In RIVE – Wreck! Hack! Die! Retry! it all starts with me taking a trip through an asteroid belt, looking for a derelict hulk or two to loot. Naturally I found the biggest baddest and most broken ship possible, drifting though space. A craft with a very welcoming and functional AI.
RIVE is a twin-stick shooter, which means that I control the craft with one stick. Then use the other to shoot in the direction I point it in. The game itself uses quite good looking and well animated 2d sprites to populate the ship and give it life. Everything has life to it, despite being mechanical monstrosities. Naturally RIVE contains exactly what it says on the tin: Wreck! Hack! Die! Retry.
Within the wreck, vicious enemies will attack you from every side in vicious waves. Throughout the game story various hacks are unlocked, these are used to take over certain foes. Such a nifty healing bot or a machinegun turret, plus several more. Unfortunately I die a lot and you will do the same. Which means I have to retry. Luckily checkpoints are plentiful.
In RIVE I use a spider robot, which can transform into a nimble flying spacecraft as well. The game play switches between being stuck in a small area, where waves spawns from different sides. To the classical run for your life and some exploration. Which leads to many seemingly unfair situations. Yet the they are very much possible to overcome . Despite the games default being hard mode, followed by speed-running and one credit mode. You know, the kind of mode where you die and it’s game over. That is why RIVE has a health bar and several upgrades that can be bought from bolts throughout the story. For those whom are completionists, there is also a leader board and Steam achievements as well.
The music is quite fantastic and catchy, but it does turn itself down when there is a slow section. Despite the overwhelming onslaught of enemies, there are several breaks in the action. This is a very good thing indeed, it also gives RIVE time to add some story and life the very few characters in-game. The protagonist is a very chill and unshaven engineer. With a fairly good voice actor, that has great interactions with the very questionable and quirky AI within the ship. There is an decent story within the game but I’ve probably told to much about it allready.
Unfortunately one of the most common enemy types I encounter, are of the kind that smash my face in and goes boom. I’ve never been much fan of suicide enemies. Other than that fighting in small space and being swamped by the enemy is a bit annoying at times.
Even though I enjoy the game greatly, most people will probably find it a bit too hard and very frustrating. Yes the game flows smoothly and is easy to control. But there is a lot going on at the screen.
Disclaimer: We received this game for review purposes only. As such, all views in this article are our own. No money has been exchanged for this.