RETURN TO HEX: SHARDS OF FATE
By Lex "Gaz the Dungeonmaster" Ansems on June 29, 2016
Well, well, well! It has been a long time since I played the game in this review; last time it was in our MMO Monday report (which you can read here), and man it still does not disappoint. In a year’s time, Hex: Shards of Fate has undergone some pretty big changes but, luckily, the core gameplay that makes it such a great game hasn’t changed one bit. So I thought it was about time to take another look at Hex: Shards of Fate, especially since its release on Steam, where it joins the big boys.
Hex is a MMOTCG (Massive Multiplayer Online Trading Card Game) that we played while it was still in its early stages. A lot of promises were made and a lot of potential was already there. If you are familiar with another TCG called Magic: the Gathering, you will feel right at home with HEX, because it uses similar game mechanics.
But what sets Hex apart from all the other TCG’s out there is that it’s digital only and, by extension, can use some very cool special mechanics that regular card games just can’t. Some cards in hex can be socketed with special powers; this basically means that, depending on the socket, it can have different additional powers. When you say it like that, it really doesn’t sound like much, but it is actually a big deal! Because now, you can customize the card to fit your decks. Just keep in mind that buffing and de-buffing a card is permanent. If an effect doesn’t say it ends after a turn, it stays on the card, even if the card goes back in your hand or deck. So there’s no in-between turns hassle of players that whine: “but this power doesn’t do what I expected it to do! I’ll just get rid of it.”, which is REALLY freaking cool. You choose your powers and you STICK WITH THEM, even if they don’t meet your expectations.
A couple of promises were made, which I personally though were really cool. First and foremost, we were promised that the game would have a complete PVE section! And lo and behold, when I played Hex, there was the mighty Frost Arena; a series of 1v1, player vs AI matches that would dish out rewards in the form of coins, cards or PVE equipment. How cool is that?! Now, it has even been developed into a true campaign, featuring a fully-fledged story. You will learn all there is to know about the lore and compete in special challenges (some of which are EXTREMELY hard, but really fun to play). These challenges will teach you everything from how to play the game to how best to master new mechanics. So you’ll fight your way through a series of challenging missions, learn the lore of the game and, at the same time, learn to think about and approach each challenge in different ways.
And not only the mechanics have been updated, but the lore as well; completely new races have emerged, Elves, Wild Coyotles and even spider people. Yes, you heard me correctly: SPIDER PEOPLE! Each race has its own personal strengths, weaknesses and special game mechanics that you can exploit and, most importantly, are all fun to play!
Now, I can hear some of you scream: “aren’t TCG’s usually very expensive?!”. Well yes, they are… usually. But, because of the digital nature of Hex, the entire PvE campaign and Hex’s EXTREMLY active and helpful community, you can build a really cool deck without even spending a dime which, in my opinion, makes this great game even more awesome!
Hex made a lot of promises while in development, and while not everything is quite finished, there has been a lot of progress, and it doesn’t disappoint. So if you want to try your luck at a good and active TCG, go ahead, give it a whirl! Get your hands on a copy of HEX, play through the campaign, try a bit of PVP, but most of all: HAVE FUN!