Runes of Magic review

  • It's free!
  • Copies WoW, with new features
  • A kinky French maid free with every house
  • Grind, grind, grind
  • Copies WoW, with hardly any new features
  • Doesn't offer enough to compete

Who actually likes killing boars? The World of Warcraft phenomenon has passed us by entirely because we couldn’t understand the appeal of spending hours hacking and slashing through hordes of low-level creatures in order to gain experience. Replace the boars with giant mushrooms, and you’ll see that Runes of Magic makes efforts to follow the same baffling formula as WoW.

In the lead up to Runes’ release, one of the main worries about the game was that it would attempt to follow the well-trodden path of WOW much too closely – a route many a failed MMO has dared to take. With the exception of a few new features this is exactly what Runes has done. The interface is unnervingly similar to Blizzard’s game, and the rune system – which the developers proudly claim is one of Runes’ defining features – resembles the gems and socketable items found in other MMOs.

Yet the Arcane Transmuter is an interesting mechanic that does help to distinguish Runes from its subscription-based rivals. This feature allows you to strip stats from armour and weapons and transfer them elsewhere. This may stand it head-and-shoulders above its free-to-play peers, but it isn’t enough to compete with the genre’s heavyweights.

This is a solid MMO that ticks most of the boxes that fans of the genre will be looking for, especially those who like statistical spreadsheeting. The dual-class feature and promised update schedule do distinguish it somewhat, but it’s still completely overshadowed by its behemoth rivals in terms of gameplay, character development, refinement and detail.

Runes of Magic goes some way to disarming us of our distrust of free-to-play MMOs (is it only us expecting an invoice any day now?), but it’s leagues behind the subscription-based MMOs of the world.

May 6, 2009

More Info

Release date: Mar 19 2009 - PC (US)
Mar 19 2009 - PC (UK)
Available Platforms: PC
Genre: Role Playing
Published by: Frogster
Developed by: Runewalker
ESRB Rating:
Rating Pending
PEGI Rating:
12+: Violence


  • OakTown - July 8, 2009 11:41 p.m.

    wow so many negative comments.. am i the only person who likes playing RoM. There are so many things to do in RoM, PvP, guild wars, dual classes, quests, etc. The mentioning of castle vs castle is enough for me to play
  • Craza - May 25, 2009 11:37 a.m.

    That French maid is a lot more detailed than, well.....THE REST OF THE WHOLE DAMNED GAME WORLD!
  • JohnnyMaverik - May 10, 2009 9:57 p.m.

    "It's cool if you don't like it, me and 12 million others are gonna go play WoW and have a fuck of a good time." Yea nd thats great, but i think you have the wrong end of the stick, it not so much a matter of hating WoW and wanting it gone, I actually thought it was a decent game but not quite good enough that I'd want to spend money every month to keep playing a game I felt I was already growing pretty tired of after half way throu my 1 month free trial. Its not a matter of right and wrong its just a matter of personal taste and personally it just didnt hit me like it seems to hit alot of other people. The problem is that largly due to its success there seems to be little alternative in the mmorpg sector, all the games seem to pretty much follow WoW's structure and basic machanics, meaning that those of us are arent massive WoW fans for what ever reason don't really have much alternative. Hopefully games like The Secret World will fill that gap, hey maybe even Star Trek online or Champions Online, although I anticipate they'll probably try nd play it safe being such big titles nd all. Don't get me wrong I'm not accusing u of not understanding any of this I'm really just taking over from where u left off and giving a bit of the 'not a particular WoW fan' perspective as well as pointing out it's not a matter of hate and anti-WoW culture, its just a matter of there being no real alternatives.
  • Mittenz - May 7, 2009 5:34 a.m.

    I still read these, do continue
  • JasonTheNasty - May 7, 2009 2:50 a.m.

    Am I the only guy reading these . Its kind of taking the fun out of saying First
  • Mavarious - May 8, 2009 10:26 p.m.

    I put a {insert popular title here} in before the last killer in the second paragraph but I put it in less-than greater-than size so it confused it for HTML and took it out.... so yeah
  • Mavarious - May 8, 2009 10:25 p.m.

    No matter what anybody says in any comment on any message board or in any blog in the world, WoW will not be upset from its place at the top for a long time. WoW killer or Halo killer or killer games have always ended up the same way. Say what you want haters but I like WoW. I play it all the time and I enjoy it. Self-improvement, proving yourself against others in PvP, showing off in duels and instances, hanging out with friends from all over, beating all the challenges the game has to offer, overcoming obstacles, and all that jazz is great for me. It's cool if you don't like it, me and 12 million others are gonna go play WoW and have a fuck of a good time.
  • jar-head - May 7, 2009 9 p.m.

    KotOR is gana kick more ass than any, including WoW.
  • JohnnyMaverik - May 7, 2009 6:53 p.m.

    Oh btw, if u want to play a good free to play mmorpg then try Perfect World, which isnt amazing but is the best one ive found yet, looks better than wow aswell, personally i'd describe it more as a guild wars copy... but a good one.
  • JohnnyMaverik - May 7, 2009 6:50 p.m.

    I agree with everything mentioned in the Long Comment. I think its great people make totally free to play games in a world that is become more about who owns what developers, what titles, what licenses, and less about making great games, but it rly is obvious what they are aiming for, hype, then subscriptions. I enjoyed WOW when i tried the free trial, but not so much id want to pay a monthly fee to play it. The mmorpg genre is getting stale fast, hopefully some up and coming titles like Star Trek online, Champions Online and The Secret World can set it bak on track, show a bit of innovation and individuality, I meen i love the look of Boaderlands but it just sounds like another "go kill creatures that are infesting the areas around our small town u have no reason to give a damn about, ill pay u some gold, u fk off"... sure the FPS angle is pretty cool but not enough for me to want to get it. Another mistake is thinking "grind" is fun, all games with lvling up etc have the grind aspect to it, but u wouldent call it a "grind" cuz thats not what it feels like... I hate grinding, i hate killing x-creature over and over, working out it'll take another 50 before i lvl up so i can get x-item, nd i cnt wait for the first mmorpg which rly manages to get rid of grind and crap quests, to replace it by fun gameplay and interesting stories.
  • iluvmyDS - May 7, 2009 6:32 p.m.

    Wow long comment is long. Anyway, Runes Of Magic is one of THE lamest titles I ever heard.
  • dorrick - May 7, 2009 5:21 p.m.

    It's funny how lost the online gaming developers are. Everyone new MMO or update to a MMO has lead it to spiral down to some resembalance of wow. WoW is still so popular not because it's hours of the same grind people enjoy so much. Anyone i talked to that say they still play wow it has nothing to do with wow. It's bout the people that still play it and developers think it's this amazing game but if they played it for 15 mins they figure out how horrible it is. What happen to the skill bases MMO's that took time in what proffesions you choose to take. An if fighting was for you at all? Maybe you want to make it being a crafter and what not and have nothing to do with combat at all? Or Maybe you just want to hunt and collect hides and what not, and camp on foriegn worlds? That's why i loved OLD star wars galaxies before it was ruined. It was true to that you create your own story(Or saga). It Didnt force you to be the paladin because you only had 2 other choices. You didnt have to do instance runs to get good loot, or have to spend hours grinding alone or doing lame quest. The game was about your story in someone elses universe and no MMO has yet to come out with something like that again. It's all the same cookie cutter be this, do this, run that and then pay 15$ a month for something you might not even want to be doing. Any looking to check out old star wars or have never heard of anything i was talking bout when i was describing making you own story, you can do that once SWGemu is released. Something to keep track of if you're into MMO's or if you love star wars. Either way once it's released it will be free and have nothing to do with, instances, retarded long grinds(unless you want jedi), and cookie cut proffesion. It's completely up to you in this universe so it's worth checking out and deffinetly once it's complete. Rant over, so tired of these idiot money hungry dev's thinking they're gonna strike it rich off our hobbies and what we enjoy to do. If any of these "free" MMO's went big you be paying a monthly fee it's all bull now with MMO gaming. Nothing to do with it's players and all to do with money.
  • JohnnyMaverik - May 7, 2009 5:03 p.m.

    third, no ur not. Game sounds crap... just like all the other free mmorpg's out there, which r nearly all WOW rip offs which is a game im not a massive fan of anyway... however that french maid has me interested xD

Showing 1-13 of 13 comments

Join the Discussion
Add a comment (HTML tags are not allowed.)
Characters remaining: 5000