Welcome to our CHEATfactor Game Review of Rimworld. We review the game and then factor in how the available cheats affect the overall game experience. For better or worse, our reviews will help you decide whether or not to use cheats when playing the game.
Reviewer’s Note: RimWorld is currently available on Steam as an Early Access system, meaning that it’s currently unfinished so this review should be read as such. However, the developers want you to pay $29.99 for it, so it’s fair game for a review.
If you’ve ever played the Sims and thought, “you know what this game could really use? Rampaging mutant raiders” man do I have a game for you. RimWorld from Ludeon Studios is in truth, a strange beast. It takes the social dynamic of a game like the Sims and combines it with the building structure of Prison Architect to create something so incredibly unique and so incredibly special. Even in it’s unfinished state, RimWorld is easily one of my favorite games of the year and a game that I can’t get enough of. That being said though, there are clear issues with the current state of RimWorld that undoubtedly hold it back from being even better.
What’s perhaps most amazing about RimWorld is that when you first hear about it, when you first look at it, it doesn’t sound or look like anything special. I mean, let’s be honest; the game straight up looks like a mod someone made for Prison Architect. Even the story, or at least the core of it, which has you crash landing on an alien planet and trying to find your way home feels so uninspired that it immediately brings to mind every sci-fi property you’ve ever played, read or watched. But trust me, stick with it, RimWorld is different in so many more ways than you are prepared for and it’s that uncertainty that kept me coming back and still keeps me coming back to RimWorld even after spending hours with it.
So what exactly makes RimWorld so special? One word, choice. You see, RimWorld is equal parts management game, story driven experience and sci-fi adventure and every choice you make changes the way you’ll play the game and the events that’ll happen. Sure, a lot of games allow you to simply make choices but RimWorld casts choice as it’s main character and allows the rest to fall in around it. You’re not just responsible for your characters and their traits, but their motivations, their hangups, their quirks. How did they get to where they were? Why were they on that ship in the first place? What are they willing to do to get off that planet? Hell, even the crash landing scenario can be changed to something completely different.
I’ve experienced so many strange plot twists with RimWorld. There was the time that the engineer of my group got tired of the animals being trained elsewhere in the settlement and snapped, or the other time when everyone with any sort of medical training was killed in a raid, and my pop star survivor refused to move any of their bodies, resulting in her having to live with their rotting corpses until she had a mental breakdown and ended up killing herself. There are so many different ways you can shape the story with your choices and even the smallest ones like what crops you grow and what technologies you research can lead to big changes down the line.
Of course, not everything that happens in RimWorld is your choice and the majority of the random events that make up your play through are governed by one of the three AI storytellers that you choose. Best when thought of as difficulty choices (though there are those too), the storytellers definitely keep you on your toes. Phoebe is the easiest to handle, giving you time in between events to rebuild and collect your thoughts, and Cassandra throws things at you on a curve that lets you learn to deal with things before things get really difficult. Then there’s Randy who cares not for what you can handle and throws things at you with no real sense of pattern or purpose. Each when is a different experience each time and though I’ve really only used the Randy storyteller a few times I’ve found a pretty comfortable home in the middle difficulty of Cassandra’s storytelling style.
As a work in progress game, I have run into a number of bugs but very few of them I would go as far as calling game breaking. Updates are coming for RimWorld pretty steadily and they’ve done enough to address the issues and keep me playing. The real issue I have with RimWorld is how it doesn’t really explain much of anything. Now I’m not one for hand holding but there is a lot to learn and a lot to know in RimWorld and I spent a good amount of time using outside sources to know it. Here's hoping that a future update will add a tutorial.
RimWorld isn’t your average early access game; it already feels like a finished product and is completely worth your money and time. With constant updates it can address it’s small issues and be more user friendly but don’t wait for that…RimWorld is remarkable even in it’s current state.
Joe started off writing about video games for small fan sites when he realized he should probably do something with his communications degree and didn't want to get into the grind of daily reporting. Joining the team in late 2008, Joe is the featured game reviewer for Cheat Happens, producing up to 10 CHEATfactor Game Reviews per month.
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