Runes of Magic

Runes of Magic Review for PC

On: PC

Free to play MMORPG with micro-transactions.

Review Verdict Read Review
7Out of 10
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I was rummaging round Runes of Magic, Frogster's free-to-play MMORPG, when my flatmate Dave walked into my room. "Why are you playing World of Warcraft again?" he said."I thought you quit." "I have," I replied, eyes fixed on thwacking my fiftieth beetle of the evening. "This isn't World of Warcraft." "Oh yeah."

Dave, as well as inadvertently giving me some colour to start this review with, nailed Runes of Magic on the head. It's for all intent and purpose a World of Warcraft clone, with a remarkably similar art style, nigh-on identical classes, a carbon-copy combat system, a deja-vu inducing UI and exactly the same gathering and production skills as Blizzard's behemoth. Loot-giving corpses even sparkle.

But there's something off. Runes of Magic might look and play like WoW, but it's just not as good. The graphics aren't quite as nice, the presentation isn't quite as polished, the interface not quite as intuitive and the game world not quite as atmospheric. Runes of Magic, put simply, is WoW sans the Blizzard magic dust.

However, it is free. Completely and utterly free. The client's a free download from the official site, and there are no regular fees. So, can Runes of Magic be criticised for all of the above, when it doesn't actually cost anything? Well, of course. If someone gave you a packet of crisps, just for fun, but it was way past its sell by date, would you scoff them? Of course not.



That's probably a bit harsh on Runes of Magic, which has everything you'd expect from a subscription-based Western fantasy MMO. It's got six classes, a thousand quests, starting areas, 50 levels, mounts, instances, guilds, 36-player epic raid dungeons and all the rest of it. Indeed, one of the game's main problems is that most fans of the genre will find it a case of been there and done that.

Which is especially relevant during the first 10 levels. The game begins with character creation: pick from the warrior, scout, rogue, mage, priest and knight, which work exactly as you'd expect them to. There's only one race available - human - but you can pick your sex, and breast size, thank God. Then, beginning in starting area the Howling Mountains, it's a case of kill x amount of x mob and bring x amount of x to this NPC.

After level 10, though, Runes of Magic starts to get a bit more interesting. When you reach the main city an NPC will let you pick your secondary class. Once done, you're able to level them both up independently, switching between the two as primary and secondary classes. Not only does this affect the skills you've got available, but the gear you have equipped. So, as a priest mage, for example, you'll have all cloth gear but healing and damage dealing spells to choose from. You could be a warrior rogue, or a knight scout, or any other combination, up to 30, in fact. It's not a new idea, indeed many MMOs, including Final Fantasy XI, offer a dual class system, but here it's well executed and adds much needed variety to Runes of Magic's WoW-like experience.

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User Comments

Scotty01's Avatar


Played this game for Over a year. As free mmo's go it's actually
So-So. Lots of Quests but many are bugged. Guild's get nice
Castles, but half the time they don't work. The newest release
Chapter 3, was extremely lame not much was really added and
Again many things just don't work. Feels like a Beta-Game.
Frogster is also Ban happy. You can be banned from the game
VERY easily. All in all, I'd have to give this game a 4 out of 10.
Posted 18:38 on 23 June 2010
Show-me-your-moves's Avatar


looks good and its looks better than paying £10 a month
Posted 20:32 on 10 July 2009
BeanTown's Avatar


Is anyone excited about the release of Runes of Magic: The Elven Prophecy? Come party with me in the game!!
Posted 18:58 on 10 July 2009
foogoo's Avatar


Nice review. This is the first time that I've heard of an 'all you base are belong to us' issue happening. Perhaps I was just too busy testing out all the other goodies along the way. But you're right, the game was dev'd in Taiwan, and you'd think that Frogster would have gone over all game text with a fine tooth comb. But then again...they're not native english speakers either. ;)
Posted 13:19 on 07 April 2009
CheekyLee's Avatar


[] MMO

You can only pick two.

To be fair, I tried it, and it is everything you could possibly expect. Easy enough to get into, and with some handy user-friendly aspects tacked on. (Auto-travel to location chosen from world map even if I have never been there? More like this, please!) What sets it apart from the other hundred free Korean MMOs is the daily quests. Now, sure, the daily quests are near enough all of the "Kill # of [mobs] and bring back their [body parts]." variety, but at least there is potential for more. Also, with server-wide world events happening from time to time, I can actually see me playing this one beyond level 7!
Posted 22:23 on 06 April 2009
redhotchilli's Avatar


Posted 23:05 on 05 April 2009
guyderman's Avatar

guyderman@ thpcplayer

Food for thought - Some shops charge 10p for out of date crisps!
Posted 15:32 on 03 April 2009
thpcplayer's Avatar


well, it's free so it's mine
Posted 15:06 on 03 April 2009

Game Stats

Runes of Magic
Out of 10
Runes of Magic
  • It's free
  • Dual class system
  • General lack of polish
  • No new ideas
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 19/03/2009
Platform: PC
Developer: Runewaker Entertainment Ltd
Publisher: Frogster Interactive
Genre: Fantasy RPG
No. Players: 1 + Online
Rating: PEGI 12+
Site Rank: 1,222 128
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