Riven’s Remake Surpasses The Original In Many Ways

This is how remakes should be done.

Riven’s Remake Surpasses The Original In Many Ways
Riven’s Remake Surpasses The Original In Many Ways

I wasn’t even born when Riven first came out in 1997. But I do know it was a groundbreaking experience, and I had the pleasure of playing it when I was a teenager. And what should I say except I loved it? Fast-forward to today and the remake of Riven has hit the shelves.

Key Takeaways

  • Riven Remake has done an excellent job of maintaining the authenticity of the original game. The graphics are a huge upgrade and the incorporation of VR technology has taken the overall experience to new heights.
  • The remake not only kept the original’s brain-bending puzzles but also added new ones with added twists. There are also optional hints for those who get stuck, making it a great experience for newcomers and veterans alike.
  • The storyline is expanded with no additions to the map and more quests which makes the gameplay more immersive. Even if you are playing it for the sake of nostalgia, you will find many new things that will elevate your gameplay experience.

But I’ll be honest. When Riven’s remake was announced, a part of me was worried, as the recent remake culture in the video games industry isn’t something that most fans find interesting.

Could it possibly capture the magic of the original? Would it be a faithful adaptation or a soulless cash grab? These were the questions in my mind.

But now that it is released and I have played it, all my worries have faded away. And I must say, it isn’t just a graphical upgrade; it’s a love letter to Riven and you can blindly trust the 9/10 rating on Steam. Time to dump my honest thoughts here:

Visuals That Bring The World To Life

Obviously, the biggest change in a remake would be the visuals. While the original game was praised for its beautiful, pre-rendered backgrounds, which were top-notch for the time, the remake takes it to a whole new level. The environments are now fully realized in 3D; therefore, the colors, texture, lighting, and everything else are perfect and more vibrant.

Riven remake has stunning graphics
The realistic graphics of Riven Remake

In the original Riven, you often found yourself staring at static screens, marveling at the artwork. Now, in the remake, these scenes come to life. The water flows realistically, the greenery sways in the wind, and the machinery moves with a lifelike quality. Walking through the jungle areas or standing on the cliffs of Riven feels like a completely new experience.

It’s like stepping into the world I once imagined but never quite saw. The starry expanse area below the domes is a masterstroke. It is actually a smart idea with cool mechanics and a logical method of powering fire marbles all in one area. The mysterious Ages are full of color and life, making you feel like you’re really there.

Improved Puzzles And VR Support

The original had some of the most intricate and satisfying puzzles I’ve ever encountered in a video game. The remake retains the core of these puzzles but adds layers of complexity and twists that make them even more engaging.

For example, the famous marble puzzle has been refined to offer more logical connections. It makes it more intuitive without losing its challenge. Fortunately, the remake also introduced new puzzles into the existing framework which makes the whole puzzle-solving experience more immersive and interesting.

Similarly, the Rivanese number system is a genius addition to expand and improve the mechanics while maintaining the theme of the original. There’s a better balance between difficulty and accessibility.

One thing that I particularly enjoyed about these puzzles is that the remake has also included optional hints that can be turned on or off. It is a nice touch for both new players and veterans who might need a little nudge now and then.

Here is another exciting feature: The remake also incorporates VR technology. That means now you can explore the islands of Riven in virtual reality! Seeing the gameplay online, standing on the edge of a cliff, peering down into the depths below, or solving puzzles feel incredibly real.

Riven Remake also support VR
Riven Remake also support VR

Expanded Story And Characters

The game has a surprisingly complex narrative involving trapped worlds, family betrayal, and the quest to save Catherine. While the original’s plot was compelling, it sometimes felt a bit distant, with much of the lore buried in books and notes scattered throughout the game.

The remake continues and expands the same story while maintaining the authentic experience of the original game. New dialogue, enhanced interactions, and additional cutscenes provide greater insight into the world of Riven. One thing I liked more is that characters like Gehn, Atrus, and Catherine are given more screen time.

As far as the map is concerned, Gehn’s new lab, the fire marble mines, the expanded village, and the survey room all add to the richness of the environment. The scripted moments are great surprises for old players. For example, seeing a Wahrk swimming under or a bridge collapsing is fun to watch. The explorable Tay and Age 233 are amazing, with a tease of another age adding to the curiosity of the players.

The interesting thing is that even though the story is expanded, it only takes 8-10 hours to complete it with all its main and side quests. Whether you played the original Riven or are new to the adventure, I certainly recommend checking this game!

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