It’s unusual that a studio with only two games to its name can announce a new game, say almost nothing about it, and still get people excited. When that studio is Runic Games, the developer behind Torchlight and Torchlight II, it’s much more likely.
The studio announced its newest game, Hob, in a press release today. While the Torchlight games were heavy on dialog, especially for a Diablo-inspired action RPG, it seems that Hob is going in the opposite direction. The game won’t feature text or dialog at all, instead telling its story strictly through the gameplay.
“Hob is set on a beautiful and dangerous unknown world, with buzzing life above and the whirrs of mysterious machinery below,” the announcement reads. “The more players delve into the world’s design, the more they uncover a planet in peril. Players must learn to survive, understand their true purpose through acquiring skills, and ultimately transform the nature of the world itself.”
Hob is coming to both consoles and the PC, and looking at the announcement, it seems the game will play best with a controller, as it promises “smooth controller gameplay, multi-layered puzzles, and striking visuals.” The visuals we can certainly speak for, as both the screenshots and the short teaser video released both look stunning.
The massive differences between Hob and the two games that preceded it make sense given the situation the studio found itself in after finishing Torchlight II. Runic co-founders Travis Baldree and Erich Schaefer left the company to found another company, leaving Runic’s staff behind. The company had to make the decision to either give it up or move on.
“It’s been really hard. I’m not going to lie about that,” Runic president Marsh Lefler said in an interview with Polygon. But it seems so far that Hob has been worth it, at least in the eyes of Runic staffers. “You get a narrative by playing the game. That’s the one thing we absolutely loved and we all talked about trying to do that. Making a world that seemed alien, and playing the game explained that story,” Lefler said.
For more information on the game, we’ll have to wait until later this month, when Runic will be showing Hob at PAX Prime in Seattle from August 28-31. In the meantime check out the game’s official website for more information.