Going on descriptions alone (because frankly, that’s about all we have to go on), Runemaster is one of the more intriguing games on the horizon. Paradox is billing it as a “dream” project, fusing vast Norse fantasy lands with grand strategy development savvy. Despite being a single-player RPG to the core, Runemaster’s reins are in the hands of Paradox Development Studio, aka they wot do Europa Universalis and Crusader Kings, among many others. Paradox revealed its existence – and little else – during Paradox Con earlier this year. And now? Oh, you had best prepare yourself, as you’re about to see… a very small smidgen sliver more.
The above retrospective video isn’t strictly about Runemaster, so if you’d rather skip past the bits where a studio dedicated to history waxes historian-with-a-minor-in-poetry about its own past, jump to around 4:40. There, you’ll find a few morsels of new Runemaster footage with a) actual characters and b) glowy building things (!!!).
Interestingly, Paradox claims the semi-procedurally generated saga will have no sidequests. That’s not to say that it’ll be hyper-linear, however. Far from it. Apparently everything – no matter how seemingly unrelated or tangential – will tie together and impact the main story. However, Paradox somewhat paradoxically also wants grand-strategy-level emergent storytelling to carry you through the whole thing. How’s that for ambition?
But then, this is the studio that’s made some of the most intricately complex (yet, once you weave your fingers between their gears, playable) games out there. These people know how to package up massive scale and deliver it in a working – if not exactly svelte – form factor. I’m pretty interested to find out exactly what that means for Runemaster. I don’t know enough about it to feel optimistic yet, but I’m certainly hopeful.