SAN FRANCISCO — Even by the dour standards of Norse myth, Ragnarok — the end of the world — is about as bad as things can get.

The mischievous Loki kicks off an all-out war among the gods, which also wrecks the world of mortals in the process. Between giant serpents, fire demons and world-devouring dragons, it’s fair to say that (not) living through Ragnarok would not be much fun — unless you’re playing the reboot of Rune from Human Head Studios. This open-world role-playing game isn’t going to redefine the genre, but if you want a solid adventure with a hefty dose of Norse myth, the game looks like it’s going to deliver just that.

I went hands-on with Rune at GDC 2018, and learned that the game has quite a pedigree behind it. Back in 2000, Human Head Studios released the original Rune: an unassuming action/adventure game that nevertheless attracted a loyal cult following. The game followed a Viking adventurer caught between the machinations of Odin, who wanted to prevent Ragnarok, and Loki, who wanted to bring it about.


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