The Short of it
In light of the official release of Rimworld I’m writing this review for any who might be interested in getting the game.
+Non-graphically intensive, top-down management
+An ever evolving story making for a very replayable game
+Absurd amount of mods
+Sound design is fair
+/-Relatively high learning curve, ymmv
+/-The graphics aren’t for everyone
Let’s get into why Rimworld is so great, shall we? The story is a key point for me (you’re free to argue on that one, I don’t think there’s a right or wrong answer here) as this game, technically speaking, doesn’t have a story. There is a bare minimum of a beginning and an end, which in this case would be you crash on some planet, and your job is to get the colony off alive (be it building or reaching a ship that can do so). That can sound interesting or boring to you, what’s important is that there’s no middle, not yet, not until you take the helm and lead your colony on that path. A vast majority of games, be it open world or linear, have set things to occur within their story/world, however Rimworld keeps you coming back because nothing is set in stone. You have likely already seen many other reviews recounting their adventures in the game. Truly, the possibilities are limitless. There are three essential difficulties known as AI story tellers, how can these diversify your experience? Simply put, the higher the difficulty, the harder this game will try to F*** YOU UP. That may sound self explanatory, but the level of randomization in the events you’ll see is unfathomably ridiculous (and astonishing at the same time). I could recount you with my own tales of peril, but I felt with the amount of “reviews” that already do that, I’d provide prospective buyers with the 1.0 release in mind, a more technical perspective of everything.
+Gameplay + Graphics:
A bit unorthodox from what I usually do, but I’ll be mixing two points into a single category, as the latter is self explanatory and requires little analysis. Gameplay however isn’t quite so small of a subject. Controls rely mostly on the use of the mouse rather than the keyboard (though this can vary on how the player wishes to play), and how all your colonists move and behave can be managed in almost a leisurely fashion. Before you start any particular run of the game, you select/create a few of your own colonists to start things off and grow from there. The reason this point of “creation” is brought up is because of the factor that you play not with standard stats such as strength or intellect like in an RPG, but with certain skills like their ability to tend to the wounded, cook a meal, deal with animals shoot a weapon, and more. Alongside this vast array of skills you have access to, there’s also something special for your colonists, they all have their own little back stories and personalities which play a part in your overall colony (some of which can cause for some rather hilarious interactions between colonists). However, be warned, no colonist can be perfect, for every strength, there’s a weakness. In a sense, they will always have something “wrong” with them, so do keep that in mind (it adds to the excitement).
Of course, starting off with your colonists is only the start, the real game is by assigning roles and priorities of each of your colonists such as what activities they will handle and in what order should those activities be considered for them. Colonists will be doing everything, your job is just making sure they’re doing things right. This goes on to the types of tasks there are such as, mining resources, farming food, researching new technologies, building/expanding your base, even sleep (this ain’t the kind of game where your character doesn’t need rest). However, as said with the story section of this review, the unexpected WILL happen, whether it’s cataclysmic weather, the plague, or raiders trying to kill your colony and take their hard earned food (may or may not be stolen…), among others. It’s this uncertainty that will keep you on your toes and make you carefully consider how you will create your colonists and what activities you want them to be strong/weak at. Another consideration of preparation is the aforementioned “research”.
Another major part of the game is researching technologies. This is by and large the most important thing in the game as your decisions on what gets researched heavily impacts how you will have to manage your colony, you can focus on a variety of things, like investing in stronger military technology (bigger guns), perhaps focus on making things more energy efficient, making your medical needs your priority, or being able to make bigger guns (yes). The ones mentioned only scratch the surface of course, I’m not here to lay out every single research topic in the tree and explain them after all. In regards to what was said earlier on unexpected disasters happening, you’re decision on focusing on one research topic over another could lead to your downfall.
I realize this may be a lot to take in for some readers, but do believe me while the learning curve is there, it’s better to experience than just read.
This section on music and sound design is probably the weakest, at least in my opinion, of the pros. That isn’t to say that they’re bad in anyway, just goes to show how amazing the rest of the game is by comparison. The sound in this game certainly has its moments (particularly when there’s utter chaos hehe), but the real girth of this game lies in the aforementioned points.
The modding community for this game is absurdly huge. The game alone provides an incredible amount of content and replayability and the mods available to you, the player, multiplies that content exponentially. There’s a mod for everything in the book, from quality of life mods to visual mods to mods that provide new randomized events. If the base game somehow doesn’t give you your bang for your buck (which is pretty much impossible), the mods will.
+/-High Learning Curve:
As you may have noticed with my gameplay information, there’s a lot of things to take in, and what I gave focus on were only pieces of what the game has to offer. Frankly speaking, there’s much more to this game than most other games in general, not just in its respective genre. This can be understandably daunting for some players who may be new to management games, or even if you are experienced you may have difficulty adjusting (I know I did). The game is overwhelmingly positive, but I don’t want skeptical buyers to be brought in entirely by the hype, and just want to make this point clear for those that may need it.
+/-Graphics can be hit or miss depending on the player:
As mentioned earlier on graphics, they use very little in terms of resources, but a big factor that can affect how you enjoy any game is in how it looks. What you see is technically what you get, even if the game doesn’t look like a hit to you, the gameplay may be able to change your mind. Just a consideration, at the very least, the game looked off putting to myself, but I ended up loving it.
The base management game that really has it all. With the game’s randomization and interesting use of personality traits and skills for it’s colonists, you get a continuously refreshing experience with each run. While the learning curve and graphics could be hit or miss for some initially, the game is still very much at least worth warranting a try (the 2 hour steam refund policy isn’t nearly enough, but it’s better than nothing, unless you have a friend that owns the game or something).
Follow our curator page, OCG-Curations if you like and want to see more reviews like this one.