Everyone deserves a second chance, an opportunity to make things right. Most games don’t get to make a second first impression, but RUNE II has such an opening. RUNE II: Decapitation Edition serves as a “Definitive Edition” of RUNE II, and the tail end of a redemption arc for the developers at Studio 369 and publisher Ragnarok Game, who inherited a mess. In under a year, RUNE II has seen a massive overhaul and tons of improvements with a new vision and direction. The result of this work is an experience that’s a flawed, yet highly engrossing game that I keep coming back to play.
There are a number of ways by which you may find yourself itching to explore Snaktooth Island. Maybe one of the game’s whimsical trailers caught your eye, or you could have been lured by the incredibly catchy theme song by Kero Kero Bonito, or the adorable creature designs (I mean have you seen that Strabby!?), or perhaps it’s the gaping hole in your heart left by the absence of a new Viva Piñata, or maybe some combination of the aforementioned. Regardless, if you’re coming to Bugsnax, you already have some idea of what you’re in for: a cute-as-heck creature collector full of good vibes, vibrant colors, and little food-inspired critters that speak their own names incessantly in the most endearing ways possible. This is all true, but this knowledge will not prepare you for what awaits.