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RiME is an excellent gem with a lot of heart

When I started playing through RiME, all I knew was that it looked a bit like Wind Waker and that there was an adorable little fox in it. I wasn't expecting much, but I stuck with it to find a powerful, touching experience and walked away liking it more than I thought I would.

RiME is an artsy 3D puzzle/platformer featuring a small child in a big world (with surprisingly hefty system reqirements). The game opens with a boy washed up on the shore of a strange island, littered with magical ruins and a colossal tower in the distance. There's not much to go on, but you know you want to get to the top of that tower. You progress through Assassin's Creed-ey platforming sections and by completing puzzles, which by the way, are well-designed, did some neat things with light/shadows and made my poor smoothbrain work to solve. But like magazines in a doctor's waiting room, they're not really why you're here.

The main draw is to see the boy complete his journey and maybe learn more about the island while you're at it. Without dialogue, the story might come across as either opaque or paper-thin, though as you explore, you discover bits of lore through painted murals, collectables and wordless cutscenes. I won't mention specifics 'cause it's not very long, but just know that it's all delivered through some top-notch presentation. The artstyle perfectly suits the tone of this child-like adventure, environments are lush and vibrant, and it's a visual delight from start to finish. I'd feel wrong somehow if I didn't mention the wonderfully moving soundtrack by David García Díaz rounding it out. This majestic orchestral score is brimming with emotion and makes even the slow moments feel significant.

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Any complaints I have are just about 100% completion. For the most part it's relaxed pace was just enough to keep me following along, at least until I tried collectable hunting. Then things slowed to a dull slog and it didn't take long for exploring to feel like a chore. As for achievements, I didn't read them beforehand to avoid spoilers and I certainly don't regret it, however: most of them are for doing specific things at very specific points in the game. Maybe I'm just not inquisitive enough, but there's no way I'd think to do them unless I'd read about them first.

These are pretty small nitpicks though. Overall, the game took me on a journey far greater than its simple beginning led me to believe, culminating in an ending full of emotional weight that really tied the whole experience together. After beating it, this Eurogamer article with the game's creative director made me appreciate what I saw even more.

Few games moved me like RiME did, and I highly recommend you give it a shot.


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