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Thursday, October 19, 2000

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First Impressions of Rune
4:21 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

MacNN and FiringSquad have both posted articles related to Rune, the Viking-themed melee combat title from Human Head. This title recently went 'gold' for the PC platform and is expected in stores any day now; the Mac version is currently in late Beta and may be ready to publish within the next few weeks.

FiringSquad posted an extensive 'first impression' of this game, based on a hands-on experience with a late beta copy for PC. They are quite enthusiastic about the title, and are equally enthusiastic about describing the gore and bloodshed that is inevitable in any game that features sharp swords and gigantic battle-axes. Be aware, their detailed descriptions of slaughter are not for the squeamish. Here's an excerpt on the eye candy:

Seeing as this game uses the Unreal Tournament engine, it makes us wonder why Epic didn't to do a better job with its own little baby. To put it simply, Rune puts Unreal Tournament to shame. Graphically, this game wows at every turn. Whether you are taking apart some little imp or beating back an evil Viking, all the character models are very detailed. Character animations are no less intense. Blood splatters on you as your upper body heaves from the exertion of swinging a two-handed battle-axe. You even leave footprints outlined in blood. The icing on the cake is the battle damage, your clothes get tattered and you sword becomes slick with the blood of many felled enemies.

If the characters aren't enough, the scenery is equally astounding. The different levels varied considerably; the creators send you from the pits of hell to a town with snow-covered buildings. Multiple lighting effects and shadows combine to create a rather chilling experience if played in the right conditions.

Our personal favorites here at IMG are the mummies found in the tomb levels, which totter towards you with that Night of the Living Dead stagger, just begging to be set aflame with your torch. Yes, the game is NOT for the squeamish. The article is accompanied by a large group of very nice screen shots.

MacNN has posted a preview of the game which is a nice encapsulation of the information publicly available around the web. One of the many unique features of this title is the third-person (or Tomb-Raider style) viewpoint, in which the camera hovers above and behind Ragnar. While this type of view has not been conducive to all-out action in the past, many previews have heaped praise on Human Head's handling of this difficult perspective. MacNN feels no differently:

Unlike past third-person 3D games which suffered from a poorly-implemented camera system, Rune's third-person camera is a very well-done and welcomed feature. It currently does a pretty good job of staying on the battles, but not clipping through every wall. Another feature of this is that when you get into a tight area, Ragnar can become translucent so that the camera can see through him when it's too close, instead of just getting to stare at the back of his savage head and back.
Read the rest of their preview for more details. Mac Rune will be published by Gathering of Developers as a separate boxed Mac version.

Rune Preview at MacNN
Rune: First Impressions at FiringSquad
Gathering of Developers
Human Head Studios
Westlake Interactive

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