Rustler

Rustler really wants to be Grand Theft Auto Medieval

Rustler is an upcoming medieval, open-world action game that’s unabashed about presenting itself as an off-brand, medieval Grand Theft Auto—you get to steal rides from villagers by knocking them off their horses, run around drunkenly and generally commit extremely stupid crimes. In other words, you’re roleplaying as a medieval edgelord.

Which is great if that’s your schtick, but I’m not sure if there’s anything Rustler can do to be any more offensive than it wants to be. Or if it should be. Grand Theft Auto’s notoriety soars in its seemingly devil-may-care ‘tude, extending an eager hand towards distastefulness and embracing a sense of crudeness and ugly barbarity. You can hire sex workers and kill them, have badly stimulated sex with your girlfriend (in the Hot Coffee mod), and imbibe alcohol and drugs. Ultimately it couldn’t quite draw a line between its supposed criticism against these senseless violence and vices, versus a sneaking suspicion that its creators are actually subtly encouraging these behaviours anyway, for the kicks.  

I can’t even be sure what sort of controversy Rustler could muster up at this stage. The Middle Ages is already largely portrayed as a lawless, violent era in popular culture—even if that impression is probably not very true—so all the controversial stuff has already been covered by other titles. They can try dark or off-color humor, I guess, like the Monty Python reference in its trailers—one knight has both their arms chopped off, with them remarking that it’s just a flesh wound. You can also punch your personal bard in the face, shoot cows into the sky, and kill peasants, and laugh at the spectacle of it all.

Anyway, Rustler will be busting out of Early Access—it looks rather popular already—and towards a full release on 31st August.