RIVE Review – Two Tribes’ Final Game is a Masterpiece | PS4

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RIVE is a kick ass, 360-degree shooter/platformer hybrid created by developer Two Tribes. RIVE is a throwback to the days when action platformers were king and developers did everything possible to create something new and exciting. The game itself reminiscent of many retro shooters such as R-Type and Gradius and mixes in platforming elements from games like Contra or even Metroid. It’s an interesting mix of genres that works really well in RIVE, giving us something truly special.

RIVE’s story is about a space scavenger named Roughshot who gets trapped on a mysterious starship. Your objective is to find a way out. Destroy everything in your way to escape the starship and learn new abilities such as hacking enemy drones for help. Most of the story is told from the Roughshot himself along with the mysterious ship’s AI drone.

RIVE is a very interesting platform shooter. The game starts off as your typical space shooter on rails in which you shoot 360-degrees around you while moving forward. You eventually hit a section where gravity kicks in and the game turns into a platformer where your ship turns into a tank-like vehicle that can use its boosters to “double jump”. Of course throughout the game, you’ll find a good mix between the two different play styles to keep things fresh and challenging. By challenging, I mean very challenging as there are many sections in the game where you will be dying over and over again. However, you’ll be able to start from a checkpoint that is pretty close to where you died and for as many times as you want until you beat it. Thumbs up to this.

While playing, you’ll also unlock some new weapons and upgrades and the ability to hack certain machines and drones. This adds another layer to the game and helps you to even the odds a bit later on in the game. For instance, you can hack a medical drone to keep your health up for a short time or a turret bot that acts provides you some extra firepower. These hacked drones don’t last forever though so use them wisely and hack a new, fresh one if need be.

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While gameplay in RIVE is very good, the presentation as a whole is also very, very good. While the game plays like a traditional side scroller / platformer, all the elements in the game are rendered with 3d objects. The same goes for the backgrounds which are all rendered in 3D and not just static elements either. The background is all animated and even interacts with the foreground when it needs to be. It’s a neat effect and gives depth to the experience. The audio in the game is also very well done with fully narrated voice acting and tons of special effects audio and music. All of this makes for quite an action packed experience that is both a visual and auditory treat.

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RIVE is one of the best shooter / platforming games I’ve played all year. There is a heavy dose of action with plenty to do at all times, whether it be destroying waves and waves of enemies, or performing almost perfect jumps to get where you need to go.  RIVE has the perfect mix of action and platforming and even has a pretty interesting story thrown in. It always seems like there’s something going on at all times and I think that’s what really makes RIVE so interesting. Not only that, the game is pretty challenging as you progress further, but isn’t one of the punishing experiences where you just give up and never finish the game. I really appreciate the way RIVE deals with deaths and keeps things moving along instead of straight into a wall.

With that said, it’s a shame really that this is Two Tribes last game ever because of just how fun and polished this game is. It just shows that they really knew what they were doing so it’s a bit sad that we won’t get anymore of these types of games from them again.


Review code provided to us by the publisher/developer.

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