Title: Leap of Fate
Version Tested: PC
Available On: PC
Genre: Early Access, Rogue-lite
Official Site: Leap of Fate
Release Date: Jul 31, 2015
Where to Buy: Steam
I recently had a chance to sit down and play Clever-Plays’ hack-and-slash, rogue-like game Leap of Fate. The game was released back in July of last year to Steam’s early access and has already gathered mostly positive reviews. I generally enjoy rogue-like games, and the experience promised by the developers was enough to get me excited to try this title. So I eagerly jumped into it to try out for myself and see if it was as good as I hoped. If you are curious about my experience please continue reading to see what I thought.
When starting Leap of Fate for the first time I was thrust into the role of the first playable character, “Aeon the Shadow Mage” as he stood upon a rooftop. This served as the tutorial stage, as I learned how to use Aeon’s abilities to destroy enemies and move from area to area. The controls are smooth and precise, with the gameplay calling up memories of Diablo, The Binding of Isaac, and Torchlight.
The story, if there actually is one, doesn’t have a lot of depth. The small bits of story-related dialogue presented along with the cutscenes could both benefit from some work. This is clearly a game that leans heavily on its gameplay mechanics, with writing being a second consideration. Although to be fair the game is only in early access at this point so that is something they can address in the future.
After the tutorial, you get to dive into the main game. You progress through Leap of Fates’ levels via a unique and pretty cool tarot card system. Each card laid out on the table represents a stage, with some being combat, stores, or cards to upgrade your characters skills. Speaking of characters, including the starting character Aeon, there is a total of four, with the other three being Big Mo, Mukai and Rasimov. You unlock these characters by completing a set number of missions with other characters.
Each of these characters plays in a completely different way from the others, so it brings a lot of variety to the game. No matter which of the four you are playing with though the game remains quite difficult throughout. Starting from the first levels Leap of Fate does very little hand holding and will through wave after wave of challenging enemies at you. True to its rouge-lite nature, during my playthrough of the game I got used to dying often. You do collect “karma points” at times during the game and by spending 100 of these you can continue where you died without having to restart from the beginning, and that was a nice touch.
From a visual standpoint, Leap of Fate looks pretty good. The art direction feels like a combination of cyberpunk and comic book aesthetics. The character and enemy designs are well done, and the levels themselves have a lot of little details that make the interesting to look at. Leap of Fate has a very good soundtrack, much better than I expected, to be honest. Overall the visual and sound design is very well done.
Casual gamers should beware, though if difficulty tends to turn you off you would do best to avoid Leap of Fate. This game doesn’t hold back at all, and at times was downright brutal. If though, you like challenging experiences like Rogue Legacy or The Binding of Isaac then you will feel right at home with this title. After several hours of playtime I found that I had gotten quite adept at surviving what the game could throw at me, so like those similar titles persistence will pay off here.
So far Leap of Fate has a lot of potentials. The development team seems dedicated to improving and fine-tuning the game though the early access phase. It isn’t without a few issues here-and-there, like a weak story and sometimes frustrating difficulty. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with this game, though, and I will be keeping an eye on it to see how it improves in the future. If you enjoy games like Diablo, The Binding of Isaac, and also like the challenge of rogue-likes I absolutely recommend Leap of Fate.
- Graphics: Nothing to write home about, but in this type of game they are of little importance.
- Gameplay: Difficult, and at times repetitive. Still plenty of fun to be had for those who enjoy a challenge, though.
- Sound: Great Soundtrack, and generic but well-done effects.
- Presentation: An Awesome blend of cyberpunk and tarot card aesthetics really make Leap of Fate stand out.
- Fun and challenging gameplay
- Unique use of tarot card level select system
- Great soundtrack
- Generic and repetitive graphics and level design
- Difficulty might turn off some players
- Throwaway story