Rune, the game that lets you use severed limbs as weapons, begins beta testing this weekend

Human Head Studios announced today that the open world Viking RPG Rune, the game that lets you use hacked-off limbs as crude (but probably really funny) weapons, will go live on Steam Early Access in September.   

Rune is set on Midgard (aka Earth, but Norse) during the time of Ragnarok, the end of days, when the sun becomes black and the world sinks into the sea. Naturally, Loki is at the center of it all this aggravation, and it falls to you to put the brakes on it by trekking across the broken land and completing quests, with or against other players, on behalf of other gods.   

Norse trappings aside, Rune is probably best known (at least around these parts) for being the game that lets you kill people with other people's body parts. You can also throw your weapons—even those weapons that specifically are not meant to be thrown—and then retrieve them from whatever (or whoever) they're sticking out of for re-use. Chris described the combat as "gory, fast-paced, and fun" in his June preview, in which he also was told that he could use his own severed arm as a weapon if he wanted to—and if he survived the severing. 

Signups for the first closed beta test, slated to run from 1-5 pm Eastern on August 18, are open now at It's an awfully short test, but a studio rep said that more beta tests will be held after this one.   

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.