Viking Dismemberment Simulator RUNE II Attempts To Crawl Its Way Out Of The Grave With Lazarus Update
I’m honestly shocked that the RUNE II story didn’t make more waves in gaming discourse. The game released in an apocalyptic broken state. It was missing several key features and had no meaningful endgame. It was very clear that at a certain point they just stopped developing it and rushed it out the gate. The game was also an Epic Games Store exclusive, which at the time was still the cause for much gamer harrumphing. However, the most damning part of the story was that developer Human Head Studios disbanded and was absorbed by Bethesda the day after the game launched. This was a huge slap in the face to anyone that bought the game with the reasonable expectation that it would see some post-launch support. The multiplayer battlegrounds-style genre lives off of content updates. Even with no new stuff, it’s reasonable in the age of digital distribution to expect at the very least some bug fixes. It was an even bigger slap in the face to publisher Ragnarok Game, LLC, whom Human Head had promised ongoing support for RUNE II.
With Human Head Studios reforming into Roundhouse Studios, development of new content for Rune II was now squarely on the shoulders of Ragnarok Game, LLC. A lengthy forum post detailed the remaining team’s struggles, and they promised they would reform soon to bring new content. This is where I stopped following the story. I assumed that RUNE II was dead. It was getting savaged by critics and was so broken that a clear path to a finished state was hard to envision. How any team could continue to try and fix such a toxic property was beyond my comprehension. And lo, today they have proven me the fool.
The newest update to RUNE II is titled Lazarus. And resurrection is certainly the theme. My conservative estimate is that 95% of the game has been changed. They have completely overhauled the combat system, stamina, healing, hunger, all that fundamental stuff. They have also added villagers that will give your rebuilding a real sense of purpose. All the enemies have been re-balanced, and the map overhauled to give the game an actual sense of logic and progression. It’s frankly an absurd amount of content for a game everyone was writing off as dead. If you want to see just how much stuff has been changed, you can find the full patch notes here.
While I can’t say for certain whether or not the update makes RUNE II worth buying, I’m certainly interested. You can check it out yourself now on the EGS for $30.