And that combat is somewhat Souls-ish. When I made the comparison to Chris Rhinehart from developer Human Head Studios, he agreed but noted that Rune 2 aims to be a bit more fluid, i.e. he suggested that you should be moving at all times. Attacks vary based on where and how you’re moving. But yes, it’s an action-RPG with light survival elements. Weapons wear down and break, but there are also weapon and item drops to help spice up the action. There’s also a bit of crafting. You can build structures with wood you get from felling trees, and when you do build, your health will be replenished while you’re inside your structure.
You’ll progress through various Ages in pursuit of Loki, who’s freed himself and started Ragnarok. Heimdall resurrects you and assigns you the task of stopping Loki. Each Age lasts a set amount of real-world time; there’s a clock counting down in the upper left corner of the screen. When it hits 0:00, the world burns and resets to a new age – though you won’t lose any progression.
Rune 2 is an Epic Games Store exclusive for PC, and when it releases later this summer it will also include a multiplayer suite with deathmatch and team deathmatch, while Rhinehart told me that more game modes are coming post-launch (he heavily hinted at a return of the popular 1v1 mode Arena from the original Rune). But back to that inevitable comparison for a moment. Rune 2’s problem, as I see it, isn’t even God of War. It’s that summer release date. The build I saw (and the video above is from my gameplay session, with Rhinehart playing) still looks pretty early. I’m no developer, but it seems improbable that it would polish up too much from what I saw if it’s out in the next couple of months. Here’s hoping.
Ryan McCaffrey is IGN’s Executive Editor of Previews. Follow him on Twitter at @DMC_Ryan, catch him on Unlocked, and drop-ship him Taylor Ham sandwiches from New Jersey whenever possible.
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