There’s no denying RiME is a very special game. Not only does it look stunning, but the journey that you go on is filled with wonder and sorrow – full of breath-taking scenery, imagery and symbolism that takes you to melancholy depths, and overwhelms you to the point of tears when that final scene hits. RiME couldn’t have come at a better time. If you’re feeling lost, or grief has found an unwelcome home inside of your heart, then this could be a game to help you weather the storm. It will help you to escape, but it will also help you to confront the sadness, and try to move on.
You play as a young child searching for something, alone on an island far away from anyone, trying to piece together why you woke up on a beach, under a clear blue sky and a blistering sun. The setting is gorgeous, with Tequila opting for a style not dissimilar to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It’s a painted utopia full of clear and glistening water, bustling red leaves on giant trees, ancient ruins filled with golden statues, and so much more. However, throughout all the beauty, there lies something quite sinister and eerie, and as you make your way through the mysterious world, you’ll encounter some of the dangers residing there. They don’t always bother you, either, and this inconsistency makes the threat even more worrying.
RiME is about exploration and finding your way, and there are many puzzles you’ll encounter that may provide a challenge. The thing is, you’re never stuck for too long, and they’re never constant. There is time to breathe, with the balance between puzzle and adventure just right. I need to say something before I continue: RiME is everything The Last Guardian should have been; it reminds me very much of the latter, but instead of frustrating when it should be enchanting, RiME manages to get everything right.
There’s a huge focus on using light and sound in its puzzles, and whether you’re using shadows to cover locks powered by the sun, moving statues to form doorways, interacting with huge orbs to send out large waves of sound to power water valves, or shouting at pillars to move platforms, these two mechanics of prevalent without. There’s a beautiful design to them, and are easily the game’s most intriguing and engaging elements.
Technically, there are many times when RiME ran smoothly, but there are a few dips in the framerate towards the middle of the game, and near the game’s final moments, but they don’t affect the game massively. Textures and visuals remain wonderful throughout, and if it weren’t for these framerate dips, you’d be hard-pressed to find any issues.
Your voice is your most powerful tool; there aren’t any weapons, and as a child you wouldn’t really expect any different. Pressing Triangle will allow you to either sing, laugh, scream, or cry. At any given time, your voice helps to give you an idea how the boy is feeling, and it can be quite upsetting, as after some of the game’s heavier moments, the boy will stifle a cry, or splutter. There are also times when you can hear the boy sing a song, and it provides a peaceful moment whenever the opportunity arises.
Throughout your journey, there’re also lots of collectables to find, so it’s worth exploring everywhere. There are toys, lullabies and more, and finding them helps to give you more background on the wonders of the island. It’s also a nice way to get you to look at everything and go everywhere, however, this isn’t hard to do given the nature of how bloody gorgeous everything looks.
RiME is a powerful game. As the credits rolled, I sat with my daughter on my lap, sobbing. She was silent – reflective like me, and moved by what we’d been through together. She loved the game because of a cute little fox that appears throughout, but from that she ended up falling in love with not just the fox, but the story as well. Without ruining anything, I won’t talk about what it all meant to me, maybe in a feature later down the line, but what I will say is RiME is a coping mechanism – a special way to help you fight through the darkness and the pain.
If you’ve been looking forward to play RiME, you’re not going to be disappointed. From the game’s stunning soundtrack and beautifully stylish worlds to it’s interesting puzzles and powerful story, there’s so many reasons to play. If you’ve been struggling to find happiness or positivity with the recent events of the world, RiME is here to hold your hand. There maybe a few framerate dips towards the middle of the game, and the end, but they’re not enough to hamper your enjoyment. I think everybody needs to play this right now.
Interesting and diverse puzzles
Some framerate dips