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Rime (Switch) Review

 
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At A Glance...
 

Formats: PS4, Xbox 1, Switch
 
Year:
 
Publisher:
 
Developer: ,
 
Final Score
7.0
7/ 10


User Rating
10 total ratings

 

We Liked?


  • Sublime pacing and environmental puzzling
  • Beautiful world to explore
  • Compelling narrative through environmental exploration

Not So Much?


  • Poor technical performance
  • Fuzzy look in handheld only worsens when played on a TV (esp on 4K!)
  • Occasional frustration over progression and puzzle ambiguity
  • Never fully realises it's potential and could've been a potential high point of 2017
  • Not sure the narrative really earns it's closing scenes


Final Fiendish Feelings?

Rime is a beautifully paced game that offers many hours of puzzle filled exploration to enjoy, despite the technical issues.

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Posted November 20, 2017 by

 
Final Fiendish Feelings?
 
 
I

t’s very easy to see where Rime takes it’s influences from. Drawing in titles like ICO, Journey and Windwaker this emotionally charged exploration title makes it’s way onto the Nintendo Switch.

Previously having graced the PS4 and Xbox One Rime had almost equal numbers of plaudits and bugs levelled at it. Much was done over the course of Rime’s life to help iron out those issues, but the frame rate is still a little wonky at times even on a PS4 Pro.

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So what can we expect from the Nintendo Switch, a console with less grunt than either of those consoles? Well, we can expect what we’ve actually got. A beautiful yet technically flawed game.

Let’s start with the game before we take to the issues. Rime sees you start the game washed up on a unknown shore. Surrounded by a brilliantly beautiful and colourful landscape you slowly start to explore your surroundings. An island filled with ruins, animals and hidden secrets. At the centre of it all a mysterious white tower.

With little to no direction Rime is all about taking your time and exploring your environment. Your character can jump, climb and swim to explore all the areas around you. He appears to be imbued with a magical voice that can bring life to artifacts around the island allowing you to progress through puzzles and hidden areas whilst trying to unravel who you are, what this place is and why you’re there.

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The game looks and sounds beautiful. Over saturated colours and huge amounts of bloom give everything a blown-out ethereal look and feel much like ICO and Journey had. Controlling the character is snappy enough and traversal is mostly simple just with the odd poorly placed camera angle to muddy things a little.

The thing with Rime is that it wants you to buy in to the whole world emotionally. Engage with this beautiful place and lose yourself in the wonder as both you and the main character explore. This was certainly possible on the Switch version but severally hampered by some of the worse frame rate issues I’ve seen in a commercial product for some time.

Playing the game for the first time in portable mode I noticed things looked a little blurry at times and when I moved to larger areas (like a main hub near the start) the frame rate looked sluggish. Dropping the Switch in the dock would solve this I presumed but sadly not. The game seems to target 30 fps at 720p resolution – docked! It looks scruffy and smeared to say the least but all that would be manageable if it had fixed the frame rate. Sadly it seemed to make it worse turning the game into a juddering slideshow whilst I was trying to climb some rocky outcrop.

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Now frame rates and resolution drops are not the end of the world but sadly this can cause huge frustrations when trying to make jumps or traverse climbing areas. It can also cause a real disconnect between the player and the world they’re exploring which is the last thing the designers of Rime would want and the last thing you as a player need to happen.

The excellent pacing and beautiful use of environmental puzzling help propel Rime along and even the technical glitching can’t hope to dissolve their impact. Rime never explicitly tells you how to do anything in the game. Rather it manages through subtle persuasion and environment to nudge you in the right direct much like The Witness and Ico before it. It’s this wholly organic exploration that keeps you going, delving deeper into the island’s mysteries.

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Final Thoughts

Rime is still a beautiful and beguiling game that begs to be explored and appreciated. It has the potential to be a real classic but has often been glossed over by many. The technical issues and the downgrade in visuals really do hurt Rime and it’s easily the weakest version of the game to date.

That said Rime is still a beautifully paced game that offers many hours of puzzle filled exploration to enjoy.

The product under review was provided by the creator, manufacturer, publisher or their PR representative free of charge and without caveat. Please see our site review policy for more information.

Zeth

 
Zeth is our EU ninja and Editor in Chief. He's been writing about video games since 2008 when he started on BrutalGamer. He's pretty old and has been a gamer since he played Space Invaders as a young boy in the 80's. His genre tastes lean towards platformers, point-and-click adventure, action-adventure and shooters but he'll turn his hand to anything.