What do you get when you give a small robot a very powerful gun and a hacking ray? Well, Two Tribes has decided to answer that question with RIVE, a side scrolling shooter and hacking title that is down to release on PS4, Xbox One, PC and Wii U. There isn’t much of a story in the game yet, but the studio is hard at work in creating one to show what exactly has led to the little bot fighting against the waves of enemies that come for it. RIVE was actually announced by Two Tribes a few months back, and the trailer below gives a glimpse of what the game offers.
What caught my eye when wandering around the indie section at EGX was the game’s visual style. It was brightly coloured with an aesthetic which just looked nice, and reminded me a little of some the platformers I’ve played over the years. That was the hook that pulled me towards the stand, and the gameplay itself kept me there for a bit. RIVE plays like a sides scrolling twin stick shooter, with a gun that fires 360 degrees to take out all the enemies that come flying and scurrying towards you. It’s pretty intense because enemies just swarm, and as you blast them away the screen is filled with explosions.
The hacking element is one that has quite a lot of potential in the game. During my playthrough I used the hacking tool to bring a medic bot to my side, and it would follow me around healing me every time damage was taken. However, it didn’t last forever and eventually succumbed to damage itself. There were also doors to hack that allowed entry to other areas, but the real potential is when it comes to hacking enemies. During the tutorial I could hack an enemy bot which generated a field around it, that allowed my robot to float towards a higher platform. I didn’t try it in the demo, but I hope you can also get the bots to fight for you.
The platforming in the game is simple enough, with having to jump onto and over ledges, as well as float. There were also pipes in the demo I played that you could jump into to traverse the stage. Most of these pipes had been out in to get to the next area, but I could see Two Tribes using them as passageways to secret levels or collectibles. While RIVE appears to be linear, having offshoots like that could really add to the experience.
RIVE is actually quite a fast moving game as you tear through enemy defences, though in a couple of areas things did slow down a bit due to some information being given. Outside of that though everything comes at you quickly as enemies fly out from cover and bullets come flying from all directions. This looked especially good when the mini boss battle began, and trying to take out the little bots while an almost impenetrable giant tries to kill you makes for a good explosion display. If I were to draw comparisons then I would say that RIVE reminded me in part of the platform sections of Velocity 2X.
Two Tribes may be on to a good game here, though it really will depend on what kind of surprises they can throw at players. The levels themselves were short so, like many other games in this kind of style, RIVE could do well as either a short session of playing, or spending a few hours perfecting everything kind of game. There’s no release date as of yet for RIVE, though next year does appear to be the target.