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Dead Island: Riptide Review

Posted by Alaisdair Dewar On Friday 14 June 2013ADD COMMENTS

Available on 360, PS3 and PC l Published by Deep Silver l Developed by Techland l Classified R18+ l Supports 1-4 players

REVIEW IN BRIEF > This sequel to 2011’s wildly popular open world zombie game falls flat on its face. Atrocious graphics, out of synch cut scenes, crippling glitches and unimaginative missions all add up to a very disappointing experience. Riptide is almost identical to its predecessor, but without any of the sense of wonder. The whole package would have been better off as DLC.

REVIEW IN FULL > Dead Island: Riptide continues directly after the last game. I’m taken to a military ship and locked up. After some coma inducing (and out of synch) cut scenes, the ship is overrun with zombies. Soon thereafter, I find myself shipwrecked on another infested island. In other words, I’m left playing the original game all over again with some slightly improved visuals, and I use the ‘slightly’ very deliberately!

Saves from the first game carry across, along with skills and levels, but every weapon is conveniently left behind.

Graphically this game is very similar to the original, which leaves this reviewer wondering why it carries an R18+ rating instead of the MA15+ of its predecessor. There is no more gore in this game than the last.

Riptide bears a horrible resemblance to the original. After finding a small band of survivors, I must help them defend their camp as they are apparently completely helpless. They are able to equip themselves with weapons, but they can’t put up a fence?  Instead of exploring hotels and lighthouses in a jeep, this game uses swamps with boats as the main mode of transportation to temple ruins and tribal villages. It feels like something out of Uncharted and actually comes across as awkwardly out of place in this universe.

Saves from the first game carry across, along with skills and levels, but every weapon is conveniently left behind. The main problem with this is that instead of being able to use the guns I am familiar with, I have to collect blueprints and learn to use them again, so it’s back to the drawing board with baseball bats, paddles and oars.

The difficulty level is marginally higher than the previous game, so this handicap with weapons is frustrating, particularly when I have already been down this road with the first instalment. Starting again seems a little pointless as this game will primarily appeal to those of us who played the first Dead Island.

When trying to fight off zombie attacks, my weapons sometime disappears without reason.

Some of the glitches are inexcusably horrendous. When trying to fight off zombie attacks, my weapons sometime disappears without reason. At other times, zombies appear out of thin air. I find myself rage quitting so many times, not because the game is hard, but because it’s so poorly designed I really don’t feel it warrants much of my time.

The original compelled me and took me to a zombie experience on a beautiful tropical island, whereas the sequel feels like much of the same, but without the wonder of the first experience. Every single minute playing the game feels like a reductive version of the first. There are basically no new monsters to defeat. I’ve already figured out how to kill suiciders, thugs and general zombies, so it’s just rinse and repeat.

Ultimately Riptide fails to build upon the concept, rather it just repeats the game with no improvements or original story. It would have been better suited to a DLC pack with added swamps and a different island to explore. Hopefully Deep Silver can go back to the drawing board for the third instalment (if it happens) and recover from this disastrous disappointment.

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