Asylum Reviews: Rive [PS4].
Okay, let me just start by saying...
RIVE IS HARD.
Like. So fucking hard. It is easily the hardest game I've played this year, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. Some people thrive on difficulty in games, with the extreme frustration being a driving factor to push them through the game. I can be like that with some games, however Rive really did make me question my own sanity at times.
A 2D side-scrolling platformer/twin-stick shooter hybrid, Rive has you play as Roughshot, a frequently-pop-referencing space-scavenger who can hack into enemies, causing them to work against themselves, and a whoooole bunch of other cool stuff. With 360-degree shooting, , the game is just about as bullet-hellish as you can imagine, with a tonne of trial and error needed to progress, however this constant barrage of death does prove to make you better, albeit whilst tearing your hair out in the process, but this can be a fantastic incentive - just the relief of completing a particularly difficult part.
Rive makes it easy for you to figure out what needs to be done, but the actual process of doing these things is where the game gets hard. And when you finally pull it off, something else often ends up killing you immediately after. And then the whole process starts over. As I've said before, this can be horrifically frustrating, but also really pushes you to your limits, making you react faster and think more about your plan of attack. The art design too, is fresh and great to look at, and the weapon upgrades and gadgets that you receive as you progress in the game make taking down enemies more interesting and fun as you go along.
It's a good game, but it is marred slightly by the difficulty, but again, if that's your thing, then you'll totally love Rive. If schmups aren't your thing, then I'm afraid Rive probably ain't the game for you, but I would recommend trying it out a little, at least just to see how you fare with the difficulty. Plus, it's fairly cheap too, at only £7.99 currently on the UK PS Store - EIGHT QUID - so even if you end up not being a massive fan, it won't be too much of a loss, and with this being the developer's last game, it would be nice for it to do well sales-wise.
Two Tribes, the Dutch indie-game developers behind Rive have now officially closed their doors as of Rive's release. Not through poor sales of the game itself, or company buy-out, but instead voluntarily shutting up shop. After struggling with the release of their previous game, Toki Tori 2, and filing for bankruptcy in early 2014, I guess Two Tribes figured best to end on the high of the release of a game, rather than drag things out any longer. It's always sad to see a developer close their doors, but better to do it this way than to see them go as so many have before.
In the end, we decided to give Rive a 7/10.
What did you think of Rive?
Let us know in the comments below!
- V x