As we touched on yesterday in our video above, RiME is a bit of a poor port on the Switch. The game's bewitching atmosphere and rewarding puzzles are swallowed up by some irksome performance problems, and in conclusion it's perhaps the worst way to experience the game - yet it's also the most expensive, at the time of writing.
So what went wrong? In a recent Reddit AMA, the developer Tequila Works discussed some of the compromises made when porting the game to the Switch:
Rime runs at 30fps in 720p throughout most of the game while docked. This is a considerable improvement from where the game was at earlier this year when we announced the first delay.
With Rime being very open in many locations, it's incredibly difficult to get these level segments small enough to not cause a hiccup in performance. We were faced with the choice of adding loading screens throughout the stages, rebuilding the game completely to be more closed in (undermining the product vision in the process), or living with these small hiccups to preserve what the game was intended to be. We chose the latter.
When looking at the handheld mode, we had to make a choice between lowering the resolution, removing/replacing major parts of the level geometry, or having a bigger hit in performance. We decided to go for the former, because it allows us to maintain the integrity of the gameplay experience. All the important details are still very visible, and we've had no issues playing the game in handheld mode ourselves.
We know that the Switch is capable of delivering some fantastic and near flawless experiences in games such as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but clearly third parties such as Tequila Works aren't as experienced at developing for the platform. It's even more challenging when you consider that the Switch version is just one port among many to other platforms. Even the PS4 and Xbox One version was a challenge for them to optimise.
Will you be picking up RiME for the Switch or has the performance issues put you off for good? Let us know your hot take on this with a comment below.