Many gamers may recognize the developer Runic Games for their action-adventure RPG games, Torchlight 1 and 2. Now Runic is back with their latest game Hob, which is a departure from their past releases. Tucked away on one of the ends on the floor of PAX East 2016, Runic had a modest size booth where they had a few stations armed with developers to help the masses.

hob_gamersinbeta_Oasis_PBAt first glance, Hob quickly appears to be a much different game than the studio’s past releases. With its lush landscapes and beautiful world, Hob is an action-adventure, puzzle platformer, with a twist. The catch here is the game is presented without any in-game dialogue or text. Let me repeat that, there is no narrative, no NPCs, and no dialogue. Instead, players must explore and interact with the environment to learn more about the world.

While the game has an artistic quality to it, the world itself can appear grim. It is apparent that something catastrophic has happened. Things have fallen apart, there is rogue infestation, and brutal enemies are lurking around. You character is thrust into the world and doesn’t have a clue as to what has happened. This hero is equipped with a glove on one arm and a wooden sword in the other. Weapons and new abilities can be upgraded over time. For example, there are sword shards dispersed around the world, which can be used to change the material of your sword.

hob_gamersinbetaIn speaking to one of Runic Games’ developers, they set out to create an immersive experience.  One which will be accessible by many but also challenging and rewarding. Their core fundamentals during their development process is to create a game which is “lush, beautiful, brutal, and represents their core mechanics.” The game features only one difficulty level and as you progress through the game, the world will slowly repair itself and unlock new pathways for travel. Players should expect an experience that lasts around 8-10 hours; mileage will vary.

Runic Games have taken a chance and stepped outside the box for their third game. With the 15 minutes of hands-on time, we left impressed and excited to see the final results. Players should expect to see Hob released on PC and PlayStation 4. They have given us no timetable as when to expect the game. As the saying goes, it will be released when it’s ready.