Can you draw from "competitors" and still produce a valid title? RiME is yet another proof of this.
Some titles have an uncertain development process, with platform changes in the running, continuous cross-references and pre-release judgments, based on elusive videos, trailers that tell nothing and many different factors why this is not the right venue although also for Rime much of what is listed has happened.
Four years after the first announcement, RiME finally manages to see the light of PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC last May 26 for € 39,99, while it is still looking for a date for the Nintendo Switch version. The new title of Tequila Works to conquer us?
Tested Version: PlayStation 4
It is not what it seems
We cannot talk in depth about the RiME plot without ruining the message and the journey that Tequila works has packaged over the last five years. The Spaniards have put together numerous pieces, which will come together slowly in the mind and heart of the gamer, hiding a truth that is present from the first shot, when the protagonist of RiME wakes up on an apparently deserted island. The meaning of the journey, which can last from six to eight hours, will be revealed gradually, going to form a puzzle that will take you to the touching final, and to the answer to practically all the questions posed during the crossing. Even clearer answers if, once the title is over, you want to dedicate yourself to the clean up of collectibles, thanks to a clear level selection that leaves no doubt about the intent of Tequila Works.
What it is legitimate to tell, without going to ruin the experience, is the awakening of the protagonist on a sunny beach, in the midst of the debris of a ship, the young man will see a strange tower in the distance. He will then decide to head to that place, guided by a fox with whom he will befriend shortly thereafter and by a strange figure dressed in red. Any other detail on the plot could make you guess or ruin the trip devised by Tequila Works. RiME is set on a desert island, full of ravines, stairs, enchanted doors and very different settings: it seems almost a fairy tale, or at least that is the impression until everything takes a decidedly opposite and unexpected turn from the trailers .
And it is in the final part, that the message becomes clear and arrives directly to the player, now participating in the events, hitting him in full like a thunderous wave, prompting him to look for those nuances in the completed levels, to understand if everything was already under his eyes. from the start (and yes, it was), a great construction job that might warm your heart.
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The Last Guardian
The Last Ico: Journey Waker
With RiME Tequila Works he tasted from different dishes, offered on a videogame bouffet that starts from ICO and goes up to Journey. If from the first trailers the setting recalled, more than once, that of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, at the end of the game there is no doubt that RiME has drawn heavily from the works of Smoking Ueda (mainly from the aforementioned ICO and The Last Guardian), not only for Gameplay but also for some situations and even for particular views. Is this bad? Absolutely not, as long as you are aware of the constant déjà-vu present if you have completed the titles mentioned. Despite these not too veiled inspirations, RiME lets itself be played pleasantly, then going to touch messages different from the works to which it is inspired, thus gaining there the identity we were talking about a few lines back.
RiME is a third-person puzzle adventure, and it bases much of its gameplay on climbing, searching for collectibles and of course on solving environmental puzzles. The kid will not be able to fight, the few enemies present will be defeated with ingenuity and with certain puzzles, more or less inspired according to the situation. It seems that Tequila works wanted to be inspired by Ueda's games also in the dynamics of the jump which, especially in the first areas, see us not just underestimate the athletic abilities of the protagonist. While some puzzles aren't very successful, the beauty of the situations somehow manages to overshadow the rest, often letting one eye close in order to continue and discover new areas of the island, or to find the numerous collectibles that could clarify ahead of time on the end of the game.
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Musical glimpse, not badMajestic soundtrack
The sound-artistic sector of the Tequila Works production is undoubtedly the most successful. Not a word, not a subtitle, if not the screams of the boy, the verses of the fox (and the other inhabitants of the island) combined with the sounds of water, wind, and the environment that surrounds you and there. Everything is narrated in a musical crescendo written and performed by David Garcia and Lindsey Stirling, between violins and pianos, in a soundtrack always on the piece and really capable of giving more emotions than a voice or a written text.
From a purely artistic point of view, the game is no exception, offering suggestive views and a palette of bright colors that paints the cel-shaded island and its inhabitants. The four main locations are well differentiated from each other and manage to charm in different ways. The effects of light and shadow are also excellent, giving even more atmosphere even in the aquatic sections. Unfortunately the same cannot be said of the technical sector, where between interpenetrations and occasional frame drops, RiME stumbles several times. Nothing really tragic, or comparable to other similar productions, but, since between one area and another there are uploads that last almost a minute, then finding yourself slowed down sequences or graphic defects is not exactly the best, in any case that's all fixable via a patch.
Verdict 8.5 / 10 It looked like a clone and instead ... Comment RiME takes a little from each dish of this kind, throwing everything in a single course but not losing its flavor. Tequila Works' puzzle adventure is enjoyable despite the déjà-vu, and manages to effectively tell its story using an impeccable soundtrack. The artistic side is excellent, with successful glimpses and panoramas, a little less the technical side, which suffers from drops in frame rate and annoying interpenetrations. The fear of being faced with an incomplete game, given the troubled development, was around the corner, but the light of the RiME lock managed to avoid this possibility. If you loved Ueda's games, you will be able to find many aspects in RiME, as if the adventure on the island were an ICO from another universe with its own guardian sentry following. Pros and cons ✓ Successful final
✓ Majestic OST
✓ Successful artistic side
✓ Well conveyed message x Strong but never unnerving sense of déjà-vu
x A few less successful riddles
x Some technical uncertainty