RIVE is not my jam.
RIVE (PC, PS4 [reviewed], Mac)
Developer: Two Tribes
Publisher: Two Tribes Publishing
Released: September 13, 2016
RIVE is an explosive twin-stick shooter that wants to beat you up and steal your lunch. Sending you home with a black eye while shouting at you to come back for more. Punishment is the name of the game. Can’t keep up with the onslaught of laser death-dealing robots? No problem. RIVE‘s failure screens will remind you of how bad your reflexes have become. You’re an old man, gramps! Too cool for this school.
Beyond the difficulty, I love how RIVE‘s checkpoint system shows the player mercy. The more you die, the closer the checkpoints become. Encouraging players to keep fighting, no matter how hard they have been smacked down.
What I’m not quite sure about is the placement of the jump button. On the PlayStation 4, the jump button is assigned to the L2 trigger versus the standard X button. The end result is curious and awkward feeling.
RIVE reminds me of the worst games I played during the Console Wars of the ’90s. Difficult. Demanding. No satisfying reward.
In the end, RIVE fails to bring anything new to the playground. Not even revealing one compelling example to keep pressing onward. The game revels in bashing the player over the head with difficulty for the sake of difficulty. I have no time for that. RIVE is not my jam.
RIVE reviewed by Bryan Hall
[Disclaimer: This review is based on a retail build provided by Evolve PR.]