Three Pillar Reviews!
Naming in Progress :P Any better ideas or should I stick with this?
Test Review #5: RiME!
(Played on PS4)
Not Recommended for Immersion and Gameplay
Took me around 6 hours to complete
Sad but cryptic story that doesn’t hold your hand. Not a memorable experience for those without an emotional connection to the story. Feels somewhere between Abzu, Journey (PS Exclusive) and Papo and Yo, Brothers – A Tale of Two Sons, but eventually fails in duplicating any of their charm.
Immersion Skeptical feeling throughout with an unfitting music score
You find yourself in an island, not sure what to do or why you are here. You are left questioning everything this whole time and wondering what is going on. The game is too cryptic. I’m generally not a fan of cryptic games for this reason. Vanishing of Ethan Carter was also very cryptic, but it didn’t affect immersion negatively, I wanted to know more. In RiME however, I always found myself asking why am I going through with this.
From the visual design you could familiarize it with Brothers – A Tale of two sons. For some reason, I didn’t feel the design really worked for RiME. The more I played, the less immersed I felt and the more annoyed I was in general.
RiME had a decent music score, but it didn’t fit the mood of the game, I stopped a couple of times just to mentally criticize the music playing at some parts. It’s not bad in any way, just wrongly placed.
Another terrible thing that annoyed me was that the character has to shout to activate some objects, it really got on my nerves. It was cute the first two or three times, but got old super fast.
Gameplay Fair puzzles and gameplay, with a chance to get lost and some annoying backtracking
Most games give you an easier way out when you complete a location. A zipline, a cutscene, a vehicle, anything that you wouldn’t need to go back the exact same way you came from. RiME however lacks this feature. I always found myself backtracking when I go somewhere to get a key or do something to proceed further. Sometimes I just jump from the top to the bottom and I make it, but other times I die and have to take smaller jumps. Other places are more horizontal, so I would need to go back where I came from. It gets annoying at times because you know where you have to go but you don’t know the fastest way there. I got stuck somewhere for 15 minutes or so because I don’t know how to get to where I’m supposed to.
Something that could be troublesome for those who aren’t able to complete the campaign in one go is that the game doesn’t hold your hand. You will have to be attentive to the cutscenes and figure out what you would have to do next. It could take you a minute or two to figure out exactly what is going on since there are no words used in the game. If you come back to the game after a day or two (or more) you would probably forget what you had to do to solve the situation and possibly take longer than you would have if you played continuously.
Puzzles can get irritating initially since you aren’t sure what anything does but it can grow on you. They varied so it doesn’t feel repetitive, but I wouldn’t count it as something memorable.
The store page mentions the “guidance of a helpful fox”; this piece of shit is nowhere to be found whenever I needed him. But is always there barking incandescently when I’m right in front of what I have to do, discouraging me from exploring around.
Story Either a hit or miss, but the point becomes clear at the very end
Again, I’m not a fan of cryptic games in general. You spend most of the time not understanding what is happening or why it is happening. It usually proves difficult to understand what the writer/devs are trying to convey through their game. This isn’t always the case of course, there are plenty cryptic games that are wonderful and worth all the praise.
I spent most of my playthrough of RiME trying to understand the significance of this island or the events happening in it. The idea becomes clear at the end with a cutscene, but it still leaves a lot of questions when you are trying to find the resemblance between what you see in the game and what little information you get at the final few moments.
You can get a better idea of what is happening reading the 5-chapter names: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance. The 5 stages of grief. (I kept them with spoiler tags in case you would like to experience it while playing.) I didn’t find out the names of these chapters till after I have completed the game. I believe if you know these chapter names beforehand you could enjoy the story much more.
RiME’s trailers showed a lot of promise, but isn’t worth your time.
It might be emotional for those who read the chapter names above and went through similar events recently, but I think there are better games which are well directed to provide a stronger emotional impact.
There’s a reason it became free on PS+ fairly quickly.
Have any of you guys played this game? I have a feeling that a lot of you would disagree with me here.
Any missing information I should have included or added? I placed the time it took me to complete the game at the top before the review, should I place/design it differently?
What do you think of my review? How was your perspective of the game changed after reading my review?
Any better names you can think of for my reviews or potential curator group?
Let’s talk in the comments!