Fate: Undiscovered Realms adds a pair of new levels, a dead-is-dead option, and pretty much nothing else to the original Fate. So expect this hack-and-slash role-playing stand-alone add-on to provide you with a good dose of deja vu if you have any experience with the previous game released back in early 2005. The simple charm of the core game design still looms large over this Diablo clone, however, which gives its clickfest dungeon crawling the power to suck you in for many, many hours.
Undiscovered Realms is a continuation of the single-player story from the original Fate (there’s still no multiplayer). After a long campaign against the forces of evil, your hero returns to the town of Grove. Forget about any celebrations with beautiful elf maidens and grog, though. A mysterious stranger soon arrives and cons you into opening portals into two new realms, a wooded world called Druantia and an icy kingdom named Typhon. The cowled weirdo then reveals himself as some kind of evil wizard and takes off, leaving you to head through these gates as well to stop his dastardly machinations.
Character design covers the same old ground. Development is exactly as it was in the first Fate. There are no set character classes, so you craft your hero by assigning points to traits like strength and dexterity and to skills such as swords and magic every time you gain enough experience to level up. It’s a smooth, elegant system that lets you effortlessly build a fighter, a mage, or a jack-of-all-trades. Items are largely carried over from the original game. Monster drops feature a lot of the same swords, axes, and armor as before–albeit with the addition of some special items, such as the swathe quest gear–and the character spell list is identical. A pet dog or cat companion that levels up automatically is still at your side helping to battle the monstrous hordes, although now there are more transformation options available every time you feed Fido or Trixie one of the game’s magical fish. It’s kind of hard to tell what’s new, since you could already morph your pooch or feline into a wide selection of giant spiders, unicorns, wyverns, and more.