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Convention Coverage: GenCon 1999 -- Wrapup
Dates:Thursday, August 5th through Sunday, August 8th
Location: Midwest Express Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Event Management: Wizards of the Coast
Required System:Your feet and a willingness to have some fun.
Author:Michael Ahlf      Date: August 15th1999
Page: 1

Preview #2: Rune

Publisher: Gathering of Developers

Rune is something unique to the community of games -- it's a third person game which more resembles a first person shooter. The game is based off of the Unreal engine, but features some massive changes. For starters, the AI is vastly tuned up: if you feel like you're being watched, YOU ARE. Enemies don't just wait -- they will move around, look around, and be generally aware of their surroundings AND you. Also, the combat is nearly entirely melee -- all the long-range portable weapons do dinky damage, though a ballista or other stationary long-range weapon may be found occasionally. What this means for gamers is that the combat will be trickier, with its own nuances (definitely not the standard DM fare). Finally, the engine features level of detail -- as more enemies appear onscreen, they reduce in polygon count per enemy, enabling far more to be onscreen at a time. I saw a few gremlins (okay more like TWENTY) thrown out onscreen: not only did they reduce in polygons (though not bad enough to hurt graphics), they also were watching me, following me with their eyes. It was really creepy.

The Storyline:Welcome to the world of the Vikings. That's right -- the player is a VIKING, off to pillage and burn (in that order please) towns as well as follow storyline. This time period features lots of nifty magical beasts, as well as the traditional townspeople.

Multiplayer:Rune will be VERY good for multiplayer: in addition to the ever-standard DM modes (altered of course with the difference in weapon styles from the traditional) players will be able to play through the ENTIRE game, storyline and all, in Co-op mode. It seems that co-op is finally making its way back into games.

In Short: If it's half as good as they said, it'll be worth the money. The only concerns? Unreal engine=sluggish D3D, and a release time of summer of 2000 (time enough for something to completely overshadow it technology-wise).

Back to the main wrapup page.

Gencon '99

Added:  Sunday, August 15, 1999
Reviewer:  Michael Ahlf

Page: 6/10

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