Old School RuneScape is a free downloadable fantasy MMORPG game with very old-looking graphics. Why is it then so popular? Well, let’s start at the beginning, shall we?
The early days of massively multiplayer role-playing games were some of the best – and craziest – times to be a gamer, particularly one who wanted to play a game online.
That’s because no one really knew what they were doing and the pioneers of the space, RuneScape, Final Fantasy XI, and vanilla World of Warcraft to some extent, largely developed the conventions we take for granted today in MMORPGs.
As you can imagine the fact that these games have survived this long is a testament to something if not their mastery of what gamers are looking for in an MMORPG. Initially released in 2001, RuneScape is the granddaddy of many of today’s online role-playing games and the title still enjoys a healthy community to this day. Predating WoW by four years, RuneScape looks exceptionally primitive by today’s standards but it’s hard to discount just how much of an impact it had on the industry at large.
These older MMORPGs have not only established conventions we take for granted but also they have gamers looking back to the past for references on what to do in the future. What we’re talking about is the rebirth of the original versions of these games, symbolized best by Blizzard’s planned resurrection of the original version of WoW sometime in 2019 in what will be the biggest comeback for an old game ever.
Luckily for RuneScape fans, that title has already bit the bullet and acknowledged what hardcore, longtime fans really wanted. Meet Old School RuneScape.
How to Download Old School RuneScape
To download the Windows version of Old School RuneScape simply click on the Download button below the review. The game is also available for macOS and Android. The version for iOS is currently under development.
The Game Review
Released on February 2013, Old School RuneScape was developed and published by Jagex. The title initially promised to be exactly like that version of RuneScape players experienced in 2007 but the addition of quality of life improvements have made the title more palatable for the platforms on which it is now featured.
Coming to Android and iOS platforms in addition to the traditional Windows and Mac PCs, Old School RuneScape brings the classic gameplay to the mobile space and features an active community that voices their opinions on proposed updates and changes.
And apparently, this method is paying off for Jagex. Even with its older school gameplay style and its much slower update schedule, Old School RuneScape now surpasses traditional RuneScape in terms of total active playerbase. According to Jagex, the numbers for Old School RuneScape would put its community at twice the size of the mainline older version.
Originally born out of the idea of taking a backup copy of the 2007 version of the game and variating on it, Old School RuneScape is still very much tied to its heritage albeit in a modified form. Keeping it familiar while also changing it up for new players is part of Jagex’s strategy of making Old School RuneScape a separate though equal experience.
Eventually the two series could diverge quite severely but for now, they share a common history. Though the change in Old School RuneScape is player-driven, at a 75% approval threshold, it won’t be changing radically any time soon.