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.
Rive is a challenging side-scrolling shooter with tight platforming and a tenacious affection for over-the-top action.
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.
Furious and reckless action, tricky jumps and a crazy amount of bullets: if you're an hardcore enthusiast who loved the 16-Bit era and if you're in for a real challenge, do yourself a favor and give a chance to Rive... You won't regret it.
Review in Italian | Read full review
While the difficulty won’t appeal to everyone, there’re plenty of obstacles to overcome especially if you thrive on one hell of a challenge.
RIVE is a fun, albeit really challenging blend of space shooter and platformer. The intense challenge early on might turn off less experienced players, but those who want a great challenge should enjoy it. Just get used to having blue-colored drones explode in your face quite a bit.
Instead of challenging twitch reflexes and harnessing learned strategies, Rive often relies on surprise confrontations.
If this is indeed Two Tribes' swansong, then it's a goodbye wave accompanying tears and smiles. This is a fine way to leave, and it's pertinent to think that its final legacy is accomplished through the use of aspects which are, sadly, already in the rear-view mirror. It takes a lot of commitment for a relatively small game, and it's sometimes a little too eager for you to suffer its wrath. However, the charm, style, and sophistication by which it mixes up so many different styles successfully is a testament both to RIVE's great design and also some of the most beloved games of years gone by.
RIVE is an old-fashioned shooter. Brutal by vocation and well capable of entertain hardcore gamers, it loses some of its appeal during the last missions.
Review in Italian | Read full review
Checkpoints are frequent and the Game Over message keeps comically cycling between nostalgic pleas to “Insert Coin” or puns based on your method of death (“Kentucky Fried Pilot” if blown up, “What the Hell?” upon burning alive). These grim jokes serve to reassure players that Rive knows exactly what it's emulating (“Cool, a rising lava level” and “That AI activated my auto-scroller somehow!”), and that each scenario, no matter how ludicrous, is beatable.
While it is obvious that Rive was a well-crafted digital love letter to arcade classics of yesteryear, this is not a game that will be joining that pantheon of remarkable releases. Just because a game is hard, doesn’t mean it is gratifying. Though it certainly has moments of brilliance, these glimpses are few and far between. It also doesn’t help matters much when the borderline mean-natured presentation and combat mechanics continue to over-emphasize failures, instead of trumpeting successes. This will most likely find a small, loyal audience among the already converted and fairly neglected arcade shooter crowd. Ultimately, Rive lacks the approachability that would help it preach the shooter gospel to those not already singing in the choir.
Difficulty is a good thing when managed correctly. Most players want to beat an area and be overcome by a feeling of pride and accomplishment, not be glad it is over. RIVE often prompts the latter emotion and while the levels, art, and hacking are fun and well-designed, the main take away from Two Tribes’ game is a feeling of frustration.
If Two Tribes' plan was to go out with a loud and glorious bang, they have succeeded in doing just that.
Outside of a few platforming quirks and walls of death, Rive is a slick 2-D Action-Platformer that will kill you every chance it can get.
It's always a shame to see a company hand in their final game, but Two Tribe's RIVE is a fantastic swan song. Featuring some tight shooting and platforming with difficult and creative fights and some really entertaining and well-acted characters, RIVE shouldn't be missed by anyone looking for a fast-paced explosive romp.
I hope it's clear by now that Rive is excellently made, and I had a great time flying through space alongside Roughshot. It's clear that the developers behind it were passionate about making the best experience possible. Rive holds its ground among the best 2D shooters available on PSN – it's a title which I would readily recommend to anyone with a free afternoon and an affinity for twitch gameplay.
One of the best just got even better! RIVE: Wreck, Hack, Die, Retry! was an exhilarating ride for fans of all styles of space shooters to start with, but now even more genre enthusiasts can enjoy this stunning effort thanks to the extra difficulty mode offered. As for those who signed up for the initial release, they also have some fantastic reasons to come back and enjoy the excellence that Two Tribes has delivered. Will this superb shooter be transferred to Nintendo Switch now, rather than staying on the near enough finished Wii U? Given how amazing this update was, the only thing that could possibly better it would be the promise of further tweaks, and maybe even a multiplayer element, all in time for a Switch release! For now, PC and PlayStation 4 gamers are in for a massive treat with this sublime update…
I had a ton of fun with the game as I wrote my RIVE review. The campaing is roughly 6-8 hours long and is very dependant on skill – if you choose to drop down to Soft mode you can complete the game a little faster. The game is fun, fast-paced and looks great, and you should all go out and add it to your collection to reward Two Tribes for all of their hard work.
The game might be short, but there’s a lot of replay value in it if you want to get all of its trophies, including what will surely be a very hard Platinum trophy. For the main game, you can expect to be done in 4-6 hours, and since you’ll need to replay it here and there to get the rest of the trophies, you better learn what the game has to throw at you! I loved Rive, and hopefully, you give this one a try!