Top Critic Average
Developer: Two Tribes
RIVE - Epic Conclusion Trailer | PS4
The effort that went into creating Rive is apparent, from the art to the music to the precise controls, but it manages to be extremely punishing without enough sense of reward and the depth of options in combat are substandard. The story is an afterthought and the characters’ seeming self-awareness of that doesn’t connect with enough of a comedic punch to save it. It’s a side-scrolling shooter with stock parts that I don’t foresee leaving a mark on the genre, but is at least worth a spin if you’ve got the patience for it and a thirst for a major challenge.
As the last game Two Tribes will ever make, the few remaining employees there can hold their heads high with what they created. It's not the best game in its catalog, and the difficulty will be a turn-off for many, but Rive leaves its mark as one of the more challenging games of this generation. Gluttons for punishment will have no trouble eating it up, but others should satiate their appetite elsewhere.
Rive doesn’t quite reach its full potential, but shoot ’em up fans should give it a go anyway. The frustrating difficulty spikes are hard to ignore, but when it comes together, it’s a fantastic fast-paced corridor shooter which could have been considered one of the best 2D shooters in recent years. Either way, it’s a good send off and farewell for Two Tribes.