RIME Review
RIME Review
If you are a gamer who appreciates exploring a fantastic open world with a heartfelt story, you should not miss RIME
Posted: 06/26/17 | Category: Review | Developer: Tequila Works, QLOC | Publisher: Grey Box | Platform: Xbox one, Playstation 4, Windows

Genre: Adventure, Platformer
Release date: May 26, 2017

Sleepless in Little Rock  
 

It is rare that a computer game leaves me at a loss for words. I just finished RIME and the only phrase that comes to mind is “****ing amazing!” On many levels, it is escapism at its finest. It brings together stunning graphics, a powerful music score, and a story that made me cry. Throw in a small lost boy on a magical island and you have an adventure that is beyond compelling. So much so that I have stayed up WAY too late this week because I simply could not stop playing.

Tequila Works is a development studio based in Madrid, Spain. They have been creating games since 2009 and have previously released The Sexy Brutale, The Invisible Hours, and Deadlight DC. The RIME team is too large to mention all by name but I would encourage players to peruse the game credits and applaud those who put their hearts into making this game a reality.

All Play and No Work  
 

Based on an idea by José Luis Vaello Bertol and brought to life under the creative direction of Raúl Rubio Munárriz, RIME opens with a boy named Enu washing up on a sandy beach. The island where he lands is gloriously created in 3D with sweeping landscapes and the ruins of a lost civilization. There are no instructions and no obvious backstory. The game is played from a 3rd person view, so you just point Enu inland and begin your journey.

You are soon joined by a fox who barks until you follow in order to get moving in the proper direction. Through trial and error, you learn that you can interact with the environment via actions and sounds. There is no inventory to manage and you will never be carrying more than one object at a time. There are a handful of keys to find, many doors to open, and a host of magic balls/bubbles and movable platforms to use.

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At its heart, RIME is a very active adventure with an emphasis on platform mechanics. You run, jump, swim, dive, climb, and drop. What makes it so fun for a gamer with marginal hand-eye coordination is the fact that RIME does not require perfect positioning or precise timing. Jumping across an abyss or scaling a sheer cliff wall is not hard, once you get the hang of it. This means that I was free to enjoy the game rather than fighting with mechanics. On occasion, I hit the wrong key and fell to my death or drowned, but the game restores you close to where your mishap occurred with little (if any) replay required.

The landscape of RIME is complicated and often, you can see your destination but the obvious path is blocked. In lieu of puzzles, your challenge is circumventing obstacles and finding a route. There are also alignment problems to solve which require specific positioning of objects and yourself to open hidden doors and passageways.

You will encounter a few threats along the way. There are creatures and spirits that mean you harm; however, all can be avoided by creative thinking and an evasion plan. In these scenarios, I got killed often as I worked out my strategy. But again, the game is forgiving and gives you an immediate second chance. Once you’ve made it through a difficult area, your position is saved so you do not have to repeat tricky sequences more than once.

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Some may complain that the puzzles are not hard enough. I think this is a plus. RIME is challenging but frustration-free.  Instead of head banging and scrambling for a walkthrough, I relaxed and enjoyed a vacation in an alternate universe.

Take the Scenic Route  
 

RIME is divided into five parts which correspond to the Kubler-Ross stages of grief – denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Each stage is represented by an area with a unique look and feel. Once you have finished all primary tasks in one stage, the fox will appear and guide you to the next. On one hand, this is great because an encounter with the fox means you are on the right track. However, I made the mistake of following the fox as soon as he showed up. With 20/20 hindsight, I should have spent a lot more time in each location. In terms of Steam Achievements and game “extras,” my percent complete is abysmal. After spending 15+ hours with RIME, I still can’t believe how much I missed!

No worries, because Tequila Works offers a solution!  Although you can complete RIME without finding a single “extra” (outfits, keyholes, emblems, toys, etc.), missing them means there is content you did not experience. RIME is an exception to my rule of not replaying games. I am already planning to circle back through it with a more observant eye and Tequila Works has made this easy. The main menu lets you check your personal tally (which is a lot of zeroes in my case!) using the “Extras” option. The main menu also has a “Stage Select” which allows you to replay a previously completed segment AND gives counts for the total “extras” in the stage and how many you found the last time you played.

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A Feast for the Eyes AND Ears  
 

What I loved most about this game is that it grabbed me from the start and never let go. I appreciate classic cartoons, and the small boy and fox are on par with the best of Disney animation. The 3D environment is uniquely styled in vivid detail and feels as though you are truly entering an enchanted land. The cut scenes are seamlessly integrated with game play and it is amazing to me that a story can be told so well without narration and almost no spoken dialog.

What sets RIME apart, however, is the soundtrack. Composer David García Díaz has created an original music score that is exhilarating, emotional, and just plain awesome.  Using piano and strings with an occasional vocal, his compositions stir your soul. In addition to beautiful music, the sounds of the environment come at you from all sides. Waves crash, spirits whisper, sentinels stomp, and thunder rumbles. Towards the end, there is a rainstorm that is so realistic I kept looking out my window to see if the weather in Arkansas had changed.

Perfect Synergy  
 

I have great passion for adventure games because no two are alike and each offers a unique experience.  When I play a game, I separate from my own reality and am given a first-hand glimpse into the power of someone else’s vision and creativity. Recently, I’ve had the pleasure of playing some very memorable games and I’ve enjoyed each for a different set of reasons. For me, RIME is one of the best I’ve experienced in a long time.  It is a perfect mix of story, graphics, sound, and interaction… a shining example of all that drew me to gaming in the first place. If you are a gamer who appreciates exploring a fantastic open world with a heartfelt story, you should not miss RIME.

Grade: A+
 
Beautifully crafted open world with SO much to see and hear
+ Active game that keeps you constantly engaged and moving
Touching story with emotional impact
Many hours of play and well worth the investment
 
No minuses

 

 Logo 
 
Trailer:
 

System Requirements

MINIMUM PC:
OS: Windows 7 64-bit
Processor: Intel Core i5 2310 2.9 GHz / AMD FX-6300
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Graphics: GTX 550 Ti 1GB/ Radeon 6950 1GB or better
DirectX: Version 11
Storage: 7700 MB available space
 
Specials from Digital Download
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All Comments
JustAdventure
Jeff Murray
I agree with the reviewer-well done game that hits all the right buttons. There are a few game ending glitches that will cause you to reload a save point but nothing to stop you from finishing the game. I did not sit down and play it start to finish so it took me several days of playing for a few hours a day. Don't get in a hurry; explore all the possible paths. A 5 star game, despite the lack of length and excessive load times on a PS4 Pro.
Posted Date : 07/27/2017
JustAdventure
Jim
First of all, RiME is an excellent game and everybody should get it and play it. With that out of the way, this review is fairly good and accurate, but it contains A MASSIVE SPOILER about the nature of the chapters. While most people will figure it out before the ending, I would have been severely annoyed if I had read this review before playing. To be fair, another critic talked about the same spoilers in a review after pointing out repeatedly that spoilers were coming up, and then Metacritic used a paragraph from the spoiler section as their main blurb. I find that very disrespectful. Also, this is NOT and open-world game. People hear that and think Witcher 3 or Fallout with hundreds of hours of repetitive fetch quests. It is a linear game with a couple larger sections which have 3 or 4 areas that can be done in different orders. It is more like the OLD Tomb Raider games where you might enter a large tomb, and then have 3 branching paths you can follow in the order you want to get 3 bars of lead. And while RiME might take some people 15 hours to find every little collectible, many of which have no purpose other than collecting, the main game can be finished in 4-5 hours, and 95% of the collectibles and objects can be found in about 8 hours total. Many people don't think a 6-hour game is worth $30. If that is you, wait for a sale. Personally I thought it was well worth the price. The game is also not optimized very well for PC, especially Nvidia graphics cards. It plays better on AMD hardware. If you have an old graphics card, you might have to play it at 1280x720 to get a frame rate that is constantly above 30fps. Again, I love the game. I just think those few points should be mentioned because I see a lot of user reviews complaining about the game's length for the money, and the poor frame rate.
Posted Date : 07/07/2017
JustAdventure
Cindy Kyser
Jim - Thank you for the feedback. With 20/20 hindsight, I can see how listing the chapter names could be a spoiler. YIKES - It is never my intention to knowingly include anything in a review that will reduce a player's experience and I work hard to not include spoilers (pictures or text). When I was playing, the story did not reveal itself to me until very close to the end so I did not think I had crossed the spoiler line in my review. Going forward, I will be more careful. Again, your insight is appreciated!
Posted Date : 07/29/2017
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