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Title: Runes: The Forgotten Path
Genre: Action, Adventure, Indie
Runes: The Forgotten Path
Release Date: 14 Nov, 2018
The amazing, action packed, magical adventure of spell slinging awesomeness I was expecting? Not so much... Runes; The Forgotten Path is more of a story that you are experiencing with some puzzle elements thrown in.
My main take away from Runes is that it needs quite a bit of polish. There's a decent VR experience in here but it's buried under a plethora of tiny issues that quickly add up to hurt your experience.
Some of the controls were rather awkward especially the grip button not only bringing up the menu but also being the selector while in the menu. It just felt awkward. The locomotion settings were also reset between level loads causing quite a bit of frustration.
Starting the game up does not take you into any sort of main menu. You're dumped right into an excessively long story intro. For most this will likely be fine but for anyone else that launches their games while still seated with their headset on the ground, this is just annoying. You don't need much for a start\/main menu. It's pretty standard IMO and to me, lacking one is a sign of lazyness and a lack of polish.
The physics seemed odd at times. Like a small piece of paper having sideways gravity... This is just immersion breaking and frustrating.
Along the same lines I had tracking issues in very specific parts of the virtual room regardless of where I was in my real room. This makes me feel like the tracking issues might be software rather than hardware but it could very well have been something with the wireless or any number of things. Tracking aside there were issues where the fault was obviously the game trying to decide where to stick me. For example the rafters in your safe room. The game got very confused when I tried to climb up there.
The bright flashes of light at the start of the game were blinding and painful. The blurring of the screen when 'reading' memories caused quite a bit of eyestrain. Both of these caused quite a bit of discomfort.
The special locomotion style that Runes uses doesn't feel as unique as they claim. I really wasn't overly impressed with it but I'm definitely partial to trackpad locomotion. It could very well help enable someone who can't handle trackpad locomotion but I feel it's not quite as amazing as it was described.
The NPC animations leave a lot to be desired. Whether it's close up shots where you notice that their eyes are dead, lifeless and unmoving, their mouth moves like a wooden ventriloquists dummy or their limbs don't animate naturally.
There appears to be an interesting story here however this is likely a pass due to the lack of polish unless you're really into having primarily a narrative experience. $24.99 might be a bit much. Pick it up on sale.
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