Review by Ofisil
Diablo for kids
Diablo, err, I mean Fate is an Action\RPG developed by WildTangent. Generally I dont have a problem with game rip-offs, as long as the game is good I dont care at all. Fate apart from its cute appearance screams DIABLO from the very start of the game. Diablo is a great game but is quite outdated and inferior to Diablo 2 or other hack n slash games of this type, so it seems a bit strange that the developers decided to copy Diablo 1 and not 2. But I digress
is Fate a good rip-off? No it isnt, for many reasons
The plot here is simple, you the hero must descent into the deep Dungeon, (gee, original name), and kill a randomly chosen Boss. If I where to score the plot I would give it a 10 but the game simply doesnt care about the plot, its a 100% mindless hack n slash Action\RPG and nothing more. Go in, kill stuff collect items, the end!
Replay Value: 1/10
The concept in these games is quite simple. You create a character, male or female it doesnt really matter and choose a pet, dog or cat and start the game. You begin in the only town of the game, where people sell\buy stuff and give you quests. Then you enter the Dungeon. Controlling your hero is quite easy and wont give you any problem, move and fight with the mouse and use the keyboard shortcuts or the HUD buttons to open up various dialogues like your inventory. There is a nice and simple map available, we have a quickslot where you put potions and we have various spells that you can assign the F1-F12 keys to them. The action is simple and addicting like in all Diablo and Diablo clones, you run around killing stuff, collecting drops like weapons, armor and money and stuff like that.
So far so good but what are the things that make Fate stand out? Well in Fate there are no classes. You develop your character by giving the right points in the right attributes, (Strength, Magic, etc.) and then use the skill in the various available skill types. All skills are passive, like for example skills that make you better with a sword, make you a faster caster, or a better user of the shield. While you can create many types of heroes, most of them turn out very bad and since all skills are passive the game becomes boring very fast. For example if you choose to be an offensive polearm warrior youll loose the extra benefits a shield or a secondary weapon would give you. Archers are useless, except from Archers\Mages, and dual wielding fighters that are supposed to be strong and quick are just a tad quicker and also have very low defense. I wont say more about the character developing just now that it is boring and takes a lot of time. Another key feature is Fame, which is like secondary experience bar. When you reach a new Fame level you get more skill points and can use some certain special items. Advancing to the next Fame level though can be quite a tedious chore and it doesnt really add to the overall fun.
You have a pet along with you, which fights too and have an inventory that you can use as extra storing space. The pet gets weak very fast but you can feed it with various fishes that temporarily transform it into various creatures with higher power. But once again after you meet some more powerful mobs the pet becomes a louse aid. The best feature of your pet though is the fact that you can send it to sell stuff in the town while youre still down there fighting and given the fact that the drop rate is quite high that is very reasonable. Now what is fishing? It is just a simple mini game where you just click in certain spots in the water and just wait. This can be quite boring since it doesnt take much skill and it takes a lot of time, not to mention that sometimes you wont be able to catch anything. The bad thing is that fishing is quite helpful because apart from the free fish youll find a LOT of unique items that are both strong and sell good.
What destroys the game is its repetitive nature. Yes I know all similar games are repetitive to an extent but are also addicting. While Fate is addicting too it gets boring pretty fast. It wont be long before you get bored of the stupid level design, fighting over and over the same boring mobs and collecting TONS of items. Also the game is very anti-climatic and has no atmosphere\character, since all enemies from the simple ones to the final boss are just simple mobs with the only difference that bosses are stronger. After killing the final boss you can still go even deeper in the dungeon and face a new menace but the game still remains the same, hack n slash, collect items, sell them, repeat. BORING!!!
In terms of actual graphic quality, Fate rocks! Nice rendered models both of characters and enemies and finally very good special effects like snowflakes falling from your ice-powered sword or the fireworks from your magician. Very good levels ranging from simple dungeons or fully decorated rooms to strange caverns full of glowing mushrooms or misty and hellish caves with fire all over the place. However there is one truly bad thing and one thing that might be bad for some people.
The thing that might be bad is the kiddy look of everything. Men look like children even with beard and the female characters are far from being women by the look of it. Even the characters in the town, no matter the age look very young and cute. You can choose your gender, hair and face but these choices dont mean a thing since youll be covered in armor in no time. The same goes for the enemies whether we talk about a simple ghost or the final boss everything looks very childish I dont mind but I know that some people will. However what is surely bad is the level design. I repeat that in terms of quality the levels are just fine, but a level design means more than good textures and props. What the game lacks is variety and character. Levels are randomly generated but all of them look the same simple mazes, all of them! Also a thing that has absolutely no logic is the fact that even the theme of each level is randomly generated, which means that level 1 might be the cave, then level 2 might be the dungeon, the third the Fire Cavern, then again the cave level, then the Fire again, etc, etc, etc. Something like this is bad and destroys the feeling of dungeon crawling very deep. In Diablo you would start in the upper, normal levels, then after 4 floors youd be in the caves, then in the more hellish caverns and then in actual Hell, that is the right way people!
The sound effects while ok get boring very fast since there are only a couple of mob types and all make 1-2 sounds. Your pet will get on your nerves with its barking\meowing and your ears will bleed from the constant and repetitive clanging of your weapons. The music is even worse with only 2-3 music themes and only ONE theme used when in the dungeon, something that means that 99.999% of the game all you will hear is only one and very boring music theme
-Your pet can sell items for you
-Solid Diablo rip-off
-Gets boring and repetitive pretty fast
-A bit bad and unbalanced character developing
-Only passive skills
-Below average sound effects
-The Fame stat doesnt really add to the game
-Only one boring music theme for the dungeon
-Level design gets boring pretty fast
-Fishing although important is boring
Diablo 1-3 (PC)
Titan Quest (PC)
While a total rip-off Fate lacks the storyline of Diablo, its addictive gameplay and atmosphere and its diverse and unique classes. So instead of buying this game, save some bucks and just buy Diablo 2 or 3, or even 1!
Rating: 2.0 - Poor
Product Release: FATE (US, 05/18/05)
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