Rend – Early Access Review

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Rend is an ambitious project from the relatively unheard of developer Frostkeep Studios, an indie developer that boasts some big names in their team including a member who had previously been involved in games such as League of Legends, World of Warcraft, Overwatch and many more.

With updates coming daily a full review would be unfair to make, so I’ll focus more on the core principles rather than the details of the game. Rend much like any other survival game has the usual core features, food and water gauges, a progression based levelling system with specialization in skills, so most MMO players will be accustomed to this style of game.

That’s where it starts to break away and put its stamp on the MMO franchise, you can WIN, three factions fight for supremacy in the twice-weekly PVE and PVP “reckoning” more about that in a little. Starting over once a game has ended isn’t all bad, a secondary levelling system called “Ascension” allows you to carry over some minor enhancements such as faster levelling, stronger critical damage. The average game is meant to last around one month.

Rend


So what about the story?  Based in the fabled nordic realm,  chaos has become and Midgard is in ruins. Three factions fight around the last remaining component intact, The World Tree, you have to win the favour of the Gods and gather spirits of the realm before the other factions to allow you and your fellow warriors to ascend to Valhalla.  

Your faction will become your team, as your all thrown together and are dependent on each other to progress through the various skills. You have the main base where you share the fundamental equipment and resources required. Then you have to deal with “The Reckoning”. Your bases protection is dropped and the base defence component to the game begins. This is where waves of the realms evil spirits known only as “The Lost” attack your base. In an attempt to steal the spirits from your Divinity stone undoing all your hard work, you must build defences and work as a team to hold back the waves. Then it gets interesting a PVP element when you decide to either defend your base against other factions invading to steal your spirits or go on the offensive with massive siege weapons and take down someone else.  

At present there are only ranged weapons these will be familiar in style to most, bows a single shot mid to long range weapon. Crossbows, medium range quick firing. Shard blasters are short range rapid fire and blasters a short range “shotgun” style device. As with most MMO’s, you start off with basic materials you can gather to make basic buildings, armour and weapons.  As you venture further from the safety of your home base, materials are harder to get and require tool upgrades to make more advanced items. But this is a hostile place with weird and wonderful fauna and flora to contend with. Including acid lakes, thorny trees and everything from pigs to nightmarish creatures all of which can be tamed as a pet. You must kill the beast before travelling to the spirit realm to tame it. The Lost reside in the spirit realm and your not meant to be there and will become encumbered with spirit sickness so exercise caution when entering.

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I’m in my third week of playing and have put off the review because well simply I wanted to put more time into the game, the dynamics of the factions, we teamed up with another faction to take down the order on our server because they were ahead on spirits. The main word in that sentence is “Were”. This style of collaboration from weaker factions adds another element to the game and strategies that could make every match different. Friendships, betrayal all add to the experience making Rend stand out from the crowd in the MMO RPG genre.

Rend can be purchased on steam right now as an early access title and is set for full release early next year. I will continue to play the game and look forward to going into detail on the finished product in the new year, hopefully with a few wins and far more in depth knowledge on the game.

Catch you soon im off…. TO VALHALLA……………………   

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