Frostkeep Studios was founded in 2016 by several veteran game developers to create something new and entertaining. Their first offering to the world of video games is Rend. An open world survival type game with crafting, PvP, taming and classes focusing on teamwork and ranged fighting. This is our Rend review.
At its core Rend is a game about team work and player versus player combat. There are three different factions you can choose from when you start on a server (with a max of 20/20/20 for all factions) and from there you go about your digital life surviving as best you can against the creatures that roam the beautifully rendered landscape. All while remembering to eat and drink so you don’t die or dehydration or starvation. The survival aspect of the game is backed by a in depth crafting system. You start by crafting the essentials like a stone axe to chop wood or scythe to cut grass or a bent bow. It’s than that it hits you, there are no melee weapons you can craft.
Combat for the players revolves around ranged weapons that can be a simple bow or crossbow and other weapons like a repeater that fires less damaging bolts at a faster rate. Couple this with four different classes that bring their own unique skills and you add ever more into the PvP mix which should create variety and fun. There are of course flavor of the month cookie cutter builds you could use, but your mileage may vary for something like that versus making something on your own. Combat is also about charging up the enemy factions' base and tearing it down through the use of special tools made for sieging the enemy. While destroying enemy players is fun, the true goal of the game is to destroy their base and take over the points for yourself.
While combat is an important part of the game, crafting (more so building bases and areas to build more things) is equally if not more important because you can’t unlock everything there is to craft by yourself. Frostkeep tilted things heavily in this regard to favoring factions that worked together to unlock later tiers of crafting for better gear and better building materials. Something you need to not only survive against other players but to survive against the Reckoning. This is an event that lowers the shield protecting your base and causes The Lost to spawn in waves to tear it done seeking to destroy your Divinity Stone in the middle of your base. Which also makes for perfect timing by another faction to attack you and see just how much damage they can do.
Rend is a beautiful game with great PvP elements and just gameplay in general, but it suffers from a few flaws currently. One of the biggest problems at the moment is player population. Since launch it has steadily declined due to various reasons the main culprit being server issues. The first week had a great deal of rubber banding on most all servers. For a game focusing solely on ranged combat, several of the weapons should be given a once over and possibly rebalanced. Crafting in Rend is good and allows for some fun base building, but it at times felt like it was bare at some points.
Overall Rend is a fun game with a general concept that could lead to a great game. It suffers from a few flaws and bugs in it’s current state which may put some people off. Frostkeep seems determined to consistently push out updates and to make it a gem of a game. If you’re looking for something more team focused in the survival genre of gaming with good crafting, give it a try.