Roughly three months after the game goes into open beta on the PC, Hand Of The Gods came to consoles on the 17th of october in a closed beta available to Xbox Live and PSPlus subscribers as well as being available by purchasing the “founders pack”, which includes a lot of goodies, for a premium.
Hand Of The Gods is a hybrid collectible card game / tabletop game that features an array of mythical pantheons from throughout human history, each of which has a collection of cards representing warriors and mystic abilities from their various cultures.
It’s an immensely good idea and works well as a theme, I mean throughout our history, these guys were the original super heroes. You can play Zeus, Odin, Gannesh and even the Mayan god Ah Puch among others. The variety in playstyles is evident, and feels refreshing.
This is pretty much where my praise for this game stops, because it became very clear to me from the onset that this game does nothing new or interesting, it follows so closely to Hearthstone’s design that you might be forgiven for thinking that this game were just a Smite themed spinoff. It’s very colourful I’ll grant you, but so is hearthstone. Pretty much every mechanic apart from the token chessboard element is a seeming doppelganger. Even then, the real selling element, that chessboard, brings relatively little to the party with it being just too feature-devoid and small to really open the players up to any real strategic depth.
My cynical mind was drawn to the promotion in the game’s launcher that advertises the “Hand Of The Gods Fall Tournament Circuit”, a round of tournaments and cash prizes seemingly aimed at injecting life into the competitive scene for this game. Now don’t get me wrong, I think a dev supporting the future development of Esports is amazing, but when the game you’re offering up is such a lazy, uninteresting effort, well, let's say that I think you’re going to need more than support from Hi-Rez before you can steal some twitch viewers from that game that rhymes with snarfscone.
Now I don’t know if that was their true intention and I sincerely hope that this game does well, I think we need more strategy games in the mix. However shallow they may be, but if you want to experience everything this game does, but in a better, more interesting and charming way, then I wholeheartedly recommend Duelyst, a free to play game on steam.