Rimworld - it really makes you FEEL like Rimworld...
All the graphics in the world don't matter if the game itself is garbage.
14:04 31 October 2019
A lesson that triple-A developers still haven't caught on to, probably because they're making plenty of money off of it.
Reminds me of Hollywood a bit.
That's why, when looking for originality and integrity, you should probably turn to the Indie Game market. Sure, there's just as much if not more poorly made, perverse, lewd, and money-grubbing garbage, but the stand out titles are just that much more memorable for it.
Undertale, Hollowknight, Subnautica, Intertops Casino Red - all titles that rival and even outperform that of their triple-A counterparts. Another one of those games is Rimworld, a game that has been available for a few years now and was fully released not that long ago.
The premise of the game is quite simple. You are in control of three random people who had to emergency-eject from a spaceship and have now landed on a remote rimworld, and have to survive until escape is possible. And that's basically it.
You see, what Rimworld excels at is organic storytelling, whereby the player's actions, the little characters personalities, and random events work together to create an organic story that'll be different every time you play.
Maybe in your playthrough, Jim, Bob, and Joe are three hapless victims of circumstance who have to survive by their wits and skills, or maybe you've found yourself stuck with Jack the Ripper, Mad Max, and Hannibal Lecter who may just be worse than the raiders you'll have to fend off all throughout the game.
Rimworld is a top-down, 2d, sandbox-survival game, and if that word salad means nothing to you, let me break it down a bit.
The game starts on a 2d map, with three little character-tokens and some resources at your disposal.
Each character token is given a personality, a background, and a skillset at random, and you have to organize them in order to keep up their happiness, health, hunger, and whatever other random needs arise.
You never know what might be the last straw that causes one of your character to have a psychotic breakdown. Rimworld characters are infamous for breaking under stress of the little things, like "eating without a table" or "having a dirty bedroom".
In the meantime, friend and foes romp the land, willing to trade some slaves or else take some new slaves. Or, under a lack of slaves, some new pants will do.
Meanwhile, the weather does it's darnedest to kill you, from 45-degree Celcius heatwaves to solar flares that knock out your power systems, to lightning storms that'll burn your farmland down. At this point, it may be starting to sound like this game is difficult. And you're right.
At the time of writing, I have sunk forty-one hours into this game, and I have lost six colonies, given up on three, and have still not beaten the game on any difficulty level. The fun of this game though is in the journey, and in that organic storytelling, I mentioned earlier.
For instance, I was playing earlier today, and my latest harvest of rice wasn't ready, so my characters were collapsing from starvation, so a few brave characters, half-starved, braved to hunt for some game to feed the colony for a few days until the rice was ready, and successfully saved everyone by bringing home two elephants! After the two heroes promptly collapsed from hunger, it was up to character number three to cook up the elephant meat and save the day by feeding everyone who remained. Hooray!
The Modding Community
Now, I haven't dived into the mod's available for the game too deeply yet, but what I have seen makes me very excited. Rimworld is a very moddable game, with an active and thriving community.
There are of course the little mods that patch and fix and adjust various features of the game, and then there are the gargantuan mods. These range everywhere from Star Wars to Lord of the Rings to Game of Thrones and even the works of HP Lovecraft. Heck, I just searched Star Trek, and dozens of results popped up.
If you can think of it, someone likely has made a mod of it. There's even a mod that adds Multiplayer as a feature to the game!
Rimworld is a fun, open-ended, if not a mildly frustrating experience at times. If you don't like leaving yourself in the hands of RNGesus, you probably won't get a kick out of this game. That being said, if this does sound like your cup of tea, then this is certainly an experience worth wasting dozens of hours in. I rate it 8.5 out of 10.