Letís not cut any corners or hold back on hyperbole: RiME is gorgeous. Its deep, rich colors evoke the artistry of games like The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker and even the much more recent The Last Guardian. Thereís something intrinsically pleasing about the simplicity and ubiquity of each particular hue; while itís easy to appreciate the complexities that come with intricate shading techniques, RiMEís artistic cohesiveness helps to make up for its legion of level design issues. What it canít always overcome is the occasional onslaught of technical problems. Frequent frame rate drops are all that stands between RiME and artistic perfection.
It is apparent from the start that RiME wants to make you feel a very specific series of emotions. However, its storytelling is too ambiguous and cryptic to evoke them on its own. Luckily, the gameís incredible music picks up the slack. Itís a wistful, achingly beautiful soundtrack that uses the piano and other strings to marvelous effect. In terms of 2017's best soundtracks for games, RiME's is an easy second best to that of NieR: Automata. As far as the rest of the sound design goes, itís mostly a very soothing experience. Natural ambience establishes a sense of place, even if itís only temporary, and between the birdsong and tidal noises, itís incredibly lovely stuff.