Let me tell you a story about Kevin ‘Welle’ Welleman.
Welle was genetically engineered in a lab to be a soldier, but turned away from that life as an adult to become a stay-at-home dad instead. He had a very particular set of skills–he was either the best-shooting cook or the best-cooking shot around–and when his escape pod from a shipwreck crashlanded in a rimworld’s tropical forest, he put his versatility to use alongside the other survivors.
One hot evening, when two of his five fellow colonists were away making peace with a nearby village, a gang of maddened hares attacked. Welle’s comrade Karina had the misfortune to be set upon them almost immediately, and she was downed attempting to run. Together with his friend Natalya, Welle sallied forth in an attempt to rescue her, rashly eschewing a tactical pause to don armor. He and Natalya killed five of the hares, but they were fighting twice that number. The hares were too much for them, and they fell. Welle’s last present comrade, Lu, bravely tottered forth from sickbay to armor herself and try to aid her fellows, but she too was cut down by the hares.
Over the next day of searing, 110-degree heat, Welle twice more struggled to his feet, but each time the hares brought him back down. The hares spent themselves attacking the colony’s alpacas and elephants, and were ultimately all destroyed, but by that point Welle could do nothing but endure. And endure he did. Natalya, Lu, and Karina all succumbed to their wounds, but as the heat gave way to a thunderstorm, Welle grimly clung to life, face down in the mud and oozing blood from a dozen places.
That was how his peacemaking friends found him when they returned a day and a half after the hares attacked. They rushed him to sickbay, and the man who had survived thirty-six hours on the ground in a tropical jungle found no difficulty in recovering in a hospital bed indoors. He’s still the best-shooting cook, best-cooking shot around.
I used to think the byline on the start screen of the game–‘a story generator by Tynan Sylvester’–was incredibly pretentious. I still do, but it’s not wrong.
Friends said I’d love this game. I watched many YouTube playthroughs but they seemed long and boring. I was not impressed.
Eventually, peer pressure got the best of me so I bought it. Though I don’t have many steam hours, I probably have 300 hours having bought from Ludeon. It is an excellent game rich with content.
While I enjoy building a strong base with traps and mazes for raiders, What I want to concentrate on in this review is the content.
What the videos don’t convey well to someone who has never played RimWorld before is the attachment you have for certain characters in the game. You will rely on your favorites to keep your colony alive. When the inevitable happens and one of them loses a leg or worse dies, it changes your whole strategy. You may decide to scrap the game and start over. You may try to bribe a prisoner to join your colony. One colonist can mean the difference between success and failure.
As I said, there is content on top of content. See a statue in a room? Take a look at it, each one tells a different story. And that’s just a simple example. Each character feels a certain way about all other characters and vice versa. Think that doesn’t matter? It does. What other video game have you ever played where you cared whether two characters hated each other or not? In this game you will. You’ll celebrate the former enemies who mend fences. You’ll curse when a colonist loses his spouse.
That not enough? Every action has a reaction. Is one colonist highly skilled at medicine, but making many mistakes? Have you checked to see if he’s drinking on the job? Many weapons have their own stories too. And so do the tombstones. Many are hilarious.
To conclude, if you are sitting on the fence about whether to buy or not. I’d recommend it to people who like building games. I don’t know what games to compare it to. It has alot of the traits of Craft the World, resource management like Sim City, Banished (though it’s far more entertaining IMO) and maybe some Age of Empires. I don’t think the let’s play videos can do it justice until you actually learn the game.
Shut up and buy it. Of all the attempts to make a ‘Dwarf Fortress Like’ game that’s nevertheless playable by humans, this is certainly the best so far. It’s accessible and not a complete nightmare to learn, and the depth of gameplay it provides today is absolutely brilliant.
In my latest game I started as a lost tribe in the far north of our planet. Life was hard up there but we survived, fighting off the tribe we split from that hated us, fighting off pirates and diseases and wild animals, fires and the brutal cold. Eventually, secure from the bitter -30 winter in our mountain fortress, and fed by hydroponics year round, we hatched a plan to leave and move far south, where the growing season is 3x as long. We researched transport pods and built 12 of them.
On the day we left, two colonists were stranded behind with some of the remaining resources due to a malfunction with the pod launcher system. While most of us made it many days’ travel to the south in a single flight and established a new colony on fertile land, far from the hostile tribe, these two remained behind and tried to eke out a living.
All went reasonably well until fire broke out one night in the middle of one of the hydroponics bays. With only two colonists, they were unable to contain the blaze and had to retreat. One was trapped and died of heat exhaustion before totally burning up. The other escaped with burns, was able to close off a small room in a hollowed out iron ore outcrop, build a door over the entrance and a bed, lie down and recover. When she woke up with her burns scarred over, she ransacked the surviving food stores and left to rejoin the colony to the south.
She ran into two other caravans on the way. The first was friendly and wanted to trade – but she had nothing she could afford to trade. The second was hostile and demanded she hand over virtually everything she had. Outnumbered easily 20-1, she did so, and continued on her journey in a desperate state.
Eventually, after a long and dangerous trek, she rejoined our new colony, naked, starving and sick, but safe at last.
This is not an atypical story of how RimWorld games go.