Frostkeep Studios sat me down at PAX East this year to show me their ambitious multiplayer survival game Rend. The title pits three teams of 20 against one another in a huge open world filled to the brim with enemies and materials. While I’m typically wary of survival titles, Rend looks like it’s going to be changing things up quite a bit, and I’m excited to see how the title will be adopted by those who check it out.
I’m secretly a really big fan of multiplayer titles. I made some lifelong friends through Steam that I’ve been talking to for years. There’s nothing I love more than getting a group of friends together to play games and Rend is shaping up to be a fantastic title to do just that. Each of the three teams starts from nothing and every player will pick up an individual role on their respective team.
The cool thing about these individual roles is that the game gives players a skill tree that they can develop throughout each session of gameplay. Players could focus on crafting, gathering, and harvesting roles, as well as assassin, soldier, and hunter roles as well. Playing different roles also has the potential to keep the game refreshing after multiple gameplay sessions.
I was told gameplay sessions can last anywhere from a month to two months. When I heard this I was initially worried that Rend might have some trouble garnering players who are willing to dedicate that much time to the game. But the developers assured me that players can also set up private servers where they can lower the amount of time it takes to finish a match, as well as a slew of other in-game options that can be customized. While they didn’t mention any future game modes that might be added, I don’t think it’s far-fetched to say that once the title finally releases we could potentially get some more or some revisions to the main game mode. Also, if you find that a server isn’t too populated, you’ll be able to create characters on other servers so you can have multiple sessions going at the same time.
Each team gets a separate base, and this base will grow as the game progresses. Each base is surrounded by a shield that makes these bases a safe haven for players and their team. But, you won’t always be safe; Rend will have a special event, called the Reckoning, during play sessions that will lower the shields covering each base so other teams, and enemies, can freely attack everything the team has built. Players can also mobilize to attack other team’s bases and if one team is dominating another, two teams can work together to take that team’s base down during these events where they’re unprotected. I can’t wait to see how some of Rend’s larger battles play out in-game, I’m a sucker for all-out warfare.
There are also other capture points throughout the map, and once players get them, they can build outposts that work as additional bases that’ll provide extra resources. These outposts don’t have the same defensive wall that your main base will get, and they’ll also be targeted alongside your main base during the Reckoning, so you’ll have to spread your team out if you hope to defend everything during the event.
I thought this feature alone was really cool, but Rend has an absolutely beautiful world too. The team is made up of veterans who have worked at Blizzard Entertainment, Riot Games, and Carbine Games. The developers have all worked on beautiful characters and worlds before, and it really shows in the overall world of Rend. There’s a slew of different environments that contain their own unique enemies and materials. There will also be other secrets players can find that will offer them big rewards. The developer also told me about another special event where each team will see a meteorite in the sky and once it lands, there are big rewards players will be able to grab from them. I was told these special events could result in new enemies appearing or rewards. Getting a victory in Rend is also a significant feat, as you’ll be granted new progression and customization options for your future characters.
As of right now, Rend still seems to be in the earlier stages of development but Early Access on Steam is coming soon. I definitely want to see this game succeed but in a world filled with a multitude of other survival titles as well as the battle royale games Fortnite and Player Unknown Battlegrounds, I’ll be interested to see how Rend will fare amongst them. As I mentioned, it has a unique approach to this genre, and to be honest I dig it quite a lot. If you’ve been looking for a fantasy title in this genre or a new game that you can pick up and play with friends, Rend is definitely worth checking out.