Checkpoints in this game are rather irregular. From what I can gather, they seem to operate in a manner similar to an emulator save state minus the fact you didn’t trigger it. This sadly causes the odd occasion where you can reload a save moments before taking a potshot to the face or, worse still, dying at the last moment of some giant chaotic sequence of automated death and madness (there are plenty of chase sequences in the game) or a boss, only to reload back to the start of that sequence/boss, especially the latter in spite of them often taking longer that the former!
Another difference of RIVE is the references and Roughshot’s commentary throughout the game. RIVE is clearly a game developed by those that, well, love video games and are willing to take some light-hearted pokes at the medium, and a bunch of other media too! The references and word play are fun if at times a tad too on the nose (“It’s like one of those Japanese shooters!”, “I haven’t seen squids since Parodius!” “I wish I could shoot you, you Metal Slug!” to paraphrase a few groaners) and occasionally, mechanically frustrating. Question Two Tribes, if I was kicked into space with my space tank perpetually moving on its own, do you think I should lock my gun permanently to the right? No? Then why did Roughshot? And don’t tell me that it’s because he’s an idiot because up to this point, Roughshot shows no signs of such stupidity, leading to a case of dissonance for me. A nitpick I suppose but that nit was too big to my eye to ignore! The voice acting is really good but beyond the rare enquiry towards how to progress or the less rare video game reference, it honestly feels underutilised, which I suppose makes sense as dialogue is typically only used for exposition that this game really seems to not require given its basic premise and story, even conversations between D.L.L. and Roughshot felt trivial to the game, especially as it lets you skip it by blowing D.L.L. to pieces with your weapons. A cool idea to circumvent the “unskippable interact but not really play” scenes that has plagued games big and small since the last console generation? Certainly, shame that it is so inconsistently applied as some such conversations feature D.L.L. sporting an invulnerable shield or in one case, having your guns disabled.