Recently MMORPG managed a glimpse into the future and a look at what’s coming in Runescape's new update, Land Out Of Time.
Sounding like the namesake of an early 1990s children’s escapade, Land Out Of Time is the latest Runescape update and is due to arrive on 8 July. It follows on from the game’s recent Desperate Times update and is a marked shift in the way that developer Jagex delivers content to Runescape. In a move that echoes ArenaNet’s Living World, Jagex is pivoting towards a faster pace and a more episodic approach to storytelling, and they are certainly starting with a high bar.
After players hatched a plan to deal with the Old Gods during Desperate Times, things haven’t quite gone to plan and The Needle, a time traveling device, has fallen into less than reputable hands. While the apocalyptic threat of the Old Gods hangs over Gielinor, Runescape pursues the Needle to a new expansion, Land Out Of Time.
The Land Out Of Time isn’t entirely new to Runescape. Opening up on the shores of a long-standing jetty that’s been under construction for more than a few years, players are finally able to board the Stormbreaker and make their way to Fossil Island. Except, Fossil Island has already been explored in Old School Runescape. Instead, players will find a much more vibrant version of this rock. They will find Dinosaur Island, plucked out of time and full of wonderful new adventures.
The latest front in Jagex’s MMORPG is one of the largest single masses that we’ve seen the developer drop into the game and it doesn’t just broaden the game’s horizons. A whole new plethora of development tools brings together an impressive vertical range of environments that are full of brand-new flora and fauna to tickle your senses. The whole island has a natural flow to it and feels far less regimented than previous Runescape locations. As you wind around massive bones, past local foliage, and plod through huge footprints, it becomes evident that this is a decidedly rich and enticing environment.
Let's Get To The Dinosaurs
The vibrant looking flowers are not your biggest problem after you meet the Land Out Of Time’s other inhabitants, and we are not talking about the slightly eccentric sole survivor rattling around the island. There are dinosaurs. It won’t take long to stumble across the gargantuan beasts and they make a definite impression. These are not placid diplodocus. All Impending threat and razor sharp incisors these residents of the island come in all sorts of sizes. You’ll find big, bigger, and gargantuan. While the dinosaur direction takes some clear inspiration from Jurassic Park, you won't find the same faded old grey and brown in Land Out Of Time. Runescape’s ancient animals are a rainbow of purples, pinks, blues, and bright hues. These predators clearly never needed camouflage. They also do not conform to the entrenched lizard aesthetic that you would expect form the Jurassic period. Everything from butterfly to rock-themed dinosaurs roam across the landscape and challenge you to pick a fight.
It’s not just the hulking great lizards that you need to worry about in this new land. The gorgeous greenery is just as vicious. Hidden among the fauna is plantlike that might have a chat with you or just as quickly bite your head off. While Ancient Zygomites might be a cute addition to the jungle floor, the Cavern Blooms found in the brand new Slayer Cave are both deadly and intriguing. Players who are able to get their hands on these can spawn their own content from the seeds. Besides the challenge and loot, it is always interesting to see player driven content in any game. It gives the community greater control and could hint to something more than deadly pot plants in the future.
Take On A Dino
Thankfully, all of these monsters are a lot more than an aesthetic addition. Runescape’s big game can be cut down too. Players taking on a dinosaur can initiate high risk, high reward events where players must use their smithing skills to put together traps and capture these huge adversaries. This could mean, for example, grabbing some wood and crafting a spear, trapping a poisonous frog, extracting a toxic sample, and putting it all together while you try not to get caught. Fail to complete this task or get sniffed out by your prey and you will lose everything. Having gone hands-on, it’s an inventive new way to use player skills. This big game hunting also requires an element of puzzle solving and strategy that is deeply satisfying, at least at first.
The spectacle of exploring the newest additions to Runescape is kind of exhilarating Jagex are clearly aware of this. With such a large new area getting around could take some time. An island-wide obstacle course makes quick work of that problem. Introduced as part of the agility skill that players can train, the obstacle course is a fast travel system that allows the player to nip around Dinosaur Island with ease. Player characters will vault up and down cliffs, creep across vines as they traverse treacherous valleys and more. The entire course comes with its very own skill that can be trained. Every section gives exp so players can stick to the same route or go explore if you wish. It also allows a quick route to and from your base of operations on the island.
A Home Out Of Time
Starting out as a ramshackle temple of sorts, your own base of operations is one of the few areas that seems to be safe from the local wildlife. As you might expect, this allows players to build up a number of bonuses from skilling bonuses to gathering extra loot. Construct the entire range of buildings available and you will end up with a Town Hall, Storehouse, Sleeping Quarters, Spa, Hunter’s Lodge, Slayer Lodge, Player Lodge, Bank Chest, and Loadstone. Each has its own bonus and can come in three particular tiers. Construction is something doesn’t need to be done by players, meaning you can order workers to get building. These workers can be tasked with gathering particular elements while you are busy doing something more important like working out which plant is worth picking and which wants to eat you.
Assuming you don’t get crushed, killed, or chewed up by something bigger than you then there are a ton of rewards waiting in this Dinosaur Island. There is a brand-new crafted outfit, pieced together from the challenges that await, and awesome looking weapons. We only got a few hours into this expansion but Land Out Of Time feels like something special. It takes the usual Runescape ideas that you might expect from an expansion and adds something special to the mix. The new skills, story, and additional areas are all present. A brand-new Slayer companion is even here and the writing is, as always, central to an effective story. What Land Out Of Time does is to take Runescape in a new direction. It continues to raise the stakes after the events of Desperate Times and takes players to an exotic land that makes Menaphos seem tame by comparison. The new skills and challenges take existing tech and repurpose it to bring something new to the game. From my own point of view, this is proof that Gielinor could go anywhere. Now, it’s just about time for you to find out where you fit in the food chain.
You can find out more about the latest update to Runescape over on the official website now or follow our updates for more news from the Land Out Of Time.