Review: RiME (PS4)

Review: RiME (PS4)

Formats:

  • PlayStation 4
  • Xbox One
  • Nintendo Switch
  • PC

Format/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4
  • HDTV

Extras:

  • DualShock 4 Required (1)
  • Move None
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Title: RiME
Format: Blu-ray Disc / PSN (4.30 GB)
Release Date: May 26, 2017
Publisher: Grey Box Games
Developer: Tequila Works / Tantalus Media
Original MSRP: $29.99
ESRB Rating: E10+
PEGI: 7
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Gameplay:
RiME opens with a child waking up on the shore of a beach, we do not know who the child is or how he ended up alone here.

You’ll spend your time playing as that child, exploring an island for reasons not explained till the very end.

With only the basic controls to platform, the child runs and jumps around the island solving relatively simple puzzles using his voice for shouting at mechanical structures. The boy doesn’t speak, he only shouts and hums.

There’s no clear narrative to guide you, instead the game relies on visual queues and an adorable little fox creature to tell you where to go.

The beautiful world is wonderfully crafted, guiding you through the island using an assortment of visuals cues. I never became lost or confused as to where to go.

It’s impressive because the world is rather large and outside of the main thread there are a lot of collectibles that can be found. You’d think getting off path or lost would be easily done, but the game has many ways of pointing you in the right direction.

The puzzles are easy to solve and rarely require much effort to figure out. This is likely why the game features quite a bit of platforming to fill the gaps and possibly fill time. There are long stretches where you are required to climb cliffs, run down large paths, or swim long distances to get to the next area/puzzle. This becomes more of an issue towards the end of the game.

There’s nothing wrong with the platforming technically, in fact the climbing reminded me a lot of Uncharted with how the mechanics feel and how the game guides players to safe platforms. The child is skilled enough that it would make Nathan Drake proud.

… the gameplay begins feeling thinner and thinner as it all wraps up …
The issues with the platforming stem from how those sections can sometimes come across as time consuming with little challenge or payoff at the end of them outside of leading you to the next puzzle.

The world of RiME is what drove me to finish the game because of how beautiful it looks. The story is a slow drip of vague information that never feels fully formed until the end where it unravels most of the game’s mysterious nature with a twist.

The issues I had towards the end though come from how long it took for the story to pull itself together and how the gameplay begins feeling thinner and thinner as it all wraps up.

The last chapter in particular feels almost painful with how long it takes to reach the end, relying on a lot of walking and simple platforming that takes away from what is meant to be a dramatic conclusion.

… I grew more and more impressed with how the world changed over time …
Visuals:
As you can see by the amount of times I complimented the visuals already, I really loved the game’s style. The world is colorful and cartoon-like. It features striking vistas and creatively designed strictures and I was constantly fascinated with how structures were designed and how the environments changed over time.

It’s easy to compare the art style to that of Journey or ICO. There’s even a figure in a red hood/cape that’s immediately reminiscent of the traveler.

The boy often feels isolated since, with the exception of the fox creature, his journey is mostly a solo adventure. But he does run across other creatures, each of which feature unique and interesting designs.

I would have been satisfied with just the first chapter, but I grew more and more impressed with how the world changed over time with new and different environments.

… a fun experience that’s carried by the music and visual design …
Audio:
The music is the champion of the whole presentation. The score is able to evoke whatever emotion the story wants to convey with excellence. With a narrative that doesn’t have dialogue or text, the music does the heavy lifting and it does so with ease. I highly recommend playing the game with headphones on and letting the music guide you through the experience.

Online/Multiplayer:
This game is one player only with no online component.

Conclusion:
RiME is a visually interesting game that tries to present a mysterious narrative to pull at your heartstrings. Now while it does not quite nail the landing, the overall experience is still worthwhile.

It could have benefited from a tighter gameplay experience towards the end to trim off some of the fat and shortening up some of the later chapters would’ve helped the ending strike more of an emotional chord. Instead there are points where the gameplay can come across as a time filler as opposed to a worthwhile experience.

Regardless of the narratives shortcomings and some questionable gameplay choices towards the end, I still found it to be a fun experience that’s carried by the music and visual design.

Score:
7.0

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

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Written by Michael Cwick

Michael Cwick

Just a nerd from the Windy City. I’m actually really bad at describing myself because I get all self-critical and self-conscious. Follow me on Twitter, @The1stMJC, to see my borderline insane rants on tv shows and other non important subjects. If I’m not tweeting I’m probably just watching Buffy or Firefly for the millionth time.

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