Rune

aka: Rune: Viking Warlord
Moby ID: 2662
Windows Specs
Buy on PlayStation 2
$9.99 used, $107.50 new on eBay
Buy on Windows
$9.99 used on eBay
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Description official descriptions

As the conflict between the gods Odin and Loki deepens, the latter prepares to unleash the Ragnarok - a full-scale attack on the world that would eventually end it. A warrior named Ragnar is initiated into the Odinsblade, an order of warriors whose task is to protect the runestones, magical artifacts that have the power to bind Loki. Ragnar must also defend a neighboring village from the attack by a viking called Conrack, and eventually decide what fate this world should await.

Rune is a 3D action game. The player navigates Ragnar through hostile areas, killing predominantly supernatural creatures with melee weapons. Ragnar can use swords, axes, maces and hammers. Each weapon has a special "Rune Power" that can be activated for a short time by gathering energy from runes. Ragnar is also able to equip shields. Multiplayer is included as well, in which each player controls a character equipped with various weapons, in a fashion similar to Ragnar.

Spellings

  • Руна - Russian spelling

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Credits (Windows version)

102 People (94 developers, 8 thanks) · View all

Programming Lead
Art Manager
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Additional Programming
Design
  • Human Head Studios Incorporated
Level Design
Additional Level Design
Animation
Environmental Textures
Character Textures
3D Modelling
Concept Art
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 77% (based on 43 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.6 out of 5 (based on 63 ratings with 4 reviews)

Worth the time it took to learn what the hell i was doing...

The Good
To be honest i wasn't a fan when i first played Rune, i was really confused, not knowing where the hell i'm going, but i sat down and gave it a fair trial and once i learned some important skills i was hooked! Okay... graphics, not the greatest but they deserve to be mentioned, they provide a nice atmosphere, the backgrounds and inanimate objects are done very well. The cut scenes are also done well; Odin's big ass head speaking to you is cool. Surprised the hell out of me the first time though! The character voices are excellent, Odin's voice is great, it has a realistic sound to it ya' know? Not just some dufus reading his lines without emotion, it's a big plus! And then you got that punk on the first level...i believe he was chopping wood or something..anyway he talks shit to you! Too bad you can't strangle people in Rune! Another plus for Rune, it ran like a hot knife through butter (my system sucks, for lack of a nicer explanation) and not many games run smooth, Rune however ran beautifully! Weapons (oh baby) lots of 'em, different shapes, sizes and strengths another big plus! Speaking discreetly... near the end of the game when Ragnar has his "change of life" so to speak now that was just down right awesome!

The Bad
Not too many bad points, a couple though. For instance i recall two points in the game where there was (or so it seemed) no way to advance in two of the levels. i got to a certain point and blah, door or gate wouldn't open, i pulled every switch/lever and still nothing. i even consulted a walkthrough to no avail. Good thing for cheat codes. i mean i hate using cheat codes my first go round in a game but i was screwed... oh well. Jumping on those "super jump pad thingy’s" is cool but when you’re flying through the air he's stiff as a board, arms at his sides, it just looked terrible. Not a wide variety of enemy's either, fighting the same guys over and over got tedious to say the least. The ending... what was with the ending? i was expecting to sit down with Odin, have a nice meal of lizards and enemy meat and maybe talk about the quality of Viking porn while sipping a fine wine but that didn't happen... i really expected something more... again, sigh, oh well.

The Bottom Line
Excellent! It's probably dirt cheap to buy too, so do it!

Windows · by MrSuperGod (54) · 2004

Are you ready to Ragnarok?

The Good
Okay, sorry for the cheesy opening line. I couldn't help it. But it does fairly well describe Human Head's Rune.

Rune is based heavily on Nordic folklore. The developers did their homework and it shows. While it's not a great unwritten epic, the story is a pretty good one and gives more than a Hollywood treatment to Viking mythology.

The controls are well done and very easy to get used to, though there are some differences from your standard third person action game.

There are no ranged weapons in Rune. Everything is melee weapons and shields. While you don't have the flexibility Die By The Sword gave you planning your attack, Ragnar is still a pretty decent fighter.

Running down hallways lopping off zombie's heads/arms/legs with an axe is great, great fun. Finding yourself surrounded by Dark Vikings and hoping your shield lasts longer than their lives is a thrill. Combat in Rune is exhilarating.

As you play you will pick up Runestones scattered through levels. These are important, as each weapon you pick up (there are various weapons in the Sword, Mace and Axe categories) has a special charm on it. If you use your Rune 'mana', for a limited time your weapon will have special attacks. My favorite is the vampire sword that replenishes your health when you whack the bad guys. There's also a cool ice axe that will freeze bad guys then shatter them with a second hit.

As I'm sure you've heard before, Rune looks GREAT! At the time of this review, the game is three years old, but the texture work and Unreal engine have held up very well.

The characters are very well designed. The clockwork-man (so much for Norse mythology) looked especially cool. I also liked the Nibelung dwarves and the white shaggy Yeti-thing.

Ragnar himself is a 'business in the front, party in the back kind' of guy, sporting a mullet that would put Solid-Snake to shame.

The music is also very good, reminding me of the rousing soundtrack to Conan The Barbarian>. Wish it played more often.

The level design (once you leave the underworld) is inspired with just the right mix of claustrophobic hallways that open into large arenas where you know you're going to duke it out that then lead you to scaling walls and jumping across chasms.

The Bad
Rune's biggest failing is that the first part is the worst part.

Ragnar is killed in the beginning. He's resurrected by Odin and has to escape the underworld. Unfortunately, this takes up the first quarter/first third of the game. Though the underworld levels are well done, there's only so much to work with and after a while you just get tired of seeing caves.

Rune wouldn't have gotten such a glowing review from me if it didn't do a HUGE turnaround once you're above ground.

The only other complaint I have is that once you earn the most powerful weapons you have to stop using your shield. This seemed to be a bad design choice to me as it detracts a little from what strategy there is in Rune's combat system. One two-handed weapon would have been cool. One in each category was too many.

Also, the ending was a little disappointing. I don't want to spoil it for you, but I thought there would be another battle or something after I slayed the ultimate baddie, because he was a little too easy.

At least the story doesn't leave you hanging for a never-to-be sequel. And it also nicely leads in to the Halls Of Valhalla expansion, without making you feel ripped off if you didn't purchase it.

The Bottom Line
If you like third person melee games like Blade Of Darkness or Die By The Sword, I strongly recommend Rune.

Getting past the beginning may not seem worth it, but keep a stiff upper lip and keep slaying those zombies. It'll be worth your time.

Windows · by Atomic Punch! (186) · 2007

Norse Mythology & Vikings + Huge Axes = Slashing Fun

The Good
I love Thor, Richard Wagner, and Norse Mythology, which makes it hard for me to understand why Viking lore is such a largely untapped resource in entertainment. So when Rune came out I was anxious to see it in action.

The combat is fun, finding new and bigger weapons is fun, healing yourself by drinking flagons of mead is fun, hacking the limbs off vile creatures is fun. Rune is fun. You speak with Odin, you battle Loki and halt the coming of Ragnarok. You kill LOTS of creatures and evil Vikings in the course of Rune, and it's so much fun that any minor flaws are smoothed over and ignore-able.

The Bad
Rune gets slightly repetitive after a while, but not any more so than Pac-Man or any of the other classics we grew up on.

The Bottom Line
It's so much fun it's not fair to the other aspects of your life.

Windows · by MA17 (252) · 2001

[ View all 4 player reviews ]

Trivia

Unlike most games, Rune does not preserve your save game files when you uninstall it. So if you want to keep them, be sure to back your saves up manually before you uninstall the game from your hard drive.

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Andrew Hartnett.

Linux added by Trixter. PlayStation 2 added by Riamus. Macintosh added by Jeanne.

Additional contributors: Alan Chan, Antti Salminen, Xoleras, Klaster_1.

Game added November 26, 2000. Last modified April 1, 2024.