Review: Rune II : If a Tree Falls in the Woods…. PC

Well, that’s different.

Rune II, the sequel to the cult classic Rune launched to such little fanfare it seems half of the gaming media didn’t even know it was out, and the other half didn’t care, even Reddit is not talking about it, with the exception of the hiveminds who hate anything on epic store, they would rant about an emote being 1px misaligned for a good 400-500 comments, yet even they are barely talking about Rune II.

In fact if not for the bizarre human head studio drama and the classic who gets the baby panic going on, I think no significant sites would have covered it at all.

More Drama than a Loot Llama.

So far the news is sketchy but what we have currently is three slightly viewpoints, based on information from different sources.

Developer: Human Head Studios folded due to economic realities, which implies Rune II didn’t sell well, no further updates to Rune II will be coming as Human Head studio now works for Bethesda as Roundhouse Studios.

Rune II Team/Publisher: Human Head Studios developers will be replaced by a new team, and all future updates will arrive as planned, simply slightly delayed due to a new team being formed, Rune II sold exceptionally well and broke every expectation and sale target.

Rune II aka Game itself: Rune II is far from ready and lacks substantial polish, almost as if it was forced to release for economic or administrative/financial reasons.

Personally I am inclined to believe all 3 offer a little bit of truth and a whole lot of flannel, jumping ship so soon was a bad PR move by HHS and I can only see them doing it if they had no choice but to close/rebrand to save jobs,  Rune II feels rushed to the point the quality of the framework and the lack of polish is a glaring contrast, any developer who could create such an excellent framework wouldn’t be happy with the shoddy overall appearance and colossal laundry list of bugs Rune II launched with.

Presuming the Publisher/Rune II team is telling the truth and the game sold very well, it’s more than likely a new team will come along to fix the issues and make Rune II a cult classic like its predecessor, however without drastic levels of polish Rune II will slip away into obscurity, rumor-ridden and the become first epic exclusive failure, very much like Steam Early Access suffers from the shame that is Stomping Lands.

Worth a Buy?

Rune II isn’t a bad game. Honestly, its got far more polish than cult classics like Mount and Blade Warband, the combat while janky looking is exciting and well thought out, a single mistake can cost you the fight, the physics engine needs some work however as the level of ragdoll on corpses breaks all immersion, and I faced flying and rolling bodies more fights than not.

Rune II is a solid triple I indie that needs a lot of work to truly shine but don’t go into it expecting A level quality as you will be sorely disappointed.

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