Rive is a fun arcade style game that has a nostalgic feel of games from the 80’s with a modern look. It is a 2D shooter game where players control a tank piloted by a space scavenger. named Roughshot. The game is about Roughshot having to battle his way through a bizarre spaceship. He contends with robots, laser turrets, asteroids, and many obstacles to collect parts and get upgrades. The game is really you destructively battling countless enemies or hacking to control droids and the ship. You are fully equipped to handle what life throws at you but using the tank’s hacking abilities lets the player into places rockets and blasters can’t. When in desperate need hack a nurse droid to temporarily give aid in battle.
The gameplay is fun but brutal. You have your tank that not only can fly through zero gravity, jump over obstacles, but uses legs to crawl along the floors. The cannon shoots an endless barrage of blaster fire at robots and can be used to take out laser turrets. Players can also use special attacks to cause extra damage including rockets. The tank and weapons are upgradeable at specific locations throughout the ship. Ammo cases are scattered about in the maps or dropped by enemies and as enemies are destroyed they leave items to collect as loot. Enemies also give health packs that are really needed in this game. Hacking nurse droids are also essential when coming into a heavy fire fight. As you progress you get abilities like hacking and the opportunity to upgrade your tank. The more you progress the more weapons you get and the stronger your tank.
A minute of gameplay just battling through robots.
Even though the gameplay is straight forward it became brutal after a while. I was constantly taking out robots and lasers, and avoiding obstacles while doing it. One wrong move and I got blown up. Miss a laser, boom, didn’t see the giant saw, boom, and if you run into an object, boom your tank is destroyed. It was also difficult to just get the controls right at first. Moving wasn’t an issue, but for firing I had to use the R control. This is a 360 degree shooter and moving the right stick allowed me to fire in all directions. The left stick was for movement. The R1 button was for hacking and R2 fires the special ammo. Jumping is done with L2. To upgrade you use X but the game instructs you along the way and there is a guide in the menu. The game is a constant shooter and a challenge, and the farther you get the more destructive it gets.
Once players get the hang of it, it is rewarding in the awesome endless entertainment just moving through a ship and destroying stuff can be. It is also a bit of a puzzle as the ship is not linear and you must find your way through to different areas. Jumping over obstacles and falling to new locations gets you to new maps. One minute your in zero gravity the next you have gravity. Gravity can be a disadvantage as you must rely more on jumping over obstacles, including a large saw, then you must contend with laser turrets. Fun but challenging is what Rive is all about.
The graphics are well done and the music is very arcade. If you take away the modern art it feels like playing a 1980s game. Could also be the 16-bit character and computer screen where the mission is typed on. As you upgrade you also get the 16-bit computer screen. However, the game play is pure 21st century graphics and design. Mixing decades and graphics gives this game appeal. Also Roughshot is one sarcastic guy with a sense of humor. He makes the story more interesting and you want to play him piloting his little tank, even with his snarky comments. Even when dead the game is snarky with responses like “Fatality!”. Yes, I died and yes I know lasers kill.
Gameplay showing ways the game keeps maps different. Here Roughshot is transported to a new area.
If you want to blast robots and laser turrets, hack a starship and control it, play a snarky sarcastic scavenger tank pilot, then this game is for you. Once you master the controls it becomes more about the challenge of the game and trying not to get blown up.
The music is good, more of the 80s arcade theme and gets you in the mood for playing. Also, the variety of robots, obstacles, and added bonus of hacking keeps you in the game. There is variety in the game and each new area has new challenges.
Once you get into the game it does feel sometimes that Roughshot fades away but he then shows up to say something and you remember that its his missions. Though I didn’t get much in the way of rewards at the end, you do earn points and loot is counted toward upgrades. For me it was about the shooting and moving through the ship aspect that drew me in.
I recommend Rive as a good game to play and spend free time. Not once while playing did I find my time or energy wasted, it was a constant thrill and tested my shooter skills. Always something to explore in Rive.