Rive Review

The controls can feel a bit stiff and death is all too common but Rive is full of memorable moments that will keep you wondering what’s next!

By Grayshadow, Posted 21 Sep 2016

Running from falling debris, dodging lasers, and attempting to aim properly as a horde of enemy robots attempt to murder me. Fighting from one difficult battle to another, these moments are common throughout Rive. It’s a chaotic game that harkens back to games such as Metal Slug and R-Type. The controls can feel a bit stiff and death is all too common but Rive is full of memorable moments that will keep you wondering what’s next!

You take control of a pilot named Roughtshot who controls a spider-like tank. It’s armored and can travel throughout almost any environment. A machine gun operates as the tank’s primary weapon that shoots in a constant stream of bullets, except in water. As you eliminate enemies you’ll collect scrap with can be sold for upgrades include armor, the ability to attract scrap from a larger distance, and weapon modifications such as a missile launcher, EMP mine, shotgun, and grenades. I did find it bewildering why all my upgrades would disappear when I exited the game. This happened twice and I wasn’t refunded for the scrap I spent.

Another major tool you’ll utilize is the hacking device. This item allows the pilot to temporarily hack specific robots and panels. Simply aim at the hackable device and wait until the bar fills up. Each robot you hack has specific functions such as a Nurse Bot that heals your robot and a turret. You can only hack one bot at a time and each bot can only operate for a finite amount of time or for a specific amount of functions. It’s strange that the trigger for hacking requires pinpoint precision. During hectic firefights this can become infuriating, especially in a game like this where death is frequent.

Rive is all about trial and error. You’re going to die and it’s going to happen a lot. Thankfully load times are nonexistent and save points are frequent. Rive doesn’t have an easy mode to start with, only ‘Hard Mode’. If you die enough though the game will lower the difficulty at the expense of a 50% reduction of your overall score. 

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The pilot is a junk collector, in search of epic loot. While attempting to dodge asteroids he comes across a derelict ship. Thinking that it's an easy score rushes inside only to find the ship if full of hostile robots. You’ll run, shoot, dodge, and jump from one location to another while committing robotic genocide. What’s amazing it how the developers continue to introduce new and exciting challenges over the course of adventure. At one moment you'll find yourself running from an explosive and in another floating in an zero-g bubbles. 

The pilot is full of cliche video game reference and snarky jokes. The DDL robot that accompanies throughout the journey is similar, taking pleasure in performing experiments at the Roughshots' expense. If it gets on your nerve you can always shoot it. 

Despite the game takes place on a giant spaceship you’ll encounter a diverse set of environments. A trans system with speeding bullet trains, large lava lakes, and zero-g areas. Each environment is bright and vividly detailed.

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Rive does succeed in a lot of ways but it also has some serious shortcomings. The jumping mechanics is weighted, almost like the legs of the pilot’s robot has 10 ton cement blocks tied to its legs. This can become increasingly vexing during certain on-rail segments. In one a scripted event required me to perform several perfect jumps in succession and one misstep meant death. A lot of deaths in Rive can feel unfair, especially during battles where enemies respawn indefinitely while you have to kill a specific enemy. 

Rive is an intense and demanding shooter that requires the player to be at their best of they want to triumph. Facing the onslaught of dangerous enemies and hazardous environments where you’ll have to think quickly or die are frequent and intense. Leaderboards and a speed run options are available for those wishing for a greater challenge. Though the jumping mechanic seems too heavy and specific events can feel unfair Rive is a great shoot-em-up with a lot of memorable moments.

Adam Siddiqui, NoobFeed
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General Information



Publisher(s): Two Tribes
Developer(s): Two Tribes
Genres: Action-adventure
Themes: shoot-em-up
Release Date: 2016-09-13

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