Dead Island: Riptide is a direct sequel to Dead Island. Taking place almost exactly where the previous title left off. You are once again stranded on a decimated island that is filled with… You guessed it, the dead. Only a few scarce pockets of living resistance remain. It’s up to you, your shipwrecked allies and the last survivors on the island to band together for any hope of making it out alive. Standing between you and your escape is a seemingly endless supply of zed, and even worse… other humans. The island’s beautiful scenery has now been transformed into a hellish maze filled with monsters. And the once crystal blue waters now run crimson with the blood of its former inhabitants. I’ll try to keep this review pretty short and sweet.
Dead Island: Riptide like its prior installment is an action horror RPG with a major focus on melee combat. The weapon mechanics are akin to Dead Rising in the sense that a weapon will become dull and deal next to no damage after it is over used. The pain comes in that you cannot get very far before having to find another work bench to repair your better weapons. The combat system itself can be very clunky, and at times you will find your swings seemingly phase through your enemy and you are the one that ends up taking damage. At a certain level you are able to unlock and attain your “Fury” skill. Which can be used to unleash a ferocious attack on your enemies once your “Rage” meter is filled. One issue that you may run into is that it is difficult to tell when your Fury is ready to be used. Another problem will come into play when you realize that the button to use your med kits to heal yourself is the same one that activates your Fury. So what will more than likely happen, is you will be in the middle of battle and attempt to use your Fury attack but will instead use your final med kit, even though you were already full on health. Expect that to happen quite often.
A plethora of usable weapons are scattered across the overrun island. And on top of that, players have the ability to modify items to create all sorts of new devastating weapons like nail bats and electrified machetes. Keep an eye on your weapons durability though. Once your items damage level reaches its maximum, it’ll be as if you’re swinging cardboard until you’re able to repair it. But don’t think that there is a firearm ban on this island. Ranged weapons are a hot commodity amongst survivors but are sparser in number. So use every bullet wisely as they will come in handy for the larger, more dangerous creatures on the island.
Through out the game you will be faced with both the living and the undead as advisories (but they are both equally as dickish) Like in Dead Island, apart from the common zombies are “special” zombies (much like left 4 dead) that are more powerful and deadlier to deal with. In addition to the previously seen Ram, Thug, Floater, Suicider and Butcher are the new Grenadier, Wrestler and Screamer class special infected. One interesting thing to keep in mind, is while playing online the enemy levels will match that of who is playing. So if someone of a lower level is playing in your game, they will see enemies at a lower level then yourself.
The RPG element of the game comes in the form of Skill Trees. As your character levels up you can add new skills or increase the strength of previously unlocked skills. Every character will have 3 separate Skill Trees, One for Fury, (which we previously touched upon) one for Combat and one for Survival. Each player will have different skills in each category that they can choose to fit their playing style.
The island itself and the surrounding environments are very beautiful and extremely well done. But basically nothing that you haven’t already seen in the original. A few new areas with some slight differences in tone, but the aesthetics are over all pretty identical.
There are a total of 35 achievements in the game, a relatively low number for a retail IP. Without going incredibly out of my way i was able to unlock 17 achievements in 1 playthrough. Many of the achievements are based around either grinding out a specific tasks (stomping heads, throwing weapons, marking opponents etc..) or locating collectibles (guide books, recordings, secret files etc..) most of which i didn’t take the time to do.
It is very hard to come up with the right amount of change to put into a sequel. Too much change and you lose the hardcore fan base. Too little and you risk becoming stale. Sadly this title is afflicted by the latter. With having basically the same characters, enemies, environments and missions. It’s a game that became dull toward the end of it’s prequel and just continued that trend into the sequel. When joining in with friends online you may increase the replay value a little, But don’t expect much.
If you thoroughly enjoyed the first, then you should also like this one. Visually a very good game and fun for at least a little while. This one if anything is a renter only. Other then that don’t look for much from this open world zombie killer. Then again let’s not forget we’re on a beach where the ladies are looking fine. 🙂