April 01, 2013

RuneScape 3 Gets an HTML5 Makeover for the Summer

While the advent of summer often has a lot of people considering makeovers—especially as far as the concept of “swimsuit season” goes—it’s not just people who are looking to make some modifications ahead of summer. The RuneScape series is also looking to make its summertime changes of its own, with not only a new version in the series—RuneScape 3, specifically—but with a little extra boost from HTML5, which will put some new punch in its engine.

The early word suggests that the summer release of RuneScape 3 will offer some terrific new extras thanks to the new engine. It’s being described as “an upgrade” to RuneScape 2, so it’s not necessarily a new game so much as it is a revamp of RuneScape 2. The upshot to this is that users will be able to get in with current login details, making things easier for the players.

But it won’t just be convenience that comes along with RuneScape 3; the use of the HTML5 engine will–at last report from the game’s developer, Jagex–augment the game’s graphics to make it a more visually appealing title, with an improvement to draw distances and better detail levels. Better yet, there will also be some fairly major upgrade to the soundtrack, going to a fully orchestrated soundtrack over that of its predecessor. Performance is also set for an upgrade, as RuneScape’s executive producer, Phil Mansell, described. RuneScape 3 will feel much more immersive, and will not only look better but also run faster.

It’s not just the aesthetics that will go into play, though, as there’s also set to be a content update associated with the new version. Jagex is keeping mum as to what’s involved in the content update, though, so it will likely prove to be a surprise for players trying to spot the differences.

It’s actually a clever design issue, trying to bring a new version of an older game up to date. It’s regularly done with movies—the “remastered” version, so to speak—and seeing it done here is kind of interesting. Consider some of the older games we all knew and loved—the kind of thing that shows up on the online game shops for the various consoles and the like—but given a fresh coat of paint and a little extra content. Consider some of the great old games of previous consoles; would Skyrim fans enjoy a copy of Morrowind with all the extras, a little more content and showing up on the next console?

The use of HTML5 is also a welcome treat that’s providing a lot of extra power along with it, and maybe the revamping of RuneScape 2 into RuneScape 3 may well be the start of a new trend that will bring back a lot of old friends into the modern era.

Edited by Rachel Ramsey


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