When I think of Runic Games my mind instantly goes to the Torchlight series and all the great experiences I have had with it. This made me expect to have an appointment for a game in the same vein but I couldn’t have been further off on my expectations. Everything about the booth and on the screen was bright and colorful with a lit up mascot that many people wanted to take a picture with. Enough about the surroundings, the developers handed me a controller and told me it’s time to jump into the game. (Note: The game is running on PC with controller support.)
Hob is a game with no dialogue but with a narrative to be told through the main character’s actions and surroundings. Using these surroundings and learning to use what the world offers up is key. The player will have to learn to adapt to their surroundings while learning to use a stone arm, called a gauntlet, to defend themselves and learn a set of skills and techniques to figure out puzzles and platforming along the way to unlock new areas and secrets of a continuously changing world. The gauntlet could be used to attack or defend and can also be used in traversal as a grappling hook as the demo progresses. Part of the puzzle mechanics will be a mixture of an indoor and outdoor world where lush greenery will turn to dark caves in order to find that missing piece to move or level that needs pulled to expand the existing landscape to reach new areas and enemies.
There was one boss battle in my demo against a lanky ogreish adversary. Everything about this game is puzzle related so it instantly hit me that there had to be some sort of trick to winning. Go for the legs, knock him down a peg, then he will be on my level. I was right and the team giving me the demo seemed surprised that I figured out the boss fight right away with all of the simple secrets they said I had missed on the way there. For all of you completionists out there, this means there will be definite reasons to backtrack, explore and do multiple playthroughs. By now I would say Runic has a track record of giving players their money’s worth in gameplay.
As of now there is no release date scheduled for Hob but it will be released on PC and at least one console.