Last weeks have been a bit strange from a gaming point of view. I’ve had little time to play and I haven’t been feeling especially motivated to start some of my pending games. That also has been translated to blog’s content because even having some things already prepared, I couldn’t find the energy to put final touches to the texts and publish them. So, for some time, my updates here could be a bit sparse, I’m not forcing myself to maintain regular updates. But who knows, this could change suddenly and for June I was thinking for less actual content to celebrate some anniversaries and launches.
But today is about a new game, RiME, that is the kind of game that perfectly fits in what I need right now. Well, this and Everybody’s Golf Beta, a game that always is a joy to play… RIME is the new game by Spanish developer Tequila Works. It was first announced by Sony, as part of their external production initiative in 2014 and rapidly caught attention, mostly thanks to a beautiful art design, with a lot of reminiscences of Team ICO’s work. The road until the game release hasn’t been easy, as with many other games, but I think that the final release completely fulfills the promise thrown in that trailer.
During last years, the growing culture of gossip / insiders has also affected videogames. With all the social media, we can almost instantly know who leaves a team (and speculate about it) or have internal “information” (or whatever) from any game. I liked it, because having all the information about this hobby was like an addiction, but I’m starting to learn to avoid it. Honestly, in every project (and not only in gaming) there are a lot of problems. Think about a usual day at your office or whatever you work, the problems you face and how they could be magnified in social media. I find it a bit ridiculous and, what is more important, it often affects personally to the ones involved. It’s true that some projects will fail, some never will be released and other will turn mediocre. But it’s better to wait to see the result and then have an opinion.
One of the games affected was RiME, when posts detailing troublesome development appeared in Spanish forums. I’m sure that some things were true, it’s not unusual having those kind of problems and Tequila Works recognized that they have serious problems with Unreal Ending at the beginning of the project. The information gave but developers about game status wasn’t too accurate and the development seemed that was taking forever. Things got worse when in 2016 Sony dropped the game, which revived speculations about what was happening with the game.
Fortunately, we can finally play the game now thanks to a new publisher and it’s available for PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4, with Nintendo Switch version coming soon. I’m finding it a great experience, pushing me to advance and know more about RIME’s world. The game is essentially about exploration and you advance by solving puzzles which implies activating objects, putting them in a correct positions, aligning figures and shadows… There’s no combat, but sometimes you have to take shelter from some creatures, which I found really similar to one gameplay dynamic in the last part of Journey. During the game you have to go through different regions, which are open and with some secrets so you’re pushed to explore every little corner. The game gives clues about the next step you must take and sometimes you’ve the help of a little fox, but doesn’t take your hand too much.
While playing it, it’s clear to see some resemblances from games like ICO, The Last Guardian, the already aforementioned Journey or even ABZÛ, but that isn’t something bad. Those are some of my favorite games and Tequila Works have added their personal approach to art, gameplay or story. Game’s art probably is game’s highlight, with a color scheme, texture work, lighting and landscapes inspired by Mediterranean Sea or Sorolla’s work, according to Tequila Works. Right now I’m still in the second region, near the half of the game, and maybe next ones are a bit different because I know they also had inspiration from other parts of Spain, a bit different from those shown. The puzzles I’ve found are nice, not especially difficult… well, except for the one you’ll see in the last part of the following video. I was streaming my first minutes with the game and couldn’t figure out the solution. As soon I stopped the stream, I solved it in a minute (promise). I guess that the pressure of being live affects me, even when I’ve zero spectators xD. Here you can enjoy again those first minutes of RiME, another great game added to my library and that I honestly recommend if you liked the games I’ve mentioned before: