Published by Deep Silver
Rated M for Mature
Available for Xbox 360 (reviewed), PS3 and PC
Dead Island: Riptide is the stand-alone sequel to the Dead Island series that features a beautiful island paradise that has been taken over by undead, flesh-eating zombies. Nothing ruins a vacation on a tropical island more than all those around you trying to sink their teeth into you.
Dead Island: Riptide has already received an array of blows from critics, but it has still managed to sell over 5 million games worldwide.
Dead Island: Riptide sees the return of our four main protagonists (Logan, Sam B, Purna, and Xian Mei) from the original game alongside a newcomer by the name of John Morgan. John is a hand-to-hand combat specialist with many new talents and skills to add to the mix. Players are able to import their character from Dead Island or start a new one. Our team has successfully made it off the island and think they are in the clear. However, they soon find that their rescue team is far from what they think, and they are drugged and experimented on to find out why you are immune. The game begins with the player waking up on the boat alone and trying to come to from the effects of the drug. Within minutes the captain states that the ship has been comprised and we must make our way to the bridge. You will collect items as you make your way to the deck, and rickety old doors will open and shut, showing signs of a struggle and blood splatters. The ship starts to lose power and catch on fire and you soon realize that is the least of your problems when you are up against undead soldiers. We can only assume that their experiments have gone totally awry… who would have expected?
Just one question… was this game play tested? The glitches in Dead Island: Riptide can be seen within the first 15 minutes of gameplay. As you venture through corridors within the ship and encounter the undead, they can become wedged into the walls to only reappear moments later. This can be good or bad. On the plus side, you avoided one less zombie and can make your way through the ship faster. On the other hand, you can forget about that zombie that went through the wall for it to only come back up later when it decides to reappear and bite you in the ass! These are the first of many flaws that result from the game’s performance and graphic problems. Stuttering, clipping, screen tear, it’s all here. That being said – believe it or not – Riptide is still a much more polished game than the original which was plagued by the same issues and more.
As you may have guessed, the ship doesn’t hold up long, and you have to make it to safety once more. Players will enter into a beautifully designed open-world adventure on the island of Palanai, where the true aspects of survival horror come to life. If you thought it was scary before, then get ready for even more blood-curdling fun with new environments and enemies. Leveling up in Riptide is like that of old-school RPG games, meaning that as you level up, so do the enemies around you. Simply put, every time you add a skill point, you are also increasing your chances of pain and death. What does this boil down to? Those who import their higher-level characters from the first game (a neat feature) can then expect to start out with harder and more annoying enemies.
Riptide is about one thing – zombie killin’! Horror fans who loved the original and pick up the new game are aiming to do just that and have a little fun while doing it. The game has little to be desired when it comes to the storyline and script. There are a few choices that could have been made that would have turned it into a great game, but those choices didn’t happen, so we have to work with what we got. These flaws will only hold you back from having the time of your life if you let them. Dead Island: Riptide does a couple of things right: It knows how to make melee combat fun and offers a rewarding co-op experience.
Dead Island: Riptide offers a familiar environment to that of its predecessor of slaying zombies, completing side quests, and trying to survive. Your goal is once again to figure out what the hell is going on and try to live to tell about it. The fun point is constructing and using a wide variety of melee weapons to bash skulls and share in the slaying with a few good friends. If regular melee doesn’t excite you, then weapons can now be modded to give off elemental damage by collecting items around the island.
All in all, if you enjoyed Dead Island, then you will love Riptide. However, if you didn’t, then don’t bother because it is about the same premise again. The only difference is that you have new environments to explore, another playable character and some additional enemies.
Dead Island: Riptide will release on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC on April 23rd for $49.99. Dead Island: Riptide is rated M for Mature by the ESRB for Blood and Gore, Partial Nudity, Suggestive Themes & Violence. To learn more, visit the official Dead Island: Riptide website.
3 out of 5