GAME: Dead Island Riptide
Release date: 26th April 2013
Type/genre: Open world RPG Zombie shooter
NO SPOILERS INCLUDED IN THIS REVIEW
Dead Island Riptide Story: 8 / 10
The town of Henderson is one of the new locations in Dead Island Riptide. Henderson is situated on the island of Palanai in the once beautiful Banoi archipelago. Palanai caters to ultra-wealthy yacht owners and eco-tourists looking to stay nearby to the island’s untouched jungle. Palanai’s centre is the luxurious town of Henderson that has grown into a Mediterranean-looking port town.
After a monsoon has laid waste the Banoi archipelago, the city lies partially flooded and its abandoned buildings are quickly falling into disrepair. The team of heroes will have to find high ground in order to steer clear of the waters, where unknown threats lurk beneath the deceptively calm surface. Having survived the ordeals of the zombie infestation on the once beautiful island resort of Banoi, our group of survivors thought they had finally found a safe place to escape from this terrifying nightmare.
But they were wrong. John Morgan is the new, fifth playable character in Dead Island Riptide. For years he has trained himself – and become a master – in hand-to-hand combat. His career in the US Navy has not taken off as he originally had envisioned, so he spends his time as a cook on a military ship. Little does he know that soon he will have to bring his skills into practice when the ship nears the island of Palanai…
Control/feel: 7 / 10
For anyone who isn’t familiar with the combat system in Dead Island Riptide, the controls may feel a little clunky and sluggish, but after 10 mins playtime those feelings soon go away except for the on-going frustration of attempting to pull of some of the “signature” kill types. The frustrating thing is that there are many different ways to kill a zombie outside of the weapons (Head stomps and high level drop downs to name a couple) but unfortunately because the interface isn’t as polished as you would expect you often miss the opportunity to pull of these cool kills. Overall the combat interface is acceptable but again the game does suffer when engaging in close combat. With more than 3 or 4 zombies at a time in shallow water, the game engine really struggles the frame rate drops massively giving you very choppy game play.
Graphics: 7 / 10
The in-game graphics good but not ground breaking in as far as the landscapes are clean and impressive. The character graphics are again good and as you would expect, unfortunately they don’t blow you away and don’t expect awe-inspiring expressions or hair that’s full of motion. Dead Island Riptide has a progressive weather system so it rains intermittently throughout the game and this too looks good, it appears that individual drops have been rendered rather than a hazy sheet effect that we have all come to accept as “rain”. The environment has plenty of dressing and the little touches really shine through. Trees move in the wind but the washing hung out to dry is strangely static, now unless they wash with concrete this I think may have been a slight oversight by the developers
Sound: 7 / 10
I have played this using both a Set of Turtle Beach XP500 and my Home theater 5.1 set up (both in true 5.1). The sound in this is truly where the developers have gone to town, as the game is a rich environment of noises, screams and the inevitable chomping. The rich sound field really adds to the atmosphere of the game and comes in handy when the zombies attack from behind as there are no visual clues to warn you. I would love to say that Dead Island Rip Tide had amazing sound track to kill too but I would be lying, To be honest I never noticed any……
Gameplay: 9 / 10
Returning players can import their characters from the original Dead Island but I chose to try the new character John Morgan. Overall the voice acting is good and the comments made by the character while exploring, finding items and killing zombies are funny and relevant to the game play on screen but at times needlessly full of expletives, perhaps this is just his way?. The story is well written and you as the player form relationships with the characters. There is plenty to keep you busy and if you want to have the best weapons then the side missions and tasks are there to keep you motivated and interested. The crafting element is also good, thou you soon notice that you character seem to have bottomless inventory space but a relatively small arsenal. Medi kits and firearms are few and far between but this shouldn’t put you off as there is always food and energy drinks to keep your health topped up. Dead Island Riptide’s story itself progresses well but at times can feel like the last thing on your mind as you are busy collecting items for another survivor. You often come across new individuals throughout the island some are survivors from the previous Dead Island and others are new characters with their own unique quirks. Choose your path wisely.
The Jump in / Jump Out co-op element is a neat addition and as you progress around the island the game informs you that someone is near and you can join in with them if you wish. The Horde mode is an idea borrowed from various other titles and becoming somewhat of a stall wart in this genre. In practice it feels like a good edition rather than an afterthought added just to bulk out the game.
The game has its bugs but these do not in any way detract from the overall feel and immersion in the story, the characters are well formed and full of personality. While graphically is not ground breaking Dead Island: Riptide doesn’t disappoint. The Zombies are varied, whether it’s the bumbling Shaun of the dead style or the Romeo/Boyle Screaming Raging zombies, they are all there along with some interesting zombie freaks that really keep you on your toes. Dead Island: Riptide is a good sequel to the popular original and does the name proud. The additional modes and drop-in/ out co-op also add a new and dimension. The horde mode too is excellent and should by rights prove incredibly popular. Dead Island: Riptide is a “DEAD” good game and you will not be disappointed whether it’s your 1st outing into the dead island series or you are a returning player. If you’re looking for game that requires more thought than COD zombies or are a fan of farcry, fall out or any of the sandbox/open world games then defiantly give this a go you won’t be disappointed.
This isn’t just a mindless gore fest this is a game that stands up to scrutiny it just a shame it wasn’t a little more polished
Written by Cpt Chao5