Take a game like Diablo III and dull down just about every aspect of it. From that, you get Runic Rampage. That may sound a tad harsh, but in reality, it isn’t a bad thing.
Runic Ramage charges you with recovering all of the fragments of the legendary rune stone. You are then on your way to recover the fragments to save the kingdom. In terms of the plot, that’s about as thick as it gets. That’s because Runic Rampage isn’t so much about the story as it is just kicking ass with an oversized hammer.
As I mentioned previously, Runic Rampage has something of a dulled down Diablo complex. The game puts you into an isometric perspective and tasks you with getting from point A to point B while hacking and slashing your way through a horde of enemies who will kill you if you’re not methodical. Believe me, I would know.
When I say “dulled down” what I mean is that the combat is nowhere near as complex as games like this one. There are combinations, but very few. You can collect three types of limited, elemental-based power-ups as well as a one-time use randomized character upgrade.
The game isn’t oversaturated with combinations and power-ups and as such acts more like a casual hack and slash rather than an in-depth game that you have to dedicate your life to in order to master.
As you progress through Runic Rampage’s four acts you will encounter a variety of enemies, each forcing you to change tactics and adapt to their abilities. Ax slinging orcs, rifle wielding dwarves and flinch-proof behemoths will force you to take a step back and plan accordingly. You can even lin up your tactics in ways that your enemies will hurt one another in the crossfire. A word of advice, avoid the flinch-proof behemoths. They’re not nice.
The bosses are not to be trifled with. Each of them have a unique skillset and require quick movement and thought to take them down. Their health bars drain rather quickly, but it’s getting the chance to attack that proves difficult.
There is also light RPG elements in character progression. The gold coins you collect throughout the grind can be used to buy new weapons and make the elemental power-ups more devastating. During your quest, you will also find pieces to outfits that you can unlock. And no, there isn’t an MC Hammer outfit. Sorry.
During my playthrough, I have only encountered a couple of framerate issues during the beefier sections of the game. The boss battles and environmental damage events bring this out the most, but it is only temporary.
Graphics & Level Design
Runic Rampage’s levels are procedurally generated. This makes for a fresh battle even when you have to grind for rune stone fragments to unlock the next boss battle. Electrocosmos made a solid choice when it decided to go with the procedural level design and I have yet to see any glitches due to it.
Each act has a unique vibe to it. The first act is mostly desert-like with humanoid enemies and the enemies get increasingly difficult from that point on. At a later point in the game, there will be instances where the environment also acts as your enemy. But unlike enemy combatants, you can’t fight back against a falling rock.
The graphics are not the best, but they’re also not bad. It was a smart move by the developer to put the game into an isometric perspective, or else the game would look more like this instead.
Which, again, the graphic aren’t horrible by any means, they just look much better when not in a first or third person perspective. In fact, were this game to be in any other perspective, we would have easily missed out on the attractive color scheme, shading and overall level design offered by the developer.
Replay Value & Final Thoughts
Due to the procedural generation, grind and simplification of the combat system, the replay value here is high. There is no having to relearn the combat after a long break because the controls are just simple enough to where you can pick it up again in just a few minutes. The procedural level design ensures that, upon returning, the game isn’t the “same old, same old” and you are free to revisit old levels and worlds if you’re ever looking to shake things up a bit.
Runic Rampage is a fun and casual hack and slash game. It provides a simplified combat system that is easy to relearn and an ever changing environment to keep you on your toes. You will likely encounter a few hiccups but nothing that would break the game or ruin the experience. If you are looking for an inexpensive game that will keep you occupied for some time, this is just the game for you.
This game is available for $6.99 on the Steam Marketplace.
Action, Adventure, RPG
Windows, Mac OS X, SteamOS + Linux
"Runic Rampage" is a fun isotropic hack and slash that you can come back to again and again.