RIVE, the metal wrecking, 2D, twin stick shooter, action platformer, is a wild ride! This old school style game would not normally be my thing but, I have to say: I was very sad when the demo ended.
You begin your adrenalin fueled joy ride flying through an asteroid field. A dialogue box featuring a bearded stranger tells you to bust some asteroids and get yourself some space loot! As you move along busting rocks and collecting experience orbs you come across a massive ship adrift among the stars. What’s a good scavenger to do when presented with such an opportunity? Why go inside of course, and that’s when the real fun begins
Once you “land” inside the ship your robot becomes a fast moving, spider like all-terrain vehicle with jet packs, which you’re going to need because the welcome is less than friendly. Inside the ship are exploding robots who swoop down from opened pipes and rapid firing turrets intent on keeping visitors out. A short jog from the door and you discover an upgrade allowing you to hack various parts of the ship. This ability opens doors for you like a Harvard MBA and allows you to tame your very own healing bot.
As you explore the ship you realise how incredibly massive it is! It has a mini ocean complete with mines and spinning blades. There are also numerous rail lines complete with speeding trains that will scrap you if you’re bright enough to get in their way. Who built this ship and what it could possibly be for is a mystery, so is the reason why it’s adrift in a random asteroid field.
The controls are beautifully smooth and the environment, if you chance a look at it, feels old school but with better resolutions. As you progress you can pick up weapons like missiles or EMP pulses that can help you survive, but you can only carry one type with limited ammo.
Each zone contains either an insane amount of deadly projectiles aimed at you, a boss bot, or a puzzle that you must solve to move on. All throughout there are indications that someone is watching you. Cameras float above you watching the carnage and platforms move to let you continue only after you have solved the puzzle. It adds a little mystery and story line.
At the end of each level is a point and time tally. Total kills, not dying and kill streaks all contribute to your overall score. I didn’t get much of a kill streak since I kept getting slagged but someone with better thumb coordination than me should be able to use this mechanic to score big.
Overall this game is amazingly polished and sends you on a heart pumping ride. I saw no visual glitches nor did I encounter any crashes or issues that diminished the experience. The game mechanics feel organic and the levels keep the pace going at break neck speed.
I honestly cannot wait for the full version. I want to meet whoever managed to get trains on a ship!
Preview by Breanna