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Q2 2001



- Hacking limbs off your friends in deathmatch

- Cheaper than seeing Jurassic Park 3



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- Poor use of a great engine

- Not enough content



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Rune: Halls of Valhalla

Score: 4.5 / 10

Rune: Halls of Valhalla (HOV) is a stand-alone multiplayer add-on to the original Rune game. Although the price on it is light, so is gameplay. HOV adds new multiplayer levels, some new skins, and two new multiplayer styles. Both wear thin after about 10 minutes. 


The first of the two is called Headball Ė you sever someoneís head and you need to lob it into a goal! Sounds fun? Yup right up there with watching grass grow. Itís Human Headís feeble attempt at CTF. The second new multiplayer style is Arena. Arena is sort of like a tournament for 1, 2, or 3 versus. You fight the other person, and the winner stays on to fight again. The loser goes to a lounge where they can re-arm and wait for the next battle. The only good thing about Arena is that it gives you time to go to the fridge in between battles. Most deathmatch veterans will absolutely hate the slow pace of an arena match.

The overall game play is still the same. Run around grab your axe or sword, get a shield, and run after the enemy using mostly jumping attacks until one of you gets lucky. Definitely not the precision required by railing someone in mid air. My largest 




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gripe with the first game was the animation speed Ė when picking up a weapon or health item, youíre a sitting duck for what seems an eternity in deathmatch. Guess what? Still the same. Yes, every time I find a decent weapon, someone is hacking my limbs off.


HOV, like the original, uses the Unreal Tournament engine. While some games have shown us that the UT engine can produce some kick ass graphics and 


effects, all that Rune produces is drab scenery and some pretty standard visuals. Although the hacked limbs look pretty good, it doesnít leave an impression like other UT driven titles.

As far as audio goes itís all run of the mill. Grunting, swooshing, chopping, hacking. I mean there are only so many sound effects a brutal Viking can make with a giant axe. Especially when he is too busy getting butchered while picking up items. (Yes, this was a major sore spot with me!) There isnít really anything out of the ordinary.

Itís unfortunate that add-ons have become less and less thorough of late. (Cough . . . Team Arena . . . Cough, cough.) What could have been a decent add-on to a decent game has turned into an almost total waste of time. Unless you are the most hardcore RUNE fan, or you were a Viking in your past life I would recommend that you stay clear. IF you do feel the need to hack limbs apart online or single player, I recommend hunting for Die by the Sword or Heretic 2 in the bargain bins.

- Slipperyone


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