Rive is a twin-stick shooter in the same vein as Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet and Geometry Wars; Rive sets you in an alien world filled to the brim with hostile robotic entities – Your job is simple, go in and investigate the kerosene facility that you’ve holed your way into…
Let me say this from the start, this game will kick your arse. More so than any 2-D sidescroller that you’ve probably played this year; Rive acts as a refreshing take to the admittedly stagnant Twin-Stick 2-D Sidescroller genre by merging the genre with a sense of Metroidvania-esque exploration, Dark Souls-like difficulty and beautiful visuals looking like a mechanical, dystopian counterpart to Ori and the Blind Forest.
The game itself looks and runs as smooth as butter, with seamless transitions between areas, stunning backgrounds and animations, and powerful explosions and special effects – Rive is a game that knows how to look good, but the question hinging on your mind is “Does it play as well as it looks?”
And to answer that…Yes, yes it does. Rive works in various different forms of physics, from free movement, to standard gravity, to suddenly turning into a directional shmup game – Infact, a term that the developers at Two Tribes coined aptly describes the genre that the game is looking to become; a Shmupstravaganza!
Amongst your explorations, you can also buy various upgrades, extra weapons, and armour to aid you in surviving the onslaught of robotic villains; the game has a distinct inspiration from Ratchet and Clank, both in it’s world and enemy design – The main currency of the game is Bolts, the upgrade icons look strikingly similar to Ratchet and Clank’s gadgets & weapons, and the whole aesthetic screams futuristic dystopian fantasy.
Another thing to note is the game harbours around three different gameplay modes; the regular campaign (Simply labelled “Hard Mode”), Speedrun Mode (Which I assume is simply Hard Mode, but against a timer or recording your time), and One Coin Mode (1 Life); this helps to extend the replayability of the game and ensures that you’ll be ripping your hair out for another few playthroughs after you’ve completed Hard Mode!
Overall, Rive is a riveting romp throughout, and continues to impress, challenge and entertain even a few hours in; the world and challenge keep puling me back, and I believe that you’ll find the same sense of daring danger infect you too.
I would rate Rive, a 8.5/10