Hands on Preview : Ring Runner : Flight of the Sages

RingRunner PC Preview
Written by Kenny Rioux

While playing Ring Runner: Flight of the Sages, I took a trip down memory lane and remembered many years ago when I had discovered a copy of Asteroids at my cousin’s home. Looking back, I was kind of struck on how the simple black and white “graphics” gave a sense of the loudest of silences that only space provides. Well, except for the monotone, “Pew, Pew Pew” that accompanied the sound of fire every time one were to engage the “Kill dudes real good” button. Ring Runner:Flight of the Sages is such a title that does in a way, hearken back to those days. The title is currently in Alpha mode, and was funded by the people via Kickstarter, and will be available March 2nd.

So basically Ring Runner is a space RPG with elements of MOBA strung in. You start the game waking up in a space station that you do not recognize, and all of a sudden, you hear a voice in your head telling you to get out, and with good reason, SHIT’S BLOWING UP! The voice who calls itself NERO is an A.I. in your brain that cracks wise and becomes your companion for your journey. You escape the station in a speedy little ship and it is from there that you begin your space faring journey, also the opening is practically a reversal on the final space battle sequence in Star Wars IV:A New Hope, which is awesome. The game is played from a top down perspective with you having full 360 degree control of your ship.

Up above, you will notice the line emanating from the nose of the ship, that is basically your targeting line that you use to get a bead on your enemies. Also, the backgrounds are quite uhhh…space-y! The engine is able to procedural generate areas and backgrounds so that no two are alike. The combat itself is pretty simple, as you do have your guns, you will need to blast through enemies shields in order to blow them all to hell. Along with that though are you abilities to perform different tasks, one example is the use of a tractor beam to not only pull enemies in, but to push them away into say, a cluster of mines. All your abilities are tied to your parts on your ship, which as you progress, you will be able to fully customize to your liking, and the names of these parts read out of a Star Trek Federation Technical Manual what with all of its nerdy technical jargon. You can play with keyboard and mouse, or you can play it with an Xbox 360 controller. I should mention that while the game is on PC and will be available on Steam, it will also come out for Xbox 360. No word yet on whether that will be at the same time or separate release dates.  Going from gameplay to sound, the soundtrack shoots for a very ambient feel, which is very appropriate to the overall sense of the space you are in. All the little shots and explosions sound just a tad muffled, which I enjoy as it does again give another cog in this infinite machine known as space.

Any problems with the game has been largely been due to the nature of the Alpha process (crashes, some lockups). But other than that, it is a cute little game that anyone who likes themselves a little bit of space combat. Go to the website for more info.

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Kenny Rioux

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