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Rime Review

  • First Released Dec 31, 2015
  • Reviewed May 25, 2017
  • PS4

Water, water, everywhere, but not a drop to drink.

Rime feels a bit like someone telling you the only way you can see the Mona Lisa is by first having to unlock a heavy safe--the painting is beautiful, but my god, why did you make seeing it so bloody difficult? Although Rime looks and sounds gorgeous, its visual splendor is locked behind frustrating, shallow puzzles and an incomprehensible story, meaning you spend more time figuring out where to go than taking in the world around you.

Much like Journey or Ico, Rime features no text and only a basic, unfamiliar language--your blank-slate child character communicates through nondescript calls and facial expressions. Similarly, you're given no hints, there's no HUD, and in-game cues are portrayed through abstract audiovisual signals such as cave paintings and animal cries. When the game opens with your character waking up on an unfamiliar island, the absence of these typical gameplay themes lends Rime's environment a sense of mystery. You'll ponder where you are, how you got there, what you're supposed to be doing--and you'll want to explore the island to discover the answers.

This is Rime at its best: the first of its four worlds is a mini sandbox of places I wanted to go, animals I wanted to pet, and objects I wanted to touch. The wind in the trees and distant sound of wildlife, in addition to a slow, classical soundtrack and no enemies or time pressure makes it a pleasant, relaxing experience akin to taking a walk around a summer park. One beautiful sequence sees you illuminating a cave's darkened floor beneath you using your singing voice--at times, Rime is magical.

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Before long you'll stumble across the game's first puzzles, which mostly involve shouting to release bursts of energy that activate platforms and doors. These puzzles are expanded upon later in the game as light manipulation and pressure plates are added into the mix. But while more mechanics are added, the puzzles remain simplistic to the point of being shallow. The majority involve figuring out the one action required to unlock whichever door is needed to progress. Maybe you missed a key item off the beaten track. Maybe it's a matter of trial and error. Or maybe you're overthinking it, and there's a much simpler solution that you just haven't seen. One example tasks you with manipulating a large stone pillar to cast light-sensitive switches in shadow to open a cave door. Once I'd triggered a mid-puzzle cutscene featuring a giant enemy bird, I spent a further 15 minutes fiddling with the pillar, only to realise I'd not seen a small ledge I could use to climb out of the cave. These tiny, often obfuscated solutions make the process of figuring out the puzzles frustrating--and the one-step victory hollow.

Rime's poor signposting carries through to its exploration segments, which often left me clueless as to where to head next. In comparison to Journey, which orientates the player superbly using a consistent goal--the shining mountain--Rime has no such targets. This is exacerbated by the repetitive world design. Each level has its own theme--the first is a sunny island, the second a sandy desert, the third an abandoned city, and the fourth a rainy abyss. But within each world, there is little architectural diversity and the game does little to explore each theme in interesting ways. Additionally, the lack of distinct, recognizable landmarks to draw the eye means it's very easy to get lost. I was constantly ambling forward, not really knowing where I was going or why.

And this is reflected in the emotional journey Rime has you follow. The story is told through a series of flashbacks, but the abstract nature of both the world and its lack of language meant it was never clear what my driving force was--I was playing for progress's sake, rather than because I was desperate to turn the next page of a story I was engaged in. Two threads Rime does lay down--a hooded figure dressed in red and a strange, magical fox--are never properly resolved, and the ending is as confusing as it is pretentious. The twist introduced at the story's close also comes far too late to inject the emotional weight the game sorely needed up until that point--there's no real struggle, little bonding time with other characters, no huge sense of loss, and few moments of elation, making this emotional rollercoaster more of a monotonous merry-go-round.

Rime's artistry is unquestionable. Each world is enchanting in its own way, from the naturalistic peace of the first to the abstract doom of the last. Its soundtrack is similarly beautiful, capable of evoking wonder, tension, and fear in equal measure. But when compared to its influences like Ico, Shadow of the Colossus, and Journey, it doesn't hold up too well. Consistent navigation problems, some frustrating puzzles, fiddly platforming, and severe frame rate dips make Rime feel like a well-dressed tribute act.

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The Good
Beautiful art style
A magnificent and versatile soundtrack
Can be very relaxing
The Bad
Frustrating puzzles
Poor signposting
A confusing story that doesn't earn its last-minute payoff
About GameSpot's Reviews

About the Author

Oscar spent around 14 hours playing Rime, and he now wants a magical disappearing fox for a pet. A complimentary PS4 code was provided to GameSpot for this review.
148 Comments  RefreshSorted By 
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Avatar image for Requiem777

This game is a 9/10. Please, if you're thinking of playing this game you must completely disregard this review. One of the most beautiful gaming experiences of my life.

Avatar image for deimon007

Too much water?

Avatar image for nadfaro

Whoever rated this game should be fired!!!!! Was that person having a bad day when they played this game? This was one of the most beautiful games I've ever played. The music was incredible. Felt relaxed throughout the whole thing. I really trust ganespots rating but after this article I am going to be way more skeptical about the them. I hope you guys give this game an 8.5 at least. You're turning people away from playing this gorgeous game.

Avatar image for Requiem777

@nadfaro: Spot on!!

Avatar image for CraZkid37

I think the wrong person reviewed this. Everything they think is wrong with the game is what makes it appealing and special.

The only time I couldn't find which way to go was the WRONG way in order to find some well hidden secrets. I'm shocked how many I missed overall by the end, which also means finding the way was as simple as intended. Also, incomprehensible story? Everything was revealed in the end.

Avatar image for cocoazenith

Review is wrong. This is the first game I played after a 12 year hiatus from playing games and one of the few I finished. Puzzles are not at all frustrating. They follow a simple mechanism. The metaphor of the game and the ending gave me shivers and brought tears to my eyes. As for the Atlantis-esque setting and graphics...what more can you wish from a puzzle oriented action adventure game.

i tend to watch gamespot for reviews before deciding to play a game. lucky for me i didnt read this one or i would’ve missed out on a truly remarcable game.

Avatar image for nadfaro

@cocoazenith: I agree hundred percent. I can't believe they gave this game such a low score. I was about to not play it but something told me to ignore Gamespot and give this a try

Avatar image for say_whut

Cannot for the life of me understand the rating for this game. I never once got lost: the only need to leave the main path is to find secrets anyway. The puzzles are enough to make you think without chllenging you, but the thing I have most issue with is the comment that the story is confusing. This game reduced me to tears, I thought the way that it told its story was so wonderful. The last level I started to realise what was going on, and then the last cutscenes pull the rug from under you a bit without feeling cheap. As others have said, this should be an easy 9: it's a story more than a challenging puzzle game, and an exceptional one at that.

Avatar image for khosatralkhel

This reviewer has some weird problems with the game. First off I was never lost, the islands are set up so it's almost impossible to get lost as the levels are designed so that all roads led to the solution eventually and it's very obvious which way you are meant to go not to mention that the little fox appears when you are off course and barks when it wants you to go it's way instead or you follow the eye robot. My god how many clues do you bloody need! Also all the climbable ledges have white edges and it's obvious it wants you to climb them, if you get lost in this game you would get lost going to the bathroom.

I thought the puzzles were fine, not too hard not too easy but kept you going forward with good momentum similar to Inside. The graphics and music are top notch and the only problem was a bit of stuttering/slow down when you panned outside over a huge draw distance in the beautiful world you are in. This is a great game and deserved a 9, don't listen to this guy.

Avatar image for jabr22

@khosatralkhel: i totally agree with you this game deserve more than 6

Avatar image for turok0

had been a PS4 exclusive, would score a 9

Avatar image for Pedro

Poor Rime, it needed that exclusivity to get those extra points. :P

Avatar image for Gelugon_baat

I know that Journey's protagonist makes bizarre chimes and twirls to activate things, but that the protagonist of this game yells at things to activate them is comparatively inelegant, jarring and eventually grating.

Yet here's the thing: he sings to some objects, and his tune is quite good. He can't seem to sing to all of them, even though the game's designers could have made this so instead of having him do irritating yells.

Also, anyone remember Submerged?

Avatar image for craftbrood

@Gelugon_baat: So, did you enjoy the game, then?

Avatar image for Terrorantula

Why do Microsoft keep putting their eggs into the wrong baskets and Sony keep knocking it out of the parks?

Avatar image for RighteousNixon

@Terrorantula: Why do gamers like yourself even exist? First, wether or not people like games is purely subjective so to say Sony is doing so much better than MS is nothing short of an opinion, nothing more and nothing less, and its one I would disagree with 100%. 2nd, this game is a multi-platform game and they even used the PS4 version for this review. That in itself shows just how ridiculous your comment really is.

That you would single out Xbox on a multi-platform game, especially when the copy reviewed was a PS4 copy only highlights just how truly biased you really are. Either that or just not the sharpest tool in the shed, BY FAR!!

Avatar image for beantownsean

I looked at some Steam feedback and it looks like there are framerate drops on fairly high-end rigs => GTX 1070.

Maybe the game will be tweaked/improved a bit through some patching.

Avatar image for craftbrood

i had no idea this even released. last heard about it when it was having development problems.

Avatar image for i_p_daily

Should have stayed an exclusive to the PS4, that way Gamespot would have forgiven it's shortcomings and gave it a 9 lol.

Avatar image for deactivated-59567fa1a2408

@i_p_daily: A lot of those 9's were well deserved. Persona 5 and Horizon Zero Dawn actually deserved 10's, but Gamespot decided to shaft them.

Meanwhile Breath of the Unoriginal got 10 straight out of the gate.

If anything this game should have been released as a Nintendo exclusive and it would have gotten stellar reviews and praise for days with articles covering every little forgettable feature it has to offer.

Avatar image for jaryn211

@hobobo: horizon zero Dawn didn't exactly breath originality either. They're both 3rd person open world action rpgs and neither added anything new to the genre at all.

Avatar image for Spartan-1657

@hobobo: Breath of the Wild is wildly overrated. I LOVE Zelda games. But there wasn't really any life in the world. Felt too big for what was really done.

Don't get me wrong, I still really enjoyed it, but the game is NOT a 10. I was feeling rather bored when nearing the end. It was just the same shit over and over. It's like everyone just threw one the "omg Zelda!" glasses and just can't look at it as what it really is.

I guarantee that if Botw was released with a name other than Zelda, it would have scored 2 points lower from all sources.

Avatar image for i_p_daily

@hobobo: Thanks for the laugh man, hey you should take that show on the road :)

Avatar image for HckyTwn

@hobobo: Gamespot gave HZD a higher score than it's metacritic average. They hardly 'shafted' it. lol

I don't know about BotW (haven't played it), but it does seem like Gamespot's reviews have been wildly inaccurate, unhelpful or outright biased... which is sad.

Avatar image for liquidlearner

@HckyTwn: MetaCritic seems to largely agree about BotW. One of the greatest games I've ever played. I can't remember the last time I put over 100 hours into a game and still finished it. Witcher 3 was close, but after about 100 hours I stopped playing and never finished.

Avatar image for Delston

@liquidlearner: I second this. Finished BoTW a few weeks back and am still only just shy of half the shrines found, and still playing with well over 100 hours in. Amazing title.

Avatar image for RighteousNixon

@liquidlearner: I can list plenty of games I have put over 100 hours into and wound up finishing the game. That is nothing special these days. Fallout 3, Fallout New Vegas, Fallout 4, GTA V, GTA IV, Skyrim, Skyrim remastered, WItcher 3, Terraria, Civilization IV, Civilization V, The Division, Dark Souls 3, World of Warcraft (finsihed all of the content up to the release when I stopped playing), etc.

The fact that you can put 100 hours into a game without getting bored, yet you somehow get bored after the 100 hour mark which makes you unable to complete such games is simply beyond my level of understanding. The fact that you couldn't even finish Witcher 3, one of the best games in the last 10 years is extremely telling. The problem here isn't with the games, it lies solely with you.

Avatar image for liquidlearner

@RighteousNixon: That's... great. I never said the problem was with the games. I understand that it's my issue and my play style. My point was that it's unusual for a game to grab me to a point where I'm willing to continue playing a game as long as I did BotW, just that for someone like me a game has to be truly exceptional to hold my attention that long. Especially given my limited play time.

Witcher 3 was good and I enjoyed playing it, a lot. But I know several other people my age who did the same thing. Put in lots of hours and eventually petered out. Some of the other games you mentioned don't make sense. How do you "finish" Civ IV and V? And you can't finish WoW, it's an MMO and is built to grind. You can't "finish all content".

Fallout 3 and Fallout:NV I finished and put a ton of time into, but those happened a long time ago. Same for Skyrim. FO4 wasn't nearly as good as either of those and the story was kinda meh. Also, none of those games took over 100 hours before I finished. I continued playing mods and stuff after finishing, but that's not the same. BotW is a brilliant game and isn't overrated and the consensus, overall, seems to agree.

Avatar image for R4gn4r0k

This review wasn't really helpful to me.

You only played the PS4 version and say it has FPS drops ? Hmmm, ok, but what about the other versions? What about the PC version?

I expect better from a big name site like Gamespot. Even smaller sites give way more detail and information on performance.

Avatar image for softmooncitizen

@R4gn4r0k: I can only speak for myself, but it seems like this is a pattern: I have the Xbox One version and the highest FPS I've gotten outside of sitting still is about 30. When I look around with the right analog or do jogging it tends to drop to about 20.

Avatar image for R4gn4r0k

@softmooncitizen: Not good news ! I've been hearing about performance issues on PC too. So it's a general thing :/

Avatar image for Ovirew

I'm going to be honest, I wasn't expecting Rime to 'wow' quite like some thought it would. Ever since I watched gameplay footage a few months ago, I was surprised by how basic the game seems.

I mean I'll still keep an eye on its release, but it's likely just not my type of game. I think it'll have a following though, if for nothing else then at least its art direction.

Avatar image for EducatingU_PCMR

81 on MC, another TrashSpot review.

Avatar image for liquidlearner

@EducatingU_PCMR: I don't usually purchase games based on the aggregate. I try to read numerous reviews and get an idea of the issues various reviewers have with a game and then decide if those are the types of issues that would turn me off of a game. Everyone has their own opinions and an average of a bunch of opinions still doesn't tell me if it's the kind of game I would enjoy.

Avatar image for Gelugon_baat

@EducatingU_PCMR: I would take Metacritic's aggregate score with a few more pinches of salt than I do for GameSpot's. Metacritic takes in all kinds of reviews from so many sites.

For one, the highest-scoring review on Metacritic for this game, Digital Fix Gaming, has a reviewer (Rob Kershaw) who considers The Last Guardian to be a "clunky frustrating mess", to use his own words. I don't doubt that there would be people who strongly disagree with that.

Avatar image for EducatingU_PCMR

@Gelugon_baat: "reviewer (Rob Kershaw) who considers The Last Guardian to be a "clunky frustrating mess".

More to his credibility then, he didn't jump in the Sony paid wagon, respect to him. TLG is actually that and more.

Avatar image for ibonedyourmom

@Gelugon_baat: The Last Guardian was a clunky frustrating mess.

Avatar image for xhawk27

Funny how all the PS4 exclusives gets a pass on all those negative things, why other games do not!

Avatar image for deactivated-59567fa1a2408

@xhawk27: Same thing could be said about Nintendo exclusives, but nobody makes a fuss about that because ... it's Nintendo.

Avatar image for Gelugon_baat

That said, I would say that the most appropriate games to compare Rime to is The Witness and The Talos Principle (especially Talos Principle, since it does have some platforming).

Otherwise, it's like The Last Guardian minus the creature - and that's already unappealing.

Avatar image for kingofheroes01

@Gelugon_baat: look at this yes man no opinion for himself sycophant

Avatar image for Gelugon_baat

@kingofheroes01: Sure, heard that before. That said, there are still people who would strongly disagree with you, whether you like it or not.

Avatar image for Gelugon_baat

Those of you who would like to think that the reviewer is incompetent are making lazy-ass "git-gud" arguments - not to mention that none of you even bothered to do any fucking research on his portfolio.

Most of you also overlook his mention of Journey and, in particular, Ico. Those are two games that this one can be compared to, and those games set high bars. If he says this game doesn't even reach those bars, I am more inclined to believe him than those of you who came here to complain.

Avatar image for magnusopus

Some obvious hater comments from people WHO HAVE NOT EVEN PLAYED THE GAME!!! Typical internet trash.... It ain't really an opinion or a comment if you have no experience with the subject.

Well i have and this review is just an opinion. My opinion is it is fantastic and if you have shown any interest in this game previously, you will most likely enjoy it like I have so far.

The long road to get it to release was worth it and I hope everyone that takes a chance on it has the same experience I did.

Avatar image for Gelugon_baat

@magnusopus: "Long road"...?

That phrase alone seems to suggest that you have already made up your mind about this game long ago, before it was even released. If so, you are full of preconception.

I would take your opinion with more pinches of salt than I would this reviewer's.

Avatar image for magnusopus

@Gelugon_baat: What? The long road I was referring to meant the fact that it was first a MS exclusive, then a Sony exclusive and then finally it went mutliplatform early last year.... It was initially revealed all the way back in 2013...

I have actually played the title and after playing it thought it was worth waiting for... no preonceptions... And if the game was not something I liked, I would have said that too...

And could not give 2 sh!ts how much salt you take.... Swallow the whole container for all I care ;)

Avatar image for dudebropartyyo

"Rime's poor signposting carries through to its exploration segments, which often left me clueless as to where to head next."

So again its complaints about not being guided and not having your hand held. I dont mind this at all.

Reviewer does make himself sound incompetent in some parts.

Im still buying, looks like a nice experience with amazing art style.

Avatar image for AzatiS

Reviewer should play the game again and retry review this

Avatar image for nazart81

Well I'll check this out when I finish Zelda. And when it's on a sale hahahahaha

RiME More Info

  • First Released Dec 31, 2015
    • Nintendo Switch
    • PC
    • + 2 more
    • PlayStation 4
    • Xbox One
    Rime is an adventure game developed by Tequila Works and published with Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios Europe that will be a first party PS4 exclusive.
    Average Rating56 Rating(s)
    Please Sign In to rate RiME
    Developed by:
    Tequila Works, QLOC
    Published by:
    Grey Box, Badland Games, Tequila Works, Maximum Games
    Adventure, 3D, Third-Person
    Content is generally suitable for ages 10 and up. May contain more cartoon, fantasy or mild violence, mild language and/or minimal suggestive themes.
    Everyone 10+
    Fantasy Violence