Runescape: A total shock to the system.
I first played Runescape over ten years ago and I logged in thinking that I’d see the blocky early console graphics, and was very, very surprised by what I found. The game had gone from this:
Some part of me still can’t believe this is the same game.
During my absence the game engine had under gone two upgrades since its early days, and is now running from the Runescape 3 engine.
The sheer amount of improvements it has made over the years are astounding, and I find a game I could quite happily lose myself in again for months, if not years due to the amount of content. This constant self improvement and wealth of content explains why the game has been alive for a staggering fifteen years!
Anyway, Runescape is a MMORPG that is click and point in style and its’ open world is so versatile that it offers players an amazing moment of freedom on how to progress and play.
So if like me you were thinking of the former, you might want to dip your toes back in as it is essentially a whole new game. For those hankering after nostalgia, however; the old Runescape exists in an old school form and can be downloaded from the site, it is still supported with regular events by the looks of things. Amazing dedication to the fans.
- Easy to master controls and combat – very newbie friendly.
- Classless system – train in everything in one character (magic, bows, swords and prayers.)
- A very open world – don’t like fighting? Become a tailor/smith instead.
- Fantastic PVP element
- A great sign post system that is tailored to your playing style.
- A constant stream of events and new content for players to experience.
- Unique quests that have puzzle elements and are not restricted to combat alone.
- A humorous game that I found myself chuckling at a few times.
I mean a cow on a wheel! Okay… I am very easy to amuse. Little minds.
You get absolutely no choice in class or ability. All you get is a choice over how your character looks. I went for a purple haired – retired punk rocker with a hippy-ish vibe. Seems like an interesting character to role-play in a magical hero fantasy world.
Weirdly, this total lack of choice gives you the greatest freedom in game to pursue the game-play you enjoy most. Fed up of playing The White Knight? Then just switch in game and become the demonically possessed wizard. Tired of adventure? Retire and become a farmer.
The amount of choice and options this system gives you is staggering.
To my surprise I started the game and found there was actually a narrative for me to follow. My recollection of the game was just a jumbled mess of quests that you randomly found and a lot of resource gathering to craft armor. But now there is a small narrative that guides you through the game, the abilities that you can gain and the ways in which you can play it. And it is a pretty good story that will see you fighting zombies, necromancers, mighty demons, colossal sea monsters and cows (at least one of which is a zombie if you can believe that). You’ll also face puzzles to prove your worthiness to wield magic swords and to open doors to monsters’ lairs.
As always progression is driven forward through quests and dialogues. This long quest teaches you the basics of everything, from fighting with bow, magic and sword to fishing, cooking and wood chopping. You’ll also see scenes unfold in-front of you.
Even after the introductory story has finished the quest story-lines are fun and are engaging. The first one I found had me carry out a Robin Hood like heist by baking a pie to use as a weapon. The story-line was short, funny and rewarding to play.
There was neat embellishments after the quest too, NPC’s in the area rock back and forth experiencing PTSD from the after effects of my pie. The amazing story-telling that gripes you and makes you come back for more. It was a really great fetch and carry task due to the humor and entertainment.
Combat is point and click on an enemy. There are buttons to press during combat that unleash special attack upon the enemy although the game does this automatically too. You have lots of options such as sword, dual sword, magic, and bows and some enemies are more susceptible to one weapon type than the other. You also build up adrenaline during a fight that will allow you to access more advanced abilities.
Among combat there are journals to explain why there are random dead bodies that litter the floor and puzzles to help you sneak past super strong enemies like a thief. This gives quests a freshness to the game that button mashing action RPG’s miss as killing things to extinction is not always the best option.
The sheers amount of skill areas that you have to level is astounding:
Each one of them represents an area to focus on be it prayer, sword fighting, sewing or fishing.
After the tutorial it will ask you how you want to play, the area you want to focus on – adventuring and quests, pure combat and PVP or the more artisan skills like cooking or smithing. By choosing one of these options the game will then guide you to the nearest quest in the path you’ve choose. You are free to change paths at anytime:
The game also has daily challenges and lots of other interesting challenges to find :
Anyone else really interested in checking out the penguin campaign?
Even though it is a simple point and click combat system the requires little to no knowledge of RPG’s, it is game-play that offers fantastic open-world freedom with quest-lines that are tailored to your play style.
There is still a strong PVP element within the game, and I think the combat route I haven’t experimented with just yet is the side of the game that will allow you to explore PVP fully.
Even with the sharp increase in graphics from Runescape 1 – the graphics are still little basic, but not in a way that detracts from the game-play. So low graphic but still very playable and entertaining.
The community is still thriving in this game. And I think this exchange here just goes to show just how friendly and great the Runescape Community is :-
I like to think they meet in the queue, there was some pushing, they dueled and then they walked off the screen making excuse for their dismal performances whilst in search of cafe where they could bond over tea.
One of the oldest, and longest running free MMORPG’s yet still one with the best freedom and content.
It is not a game that takes itself seriously, as shown by the humor that is present in it. It also has a tons of content – and your always unlocking more. It has a huge amount of freedom in the open world that you can explore, unlike a lot of its competitors.
The action is slower than the combo-action side scrolls but still hell of a lot of fun. And with the gigantic boss battles it can also pull off some epic moments of action.
If I missed something let me know in the comments below!