Dead Island Riptide Review: A Sequel?

There is a lot to say about Dead Island Riptide although most of it has been said about other games in the genre of zombie-horror. Dead Island Riptide borrows a lot of its gameplay elements from many different games and in the end it leaves you with a bitter taste in the mouth.

Riptide doesn’t live up to the sequel tag you would expect. It seems as though it would have done better as downloadable content.

The story beings where Dead Island left off, the four protagonists who are immune to the zombie virus on an aircraft carrier near the island. The cinematic in the start of Riptide explain what happened in the previous game and the new playable character is introduced.

The survivors are trapped on an army vessel with a crazy scientist who wants to harness the zombie virus for military use. His plan involves the now five immune characters and their immunity trait. As expected the boat becomes infected and all hell breaks loose.

The five characters you can choose from in Riptide are the ex-American football player Logan, the rapper Sam B, the Hong Kong police officer Xian Mei, Puma the bodyguard, and the ADF Sergeant John Morgan who is the one new character.

Each character begins with different sets of skills and attributes which make them different from each other. Some characters have quicker experience gain when it comes to weapons while others become stronger in rage.

Zombie-horror-survival games have always been propelled by the principle of survival, Riptide doesn’t ever seem like it wants you to survive. More times than not you and your group of “survivors” complete quests for rare weapons or money. The horror/survival aspect of the game really takes a backseat to the RPG element.

Attacks in Riptide are robotic for the most part. Every melee weapon seems to attack in one of about five motions. When an enemy is prone on the ground the same overhead smash animation is used to illustrate a heavy attack. After about the third time it just doesn’t have the same effect and wastes a ton of time in combat to boot.

Bugs are what really take the game in a direction of mediocrity. At one point while in the middle of a quest the objective was completed and one of the survivors died, which led the game to go into a cut-scene and reset back to a checkpoint at the same time. Another time the quest tracker showed one direction to go to while the path was blocked until an entire circle was made around the perimeter. While attacked by a walker the screen flashed to press L1 then R1 but instead of the combination of buttons causing the character to punch the zombie, instead it just let the monster have a snack.

Graphically the game is the same as its predecessor not many improvements. Although the look is good it just isn’t as good as one would expect in a sequel released nearly two years after the original.

Dead Island is not exactly a survival horror game it is more an Action-RPG with weapons that deteriorate the more you use them.

The workbench which the game employs in order to upgrade weaponry and repair your favorite anti-zombie weapons is quite reminiscent of Dead Rising 2. Except in DR2 the crazy stuff you can create makes zombie-killing all that more fun not a mechanic to tediously waste all your money and effort in order to repair the one machete you found in the second act of the game.

Riptide isn’t necessarily a bad game- it’s just is not a game that is worth an investment of time, the game is so similar to the original it even shares the same bugs. It feels Deep Silver took the coding for Dead Island put some more quests and made a shiny new cover for it.

Check out these screens of the game below:

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