Rime is a game that I have been waiting years to play. It was originally revealed as a PS4 exclusive at the PS4 reveal event in February 2013 and there have been times since then when people thought it might have turned into vaporware. Sony would eventually drop the title for an unknown reason which would result in it going multiplatform. That is great news as Rime is a pretty fantastic game that a lot more people will have the chance to experience. As soon as you start you immediately notice how beautiful the world is in addition to the amazing score. You immediately begin your adventure as a boy who is trying to figure out happened after he wakes up on a mysterious island. As you begin to explore you will notice that you are pretty much all alone on the island. The tranquil environment is helped by amazing music that puts you at ease as you try to unravel this mystery. There is no combat in the game as there really aren’t many enemies. The enemies that you will find later on in the game can be dealt with through other means. Rime is a fantastic palate cleanser and something I enjoyed from the moment I woke up on that beach to the ending that had a twist I didn’t see coming.
At the beginning of the game you will notice that a few different locations have a strange blue light. Once you make your way there you can shout which will result in the essence of that statue being transferred to another point in the world. Once you go to all of these locations in the first area you go to this big fox statue with four mini statues lit up, now containing that essence from the four different locations you had just visited. As you get closer to this statue you shout once again which allows the four mini statues to light up and transfer what they have to the big fox statue, which brings a fox back to life. This little guy is going to be with you throughout your adventure and, at times, will help lead the way for you as you navigate the world. I appreciated the help during the times he would show up as there were definitely times where I didn’t know which direction to go in.
There are five main areas in Rime. Each area has its own set of challenges and puzzles that you must solve. I found the puzzles to be very Zelda-esque and during my time with the game there was really only two times where I got really stuck and had to bang my head against the virtual wall until I finally figured it out. There were definitely instances where I was making things more complicated than they actually were so keep that mind. Sometimes the simpler solution is the correct one. There will be some puzzles that deal with shadows, others with pushing and pulling boxes, others with pushing a ball either clockwise or counterclockwise depending on what your objective is and more. Each area is different in the game as well with there being a desert area, an underwater area, a mountainous area and more.
I greatly enjoyed my time with Rime but it isn’t without some issues. More specifically there are some performance problems I noticed as I was making my way through the game. There were some instances where I noticed some definite framerate problems and a couple of times where it turned into a slide show for a few moments. It seemed like the further in the game I went the worse the performance was at times. Now I went through and beat the game and had a great time doing it. The instances where the framerate did drop for a moment or two wasn’t enough to dampen my fun nor did it affect my gameplay. Nevertheless it was a bit disappointing to see and I hope that Tequila Works is working on a patch to smooth these rough edges out.
As I mentioned up above there aren’t a whole lot of enemies in this game. The enemies you run across can be dealt with through non-combat means. With that being the case your character can’t really die in this game. If you need to make a jump and you miss and fall to the bottom of the canyon the game will put you back pretty close to where you missed the jump. There really isn’t much penalty in failing during those instances so if a puzzle has you stumped and you think you have an idea of what you want to do then feel free to try it out.
Rime is a beautiful game. There were definitely times when I would simply stop what I was doing and just look around. The watercolor world made for some fantastic visuals and when you pair that with a beautiful, whimsical soundtrack it really makes a great package. They had David Garcia (composer of Deadlight) and Akira Yamaoka (Silent Hill) helping to compose the soundtrack. They even had Lindsey Stirling perform one of the songs and if you have ever heard her play the violin you know you are in for a treat. Be sure to check out the trailer included with this review and you will immediately see and hear what I am talking about. The story seems to be rather light as you are going through the game but it all comes together with that ending with a twist I didn’t see coming. I thought the puzzles were done really well as there was only a couple of instances where I really got stuck and it took me a while to figure it out. Overall the whole package is pretty fantastic. They just need to fix those performance issues that I mentioned above and Rime will become a title that all adventure/puzzle game fans should own and one of the best “small” titles of 2017.
Originally posted on Gaming Target