RiME made quite the journey in order to finally get released, and unfortunately it feels like something we would’ve enjoyed a whole lot more had it come out a few years ago.
Originally intended to be an indie exclusive on Xbox Live, the game’s first trailer was shown at Gamescom 2013 when it was announced to be a Sony exclusive. Since then, Tequila Works reacquired the license and made it the multiplatform game it is now.
The result is a game that has its moments of cleverness, but we can’t help but feel like we’ve played better versions of this game before.
What Is It?
Drawing comparisons to the Team Ico games and Journey (fair or not), RiME gives you control of a boy on a seemingly deserted island. There isn’t any spoken dialog or forced narrative. The game just expects you to explore the area around you and figure things out as you go much like the way The Witness or The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild does–except with The Witness, the puzzles are literally in front of you to solve while with Zelda, there’s quite a bit of uncharted territory for you to explore.
Why Should I Care?
The game is supposed to make more and more sense as you progress. The problem is that the more unique and fun puzzles to solve are few and far between. It feels too much like a simple sidescrolling puzzler designed in 3D. It’s all nice to look at, but none of it is gripping.
The comparison to a game like Journey is particularly unfair. No matter where you were in that game, the tower in the horizon was central enough to know that it was the final destination. With RiME, you don’t really know the point of what it is you’re doing. All to really do is focus on the puzzle you have at hand.
As for the nature of the puzzles, they’re fairly varied. Some are simple block puzzles where you have to use them as an extra platform, and there are others that rely on a keen eye on the background, where you have to push even more blocks to complete an archway design you see in the distance. There are even a few puzzles a little out of the ordinary where you have to grab fruit so wild pigs will follow you and destroy obstacles blocking your path. The most common of the puzzles revolve around the echo that your voice creates, which can open doors and activate floating platforms to get from point A and to point B.
RiME‘s plot eventually starts to take shape and sort of make sense hours into the game when you find out one of the creatures you’ve been following has a connection to the main character that’s more than significant. The problem is that getting there oftentimes feels like a chore even with the game being relatively short at six or seven hours.
What Makes It Worth My Time And Money?
The main thing RiME has going for it is the fact that its art style makes it a wonder to look at. But aside from RiME having good graphics, it’s tough to recommend this title at $30 ($40 on the Switch) when there are so many other great games that came out this year. RiME would probably be a solid purchase if you’re a solely an Xbox One owner with a lack of games of this kind, but I’d still rather wait until this game sees a significant price drop.