Rain World Review: Monsoon Season

March 27th, 2017 -

Darkness begins to surround you, a drip here and there hits your body in quicker succession, and soon the torrential downpour is so strong you feel the weight of your body increase twenty-fold and you can’t see your own hands right in front of your face. You quickly succumb to the rain and are swallowed by it. This is what happens if you fail to seek shelter when the time comes in Rain World.

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You are a slugcat, separated from family and friends as seen in the opening cinematic of the game. You must now travel the treacherous world to find the rest of your slugcat brethren, all while trying to stay alive. Unfortunately, you won’t be staying alive. Aside from the few things you are able to eat, almost everything you encounter will want to devour you.

While the environments are more or less static as you play through, the world itself is definitely not something you are able to learn from like Dark Souls. Enemies are random, and vary quite a bit. Starting out the game, you’ll come across a fair amount of lizard type creatures. While they do pose a threat at first, you shouldn’t have too much trouble avoiding them after learning their movements. This is a living world though, and it’s not as if they have tunnel vision – creatures will fight one another, as well as eat those that they deem prey. This is a true ecosystem, and you’re very near the bottom of it.

When entering a room you’ve encountered multiple times in the past, even if you’re doing so under the exact same circumstances because you keep dying, the chances of it playing out the same way are slim. Predators may or may not be present, and are likely to invade even if they never did in the past. And don’t think that because you leave the area you’re safe. Far from it, as they’ll follow you right through the tube you use to leave. Fortunately it’s not random, as the tube’s light will blink the color of the creature coming through. But not all room transitions use tubes, as seen by the death above – my first time in that room and I was consumed immediately by something I’d never encountered before. My next time there the blue guy got me because my wall jumping skills clearly weren’t up to par.

Speaking of wall jumping, the game offers a few abilities for you as a slugcat that you may or may not come across naturally. During the very small tutorial the game offers, you’re taught to pounce, which is done by crouching and charging up your jump, like a normal cat does (butt wiggle not included, sadly). You’ll also be able to roll, slide, and do flips in no time once you become confident in your abilities. Of course, your mileage may vary with the controls, as I know I struggled quite a bit with them. But it’s all relative with your adaptation to new control schemes, as I also had a hard time with I Am Bread whereas my brother had no problem beating in just a couple hours.

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If for some reason you struggle with controls, you’ll be finding yourself in more precarious situations than you’d likely wish to be in. Whether you’re climbing vines and forget to hold up to grab onto another while soaring through the sky, or you just didn’t calculate your pounce correctly, the ground will welcome you with open arms. And sometimes an open mouth. While you won’t be able to memorize level monster layouts, being tricked by a carnivorous vine only happens once before you don’t trust any of them.

As the majority of the world’s inhabitants want to eat you, slugcat also requires its own sustenance. Whether you decide to be a vegetarian, carnivore, or omnivore is up to you (trophies suggest you’ll be doing multiple playthroughs depending on food choice if you want the platinum). Once you have at least four things eaten to fill your belly, you’re ready to hibernate in a special location that’s protected from the dangers of the rain. Without the proper amount of food, you can’t hibernate, meaning you’re as good as dead.

In addition to the first area of the game, there are another eleven to witness. When exploring the world (with a seriously stylish map, might I add), you’ll come across rooms with two sigils on either side of it, with a large divider between them. If you’ve been paying attention while hibernating through the rain, you’ll see that the symbols shown in the bottom left of the screen when looking at your food consumption match up with those shown at the hibernation screen, and if you go into one of these rooms with the wrong one, it’ll flash red. Walk in with the matching symbol though, and you’ll see a rush of water as the room changes and opens up for you to explore a new area, with new threats and a slew of new ways to die.

Which paths you take will determine the dangers you face, as well as the ending you’ll witness. Will you stand up to the creatures that have the intention of ending your life, or will you run away and pit them against one another? The game begs to be played more than once, with the different play styles and outcomes for the decisions you make while playing. If it ends up pulling you in, you’ll no doubt be spending a fair amount of time as the adorable slugcat. However, if you’re easily frustrated by controls and dying in games, I’d say you may want to be cautious of this title.

BUY

Pros

  • Slugcat
  • Vast World/Enemies
  • Replay Value

Cons

  • Controls
  • Occasional Cheap Deaths

Rain World was developed by Videocult and published by Adult Swim Games. It was successfully funded with Kickstarter on February 13th, 2014. The game launches on PS4 and PC March 28th, 2017 for $19.99. The game was provided to us for review on PS4. If you’d like to see more of Rain World, check out the official site.

 

Here at FFoP we use a rating method that you may be unfamiliar with, so allow us to clarify. When we review a game, we see what sort of BRA fits. Buy, Rent, or Acquire is the rating we give out – we’ve boiled it down for simplicity. A Buy is worth the full retail value; a Rent is something you may want to try before you buy, or grab at a discount; an Acquire is something you can play, but we’d suggest borrowing it from someone, grabbing it in a game bundle, or some other means. If you want further clarification, please feel free to get in touch.

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