Sunday, 11 June 2017 21:50

REVIEW: RiME (Xbox One)

Written by Staceface_mayhem
Rate this item
(8 votes)

We are stuck in a world, where all we want is better. Better jobs, better money, better cars, heck better lives; more, we always want more. So, it makes sense we want better games, and as of late it feels that RiME is a refreshing change from a community that seems obsessed with always having to have better whether it be graphics, story or gameplay.

RiME by Tequila Works is a platform puzzler that definitely doesn’t have the crisp, 3D, rendered art we’d expect from a game of 2017, but is beautiful and captivating none the less, and I’m so glad it doesn’t.

RiME January Screenshot 01.2e16d0ba.fill 800x450
RiME opens with a gorgeously executed cut scene of a little boy waking on the beach. Then nothing. Little is told to you story wise, it is all inferred, your own subconscious builds the story. It is actually amazing to realise how much your brain takes in, as it builds the story from the details you collect around you. As this little boy runs through different areas in different states of ruin, he’s guided by his cute and cuddly spirit fox, who in sorts acts as a guardian and escort. Watching from a distance is a mysterious man in red, who is this man and his motives?

The developers opted on the unspoken narrative route, with our little hero not speaking a single word at all throughout this charming journey of loss and love. Only using the power of a hum or yell to activate triggers and buttons to solve puzzles or to vanquish the soul sucking phantoms that slowly get introduced midway through, he clambers to the heart of his island, experiencing emotions only an adult would understand. Without giving away too much the ending is truly numbing, real and heartfelt.

RiME January Screenshot 10.2e16d0ba.fill 800x450
Instantly one of the first scribbles I wrote in my little notebook was “uncannily like Last Guardian” however I feel RiME has improved on one important thing, gameplay. The climbing and jumping was very responsive and streamline, and my god rarely do I find swimming or diving in a game functional to the point I am not sweating in frustration. The platforming has sleek camera movements and it is not a constant battle to move the camera. While the puzzling aspect is fun, lining up lights to open doors and activating switches using orb lights, they are not too hard, or have you itching your head. Now I hate overly hard puzzles, but too simple just seems.. well lazy. I did like how the game impressively cycles through day and night, really putting into perspective how long you have worked on a puzzle, too bad it just isn’t that long normally. One thing about adventure type games that annoys me to no prevail is loading spawn points after deaths. Thankfully RiME spawns you in the exact spot you died from, meaning it is saving constantly and stops meaningless running back to a point to continue.

The game has a few collectibles, as a reviewer I generally don’t have time to go off the beaten track, so I generally run the main path, but steer off ever so slightly and you will find things that jog the memories of this emotionally cursed, little boy such as toys, outfits, songs etc. These are nice little mementos that add to the story.

RiME January Screenshot 12.2e16d0ba.fill 800x450
Like Zelda’s “The Wind Waker” the art style is undoubtable a breath of fresh air. Visually, it is a stunning artwork begging to be noticed. It is a living watercolour, however the rustling of the overgrown trees, the lizards scurrying down decaying walls and flapping of his little red cape, all add a realness that to be honest, really can’t be explained. The music is so atmospheric , I was lulled into a trance while playing, the melodies capture your senses and drive you forward emotionally. I was repetitively thinking... who is that? I know that sound? Upon research, I saw the name ‘Lindsey Stirling’, famous violinist, all round babe, total prodigy. Explained a lot.

Coming back to my opening statement (I do this a lot, get used to it, it’s my thing) RiME is probably not a better game in the sense of the audience modern conventional games that makes it seem to be targeting, however it has so many things and a serious contender. With a strikingly unique art style, fluid platforming and ambient music this is one game that takes you on a journey from start to finish. The puzzles may be simple in most areas, although I welcomed this as it let me progress quicker to absorb as much as I could, after all the story is the real draw card. The plot is so human and raw. Not often does a game make a tear well up in my eye, but for once I let that little sucker trickle down, and I feel a bit better for it.

Additional Info

  • Review Score: 4.5 / 5.0
  • Release Date: Out Now
  • Platform: PC, PS4, XBOX ONE, Nintendo Switch
  • Developer: Tequila Works, Tantalus Media
  • Publisher: Grey Box Games
  • Genre: Adventure, Puzzle