29th May2017

‘Rime’ Review (PS4)

by Paul Metcalf

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When a game wants to tell the player a story, there can be many methods to do this. Some games though take the impressive option of not using a narrator to explicitly do this, but let the story unfold as part of the game, allowing the player to emotionally connect and interpret it for themselves. Rime, is one of those games.

Waking up on an island, it isn’t long before you are following a small fox that guides you from puzzle to puzzle. Moving around the island, a story opens up but it isn’t till the end that the emotional impact is truly felt.

There are many games that can be compared to Rime. There appears to be style influences from The Witness, Ico, and numerous other games. People who worry that this is just a clone of these previous games though have little to worry about.

When it comes to making progress, Rime is very much a platform puzzler. With a level of challenge that isn’t too taxing, this also allows the game to focus on revealing the story. I will admit to becoming stuck on one part, but this was more down to me being stubborn about a solution, and not exploring enough.

Rime is a game about exploration, and taking notice of the impressive world that has been built for the player to get lost in. Each level of the game has a meaning that I won’t go into as this would be a spoiler. As each level opens up though, so does the number of characters you meet, both good and evil (if they can actually be described at that.

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These creatures range from shadowy like people who appear to get in the way of progress, and on one level aggressively do so. In another level, there is a giant bird that you must hide from. Each creature has their purpose in the game, but don’t get in the way of the narrative. This is about a small boy making his way through a world that he doesn’t understand, with the truth opening up as he makes his journey.

The way Rime opens up the story is impressive, this is done in many ways. First are the elements of the levels that must be done to make progress, and then there are the collectables that will provide the players with re-playability. Even if you don’t collect all of these though, by the end of the game you fully understand the truth, and it does have emotional impact when it is fully revealed.

What you have to remember with Rime is that it is not the games that have clearly influenced it. When comparing it with these other games, it may not live up to expectations, but then again why should it. The world of Rime is focused on telling a story, and doing it in a way that keeps the player entertained. It looks beautiful, and managed to get its story across to the player in an emotive way, and that is where its success lies.

****½  4.5/5

Rime is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC now with a Switch version coming later in the year.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek
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