You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Control a Viking Warrior in the Multiplayer, Open-World Adventure ‘Rune Ragnarok’

After nearly 20 years of working on other games like “Prey” and its cancelled sequel, Human Head Games is returning home with “Rune: Ragnarok,” a resurrected follow-up to “Rune,” the studios first project that launched all the way back in 2000. It’s something that they’ve wanted to make for a long time.

“The original game is a very linear, story based adventure where you follow Ragnar on his journey. This is an open world game with a lot more player choice,” Human Head Games Project Director Chris Rhinehart tells Variety. “We want fans to know that this is a modern take on Rune, we’re working to combine that nostalgia from the first game with things people want now.”

Rune: Ragnarok” is an open world, third person, action-adventure title set in Human Head Games’ loose depiction of Midgard, a fantasy world influenced by Denmark. It can be played alone on private servers or online with up sixty four players in a single session. It has both PvP and PvE elements where players can team up and raid fortresses together or kill one another for loot. I sat down with a short hands-on demo of the game, currently in a closed Alpha, at E3 this year to see how Rhinehart and his team were approaching a present-day take on their first project.

After jumping in and creating my own viking with a series of character creation tools, we see that Ragnarok, the Norse myth that leads to the world being submerged under water, has begun and mankind needs to stop it. They’ll need to swear fealty to one of a handful of Norse gods, Thor, Odin, Freya, or Hel in order to fight Loki and his minions. Each god represents a slightly different playstyle, with Thor being focused on powerful melee combat. “Most of the world has already been destroyed and flooded,” Rhinehart added. “Loki found a way to keep Ragnarok from finishing, you need to find him and kill him to save things.”

Popular on Variety

My short time with “Rune: Ragnarok” reminded me of several other fantasy games in the same genre, including ones that explored Norse mythology. Quests are received through hundreds of glowing ‘Loki’ stones that get you one step closer to the trickster god, items can be both picked up throughout the world and crafted with the proper ingredients, and combat consists of familiar melee and magic-based third person action.

The one question that was in the back of my head as I fought undead vikings and sailed through freezing waters was: How is this different?

“It’s not just deathmatch or team deathmatch with multiplayer,” Rhinehart said. “You can go on raids together. Every once and a while a notification will pop up in the server telling everyone about a specific raid only happening for the next hour and everyone will rush to that spot and usually only one player or side will be left standing.”

“Rune: Ragnarok” does have the potential to be one of the most full-fledged Viking experiences in games right now, it has most features that players could ask for in a Norse focused power fantasy. Sailable long boats that can be engaged in ocean warfare, formidable giants that can kill you with the snap of their fingers, classic role playing elements, and a personalizable story that matches your playstyle with an almighty god.

“You’re getting more story beyond what happened to Ragnar in the original “Rune,”” Rhinehart added. “You don’t have to have played the original to be able to enjoy “Ragnarok,” and we hope fans of the original will mesh with the modern mechanics that we’ve added.”

More Gaming

  • Green Day Beat Saber music pack

    Beat Saber Gets Green Day Music Pack, 360-Degree Levels

    Coinciding with Green Day’s performance at the Game Awards, Facebook announced late Thursday that the popular virtual reality game Beat Saber is getting a Green Day music pack. The 6-song pack is slated to go live at midnight, and players will simultaneously get access to Beat Saber’s long-awaited 360-degree gameplay. The Green Day music pack [...]

  • Ghost of Tsushima Trailer

    'Ghost of Tsushima' New Trailer Drops at The Game Awards

    A new full trailer for developer Sucker Punch’s “Ghost of Tsushima” is finally here. The latest substantial footage of the samurai game dropped at The Game Awards Thursday night, marking the first real look at the PS4 exclusive since Sony released a short teaser during its State of Play earlier this week. “Ghost of Tsushima” [...]

  • Ultimate Rivals The Rink - Apple

    Apple Arcade Launches NHL Game That Lets You Put Athletes From Other Sports on the Ice

    Now you can see NBA superstar LeBron James facing off against NHL great Wayne Gretzky in a fast-paced hockey game. In an innovative fantasy mashup for sports gaming fans, Apple Arcade is launching “Ultimate Rivals: The Rink,” a hockey game that lets you pit NHL players against athletes from other sports. The game is available [...]

  • Xbox Series X: Next-Gen Console Revealed

    Microsoft Reveals Next-Gen Console, Xbox Series X, at The Game Awards

    The next-generation Xbox console is officially called the Xbox Series X, and will be released over next year’s holiday season, Microsoft revealed during Thursday night’s The Game Awards. Head of Xbox Phil Spencer took the stage at Los Angeles’ Microsoft Theater to make the big reveal about the project previously known as Project Scarlett, and [...]

  • The Game Awards

    How to Watch the 2019 Game Awards

    The Game Awards will be taking place on Thursday night and, fittingly, there are plenty of ways to stream the event online. The whole show will be streaming live starting at 5:30 p.m. PT/8:30 p.m. ET from Los Angeles’ Microsoft Theater on The Game Awards’ YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Twitch pages. Additionally, for the first [...]

  • Riot Games

    Riot Games to Pay $10 Million to Settle Gender-Discrimination Lawsuit

    Riot Games, developer of “League of Legends,” will fork over at least $10 million to settle a class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of women employees alleging the company’s “bro culture” resulted in systemic gender discrimination. Terms of the settlement in the case, reached in August, were revealed in court documents filed last week in California [...]

  • Dreamscape_Dragon vr

    Dreamscape Gets ‘DreamWorks Dragons Flight Academy’ VR Experience (EXCLUSIVE)

    Location-based virtual reality (VR) startup Dreamscape has teamed up with DreamWorks Animation to launch a new “How to Train Your Dragons” experience at its flagship Westfield Century City VR center in Los Angeles later this month. The 11-minute “DreamWorks Dragons Flight Academy” experience allows up to 8 participants to hone their dragon-flying skills together, and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content