Rune – Review

Company: Gathering of Developers

Price: $39.99

When I first looked at Rune, I really did not know a whole lot about the game. It was not making all that many waves with the other Mac gamers I speak with, so my expectations of this game were very low. At first, I thought this game just another Quake type of game. Then I played it. And I could not have been more wrong!

Rune is a single and multi-player game in which you are in deep Viking lore. In the single player side of things, you are Rangar, a young Viking who has just earned your manhood as a warrior, and just in time it seems as it is time for adventure!

The single player story is great. You will solve puzzles to move onto the new levels as often as you will hack a bad guy to death. From swimming underwater to jumping across gaps in the floor, you will quickly find yourself emerged in a good story and even better game play.

The graphics are first rate all the way, though a good graphics card will make game play even better. On a 333MHz iMac, the game was very playable in both single and multi player action, but the graphic on a G4 500MHz system with a better graphics card made it a whole different game. Better by far.

Sound and visuals are very important to the success of a game, and Rune delivers great marks here. But all the cool sounds and pictures will not make a game great if character control is difficult or clumsy. I am happy to say that after a few minutes playing the game, and reconfiguring the controls to more my liking, Rune is a masterpiece of movement and control.

You use your mouse to spin your character, and the mouse button is the attack button. You will also need to use your keyboard to move front, back, left, right, jump, duck, throw, pickup, and use your Rune power. (More on that later) Sounds confusing, I know, but as I said, it only took me a few minutes to get used to the game play, and now it feels very natural to me. I think you will agree that movement in this game is almost perfect. Far better than most games. The characters feel very fluid, and movements are VERY precise.

Rune also sports one of the best muli-player environments I have ever seen. You simply log onto a server (the faster your connection the better) and find a game that looks interesting to you. Honestly, I spent much more time playing the multi-player part of Rune than I did the single player mode, so a lot of my review is based on that.

In multi-player, you can choose from a host of different characters you want to be, and I have yet to see any real difference in any of the choices. They just look different, which is a good thing. Otherwise, everyone would be picking the same characters, and it would be hard to tell one user from another on the Internet.

At the start of the multi-player game, you start off with one (lowly) little axe. As you move around the various maps, you will find other, better weapons. You will also quickly learn not to mess with someone if they have a great weapon while you have a little axe, unless they are an unskilled player. (In which case you can take them out!) You also find Rune power, which gives your chosen weapon powers to more easily and quickly kill your opponents. Each weapon does something different, and each takes a certain amount of Rune power to activate it. Once activated, you will have the Rune power for only a short amount of time, so you do want to save it until there are some people close by needing killing.

Rune power is very cool to behold. For instance, if you have a broadsword, and you collect enough Rune power to turn your weapon on, the friggin’ thing looks like a light-saber! You cut people to bits much more easily with that than just a plain ‘ol broadsword.

Game play is fun and addictive. Rune is actually a third person game. You can see your character while playing, rather than “being” the character in a first person game. This makes much more sense in Rune, as you have to interact with so many other items while your playing.

All in all, I would have to say Rune is a terrific game. But don’t just take my word for it, download the demo and try it for yourself.

I did have some problems stability-wise, however. The game needs and update badly, as it does crash all to often. But the instability of the game, while noticeable has not stopped me from playing and enjoying Rune in the least. I hope Gathering of Developers works out the bugs soon, as they are the reason for the less than perfect score in this review.

So, if Rune worth the forty bucks asking price? Hell yeah! Ain’t nothing like running through a dark corridor and see your opponent with his back to you. At the last moment, he turns, TOO LATE, and “Whack!” His ‘friggin head flops to the ground, you see some blood spurt, and your sword/axe/hammer is red with blood. Nothing like that at all, and you will love every minute of this game.

Requirements: Mac OS 8.6 or higher (tested fine with Mac OS 9.1) 233 MHz PowerPC G3 or higher, 96 MB RAM and 630MB of Hard Drive space.

MacMice Rating: 4 out of 5

Tim Robertson

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