One of the oldest downloadable massively multiplayer online role-playing games still going, RuneScape from Jagex predates World of Warcraft with its release just a few months before in January 2001. Initially developed as a game that could be played in your Internet browser, RuneScape has since gone on to become its own product. While the browser version utilized Java code to run, the standalone product was written in C++.
To download the RuneScape client hit the Download button located below the game review. You might be interested also in the classic version of the game called Old School RuneScape with older graphics and different (according to some – better) gameplay which is also available for download.
With over 200 million accounts created to date, the game is recognized as having the largest and oldest community of any MMORPG out there.
The best feature of them all is that Runescape is completely free as well as all of its (many) updates.
Typical to high-fantasy concepts, RuneScape presents a Tolkien-esque world divided into different kingdoms, each with their own cultures and city-states. Making your way through the fantasy world of Gielinor involves walking around, magic travel, and chartering a ride. As in other MMORPGs, journeying to other regions and cities opens up new questing options for players as well as offering unique monsters and items.
Sporting some pretty deep lore, Jagex has fleshed out the world of Gielinor through other, related titles including FunOrb and Armies of Gielinor. This also includes novels such as Betrayal at Falador, Return to Canifis, and Legacy of Blood.
Perhaps the thing that is most baffling to modern players about RuneScape is that there is no central narrative to guide you through to the end. Gameplay and what people choose to do is largely up to you. You can fight and quest, craft and guild – whatever you like. Whereas WoW and Final Fantasy XIV feature grand, sweeping stories, RuneScape is satisfied with providing players a world within which to live and interact with other people.
And that has contributed to the series’ impressive longevity. Since players can customize everything from their avatars to their in-game experience, calling RuneScape a “player-driven” game is an understatement, to say the least. Jagex’s dedication to its customer base is impressive and it shows in the strong numbers RuneScape posts year in, year out.
Graphically speaking, RuneScape shows its age. Seventeen years ago, it wasn’t that bad but it still wasn’t impressive. After all, it did run on Java in a web browser in 2001. Imagine that for a moment.
That said, the graphics shouldn’t be an impediment to enjoying the game. With well-developed systems of combat, interaction, and trade, RuneScape is a title with so much depth that it can’t be taken in all at once. There’s more than a little something to RuneScape and new players need not fear joining up this long after release. The community, though huge, is friendly and welcoming to new players.
Indeed, the social aspect of RuneScape can’t be denied and should be something that other devs look at when making online titles.
- Classic MMORPG action
- Beautiful, fully-realized world for players to explore
- Awesome community that is willing to help newcomers
- This game is ancient
- Learning how to do things can be a bit tedious
- Though inviting, RuneScape is nonetheless intimidating for new players