Rend Impressions

E3 2018 Rend Impressions: Survival in the Nine Realms

Another promising game I looked at during E3 2018 was Rend. Developed by former World of Warcraft developers now at Frostkeep Studios, Rend is trying a great deal of new things in the MMO space with a unique setting and some interesting faction systems. I was shown an overview of the game, along with some details on gameplay systems and faction base building. Here’s my Rend impressions!

Rend Impressions

The world of Rend is a place steeped in Nordic myth but with a twist: Ragnarok, the end of all things, has already happened. The majority of the old gods are dead (Loki may or may not be among those still living) and Yggdrasil, the World Tree, is all that holds the shattered realms together. You’ll play as a warrior, dropped into this world without any weapons. You’ll join a faction and struggle against others to amass glory and favor in this mysterious new world.

There are three Factions: the Order, the Revenant and the Conclave. Each has a central base protected by a powerful energy shield. Every few days, the shield will drop in an event called the Reckoning. Creatures called the Lost will attack all three bases and must be repelled. During this time, the fortresses are also vulnerable to enemy attack, so members of each faction must carefully plan defending their own base or attacking the enemy. You can also build outposts outside of these fortresses however, they won’t be protected by the shield and will need to be closely monitored. Building is fairly simple, with a grid system that looks easy to use.

You’ll create your own unique class by choosing two skill trees from four different main classes: Assassin, Soldier, Mystic and Survivalist. To help your faction win, you’ll need to gather spirits, which are stored in your faction’s Divinity Stone. The more spirits your team has, the higher your symbol climbs on Yggdrasil. The cycle ends when one symbol climbs all the way up the tree and a faction wins. The blessing of the gods is bestowed upon the winners, who gain special favors, though Frostkeep isn’t going too far into detail there right now. This kind of fast-paced meta-progression and faction goals are aimed at keeping the community engaged throughout every cycle.

It’s not all building and factions though: Rend features a very wide variety of different biomes including poisonous swamps, frozen tundras and lush valleys. The art style is vivid, with bright colors that don’t speak of a harsh land but instead a tranquil one, yet it is one still brimming with Norse inspiration and otherworldly magic. There’s a full ecosystem, with plenty of different creatures that can be tamed to assist you in your journeys. Many can be ridden and will be helpful in combat, gathering resources or just getting around quicker.

There’s definitely enough here to help set Rend apart from the MMOs or survival games on the market. I’m a huge fan of Norse settings and the environments on display here are incredibly unique. I’m also definitely curious about the potential for faction conflicts and the meta-game with the cycles. If you’ve been looking for a survival-MMO with purpose and grand scale, this is worth keeping an eye on. Rend is currently in alpha testing on PC, with new features being introduced on a regular basis.

If you’re interested in checking out any of my other E3 2018 impressions, here’s the list of coverage so far:
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