RIME Review - You Can't Say It's A Total Disappointment
I'm a fan of games willing to tell you a story. I am often keen to forgive some of their gameplay flaws if they actually manage to give you some proper emotion, of any genre. For example, I loved The Last Guardian, despite it wasn't technically so performing, because of its charming character (and Trico's interaction with the gamer) and the situation they have to face throughout the adventure.
I was expecting something in that range from Rime, the latest game from Deadlight's developer Tequila Works. The software house from Madrid had a very bad time at the beginning of the development process, you might remember, mainly because after a brilliant debut the project was abandoned by publisher Sony and recently re-appeared as a multi-platform game rather than a PS4 exclusive.
But I never lost faith because, again, I love these games which can tell you some interesting stories, allow you to feel some true emotion throughout the process of playing them. And Rime really felt like it was something in that fashion, with the capacity of sharing some good feelings about some good story, with great music and art style.
While music and art style are indeed very good, and something you'll probably remember for a while, everything else isn't as great as you might have dreamed of since Rime's official presentation back in the days. The main reason here is it's very similar to the other games in the genre, like Ico, and you constantly have those titles on your mind when you have the gamepad in your hands. But, ultimately, it ends up feeling much smaller in both gameplay mechanics and storytelling itself.
I'm saying it's smaller also thinking of things like, you know, in the first half of the game basically nothing happens. You start getting some clues about the story only in the latter half of the second half in the game, which means you spend like 4-5 hours with nothing seriously making you go on. Similarly, in terms of gameplay there's nothing compelling happening until you approach the end, where slightly more complex puzzles and platforming begins to pop up.
You still can't say Rime is totally bad, because what happens by the end is pretty good and ultimately leaves you with a warm feeling after completion. As I said, music is incredibly good for a game with such limited budget, and the graphics are indeed fascinating enough for having you look at the sky wondering if we are alone in the universe.
Too bad it ends up being a disappointment on PC. Many have already reported about issues with higher end rigs, and I can confirm that those problems are really in place. I've played with an Intel Core i7, with a 980 GTX and 12GB RAM, ending up playing with medium settings at 1080p in order to have an at least stable frame rate -- something I wasn't able to achieve anyway, as stuttering and dips are still there. I also gave 4K a try, with the lowest settings possible and without v-sync (which is rather fundamental to have a smooth experience here): it looks good, but optimization is very disappointing as of now.
Rime could've been a much better and bigger game, but you can't say it's a total disappointment. The ending, which I won't reveal here, is indeed pretty good but doesn't look like it has a solid basis -- it could've been there without the rest of the game and would've had the same impact on the players. And the music in particular is great. I suggest to get it as soon as it has a more appropriate pricing and ultimately a performance patch if you want to play it on PC.