Paradox Development Studio (Crusader Kings II, Europa Universalis IV) is exploring new ground with its upcoming fantasy tactical RPG, Runemaster. Until now, the studio’s Clausewitz engine has been restricted to its suite of hardcore strategy titles.
Steeped in Norse mythology, Runemaster will allow players to branch out into different adventures every playthrough, as much of the experience is procedurally generated. Your main character will level up and grow in a number of ways, some stemming from dialogue and quest decisions as you progress. In a hands-off gameplay demo at Gamescom 2014, we got a look at the ranged Skald, an archetype option that specializes in dishing out damage from afar and invigorating/rallying troops.
Additional troops and soldiers for your army can be acquired in a number of ways, from questing or hiring for gold at towns. These units can also level up and have their own special signature abilities.
If you’re familiar with the Heroes of Might and Magic series and its turn-based grid combat, that’s a solid starting point to understand how Runemaster combat works. Terrain and positioning play a big role, and holding the high ground can make a huge difference. Each battle may have additional requirements for victory, such as not letting a crucial NPC die or to take out a specific enemy.
The adventure appears to let you quest and explore with a high degree of freedom, with different points being acquired for every decision you make. Decide to stand firm against a band of ruffians? You might get some bravery experience. You’ll be making choices like that regularly, so your own personality and choices will eventually be reflected in in your character’s skills and abilities.
Runemaster will be coming to PC and (announced at Gamescom 2014) PlayStation 4 in 2015.