The entirety of RiME's score is incredible, whether it's stirring piano or mournful violins, it'll make your hairs stand on end.
Truly gorgeous vistas with vertiginous white towers, windmills and subterranean sights to behold. The only black mark against the visuals is a frame rate that sometimes chugs a bit in the more open areas.
Not much to fault here. RiME's climbing mechanics are slick, set-pieces are well executed, puzzles are challenging without being too taxing and exploration is a joy.
A good 6-8 hours if you play RiME at a leisurely pace (as you should), and replay value in collectibles and other secrets to discover. It's also nicely put together. Again, not much to gripe about here.
An achievement list that encourages a couple of playthroughs with hidden secrets to unearth, certain activities to decipher and challenges to take on, like navigating an underwater section using only one air bubble, for instance. A good, solid list.
May 25, 2017
RiME is beautiful. Achingly so, like the first time you saw ICO and realised you'd never seen something quite so uniquely dreamlike and otherworldly. RiME is not a million miles away, its verdant greens and blues whisking you away to a gorgeous paradise. Although it's not all sun, sand and cloudless skies, as RiME can get pretty dark too, transporting you to dank, forgotten caves and rain-slicked black slate spires.
It all starts with a young boy washed ashore on a beach, his only companion an ethereal fox (it's always a fox, innit?) that acts as a guide of sorts, pointing you in the right direction with a whelping bark whenever you need a hand. Your only abilities involve being able to jump, climb, roll, interact with objects and yell to exercise control over certain parts of the world, like glowing statues that cause parts of your environment to shift and change.
Alongside more than a bit of traversal - scaling towers, shimmying around ledges, leaping gaps - RiME's plucky protagonist will also run into puzzles, none of which are ever too taxing. They're just the right amount of challenging to make you feel smart without stretching the grey matter too much, which in RiME's case is the perfect amount, given the gentle tone of the game. Anything too stressful just wouldn't seem right.
Most puzzles revolve around aligning shadows, moving blocks or finding keys to progress, while some sections mix things up by throwing something completely different into the mix. You might be swimming through underwater caves or evading death from above, finding the game's many secret collectibles or giving RiME's wraith-like Shades a wide berth. There's a nice bit of variation to proceedings, and plenty of scope for exploration.
RiME seldom holds your hand during the entirety of its journey too, and it's all the better for it, essentially leaving you to figure things out on your own with very few button prompts or help beyond direction from your vulpine guide. The entire experience is a beguiling, mysterious odyssey, taking you from its idyllic coastline, deep into catacombs and long-lost, buried civilisations, daubed with unusual tribal wall paintings and littered with the remnants of arcane machinery.
But it's not just the sense of intrigue that drives RiME. It's the gorgeous, painterly watercolour art style, clearly inspired by classic Disney and Studio Ghibli; the robust platforming mechanics that make every bit of traversal and every puzzle a breeze. Even some of the best platform/puzzlers out there have controls that can prove occasionally frustrating, but playing RiME is never anything but a pleasure, save for one or two instances where the camera altered the direction of control.
Almost everything is honed and refined to the Nth degree in RiME, making searching out secrets and using your voice to light the way, reanimating Sentinels and seeking out the game's achievements, all enjoyable activities. That the achievement list doesn't directly tell you what to do, for the most part, also makes for an interesting series of tasks, although the standard collectibles and other extras are all present and correct too. You'll likely need to play it through twice.
Enigmatic and compelling, RiME is a stunning puzzle platforming adventure that demands to be played. The music is fantastic, the scenery and architecture like something from a dream, and the narrative builds to an emotional coda that will live on in the memory long after the credits have rolled. Tequila Works' game is like ICO, Journey and The Witness all got together and had a lovely baby. RiME is stellar stuff.