Review: Fate: The Traitor Soul (PC)
by Ashe Collins on January 19, 2010

Fate: The Traitor Soul
Developer: WildTanget
Publisher: Encore Software Inc.
Genre: RPG
Release Date: 10/13/2009


When I got this one in my mailbox, I wasn’t sure what to expect. It’s supposed to be a kid friendly RPG, and I’m going with that in mind for the review here, but can it deliver on the depth other kid-friendly RPGs, like Zelda or Pokemon? I didn’t know what to expect from it, but after playing it through, I can see some of the charm. Still, is it enough?

Story/Modes:

As Fate would have it, insert laugh track here, there is a story to this seemingly endless dungeon crawl. In fact, this version of Fate contains the original dungeon as well as the second installment, Fate: Undiscovered Realms. Unfortunately, being a dungeon crawl style game, most of the story is given to you at the very beginning of the game, with other parts only being available if you choose to go and watch the intro for the other two games. So it’s not a big thing in the game, but it is there.

The story breaks down like this: several years after the conclusion of the second game, you’re challenged by a strange traveler to defeat an evil monster in the depths of a dungeon known as the Chamber of Trials, within the Temple of Fate. That’s about it. From there, you continue on into the depths of the dungeon, leveling up and arming yourself with gear you find until you defeat the monsters at various levels that the NPCs waiting in the starting area want dead. This is also where you can delve into the other dungeons from the previous games.

You do get more choices for your character this time around, as instead of just playing a human, they’ve added in the Dark Elf, the Half Orc, and the Cogger, a construct that really reminded me of the Warforged from Dungeons and Dragons Online: Eberron Unlimited. You also get to choose your pet. All of this is really window dressing, as I didn’t see any real difference for the game to play out. You place your stats where you want them, assign your spells, and so on. For a dungeon crawl style game it’s passable, but I’ve seen more done with the dungeon crawl story in older games.

Story/Modes Rating: Decent

Graphics:

Visually, this game isn’t going to compete with the big games out there, but it’s no slouch either. The visual look, the designs, and the textures are all very well done and really get the feel across. The lighting and spell effects aren’t bad, and the fog of war doesn’t make it impossible to play like with some games I’ve played. There isn’t any blood, hence the E for everyone rating, but I wasn’t looking for a slaughter fest while I was playing it either.

Within the dungeons there is some variation between the levels so you aren’t looking at the same thing over and over again in a different arrangement. There is some variety here, which is nice to see. I also liked that there were some customization options when making your character. Not much, but it was there, and this made me care a bit more about my pixel person.

Graphics Rating: Very Good

Sound:

This is not the game for audiophiles. Monster sounds are fairly repetitive, there’s no voice acting whatsoever other than the narrator at the beginning, and the music is passable and doesn’t really get on your nerves. Really, other than having a kind of ambient and mood-setting feel, there isn’t much going on in the audio department. That’s not to say the sound is terrible, it’s just not a department I’d think they spent a ton of time on for the game.

Sound Rating: Decent

Control and Gameplay:

Fate: The Traitor Soul plays and controls a lot like Diablo II. I’m talking pretty much carbon-copy here. Your mouse does pretty much everything for you. Click to move, click to attack, click to use spells, the list goes on. There’s a lot of clicking here, much like Diablo II. Even the Inventory screen and the way you managed what you were carrying and wearing reminded me of Diablo II. This isn’t to say it’s bad, it’s just not very innovative.

Now, you can change your camera views and rotate it a bit using the keyboard, which is nice, as walls can sometimes get in the way and hide things. You can zoom in and out, which is really useful in some areas. One thing I thought that was neat was the addition of an animal companion. At first they’re all cute and cuddly and they gain levels when you do more or less, but there are some spots in the dungeons where you can go fishing. These fish can be fed to your pet to have then shapeshift or gain abilities from them. It was an interesting mechanic that I had a ton of fun playing around with.

As far as the characters go, they do play a bit differently, as the new classes get different bonuses, like the Elf gets an extra 5 points in the sword skill to start with and the Cogger is stronger to start with. It doesn’t affect how you play all that much, but they are nice bonuses to start with and keep in mind while you’re playing or starting out in the game anew.

One negative thing I noticed was the inventory has some issues. You tend to get a nice amount of loot, so I’d recommend buying a portal back to the temple and keeping one on you at all times so you can jump back and forth from the dungeon to an area where you can sell off the stuff you’re not going to use, but need the gold from them for the stuff you will. Some levels have someone you can use as a shopkeeper, but the size of the levels means you won’t always find one right away if there is one on that level. So it’s not necessarily a bad thing, it’s just one of the many gameplay elements to keep in mind during your own dungeon crawl in the game.

Control and Gameplay Rating: Great

Replayability:

While the different races don’t play all that differently, you can certainly stat them out that way as you play. And with several different race choices, and the different dungeon designs, you could play it out differently each time, but it’s not necessarily going to lead to some startling revelation or anything like that. There’s no multiplayer, and as a single long romp it’s pretty good, but it’s not something I’d be interested in playing again for awhile. I did like not having to follow the dungeon from the first game first, or having to follow any set storyline, as well as the ability to jump from one dungeon to the other on a whim, so it does have those things going for it as well.

Replayability Rating: Enjoyable

Balance:

With three campaigns built into it, several choices in characters and a nice increase in difficulty as you go down, there’s something to be said about the way the game is designed. There’s a nice learning curve, and it’s not hard at all to whip up a character and just play. The inclusion of the content from the first two releases with this disc is a nice bonus, especially for the price. For what the game offers in content and play time it is priced very well and should keep players interested for a long time for the money. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from the title, and got quite a bit of fun out of it.

Balance Rating: Great

Originality:

Being the third game in a series doesn’t cut you a ton of breaks as far as being original goes. They did add new playable races to this title, each with their own unique race bump to stats. New pets are in here as well as new bosses to fight and spells and such, so they did expand on what you could do quite a bit with the new title. Overall, though, this game reminded me of a cross between Azure Dreams and Diablo II as far as how it all came together is concerned. The only difference was that, unlike Azure Dreams, you weren’t trying to impress girls in the village and you kept your levels as you crawled through the dungeons.

Originality Rating: Above Average

Addictiveness:

I couldn’t play Diablo II for hours on end like I can with other RPGs. The constant mouse-clicking wears out my hand and I get bored doing the same stuff over and over again. I like some puzzles and some challenges other than killing monsters. So I wasn’t all that surprised when I found Fate didn’t hold my attention for too long either. It’s the same mouse clicking game, with no real strategy other than kill, loot, sell, rinse, repeat as you crawl through the dungeons. Once upon a time that would have been enough to hold my interest, and I think the same could be said for most kids. An hour or two tops and they’ll be looking for something else to do. It just didn’t have me enthralled, and I think it’d be the same for most kids as well.

Addictiveness Rating: Below Average

Appeal Factor:

There is an appeal here. The original and its sequel have been doing really well as far as sales go. It’s got a decent online mod community going for it, and it’s priced at a point most people can afford right now. That and an RPG that is kid-friendly isn’t a bad thing at all, when most RPGs now are going for that adult market with more mature content, this one boasts an E for Everyone rating, which I rarely see and even more rarely enjoy playing. So while you’re waiting to get your kid their latest Pokemon or Bakugan fix, this is easily a fun substitute, and you don’t even need a top of the line gaming PC to run it.

Appeal Factor Rating: Great

Miscellaneous:

Aside from the initial loading screen, which apparently compresses some files, the game loads and runs really fast. I didn’t have any problems getting it to run and I didn’t come across any game-breaking glitches, which is a really good thing. I almost always have some kind of issue when I’m running games on my PC, or some glitch that really stands out and annoys me to no end, but this one ran clean and mean. Something I’d love to see the more hyped up games deliver on.

Miscellaneous Rating: Great

The Scores
Story/Modes Rating: Decent
Graphics Rating: Very Good
Sound Rating: Decent
Control and Gameplay Rating: Great
Replayability Rating: Enjoyable
Balance Rating: Great
Originality Rating: Above Average
Addictiveness Rating: Below Average
Appeal Factor Rating: Great
Miscellaneous Rating: Great
FINAL SCORE: ENJOYABLE GAME

Short Attention Span Summary
asheresize A classic dungeon crawl, starring your character and their pet, with a dash of Diablo II gameplay style mixed in for good measure. Fate: The Traitor Soul, expands on the first two releases with some new races to play as and some new pets. While there isn’t a lot of story to go with it, the crawls themselves can be fun and interesting, and it’s a great steal at the price considering it includes the first two game campaigns with it. So if you’re looking for a decent kid-friendly PC title with some decent play time behind it, give this one a try. If you’re looking for a more in-depth and serious RPG, you’ll have to look elsewhere.



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