Runescape gets new engine, client and graphical overhaul

Runescape Boat

I consider any version of Runescape which isn't shaded strictly in primary colours to be witchcraft. The news that Runescape now has a standalone client, another round of graphical improvements and is moving away from Java is rank heresy.

From today, anybody can download and play Runescape NXT, an all-new engine and client released as part of Runescape's 15th anniversary. The view distance has been quadrupled, dynamic lighting and shadows have arrived, as has real-time reflection, refraction, ambient occlusion and physically correct light scattering. They're the basics of your average PC game, but in Runescape? I'm not ready for this futuristic world.

Future development will see normal maps, higher-resolution textures, volumetric lighting and a better animation system introduced. In keeping with some of Runescape's original spirit, however, it'll still run on everything back to Windows XP.