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Two months after RIVE's release, we're pushing out a major update featuring Challenges, Battle Arenas and a new Normal campaign difficulty level. Also, as we've previously said, RIVE is Two Tribes' last game, and we felt that this would be a good time to give you a status update.

RIVE came out a little over two months ago, and it’s been a wild ride. Players loved it, which is reflected in the amazing 95% “very positive” Steam user review score. Reviewers dug it too, calling it “A heart attack inducing crazy nostalgia rollercoaster” featuring “Some of the most memorable moments in a shoot-em-up in years”. It was “The perfect combination of bullet hell and platformer” and “An awesome game from start to finish”. All in all, “A very serious candidate for the title Surprise Game of 2016”!

We got totally addicted to watching people play RIVE on YouTube and Twitch, often late at night due to differing time zones. We saw people set unbelievable Speedrun times and even complete the entire Single-Credit Mode (without ever dying), something we didn’t really think was possible!

Longevity

People are having a ton of fun with our final game, so it’s no surprise that the feedback we get most often is: it should go on longer! We totally understand, especially as the existing extra modes (Speedrun and Single-Credit) focus on hardcore players who want to refine their RIVE skills.

For this update we wanted to add more real content, but new levels with the production value of the main campaign just weren’t an option (more on that at the end of this post). Ultimately we found a great way to extend RIVE and provide more variety with the new Challenges and Battle Arenas.

Challenges has something new for you every day, in bronze, silver and gold variations. We challenge you to complete special tasks in familiar backdrops, with a cumulative difficulty level. Essentially, there will be something to do every time you return to RIVE.

Battle Arenas, on the other hand, offers endless fighting, begging the question just how long you could possibly survive. We’ve taken three popular scenes from the game and extended them forever… or until you inevitably crash and burn. (Active Steam players were able to playtest this idea in the temporary Skywhale Survivor special mission.)

Difficulty

There’s another oft-heard piece of feedback. While RIVE met our goal of making a hardcore game for fans of classic shooters and platformers, some people just find it too difficult. A few even called us “sadistic”! Although, to be fair, we also had a guy complaining the game was “too easy”…

Many people told us RIVE is “the hardest game of the year”, often as a compliment, but sometimes as a complaint too. Well, it’s impossible to please everyone, and trying to do so will often result in something shapeless and bland. But let’s just say that now that we’ve reached the hardcore, we want to make RIVE a bit more fun for all of you less hardcore players too.

We already tweaked the game’s difficulty in earlier updates, but for v1.1 we’ve really gone in to polish some of the tougher parts. The in-game statistics helped us a lot as we could see where people died the most. On top of that, we added a Normal difficulty level to the campaign and separate missions.

We still feel Hard is the way RIVE is meant to be played, but for those who need it, Normal comes with stronger bullets, less damage from enemies and stronger health pick-ups.

Release notes

Full Steam release notes are on the RIVE discussions forum on Steam.

These are the release notes for RIVE v1.12 on PlayStation 4:

  • Normal difficulty level (replacing the in-game Soft Mode)
  • 3 Battle Arenas (featuring endless fighting)
  • 18 Challenges (something new every day, in bronze, silver and gold variations)
  • Random ‘pro tips’ on the game over screen
  • Refreshed the main menu
  • Japanese language setting
  • PlayStation 4 Pro support (4K screen resolution)
  • Secret pick-ups can be picked up again (sorry about that)
  • Mission 1 was extended, adding a mini boss at the end (Speedrun Leaderboards for this mission were reset)
  • Tweaked the difficulty in all levels, including increased field of view in some tough areas
  • Fixed a potential crash bug, and various other fixes

Two Tribes Update

So what else is going on at Two Tribes? We said last summer that RIVE would be our last game, and that we’d support it as well as we could.

Today, Two Tribes is a bare-bones version of what it once was. Co-founder Collin just left for Vietnam, the first stop on his world trip, and artist Meinte has been working at MediaMonks for a while… So we’re just co-founder Martijn and writer Niels now.

However, the above is still true. We’re not working on any new projects, and we hope this new update shows that we’re committed to making RIVE the best possible version of itself. If you have questions or suggestions, feel free to get in touch!

In case you’re wondering about ports: yes, other versions of RIVE are still in the cards, but we’re not ready to announce any details, and they won’t happen this year. If you want to enjoy RIVE now like many others are, your best chance is playing it on PS4 or Steam!

Niels 't Hooft , Tuesday November 22 2016

Hi guys! Awesome game, I saw in the patch notes that the game now supports PS4 Pro... Could you share the technical details with us?

Matthieu, Tuesday December 20 2016, 3:35

@Matthieu: PS4 Pro support essentially means 4K support on that console.

Niels 't Hooft , Tuesday December 20 2016, 12:56

Hey gang, greetings, I just notice that members have alive discussion here.
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