Rend is a faction-based persistent war in a Nordic fantasy world created by former Blizzard developers, and it's launching its beta on Steam Early Access at the end of the month.
Starting on July 31, you'll be able to purchase Rend for $29.99, and align yourself with one of the three factions (Order, Conclave, and Revenant) in its ongoing war. Thereafter you'll be dropped into what developer Frostkeep calls a "beautiful, brutal world" to kick everyone else's arse.
This entails building a stronghold, researching stronger fortifications for it, and surviving long enough in the wilderness to unearth resources and artifacts. Talent trees and skill systems will hone your playstyle as you fight both brutal creatures and other players, until eventually the 'cycle' ends and one faction is declared the winner. The war then repeats itself in another cycle - except victorious players get rewards to keep, with the ultimate goal of ascending to godhood.
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Honestly, it all sounds pretty good - not that I've personally played it yet, so don't take my word for it or anything. For more information, here's everything we know about Rend, or you can head to the game's Steam page, where there are some very pretty screenshots.
“Early access marks a pivotal moment for Frostkeep Studios,” says co-founder and CEO Jeremy Wood. “We have been developing Rend side-by-side with our players since we first announced the game,” he adds, referring to the game's alpha.
Wood is an alumnus of the original World of Warcraft design team. He told us that Rend - which is Frostkeep's debut - is a bid to fulfil the promise of a grand war while removing the unnecessary frustrations of many survival games, such as that of having "your stuff taken from you at four in the morning".