Rune 2 Review, Human Head Studios' Last Rattle Prior to Bethesda Softworks Acquisition
It's not always that you start writing review a game with your active development team and close it with the same flaw, but that's exactly what happened to us Rune 2, a title that concludes the sad parable of Human Head Studios, which began in 2000 with Rune. Remastering the article, we almost wanted to make it an epitaph for a studio that always had good ideas, but was never able to perceive them as they would like.
Paradox that saving Human Head employees was Bethesda, which in Prey 2's time literally sent the studio to the streets, even though the project was more than promising, ruling out any possibility of recovery.
So the team that made rough little gemstones like Rune, Dead Man's Hand and Prey found themselves having to beg for projects with a bone-reduced team, dropping lower and lower until the negative peak comes with the bad The Quiet Man. There, the survivors of the negative vote drip and the lost money wanted to go back to their origins and were trying to play their last card: Rune 2. At this point, you might be wondering if it's worth playing. The answer is really simple: no, never mind.
Unfortunately, the failure of Human head does not guarantee any game support, support needed immensely given the state in which it is found. It's easy to write that Rune 2 is an overly ambitious project for a gluttony team, but we wouldn't want to look too cynical. I almost feel like closing the review here, suddenly it has become pointless to talk about the game. However, let's try it.
Rune 2 is an open world third person action where we play the role of a generic Nordic warrior who has to face the Ragnarok, the end of time, once again defeating the god. Loki, returned after Ragnar, the protagonist of the first Rune, cut him to pieces with an ax. Guided by God HeimdallWe must therefore turn to the Isles of Midgard for some artifacts with incredible powers, unique in giving us the strength to confront the colossal enemy, weakening the Portal of Kingdoms. Artifacts must be collected within a timeframe, after which Loki will attack us and take control of a given territory, making our mission difficult.
The territories claimed by Loki are, in turn, recoverable as long as they defeat the guardians who guard them, a task that is not easy when the character is still low and has no special performance equipment. Fortunately, dying, you do not see the game over, but are sent back to one of the unlocked checkpoints on the map, from which you can start again with theequipment practically intact.
Rune 2 is a mix of different genres, unfortunately without taste. In addition to role playing capabilities, with character growth completely driven by the system, there are also parts survival, very shallow, which requires you to break stones and cut trees to rebuild houses for cooking, repairing weapons, manufacturing new equipment and depositing many objects in special chests. All buildings are rebuilt in much the same way and all contain the same work tools, so starting to collect material to build them becomes repetitive after a few minutes.
The system is particularly agile because, obviously, we wanted to favor the cooperative mode, where certain delays are not welcome, but the substance is that the elements of survival are really superficial, almost annoying from a certain point onwards.
The world of Rune 2 is filled only with enemies – such as Thrall, the walking dead, giants, and so on – and animals, who also behave as enemies, whether they are wolves or cubs (yes, Bambi is also aggressive). In addition to missions main, there are no other missions assigned to us. However, there are tasks implied in the game system that reward us with additional experience points. For example, we need to cut down a certain number of trees, kill a specific amount of enemies, explore some important areas, and so on. Everything is very straightforward, but overall not very interesting.
The combat system is in line with the rest of the game: I'd like to be brutal, but it turns out to be anything but. In fact, the blows are slippery, the clashes usually chaotic and the strategy completely absent. In most cases, you just have to jump into the fray and strike madly to win. When the enemies are too strong, step back and come back with a few more levels or a better weapon. The only strategy that really pays is to escape. The parade may be convenient on occasion, but don't expect anything too much. The boss they themselves are simply tougher and more evil enemies. There is something better in the second part of the adventure, which is in the most remote territories of the map (dragons, larger creatures and so on), but obviously you need to get there. As a result, the progression of difficulty, in most cases, is entrusted to the number of enemies to be dealt with simultaneously and the damage they cause, not to a particular variety of attack patterns.
However, the focus of Rune 2 is on equipment. Throughout the game world there are dozens of revenue which give you access to increasingly powerful weapons and armor, which is the only reason for continuing to search for resources and explore every corner of Midgard. The most valuable parts have greater durability and are obviously worse. Owning them is necessary to access some of the most inaccessible areas on the map, where it is almost impossible to reach with basic equipment. In general, playing alone is not very motivated to move on. in cooperative things change, but few people currently own the game; so you have a friend available who wants to share the experience or it gets complicated exploring the best feature of the title.
Bug and glitch
Rune 2 is not horrible, but it is simply incomplete and unfinished in every respect. Some things just work, some would take a few more months of development, some are simply incomplete.
There are also lots of bugs and glitches, among never ending rocks, trees that don't fall but still give resources, temporary control system crashes, skipping animations, falling enemies and anything else sometimes. You really have to get your hands on your hair. As already mentioned, the fact that the developer fails makes these problems particularly serious because it a priori excludes that they have been resolved. Some corrections may be published, but we do not believe we can expect much more, especially in structural terms.
- Intriguing scenario
- Some interesting ideas
- Outlined Game Systems
- Slippery combat system
- Errors and glitches that will never be corrected