Dead Island: Riptide Xbox 360 Review
The feeling of déjà vu coursed through my body as I played Dead Island: Riptide for the first time. I had just completed the original iteration of Dead Island less than a month ago in preparation for this release. So when I picked up Riptide, it felt like I had simply taken a brief hiatus from the first game because I was immediately tossed back into a gritty fight for my life versus a zombie horde, using anything I can get my fingers around to dispatch them, on the beautiful island paradise of Palanai and Banoi. I just left and now I am back again, what the hell, the first time wasn’t that bad, so I figured this one couldn’t be either.
Riptide combines a FPS with survival horror and RPG elements by allowing you to interact with a large part of the environment. You can pick up almost anything you can see and then use it, or combine it and turn it into a weapon to help your blood stay warm and your thirst for blood and brains at a minimum. The ability to hop in and out of other peoples game’s seamlessly also helps with the whole blood staying warm thing because the only thing better than chopping up mindless walkers, is chopping up mindless walkers with a friend! With blood splattering and limbs being hacked off at a very gratuitous pace I quickly found myself becoming quite bored. While the core gameplay is fun, the boredom is mainly due to the story being a direct continuation and the combat, and gameplay feel almost identical, and largely unchanged besides a few minor tweaks. So much so that this has me questioning if this should have just been an expansion pack for the original, because there really isn’t enough added to it to justify a full retail release.
The notable differences are the addition of a boat that can be used to traverse flooded waters of the island paradise. The developer also decided to add in a small defense game type that you experience from time to time where your group is tasked with defending a specific location usually while a loud noise is going on which in turn attracts massive amounts of flesh eaters to that location. This is a change of pace because you find yourself setting up mines, barricading fences, and manning turret machine guns to defend the locations while the loud noise accomplishes a goal. Then there are additional weapons and weapon modifications thrown into the mix. But there’s nothing to write home about, besides the chainsaw, but in my opinion when you make a zombie game the chainsaw has got to be a staple of the game right? Well, Dead Island 1 didn’t think so.
All in all I feel that the game is just an extension of the original with a very small amount of new content to justify a full retail release. I think the marketing trailer was so good with the first game that it was in turn rushed out of the gates without giving proper attention to detail. Riptide feels, to me, what the original title should have been had it been given the proper time. There are still issues with this game as well such as screen tears and lackluster graphics so it is not perfect by a long shot.
In short if you are a fan of the first game then I would recommend it as a rental for sure, but with a lack of new content and a proper multiplayer sans coop I just can’t justify recommending a purchase.
Review Score: 6/10