types of equipment available and how you customize your character. Even some of the ambient sounds will likely be familiar. Fortunately, Fate is more than a glorified carbon copy of Diablo and Diablo 2. For one thing, the atmosphere in Fate is significantly different than what you would experience in Diablo. Fate has a relaxed fantasy setting. You are not a holy hero battling against hell-spawned demons to save mankind. You are just a young boy or a girl looking for adventure and trying to find your destiny. The fact that you play as a child alone gives the game a casual feeling. Add the cartoon-like graphics and you are looking at a lighthearted action-RPG experience.

Another aspect of Fate that sets it apart from the other titles in the genre is your pet. Your pet will join you in combat as you engage your enemies. While your pet may not be as effective as your character, it can still keep a number of the monsters occupied as you deal with the rest. In addition, you can put items in your pet’s inventory and send it to town to sell them. This is extremely useful if you do not have any need to visit the town to shop for new potions or items.

It is also possible to transform your pet into different creatures by feeding it fish. At various points in the game, you will come across spots where you can go fishing. If you successfully catch something, you can feed it to your pet and watch the transformation take place. Depending on the type of fish you catch, the transformation may be temporary or permanent. You will also come across the occasional vendor in the dungeon that can sell you fish thereby eliminating the worry of catching them yourself. The transformations do make your pet significantly stronger and add some depth to the game.

At the outset of the game, your character will not be specialized in any particular area. As you defeat monsters in the dungeon and complete quests for the villagers, you will gradually grow in experience and gain levels. Each time you gain a level, you will have an opportunity to spend attribute and skill points. The way you spend these points determines what type of character you will develop by the end of the game.

The attributes include strength, dexterity, vitality, and magic. While increasing strength will improve your effectiveness in melee combat, adding points to dexterity will enhance your accuracy with bows and your ability to dodge blows from your enemies. Your vitality score contributes to your health points whereas your magic score dictates the size of your mana pool. Whether you eventually want to play as a melee fighter, an archer, or a sorcerer should determine how you spend your points.

As you gain levels, you will also want to improve your skills. For instance, you can increase your proficiency with various types of weapons. The categories include swords, axes, and staffs. You can also raise your chances of landing a critical hit or shorten the time it takes your character to cast a spell. Another group of skills determine the effectiveness of your spells. The spells in Fate fall under one of three categories. While attack magic primarily deals with inflicting damage on your enemies, defense magic includes healing and protective spells. Charm magic on the other hand contains a series of summoning spells that will provide you with allies as you explore the dungeon.

The collection of skills available allows you to develop your character in numerous different ways. You can completely become a powerful swordsman that can aid himself with the occasional healing spell. Alternatively, you can turn into a sorceress that can bring down lightning or fire to crush your enemies or summon monsters to do your bidding. The options you have in customizing your character adds to the replay value of the game.

You will have a noticeably different experience whether you play as a fighter or a sorcerer. While the melee fighter will be able to meet the enemies head on and shrug off a significant amount of damage, the frail sorcerers will have to keep their distance from the monsters while unleashing their spells. You will likely come up with several different tactics depending on how you develop your character.

Players will also have to pay attention to the strengths and weaknesses of the monsters. For instance, your trusty flaming sword may not be the best weapon to use against a lava beetle with a high fire resistance. Your offensive spells will not help against a magic elemental that is immune to your sorcery. Especially when you are done with the first few levels of the dungeon, it is a good idea to have a backup plan in case your primary form of attack does not work against some monsters you encounter.

While you do have a great deal of freedom to develop your character in several different ways, Fate does encourage players to concentrate on a small number of skills. Too highly diversified characters will not be able to overcome the monsters encountered in the deeper levels of the dungeon. As such, it is important to make a decision about what type of character you want to play early in your journey. When you are not hacking at monsters in the dungeon, you will be spending your time at the village. In typical action-RPG fashion, the village contains a series of stores that can supply you with potions, spells, weapons, and armor. Specialized stores are also available if you feel like gambling for an enchanted item or browsing a selection of more exotic equipment than what is available at the regular stores. In addition, there are a few villagers that can provide special services like enchanting weapons or removing magical gems from artifacts.

A number of the villagers will have quests for your character to perform from time to time. These quests typically involve retrieving a powerful artifact from the dungeon, defeating a group of monsters, or killing a single powerful boss enemy. The completion of these quests is entirely optional. It is quite possible to go through the dungeon and ignore the requests of the villagers. However, players are given a strong incentive to pay attention to the quests.

First of all, you will gain a significant amount of experience each time you successfully finish a quest. But more importantly, gaining experience is only one way to enhance your character in Fate. Players can also improve their renown rankings to acquire extra skill points. Each time your renown rank increases, you will be awarded four skill points. Since you gain renown points for each completed task, you may want to check with the villagers for new quests regularly.

Fate offers fluid gameplay mechanics that can become quite addictive. The combat is easy to learn, but it is still challenging enough to keep you occupied. The levels are randomly generated, but many of them manage to be entertaining to explore. Especially during the later stages of the game when you are encountering tougher opponents with various different resistance levels, you may have to vary your tactics and implement different strategies. Sometimes things can get a little too hectic, but the obstacles are never truly unfair as long as you make sure you have a good supply of healing items and avoid engaging too many enemies at the same time.

Despite its strengths, Fate does have a number of aspects that will prevent it from appealing to all gamers. First of all, if your primary motivation for playing a video game is to enjoy the storyline, you should overlook this title. The story never truly progresses beyond the information given to you during the introduction movie. The quests you get from the villagers do not add any kind of depth as they are usually very simple tasks with virtually no plot line. Even though it is clear that the developers were not trying to deliver a game with a deep and engaging storyline, there should have been a little more to the game than just a young adventurer exploring a massive dungeon. Some players may also have problems with the overall design of the dungeon. By the time you get through a few dozen levels of the dungeon, things do start to get repetitive and you will have seen just about everything the game can throw at you. Some monster types tend to appear a little too often and you get accustomed to all the different tactics you may need to employ. If you have carefully developed your character, your encounters should not be all that challenging either.

The gameplay experience may have been better if players could change locations and explore significantly different environments rather than simply going deeper and deeper into the same dungeon. Even though the dungeon levels feature several different styles, a little more diversity would have been appreciated. It also doesn’t help things that the style of dungeon levels change randomly. You can see volcanic textures in one level and proceed to explore furnished hallways befitting a mansion in the next. There is no consistency and the abrupt change from one style to the next seems a little awkward.

Fate takes many great elements from older action-RPG games and throws in a few unique twists to deliver a casual and fairly addictive dungeon-crawling experience. Players have a good deal of liberty in customizing their characters. The randomly generated levels and the various customization options give the game a good deal of replay value. The game does lack a strong story and it can get repetitive after a while. But if you are looking for a charming action-RPG to satisfy your desire to defeat hordes of monsters while developing a powerful character, Fate is worthy of your attention. The solid gameplay and the casual atmosphere add up to an entertaining experience.


PC System Requirements:
Windows® 98/2000/ME/XP
800 Mhz Proceesor or better
128 MB RAM (256MB for XP)
16 MB 3D Graphics Accelerator
DirectX version 8.0 or above
Mouse and Keyboard