Review RiverBond (PlayStation 4)

Riverbond is a ‘shoot-and-slash’ dungeon crawler with solo and couch co-op play, set in a stunning voxel world.

Pros:

  • Voxel graphics.
  • 1.22gb download size.
  • Platinum trophy including a bonus set of trophies for the new free DLC level.
  • Tutorial option.
  • Action-adventure gameplay.
  • Drop-in/out local 4 player co-op.
  • Quick loading.
  • 8 worlds each with a couple of levels in each with a big boss fight at the end.
  • Earn score by collecting coins/gems, opening chests, killing enemies and talking to NPC.
  • Hot-swap between 5 weapon slots.
  • Chests-random loot.
  • Set goals on each level.
  • A lot of level destruction.
  • Sub dungeons/areas in levels.
  • Can play any world in any order as they are all unlocked from the beginning.
  • Each weapon does a set amount of damage, both high and low.
  • Presents-unwrap for random loot.
  • Cool locations from Caves, snowy hills to swamps.
  • Minibosses.
  • Funny skin and weapons like upvote arrows, aubergines skin and more.
  • Cameo of characters from games like Guacamelee and Bastion.
  • Actions-jump, roll, shoot, melee and super slam.
  • Occasional checkpoints.
  • Can pick up objects and throw them, you can even throw enemies.
  • Looks fantastic.
  • Sweet boss explosion animations.
  • Easy Platinum.
  • New area-Crystal watch that takes place in a cave-like system with new enemies and bosses.
  • The Crystal Watch level adds a lot more variety to the overall level design and the game benefits from this.

Cons:

  • The slowdown in places.
  • Parts of the new level had sections where the level killed everyone for you.
  • Repetitive mission structure. Kill X amount of people or press y on something.
  • Boss fights are slow.
  • The RNG on loot will determine how easy/long a boss fight will be.
  • No online leaderboards.
  • No online co-op.
  • Not that difficult at all and no options.
  • Can run/roll through large parts of the map.
  • Tedious interactions like ladders not registering and the gun controls messing up when using super slam.
  • NPC are pointless, little story and only done for the score.
  • The score really has no bearing on anything.
  • Super slam is not powerful at all.
  • No idea how good a weapon is until you actually equip it and use it.
  • Have to click to pick up health.
  • Infinite lives.
  • Inconsistent checkpoints.

Riverbond

  • 8/10
    Graphics - 8/10
  • 7/10
    Sound - 7/10
  • 8/10
    Accessibility - 8/10
  • 8/10
    Length - 8/10
  • 7/10
    Fun Factor - 7/10
7.6/10

Summary

RiverBond is a fast-paced action-adventure game with really nice voxel graphics. Do tasks and find loot and take on the enemy. It all runs and plays well enough. For me, it’s more style than substance though as the game is not difficult in any way. Loot is random and funny but not knowing if it’s any good until its use is not the best practice. Boss fights are just huge enemies with an even bigger health bar, again not difficult just time-consuming. After a few worlds run I soon realized how pointless the scoring system is, no leaderboards or need to push yourself means you can run through levels really fast and for that the game is even shorter. It needs more level depth as its a small playfield with only ever a handful of enemies at a time, it’s all just very flat. I found time to time I may get my 3 dot game heroes to fix but that is not the case at all. In finishing I find RiverBond to be a moderate fun action game with no replay value and showcasing style over substance. The score gets a little boost over the other review as the DLC does add a little bit more.

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!

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