Reviews - Updated on April 9, 2022

Microsoft recently showed a trailer for Minecraft Dungeons, a kind of Diablo in the world of the legendary cubic sandbox. The game will be released next spring. But you can roughly imagine how it will look like now by running Riverbond. Though I sincerely hope it looks better…

Diablo in detail

However, purely outwardly Riverbond looks very nice. Just take a look at the screenshots or videos. This suggests comparisons not even with Minecraft, but with Traveller’s Tales LEGO games. All these picturesque meadows, fields, islands, palaces and dungeons do not consist of cubes, but of different parts, as if from a designer. And all the objects of the environment, upon impact, crumble on them (and then gather back), leaving behind coins. Unless you need to build something here. The similarity is strengthened by the fact that in Riverbond we constantly find new skins for characters in chests, which can then be used to pass these or new levels.

And in such nice scenery, an isometric action unfolds for one or the whole company (up to four players), in which we communicate with the heroes, get simple quests (in the spirit of “Activate five altars”, “Save seven civilians”, and so on), we constantly destroy monsters with the help of melee or firearms, save up some coins and points, and also periodically open chests with new axes / swords / machine guns or health potions. And, of course, we beat huge bosses.

There is no death

Agree, all this one would like to compare with action / RPG in the spirit of Diablo – especially since in addition to ice palaces and picturesque meadows with goats and bunnies, Riverbond also has many dungeons. Yes, and the plot seems to be appropriate: an evil knight kidnapped the rulers of the eight worlds, caused trouble and chaos, and now it is we who need to save everyone, and stop the villain. Moreover, all eight worlds are open at once – you can go through them in any order, although from the point of view of plot logic it is still better to act in order.

However, there is no need to compare Riverbond with Diablo: the first one is not an action / RPG at all. All these points and coins only affect the overall rating based on the results of passing each of the worlds. There is no pumping or trading here, you can’t put on anything. The main characters, no matter how they look, are no different from each other – everyone in fights can use the same types of weapons, everyone does rolls. And everyone has access to the only superblow, more precisely, a crushing jump to the ground.

Riverbond game review

There are very few such traps.

Moreover, the main principle of such games is violated – there is actually no death here, but there are endless lives that allow you to be reborn not just as many times as you like, but for free, without losing anything. And if you damaged the boss and died, then after the revival his health will not be restored. Frequent deaths in such battles will not allow you to get bonus rating points.

That is, there are no special problems with the passage of bosses – even in single player mode. And they themselves do not differ much from each other: someone hits, someone shoots, but everyone periodically calls on their henchmen.

When humor prolongs life

No, Riverbond certainly has its upsides. In addition to a pretty appearance, one can also note the excellent design of the locations, which really turned out to be diverse – there are mines, and dungeons, and some islands, and ice palaces, and picturesque fields, and huge waterfalls.Riverbond game review

Russian translation in the game is of high quality.

In addition, unlike Diablo, there is a lot of humor, tomfoolery and irony here – again, comparisons with LEGO games arise. All unlockable skins of the main characters are some watermelons, eggplants, penguins, dogs, pink spots and other cute stuff. Surrounding characters and enemies look about the same. About the first boss shark, we are told that she is “professionally hungry, like some restaurant critic.” In the future, by the way, there will be a task – to disrupt the banquet in the villain’s castle, and for this you need, ignoring the enemies, to destroy tables with dishes.

We can fight with lollipops, umbrellas and books, and among the opponents – parrots with weapons, aggressive frogs, pigs and almost the same books. On this occasion, one writer in the local library laments: “Well, how am I going to punch my own love story in the face?”

By the way, ordinary enemies, unlike bosses, turned out to be more interesting and diverse. It is better to shoot someone from afar, someone – to beat close. Moreover, it is important what: melee weapons here differ in terms of damage, and the radius of destruction, and attack speed. But all guns and blades are equally successful in destroying literally everything around. And this is also a plus – rarely where you can destroy enemies, filling them with columns cut off by a burst from a machine gun.

Where else can you throw ship cannons at bosses?

***

All this really looks funny – especially in a co-op, if you have some kind of laughter girl as a partner. However, the almost complete absence of a “challenge” causes a feeling of deep disappointment – in theory, the potential of Riverbond is clearly higher than what we saw in practice. The authors could play ahead of the curve and release her killer even before Minecraft Dungeons, but limited themselves to small things – hence the low score.

Pros: the game looks stylish and picturesque; a lot of humor, funny enemies and weapons; everything is played quite dynamically.

Cons: there is absolutely no “challenge” in the game, and its potential is not even half revealed.

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