RiME is a beautiful game that unfortunately suffers some technical hiccups on it’s way to greatness.
This review was originally posted in May 2017 and covers the PS4 version. RiME comes out on Nintendo Switch later this week.
RiME is undeniably one of the most beautiful games I’ve played in a while. Right from the moment that you first load up the game you’re greeted with the bright and colourful island that you’re going to be wandering around for the next few hours. This is great. However, it’s after wandering for several hours do you notice some of the pitfalls of this game.
The plot of the game is simple: You play a young boy (who does a lot of shouting) who has been shipwrecked on an island and it is up to you, the player, to find out more about the shipwreck and uncover the mysteries of the island. Along the way you’ll be following a mysterious figure, who looks an awful lot like the main character from Journey, along with a small fox, who helps to guide the path and makes sure the player knows where to go. The inclusion of the fox is especially useful considering how much exploration the game expects the player to do – You will always know which way leads to progression allowing you to break away and take the game at your own pace, taking in the beautiful landscape and listening to the soothing, cinematic music, another aspect that RiME excels in.
The puzzle-platform developed by indie company Tequila Works, does very little to break the mould on tropes within the genre. Yes, it does introduce perspective and time puzzles in a new and engaging way, but the rest of the puzzles are snatched from other titles – you’re still left with the classic “push block into place” and “find key hidden somewhere” which do little to break apart from what has been established in other titles.
This isn’t to say the game isn’t enjoyable – whilst they aren’t new, the puzzles included in this game are challenging and engaging. It also helps that the environment these puzzles are based in is beautiful (I honestly can’t stress this enough: this game is stunning), the multiple locations across the island that the player unlocks are all unique and provide a decent amount of depth and exploration – something that RiME encourages greatly, offering multiple collectibles and secrets the player can access.
The PS4 version of the game suffers fairly badly from framerate issues. There are several moments throughout the game where the game’s framerate bombs and you’re left with something akin to a slideshow. In particular, cutscenes seem to suffer the worst, especially in the scenes where the camera zooms out or pans to show more of the island. However, it also happens in game too, I noticed it got particularly bad in the underwater sections where there are multiple entities swimming about.
While RiME doesn’t bring much new to the table, what it does bring is perfectly refined and challenging. Add to this the beautiful environment and engrossing music and you have a title that is pretty damn enjoyable. Offering an engaging experience that will have you captivated for hours, RiME is definitely worth picking up.