Leap of Fate is a game from the French-Canadian developer Clever Plays Studio and is the first game they have made. It sees you fighting in a futuristic cyberpunk world. It was originally released back in July last year on Steam Early Access and has received pretty good reviews.
In Leap of Fate you play as a mage, but not a classic style age that you might expect. This game is set in the future and the main character is a cyberpunk mage who is fighting to uncover his destiny by taking on a series of tasks. Not only do you have to face a series of trials through the use of tarot cards, but you have to also fight and avoid heavily armed enemies and monsters throughout multiple locations and environments. The story is full of mystery and intrigue with cyberpunk themes and interesting world design. The world is fantastical and strange but still manages to feel believable and real. I really enjoyed the sense of mystery and liked how you are never quite sure what lies ahead.
When you start out you begin by doing a fairly routine set of tutorials that help familiarise yourself with the gameplay controls and mechanics. The game is basically a top down shooter with upgrades and various abilities. The game has a large focus on the tarot card system, that basically determines the path you will take. The choices given to you offer variation and random encounters and directions you will head in.
There are four characters in total with Aeon being the starting character. The other three characters are called Big Mo, Mukai and Rasimov. You have to unlock these characters by completing multiple tasks with the other playable characters. This is great as each of the characters play in different ways and therefore offers some good variation. It also gives the game another reason to go back and play again. The game can get very challenging, with multiple hordes of enemies attacking you at once. The game is a rogue-like experience, which will see you dying pretty often. Throughout the stages you will collect ‘Karma Points’ and if you have 100 of them you can respawn from where you died without having to start from the beginning. This is a great idea as it makes you want to explore and collect as many as possible if you wish to get further.
Enemies you take down will drop soul orbs that come in very handy, as they can be used to purchase upgrades and power-ups to improve your character. You will also come across loot chests at the end of certain stages. You need a key to unlock these, which are worth finding as the chests can contain some useful items.
Leap of Fate has an interesting upgrade system, where the skills available are dependent on what card you draw from the mysterious tarot deck. The upgrade system is displayed in an interesting format, with a character silhouette where you can select certain attributes.
The game may look fairly simple but in fact it becomes difficult and fast paced very quickly. The game is all about quick movement, dodging attacks and upgrading your character to suit your play style. Your health doesn’t regenerate but you can find health boosts during the stages. I had to spend some time really practicing before actually making any kind of decent progress within the game. It does require patience and if you give it some time you will start to see yourself making some progress, which ultimately makes it feel rewarding. Some players may find it too frustrating being thrown back to the start when you die.
The presentation of the game is pretty good considering it’s a game in early access. I really enjoyed the futuristic cyberpunk theme and thought it worked well with the almost fantasy based elements. The characters are all interesting and well designed and the enemies are varied. The level design is simple but look great, with varied environments and interesting areas to explore, whilst blasting your way through multiple enemies. The sound design is good, with a catchy soundtrack that suits the tone of the game. The sound effects also help to create an immersive experience.
Overall Leap of Fate is a game that offers a real challenge that I really enjoyed, but some people might find too frustrating. I would say if you play this game you need to do some trial and error and take the time to practice your skills. The upgrade and tarot card system are unique and keep things spontaneous. The overall design is great, from the well designed characters to the intriguing world you explore. I would certainly recommend this game if you like a challenge, blasting enemies and want a game set in a unique world full of mystery.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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