What is Rend? Created by Frostkeep Studios – founded by former Blizzard devs – Rend is a survival game that aims to right the wrongs prevalent in the genre. Where many survival games can be overly punitive and feature dull art styles that aspire to photorealism, Rend attempts to smooth out these ‘pain points’ and boasts a fantasy aesthetic inspired by World of Warcraft.
Prepare for Rend the only way a PC gamer should: by playing the best survival games around.
With Ark: Survival Evolved and Rust firmly in its sights, Rend drops you into the base of your chosen faction and allows you the freedom to help your team any way you can, be it in PvE or PvP. Pitted against two other factions, your team must band together or face being wiped off the server for good – if the weekly waves of monsters don’t get you first. Below you’ll find everything we know about Rend.
Rend release date
We don’t know of a specific Rend release date, yet. However, we do know that the game will be entering Early Access at some point in 2018. If you are tiring of half-finished games landing on Steam’s initiative, don’t fret: Frostkeep co-founder Jeremy Wood assures us that “if we never did anything with it other than launch the game, people should feel they got their money’s worth. We’re not selling promise, we’re selling a product.” Eager survivalists, can sign up to the forthcoming Rend alpha, now.
The similarities to Ark: Survival Evolved are immediate as you are dropped in one corner of Rend’s large triangular map with little when it comes to clothing. Each base belongs to a faction and is protected by a shield, impenetrable to the other two teams and the many beasts that prowl the world. Like the underwater survival game Subnautica, this starting area is the safest, with distant locations posing the most serious dangers.
To survive, you and your merry band must gather the lost souls of Rend into your Divinity Stone and support your faction in whatever way you see fit. You could harvest materials, expand your base, or – if you prefer PvP – steal vital capture points from the enemy to secure rare gear for your team.
The progress of all factions is shown on the huge World Tree at the centre of the map. The team that ascends by filing their meter is the winner. However, if your Divinity Stone is destroyed, you are wiped off the server for good. Since matches can last months, the stakes can be high. It is possible for there to be no winner, too.
Divinity Stones can only be attacked when the shield around each base is temporarily removed. This happens at a set time each week in an event called The Reckoning, but you have more than just human players to worry about.
During a Reckoning, the monstrous flood gates open. Relentless waves of beastly baddies ravage your base, from mages raining down death from afar to tank brutes smashing the most robust of fortresses on the front line. Reckonings increase in intensity and are designed to always catch you off guard with new monster types introduced all the time. For instance, new enemies could use portals to transport themselves behind your perimeter defences.
While Reckonings are not to be taken lightly, you can capitalise of the vulnerable state of all three bases during these events by arranging a daring sortie to another faction. Doing so will leave fewer of your number defending your own base from the monster waves, but it gives you the opportunity to enhance the damage being done to an enemy base and unleash hell on their Divinity Stone. The potential rewards are as immense as the risks, but there is always the third faction to think about. Needless to say, tactical play is essential to victory: if one faction is winning by a large margin, agreeing a temporary alliance with the other faction is worth considering.
Rend talents are your way of specialising your character’s role. During your time on a server, you can choose one of four roles, each boasting their own skill tree. The four main Rend talents are:
- Assassin – moves quickly and stealthily. Deals high damage.
- Soldier – can take lots of damage and carry a relatively high weight.
- Survivalist – great for resource gathering and surviving away from your main base for extended amounts of time.
- Mystic – attuned with the spirit world to provide combat and survival buffs for other faction members.
You upgrade your character within these roles by repeatedly executing actions such as crafting or combat, as you would in RPGs such as Skyrim or Kingdom Come: Deliverance. As you progress you will be given choices as to what additional perks you would like, allowing you to make your role increasingly specialised.
Skills within the Rend talents system scale in potency, with the perks at the end of a skill tree being supremely powerful. Don’t get too attached to them, though – you will lose them once the match ends. That said, there will be a meta progression system that will likely expand perk options and cosmetics that do not offer an in-game advantage. Given the number of skill combinations available, it is unlikely that even the most dedicated of players will use them all.
Despite its fantasy trappings, Rend is actually a shooter. However, that doesn’t mean you’ll be running around with AKs and M14s: Rend’s weapons consist of bows, dart-firing repeaters, and launchers.
Some weapons fit with certain talents and various skill tree upgrades can be chosen to specialise your playstyle. For example, assassins could use high damage, single-shot-firing bows to cement their role as a sniper. Equally, soldiers would be effective with repeaters with which to rush enemy positions. Rend weapons can be further customised with attachments, lights, and scopes.
Your first decision in match is which of the three Rend factions to join. Whether you choose the Revenant (purple), Order (orange), or Conclave (green) factions, the difference is in name – and colour – only. So, if you can’t decide, just pick your favourite colour of the three – ours is orange, obviously.
Rend’s alpha test is coming soon. If you are excited to tackle the Reckoning and bask in the vast shadow of the World Tree, you can sign up here.
Watch the shields dissolve and the Reckoning’s nightmarish monster waves consume a faction’s base in the official Rend trailer above. Giving us a sneak peek at the game’s nine area types, the footage also shows the various talents and roles that you can try.
That’s everything we know about Rend. Let us know if you will attempt to endure this survival game’s world in the comments below.