"Thrill of the Kill" Version of PC MMO RuneScape in Development

Say hello to DarkScape.

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Jagex on Thursday announced--and launched--a new "cutthroat" version of its popular PC game RuneScape. Called DarkScape, it's described as an "experimental sandbox MMO" that focuses on the "thrill of the kill." The game is set in a "shadowy, alternate" game universe, which you can see in the video below.

The free-to-play DarkScape doesn't replace RuneScape, but instead exists alongside it, set in the same overall world as RuneScape, but with a "kill or be killed" twist. Everyone starts from scratch in DarkScape, but people with existing RuneScape accounts will receive a 1.5X XP boost and an extra item kept on death.

"Featuring a surprising and treacherous world divided into low, mid, and high-risk regions, each with their own economy, players will have to decide how deep they travel into zones of maximum threat, where valuable resources and high-level content can be claimed," Jagex said in its announcement.

"Players will have to watch their backs yet work together to protect trade routes, hold resource plots, and form into bandit groups," it added. "Even Gielinor's cities, highly-protected citadels of commerce in DarkScape, aren't safe from PvP skirmishes. However, the further away from these rare 'safe areas', the more likely players will have to fight for their loot--and their lives."

DarkScape senior producer Conor Crowley said Jagex came up with the idea for DarkScape "a couple of years ago." The idea was put on the backburner as Jagex focused on RuneScape and other projects, but "it's stayed with us" all along, he explained.

"Developing a new take on the world of RuneScape, one where PvP gameplay rules supreme, has proved very exciting," Crowley added. "We spent time looking for a way to get DarkScape into the hands of players as soon as possible, so the game launching today is very much an experimental first step. That said, it will continue to evolve and further develop based on how players explore our fresh take on a deadly MMO experience."

For more on DarkScape and to start playing now, head to the game's website. RuneScape is one of the oldest MMOs out there; in 2016, it will celebrate its 15th anniversary.

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