Title: RUNE II: Decapitation Edition
Publisher: Ragnarok Game, LLC
Developer: Studio 369
Official Site: https://www.rune2.com
Release Date: Nov 13, 2020
Available on: PC
Where to Buy: Steam
When a famous warrior was asked what is best in life, he replied, to crush your enemies and to see them driven before you. RUNE II: Decapitation Edition is an ARPG game that embodies this statement. The game has come a long way since it’s initially troubled launched back in 2019.
As we explained in our impression coverage of a co-op session in RUNE II, the game, now called RUNE II: Decapitation Edition, has many new features and was completely rebuilt from the ground up. It will be available tomorrow on Steam, which is why I’d love to tell you why I’m in love with this game. So without further adieu, let’s begin, dawn your mail and grab your axes, for the wolf Fenrir is near.
Awaken Wolf, Ready Your Steel, The Gods Are Calling You
RUNE II‘s new and reworked story has you awaken as a newly resurrected warrior plucked from the depths of the afterlife by the god Heimdallr to tasked them with a sacred quest. Stop Loki from bringing about the fable Ragnarök to Midgard. Along the way, you will meet various characters ripped straight out of Norse mythology and brought to life before you. In the end, you must also survive the literal end of the world long enough to put a stop to Loki’s plans and save Midgard.
So far, everything regarding the story has been an extremely positive experience. The writing is good, and the main characters are highly engrossing. The lore behind the game is fun to delve into and explore. The characters are also carried well by the voice acting, although at times admittedly, some can come off as awkward. For the vast majority, though, it is good.
This can be attributed to very talented streamers and YouTube personalities, lending their voices to many of the characters. There were even over 2000 lines of dialogue! In the end, it was an excellent move as the characters in RUNE II are given new life with their many new voices and 2000 lines of dialogue.
RUNE II: Decapitation Edition, along with having interesting characters plucked straight from the mythology and lore, has awesome enemy designs based in the same way. There are frost and ice giants, dwarves, werewolves, and even legions of undead warriors. Overall, both the characters and enemies are highly enjoyable in RUNE II. If you love games with a lot of lore, you are going to love RUNE II: Decapitation Edition.
Visually RUNE II is decent and does a great job of fully utilizing its effects to create a somber, decaying world. It will make you pause in awe at how brutal the gore in combat can be. There’s a lot of blood and limbs everywhere, and it’s freaking awesome. These join the various vistas and locations in the game that look stunning and full of life.
250 Quests In RUNE II: Decapitation Edition
Gameplay-wise, RUNE II: Decapitation Edition is an intriguing game as it blends elements of a lot of genres into one highly enjoyable package. Most of all, it is an adventure game like the original title that came out back in 2000, but with updates to make it similar to Grim Dawn or Torchlight. Because of this, there’s a lot on offer to explore, and it’s definitely nothing like its previously broken state.
The game starts you off with nothing, and you slowly build your character from the initial starting tutorial to a warrior of legend straight out of the Viking sagas. You do this by completing quests and fighting all types of enemies based on Norse mythology, and gaining tons of loot. Along with that, the new Decapitation Edition features a wide array of dungeon locations spread across Midgard.
The quests in RUNE II are fun and highly enjoyable, and there’s a ton of them, 250 to be exact! As we discussed in our impressions piece on RUNE, this is a new addition in the Decapitation Edition as before; there were only five quests. That said, what is here is very welcomed as the quests add enjoyable content to the title.
Additionally, the quests offer grand opportunities to learn more about the world of Midgard and it’s inhabitants. Dungeons are similar to the quests but offer more ways to gain powerful loot and level up. They are also repeatable, which is freaking awesome because you can farm these dungeons for valuable items like allmetal. Meanwhile, the dungeons are excellently designed and have hidden secrets keen-eyed players can find if they know where to look.
Crafting plays a huge role in RUNE II, as it’s one of the easiest ways to gain new and powerful items. You can craft items from recipes you earn, which can be found when leveling and finding lore stones spread throughout the world. It’s a great addition to me, as it is enjoyable hunting down various lore stones to unlock more items.
One of the more notable mechanics, though, was the Village horde events. This tasks you with defending a stone while hordes of opponents try to take it and you down. It’s a fun feature, but I feel it could have a little more to it, like protecting different parts of the village and building barricades or walls.
Hack and Slash Loot In RUNE II: Decapitation Edition
Combat in this game is visceral and has real weight to it, and you will become entranced and lost to the heat of battle like a berserker of old. It offers tons of abilities and skills that lend to making it so enjoyable. The best by far is it’s bloodlust system that allows you to go into states where special blood lust skills will come into play with several varying effects. All of this results in you becoming an effective killing machine, letting nothing stand in your way.
As for boss fights, there are a ton in RUNE II, and you better be ready for them. These bosses hit hard, so you better be ready, or you’ll be dying numerous times. Thankfully, you have a few tricks up your sleeve. Combat has a parry system and an emphasis on dodging to block attacks. You also have a vast selection of weapons to choose from. The combat benefits from all of these features as you have a great choice in the way you want to engage enemies.
Along with enjoyable quests and visceral combat, loot is another primary feature in RUNE II: Decapitation Edition. You will gather a lot of it, and there is a lot to be found in Midgard. Loot is categorized in the traditional ARPG format of color categories, which are listed below for reference.
- White (Common)
- Green (Uncommon)
- Blue ( Rare)
- Purple (Epic)
- Yellow (Legendary)
This system is a welcome feature that I love personally as a life long fan of ARPG games. It works well in RUNE II in conjunction with design choices regarding how you gain loot and what you can do with it. In short, unlike most ARPG games, where there are merchants you can sell items to, in RUNE II, you can only store the armor and weapons you find, and you can only gain new items from out in the Wild.
At first, this felt a little strange as in nearly every ARPG game, merchants have been a key feature. On the other hand, it’s an intriguing change that switches things up. Loot also, in the end, becomes the currency in which you must utilize to survive in this harsh apocalyptic Norse world.
Skills and Dedication To Gods Are Important In RUNE II
The next primary feature in RUNE II: Decapitation Edition is the unique and highly customizable skill system. The system in question is based on the worship and dedication to three gods; Thor, Odin, Hel, and a rebel heretic path. Each path has its own set of skills and abilities divided into the following types listed below.
- BloodLust ( These skills affect the blood lust system and can provide powerful passive bonuses)
- Skills ( Skills are your typical abilities from other ARPG games)
- Blessings (Similar to Blood lust abilities, Blessings offer unique passives to the player such as healing or double damage)
Along with differing skill sets, each path or god also tailors to a specific playstyle. For example, the god Hel is most suited to players who enjoy playing as fast-hitting warriors. Thor’s skills are suited more for fighters, and Odin is for your traditional healer player role and the final heretic skill path, being your sort of barbarian tank role. Each god skill path has a unique summonable companion, which you can see below.
- Hel (Draugr)
- Thor (A huge boar)
- Odin (Wolves)
- Heretic (Human Mercenaries)
Overall it’s a great system that encourages a lot of playing around and finding what works for you. The abilities have decent effects and function amazingly in combat, along with having good variation in the number of them. I’ve personally been enjoying playing as a character devoted to the god Hel and being a fast ax-wielding maniac.
Verdict: RUNE II: Decapitation Edition is well worth your time and then some, and as we said in our impressions piece, it is “simply phenomenal.” RUNE II fans will finally get their hands on the game that they were expecting back in 2019. This ARPG is extremely fun and enjoyable and has a lot of content on offer, and will take you around 130 hours to fully complete all of the quests. Because of that, I highly recommend checking the game out tomorrow and slaying some giants for the Norse gods.
- Visceral and engaging combat
- Addicting ARPG elements (send help)
- Vast story and lore
- In-depth crafting
- Awkward voices
- I'm still addicted
- Lack of merchants