‘RIVE’ Preview

If you happen to be a fan of robots, platforming, explosions, and boss fights, RIVE is a title you may want to keep your eye on. Being developed by Two Tribes, the game initially began as an on-rails shooter for the Nintendo DS but has since evolved into a platforming action game. You control a robot which gains the ability to hack various devices and enemies through upgrades, and you must work your way through the levels by solving puzzles, defeating gargantuan bosses, navigating tricky platforming sections, and of course shooting swarms of enemies to remain alive.

In the preview level of RIVE, you receive several different upgrades allowing you to hack control panels, enemy bots which will heal their allies, and “kamikaze” robots which allow you to fly through the air. This is by no means the total number of upgrades available throughout the full game, but it offers a diverse enough selection to demonstrate how the gameplay will change as you progress through the levels. Each upgrade meant there was yet another means of progressing at your disposal, but only when those elements were available, forcing you to examine the surroundings for a potential path forward. In several instances, while looking for a solution to a puzzle, there were swarms of enemies or components of the environment which could kill you instantly if you were not paying attention. Attempting to decipher a way forward when suddenly being caught off-guard by a speeding subway car obliterating your robot is certainly a wake-up call to the player. There were several moments like this in the preview level, suggesting that the full game will indeed require the player to learn through trial and error.

As you traverse the levels in RIVE, you will find yourself navigating some very diverse settings such as underwater (where your bullets do not work), outer space (filled with missiles and asteroids), and the metallic interior of a space craft. You must learn to adapt to each new setting as they will offer unique challenges and limitations. One thing the title does not offer the player much of is time to consider their actions. The majority of the preview level consists of hordes of enemies trying to kill you as you navigate tunnels or platforming sections. One area in particular allows groups of fast enemies to flank you from both ends of a tunnel repeatedly as you work towards the end goal. It leaves only one option of standing and fighting, trying to defend yourself from both angles despite only having one gun. While health is not so much a rarity, it is always advisable to keep your health as high as possible because once you reach the bosses, there is undoubtedly a learning curve to figuring out their attack patterns and moments of vulnerability.

The campaign will reportedly require roughly five hours of playtime to complete and there will be additional modes such as Speedrun and Single Life. While there is no concrete release date yet, RIVE will release at some point this year across PC, Mac, Linux (via Steam), Xbox One, Playstation 4, and the Wii U. If the full game provides more of what the preview level offers, it will quickly earn a special place in your gaming library. For more information on RIVE as it becomes available, keep checking back with Analog Addiction.