Prey For Rune 2

By Alec Meer on April 16th, 2012 at 10:31 am.

With official confirmation still lacking as to whether Prey 2 is currently bleeding out by the bins out the back of Bethesda HQ or if the great hunt will yet continue, one of the many additional questions is what might become of developer Human Head. Sounds like they’re pondering a resurrection of their first game, viking-based brawler Rune. The 2000 Unreal-powered stabbing’n'jumping title is, apparently, a “cult hit classic”, and its official Facebook page has raised the possibility of it getting the sequel treatment.

In this age of crowd-power and given the possible kicking to the curb of Prey 2 by a big publisher, it’s hard not to chin-scratch about whether they’ll go down the Kickstarter route for this. But that is pure speculation. All we do know for now is that the Facebook page is seeking fan-input as to what they’d ideally like to see from a possible sequel – what platforms, whether brutality is better than roleplaying and if Cuthbert D. Tulip would be an appropriate name for a viking hero. You can answer these questions here.

I just gunned up the demo of Rune, which I’d missed at the time, and while it’s not screaming invaluable classic at me it seems like a cheerful romp of violence, magic and puzzling. Not sure it quite falls into the ‘ooh, they don’t make ‘em like they used to’ mindset that’s fuelled so many old-school resurrections these past few months, but I can totally see the appeal of meatheaded viking violence as a more playful contrast to Stern-Jawed Manshooter 4: Combat War.

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43 Comments »

  1. Keymonk says:

    Oooh, I remember the first game. It was hilarious in multiplayer. A bunch of guys and I played it on LANs over a period. It was quite fun.

    • affront says:

      Absolutely. Rune was really damn great in multiplayer.
      Running around with the giant wooden hammer for the single purpose of throwing it into people’s faces to instagib them was indeed hilarious. That’s not to say that the other weapons were crap, but that hammer really stands out for me, even now, as we had a ton of laughs every time someone got squashed by it.
      Prey 2 for Rune 2 is a trade I’d make any day, in a heartbeat.

      • Lagwolf says:

        Yes Rune had great multiplayer. Beating someone to death with their own arm/leg is was pretty amusing. I really enjoyed Rune and would love to see a sequel. I second the notion that Rune for Prey would be a good deal. I played the entire solo game and rather enjoyed it. It even came out on the Mac.

  2. Uglycat says:

    Rune was one of the most cheerfully macabre and madcap games of 2000. It also made very pretty use of UnrealEd 2.0, and it was to my eternal frustration that you couldn’t import textures from Rune into Unreal.

    The multiplayer was a hoot.

  3. JonSolo says:

    I never played the multi, but I remember really enjoying the single-player, as much as you would enjoy a popcorn-munching guilty-pleasure kinda film. The game was just fun to pick up and play, and not significantly challenging enough to make it frustrating. I’d love to see a sequel in the same vein.

    • Henke says:

      Yeah I liked it too. It had a great sense of adventure to it, and when, about 2/3rds through the game, you get back up to the surface after spending most of the game so far traveling through the underground and hell, it was really rewarding to see the sky again. You felt like you’d been through an epic journey.

      I wouldn’t buy a sequel on the strength of the first game alone though.

      • Chikiwikie says:

        I loved the Atmosphere the Game had. It was so thick you could smell it. A sequel would be most welcome.

  4. Sarigs says:

    I played this a fair bit on the PS2 back in the day. Single player was ok but the multiplayer carnage was a fantastic, hectic blood bath. Good times!

  5. f_zul says:

    Rune and Severance:BoD – pure classic slashers from ’00-’01.

  6. bill says:

    Never played it myself, but I’ve seen enough people going on about it on forums/blog comments to know that it’s definitely a cult game.

    Or an underappreciated gem or whatever you want to call it.

  7. greenbananas says:

    Amazing multiplayer, this game had. Not the game itself, but the playerbase. A duel server was a duel server in name alone, it had no limits whatsoever. Players (usually complete strangers) could walk around and maim bystanders as you can in free-for-all but no-one ever did. Rule was 1vs1 fights in the arena portion of the map alone and everyone kept to that simple principle, just because. Even went as far as both players giving up their turn if they happened to walk into the arena at the same time. Seems unlikely, but it happened.

  8. Zinic says:

    Yes! Please let it happen! I remember this game so fondly, and still install it every so often to play through it.

    Then again, Bethesda might strike it down as copyright infringement on Skyrim… wait a sec.

    *looks at the cover for Rune, then looks at the helmet wearing guy from Skyrim promotion material*

    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/9002429/Runecover.jpg
    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/9002429/6006-skyrim.jpg

    … I see what they did there.

  9. Gurrah says:

    Oh my, how much time I invested to master that upward swing to decapitate with the first hit. Yes please, a Rune 2 would be very much appreciated.

  10. Caiman says:

    I loved Rune too, although I never played multiplayer. But the single player game was great fun. I loved the ability to decapitate your foes if you slashed them precisely on the neck with the sword, took a bit of getting used to but very satisfying once you got the hang of it. Great fun. I’d definitely support another Rune game if it really emphasised the melee hack and slash brawling.

  11. PoulWrist says:

    Heh, it’s cult, but it’s also pretty crap :p we’ve had it around at LANs recently because “OMG RUNE!” and every time it ends up in a “lol this sucks let’s play Bf1942 again” :p because it does suck.

  12. Njordsk says:

    I’d rather run for prey 2

  13. spongthe1st says:

    Rune was awesome. I still have my copy. What really made the game extra special, however, was the co-op mod. Good times.

    • DarkFenix says:

      Coop? Bloody hell I was missing out. That really would have made Rune complete for me.

  14. Khemm says:

    I always considered Severance a better game both in terms of single player experience and the combat system.
    Still, Rune was definitely fun at times, so I’d love to play a sequel. However, I’m afraid that in this day and age, they will make it very gamepad-oriented and keyboard&mouse controls will be an afterthought. I have a 360 pad for Windows, but still…

    • Squire says:

      I heartily agree, loved Severance, never got that bloody sword called Shark though, well I found it once then it fell in some lava :(

      Also I love that this game was just called Blade of Darkness in the USA and Severance: Blade of Darkness in the UK/Europe because they thought people would associate the game with getting fired. Marketing people really are insane sometimes.

  15. Sillywhiteguy32 says:

    Why does the screenshot look pretty good but the trailer look like a foggy piece of the proverbial?

  16. Lobotomist says:

    I am big fan of Rune

    Imho, the best implementation of FPS hack and slash ( mush more simplistic than most, but also much more fun )
    And the game , including story was awesome. Not to mention great fun multiplayer.

    So please yes, bring Rune back !

  17. BathroomCitizen says:

    I want heretic 2, but rune 2 will still do.

    • Matt says:

      There already was a Heretic 2, and it was pretty damn good.

    • BathroomCitizen says:

      ahh, my mistake. I was thinking about Heretic 3.

      I know, Heretic 2 was really awesome in multiplayer! It had some cool weapons, like the red bow that shot thunderstorms and the bladestaff that could be used for melee duels that were pretty intense.

      I want a sequel to that!

  18. Sidorovich says:

    What was that game where you rode around on a dragon but could get off and clobber people on the ground? Like Rune, but you played a girl-barbarian. Let’s have a sequel to that instead.

    • brulleks says:

      Drakkan?

      I only played the demo, but always wanted to try the full game.

    • Squire says:

      Drakan: Order of the Flame I believe it was called, yeah I really liked it, only had the demo but you could edit the ini files and expand the demo to be almost the whole map, also loved glitching the dragon into caves to fight the soldiers you were meant to be fighting on foot haha.

      Also I remember some manner of thatched roof burning that was fun…

      P.s – Research reveals it had a sequel already, but only on ps2, not sure where that leaves a sequel, reboot probably more likely. Which would be awesome, like freeroaming panzer dragoon saga, ace.

      P.p.s – Did anyone play the full game, was it any good?

    • MadMatty says:

      I played Drakhan: Order of the Flame, and it was really good- a bit of exploration like in Rune, and the dragon system worked great!

      • Sidorovich says:

        Ah yes, Drakan. Only played the demo too. It had a boss atmosphere. I want Drakan back.

  19. brulleks says:

    I loved the idea of Rune, but hated the implementation. Too much fiddly platforming getting in the way of the hack and slash, and horribly square hitboxes iirc. Severance should have been much better, but again the implementation was unsatisfying. Its control method could only be mastered by an octopus with additional prosthetic limbs.

    Mount and Blade remains the one decent 3D action-melee game I can remember. Such a shame they ruined it with gunpowder. I’d love to see the engine being used for a mythological hack-and-slash, and the chances are that I could if I had the time and patience to trawl through all the mods for it.

    Prey 2, however, was a fantastic premise and if it is lying bleeding outside of Bethesda HQ I can only hope that someone is able to resuscitate it, patch it up and carry it lovingly back inside.

  20. Valanthyr says:

    Ah, Rune.

    Crafted a map for it (DM_Ancient_Tower), which I submitted to some HH contest.

    Later I even started to build a team to make a multiplayer mod for Rune: Night & Day. We had some code running, with special tools, custom HUD, pretty solid rules. Unfortunately, the project was too ambitious and there were not enough meshers/skinners/map designers to support another big mod (or the other ones had already grabbed most of them).

    There was one hell of a community back then. That’s where the soul of this game actually was and I believe the success of a potential Rune 2 is strongly tied to that community’s rebirth.

    Make it happen HH!

    (BoneBreaker)

  21. carn1x says:

    Ooh yes, I remember really feeling powerful with melee in this game. I pirated it though, and got stuck and out of a mix of guilt and frustration I gave up on it at what I assume is fairly early in the single player. I’ love another round of it though :)

  22. skraeling says:

    A sequel to Rune would be amazing, as long as you don’t have to spend the first three hours and first 18 levels swimming, platforming, and harassing clumsy skeletons before you get to actually sword fight other vikings. Rune’s single player had a delightful center that was pure gold, but everything before and after that was just frustrating drudgery.

    • TheComputerGamer says:

      Was about to speak negative about Rune, until I saw your comment. Totally agree. When you look what the genre was serving up in 2000, it really did fall into the mundane. I never tried multi.

  23. VikingZombie says:

    Ooooooh this excites me! I used to play this game way too much and even made a couple maps for multi. Anyone familiar with DM-Gladiatorpit, DM-Pantheon or DM-Wagnersrings? :P

  24. killmachine says:

    i remember rune from many lan parties. just awsome to time your attack to decapitate your opponents. very satisfying feeling. :D

    rune 2 as a multiplayer only free2play with lot’s of costumization a big ass axes would do good for human head. apparently you don’t make a lot of money on pc with singleplayer focused titles.

  25. Icyicy9999 says:

    I don’t know why Rune is so memorable to me and other people.
    But that game was just great, as far as I remember.

  26. Sutoi says:

    Ohhh my god I sincerely hope this gets made. Rune has remained my favourite game of all time. The combat just felt so good, the multiplayer was EXTREMELY fun (especially if you got into the 1 on 1 arena duels), and the community was great. And personally, I love how steeped in norse mythology the game was, it excited me in ways no other game has (boners).

    I have checked back on the Rune homepage several times over the years just praying for news like this…

  27. MythArcana says:

    Yep. Bought this when it was released and I still have the box and jewel case. This really was so much fun online with the gladiator 1v1 matches while the other contestants watched. *Sigh*

  28. eclipse mattaru says:

    I guess I’m the only one for whom the name “Rune” brings up memories of Old Man Murray, then.