Watch 24 minutes of lovely forest exploration in a new Hob gameplay trailer

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We recently spent a few minutes with Hob, the new project in the works at Torchlight studio Runic Games, and came away suitably impressed. Now it's time for a closer look at what's in store by way of a 24-minute gameplay video narrated by Runic president Marsh Lefler and game director Patrick Blank. 

Hob is quite a bit different than Torchlight because it's "not random," Lefler explains in the trailer. "It's really custom, it's all very personal. We have a big story we're trying to tell you, and the world is 'doing' that story as you play along." What that means is that there's no dialog or text, so instead you'll be "reading things in the environment and understanding what's going on and what you need to do." 

Players will adventure through "overworld areas" like the forest seen in the trailer, and also "discrete" locations that have different themes and appearances. "One of the things we definitely wanted to do with Hob was make a world you wanted to explore," Blank says. "And in doing that, you really do have to pay attention. You could follow the road, but it's more fun to get off the road." One thing the game doesn't do is intrude upon the experience: Subtle clues may hint at things lying here or there, but you won't see any big, glowing arrows telling you to go this way or that. 

The video shows off some basic interactions and a bit of combat, and also how the world can change as Hob moves through it. "Hob is really about getting into this world and trying to fix it," Blank says. "It's dangerous, too. You have to not only worry about the monsters, but you also have to figure out how this world actually works." 

Hob is currently scheduled for release sometime in 2017. Details are up at hobgame.com.

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.