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Fate (often written FATE) is a 2005 single-player action role-playing game originally released for the PC by WildTangent. It was runner-up for Role-Playing Game of 2005 in PC Gamer magazine. A Mac OS X port of the game was released at MacGameStore.com on September 19, 2008, but is also available as a physical product on a hybrid disc. A trial demo is available. A sequel called Fate: Undiscovered Realms was released in 2008, and a second sequel, Fate: The Traitor Soul, was released in October 2009. Fate is rated E10+ (rated for everyone 10 and up) for mild violence.
Fate is a fantasy action role-playing game closely modeled after Diablo II. This type of game is also known as a dungeon crawler, in which the player takes his/her character through progressively difficult levels of a dungeon, fighting monsters, completing quests, collecting valuable items and gold, and improving the character's attributes and skills along the way. The dungeon in Fate has a randomized layout for each level; treasures found within each level are randomized, as are the number and type of monsters. Fate is rendered fully in 3D, allowing the player to zoom in and out of the action as necessary.
Pets and fishing
The player is accompanied by a pet, which can initially be chosen as a dog or cat. This pet fights on behalf of the player, can carry items, and can be sent back to town in order to sell unwanted findings (though it cannot collect rewards for fetch quests). If the pet's Health Points are driven down to zero (due to blows or damaging spells from enemies) it does not die, but merely flees the fight. Hence, the game's introduction describes the pet as invincible since it cannot be killed. It will still follow the character, but it won't fight or pick up items until it is healed. The player can transform the pet into various more powerful creatures by feeding it fish, which can be caught in fishing holes found throughout the game or purchased from vendors. Some of these transformations are temporary, some can be made permanent.
It is also possible to get rare items from fish. A patient player who takes time to fish can make their character very wealthy, and obtain top-notch gear. The Player's Manual says, "Finding or purchasing a fishing pole is one of the best investments you can make in the game." There is also a fishing hole in the town that, if the player chooses, can be very helpful in getting one's character started (i.e., getting money with which to purchase better gear than the character starts out with) before braving the dungeon. The deeper the character is in the dungeon, the better items and more powerful pet transformations they can find while angling.
When the character gains enough experience points, he/she is promoted to the next character level and given five Attribute points as well as two Skill points. Increasing the four attributes (Strength, Dexterity, Vitality and Magic) allow the character to wield stronger weapons, armor and magical spells, while Skills denote proficiency at certain things (Sword Skill, Charm Magic Skill, Critical Strike Skill, etc.—there are a total of 15 different Skills). There are no set character classes in Fate, allowing maximum customization. Additionally, the player is rewarded with Fame points for completing side-quests and defeating enemy bosses, which contribute to the gaining of Fame levels. Four Skill Points are awarded for gaining a Fame level. Elite and Legendary equipment cannot be used unless the player is of a certain Fame level. Certain items (i.e., weapons, armor, and jewelry) contain sockets, into which the player can put special gems in order to customize the item. Having sockets does not create higher requirements for using an item, although they make the item more valuable. Finally, a denizen of Grove, specifically a minstrel, can be paid to increase the character's Fame, "allowing savvy players to buy Skill points."
Non-player characters and quests
Several townspeople of Grove offer randomized side-quests to the player. These are sometimes called fetch quests (retrieving a valuable item from the dungeon), though they often require the player to kill off all enemies of a certain type on a certain level of the dungeon or dispatch an enemy boss. Upon completion of a side-quest, the player can return to the townsperson who gave it to them, and receive a reward of Fame Points, Experience Points and gold. Sometimes a valuable item is also given as part of the reward for completing a side-quest. In the case of a fetch quest, players can always decide if they want to keep the item they were sent to retrieve, or if the potential rewards for turning it in to the quest-giver are more important. Other non-player townspeople include vendors, selling arms, armor, potions, etc.
In addition to the various vendors and quest-givers in the town, there is also a Healer, who will bring the character's and his/her pet's Health Points up to full capacity free of charge, and an Enchanter who, for a fee, will try (sometimes unsuccessfully) to add an enchantment or a socket to an item of the player's choosing. However, once in a while he will accidentally delete all of the item's enchantments or even put a curse on the item, reducing its usefulness.
Sometimes a vendor will appear in the dungeon. Vendors and townspeople are non-player characters (NPCs). They all have neutral status in the game, so enemies won't attack them. The character cannot be attacked by enemies while engaged in buying or selling with a vendor. Vendors who appear in the dungeon are Pikko the Fisherman and Getts the Traveler.
Pikko the Fisherman sells a large array of fish, which can be used to transform your pet into a variety of different creatures. The further down you are in the dungeon, the better the fish Pikko will sell. Also, Pikko always has a fishing pole in stock.
Getts the Traveler, who can also be seen in the Town of Grove, retails various arms, armor, spells, gems, and other things.
If at any point in the game the character dies (Health Points driven down to zero) the death is not permanent. The personification of Fate appears, who resembles the Grim Reaper. Fate offers the player three choices: first, the character can be brought back to life at the spot where s/he fell, in exchange for a portion of their Experience Points and Fame Points. Second, they can be brought back to life and transported to a nearby level (one or two levels up or down) in exchange for a portion of the character's gold. This new place may be safer or more dangerous than the one where the character died. Third, the character can be brought back to life and transported three levels up in exchange for all the gold in their possession. This new location is usually safer than where the death occurred. (If the character died on level 1, 2, or 3 of the dungeon they will be taken back to town.) If the player chooses this third option and can make it back to the exact spot where his/her character fell before the dungeon level regenerates, his/her gold will be waiting in a pile for them to pick up. (If the character stays out of a previously visited dungeon level for 20 minutes on the game clock, the level will be automatically refreshed with all new monsters and treasure, although the dungeon layout stays the same. Therefore, if the character died on that level and doesn't make it back within 20 minutes, any gold they left there when they died will be gone for good. The 20-minute rule does not apply if the character has a portal to that level, since one end of the portal is constantly occupying the level. However, if the character has died and been transported three levels up, there will be no portal.) If none of these three options is to the player's liking, they may choose Quit and the character is effectively transported back in time to the last occasion the game loaded. However, the death is still recorded in the character's journal.
If the player completes the main quest he/she received at the beginning of the game, he/she is given the option to retire the current character and start play over again with a descendant of the first character. The descendant gets various perks and bonuses, including one item that is handed down from its ancestor. If this family heirloom has any magical enchantments on it, they will be augmented by 25% every time the item is passed down. If a weapon or piece of armor is passed down, its damage done or defensive capabilities will be increased as well. If a player chooses not to retire, they can advance their characters and go as deep into the dungeon as they like.
The game starts in the town of Grove, where on the outskirts of town the ancient Dungeon Gate leads would-be adventurers to multiple levels of fame, fortune, and death. The player assumes the role of one of these adventurers, and is assigned a randomized quest at the beginning of the game that will take them to approximately the 45th level of the dungeon. Along the way, randomized side-quests are made available to the player by the townspeople of Grove. Eventually, the player completes the primary quest by defeating the randomized boss monster.
Like many other games in its class, Fate has an active modding community. The developers have released tools to aid in the creation of mods and over 100 mods exist in a community database. Mods for Fate range from simple potions and weapons to new spells and town make-overs. The community has created tutorials for creating new weapons, armor, spells, monsters, and other such items. One pitfall of these activities is the stability of the game; for this reason, it is recommended that the original game files be backed up prior to the installation of any third-party changes.
Designer and programmer Travis Baldree intended Fate to combine elements from games like Diablo and NetHack and make them accessible to a casual gaming audience, while also maintaining a level of appeal to hardcore gamers. He eschewed a grim and gritty style, in favor of a more inviting atmosphere. Although Baldree had considered the idea for several years, production of the game began in October 2004, with a total development time of about five months.
Based on his work on Fate, Baldree was hired by Flagship Studios. By 2006 he headed a Seattle-based offshoot of the studio, developing Mythos, an online action RPG, with a group that included several members of the Fate team.
The score uses Western classical guitar and Middle Eastern influences much as the Diablo series does. There is also a noted Celtic influence, as one of the main themes is "Captain O'Kane" by Turlough O'Carolan.
|GameRankings||86.13% (8 reviews)|
|Metacritic||84% (8 reviews)|
Greg Kasavin of GameSpot called it "a high-quality game that delivers well on a concept that isn't ambitious but is well known for being fun and addictive," while pointing out its strong resemblance to Blizzard Entertainment's Diablo. Writing for GameSpy, William Abner praised the game as "elegantly designed" and singled out the charm and personality of the game's graphics and pet animations. Both reviewers cited Fate's low price as a selling point but criticized its lack of multiplayer features.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 James 'Prophet' Fudge (2005-05-18). Fate Interview. GameShark. Retrieved on 2009-09-14.
- ↑ Aihoshi, Richard (2005-05-02). Fate Interview. IGN. Retrieved on 2009-09-14.
- ↑ Sinclair, Brendan (2006-12-14). Flagship establishes Seattle satellite studio. GameSpot. Retrieved on 2009-09-15.
- ↑ Callaham, John (2007-03-21). Mythos Interview. FiringSquad.com. Retrieved on 2009-09-15.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Fate for PC. GameRankings. Retrieved on 2009-09-14.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Fate (pc) Reviews. Metacritic. Retrieved on 2009-09-14.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Kasavin, Greg (2005-06-20). Fate Review for PC. Gamespot. Retrieved on 2009-09-14.
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Abner, William (2005-10-11). Fate Review. Gamespy. Retrieved on 2009-09-14.