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Runic deviates from Torchlight with Hob, an Ico-inspired adventure

Hob

After Torchlight 2 and the departure of two of Runic's co-founders, Travis Baldree and Erich Schaefer, company president Marsh Lefler says the team stepped back and tried to come up with something they "really want to play." That's Hob, which drops us into an alien world with puzzles, combat, and no dialogue—the story is picked up through exploration and observation. Lefler says they were inspired by games like Ico and Shadow of the Colossus.

I played a brief demo of Hob at PAX Prime, and I especially enjoyed the speed of the movement, which was so much fun it made it hard to slow down, take a breath and soak in the colorful vistas. The combat is tougher than the friendly look might imply, but definitely not a meat grinder—it requires some methodical timing, blocking, and stamina management, but health is pretty generous. It's a far gentler Lords of the Fallen.

I had a chat about all this with Lefler yesterday, which you can watch above. There's no release date for Hob just yet, as Lefler says there's still iterating to do.

Tyler Wilde
Tyler Wilde

Tyler grew up in Silicon Valley alongside Apple and Microsoft, playing games like Zork and Arkanoid on the early personal computers his parents brought home. He was later captivated by Myst, SimCity, Civilization, Command & Conquer, Bushido Blade (yeah, he had Bleem!), and all the shooters they call "boomer shooters" now. In 2006, Tyler wrote his first professional review of a videogame: Super Dragon Ball Z for the PS2. He thought it was OK. In 2011, he joined PC Gamer, and today he's focused on the site's news coverage. After work, he practices boxing and adds to his 1,200 hours in Rocket League.