Rain World (PlayStation 4) Review

By Thom Compton 15.04.2017

Review for Rain World on PlayStation 4

Back in 2014, 3,030 Kickstarter backers helped fund an ambitious little Metroidvania style stealth game. That project was called Rain World, and thanks to those backers, that little project grew into a fully realized game. Much like the little slugcat that it stars, Rain World might not be ready to go out on its own.

It's important to be clear early on that Rain World is impossibly beautiful. This extends beyond the simple and yet stunningly profound world the player is asked to explore. The world has a morbid beauty, like a gorgeous skyscraper abandoned years ago. While it feels suffocating, it also feels full of life and purpose.

No, even beyond how beautiful the world looks, it moves equally wonderful. The animation is creepy, stunning, and nerve-wracking, all at once. It feels malicious watching a giant lizard coil around a pole, then drag the poor slugcat into its mouth. The slugcat, in comparison, doesn't seem to be anywhere near as agile. It moves with trepidation, yet it's still beautifully animated.

It is at this point that Rain World drags itself backwards, slowly becoming less and less appealing. It begins with the actual controls. All that fluid animation may be enjoyable to watch, but it feels less than ideal controlling your slugcat. It's top heavy, and whenever it's upright it's difficult to move. Couple this with the agility of enemies, and it's easy to see you will spend a considerable amount of time dying.

Screenshot for Rain World on PlayStation 4

Dying is an event so frequent it almost comes with the knowledge that Rain World is an indie game. Indie games are famous, perhaps stereotypically, for their incredible difficulty. While many don't deserve that association, many others do, and they all have different ways of adding that sadistic flavour. Some assault the player with enemy after enemy, while others task them with quick and precise platforming. Rain World follows the former, but it makes a grave mistake in the process.

In Rain World, everything wants to consume your little slugcat. It is defenceless, and therefore, will likely die pretty frequently, as previously mentioned. Unfortunately, Rain World features significantly fewer checkpoints than it needs. Dying and having to go back as far as twenty or thirty minutes is obnoxious.

In a game where the player must survive and forage for food, what happens within the confines of the game are either extremely unfair or really boring. Finding food is frustrating, as the slugcat fancies fruit, a lot of which will need to be jumped at at just the right angle to acquire. It also likes flies, and those flies dance through the air. With the previously mentioned rough controls, jumping around never feels fluid.

This is Rain World's biggest issue. It never feels fluid, instead feeling jagged and malicious. Like a puppy in the pound snarling and biting at passers-by, Rain World looks so enticing, though never inviting. It's clear the world is angry at the little slugcat early on. What suffers Rain World is that it punishes the player so harshly that it's impossible to get into the flow of the experience. Even if you could get into it, there's really no flow to be found.

Screenshot for Rain World on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

Rain World has so much potential, it's infuriating to watch it crumble under the weight of trying to be difficult. There seems to be a new mantra in gaming that the game's not good unless it's brutally hard, and this is clearly misguided. If it controlled better and gave the player a bit more sympathy, Rain World would have been sublime. As it stands, though, Rain World is just an angry experience, yelling at gamers for every little mistake.

Developer

Videocult

Publisher

Adult Swim Games

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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