Dead Island: Riptide Review

Dead Island: Riptide – Gloriously gory, or lost-at-sea?

If you’ve played the first Dead Island game then you know what to expect with DI: Riptide; it’s a FPS zombie-crushing bonanza that’s sort of like a hybrid between left 4 dead and borderlands (with just a touch of Fallout/Elder Scrolls for good measure).  Simply put, Riptide isn’t seeking to expand on the basic formula that made the original Dead Island something of a cult sensation among certain gamers; instead, it’s merely “beefing up the basic blueprint”, so to speak.

In all seriousness though, if you take a look at some of the press that this game is getting you’d think that it was the worst thing ever released by any developer.  Let’s set the record straight right now, this is not a bad game at all, OK?  Sure, it’s not expanding the boundaries with regards to what we’ve come to expect, you know, how other developers like to add features, improve graphics and even change their graphical interfaces when releasing a sequel or prequel.  But is this always required in order to consider a game “good”?  Are game developers no longer allowed to develop their own approach and stick with it if they so desire?  Furthermore, why not evaluate Riptide on its own merits instead of relying on hindsight and unfair comparisons to rip it to shreds and paint it as an unmitigated failure?

Dead Island Riptide

For those who are not familiar with the original Dead Island, Riptide should provide you with an entirely new sort of cooperative experience.  The level of gore, dismemberment and blood that this game exposes gamers to isn’t going to be for everyone of course, but that’s not really the main point of focus is it?  It would seem that most people approach a game like DI: Riptide because it’s a semi-open world title that offers up an opportunity to engage in amazing cooperative play while completing interesting objectives.  Likewise, there’s an extensive leveling and weapons-crafting system contained in this game, which seems to be incredibly satisfying to quite a number of players.  In truth, many of the better elements associated with zombie and RPG titles as well as FPS shooters have been stitched together to create this gory game; in other words, there aren’t really any other series treading on Riptide’s territory.

Taking a cue from franchises like Mass Effect (perhaps) Riptide allows gamers to import their character and stats from the original dead island.  Furthermore, the same relative difficulty / leveling system is in place here as well, so if you’re at a very high level (let’s say 60 or above) then your difficulty will be quite different from your friend who’s just starting out.

Dead Island Riptide

To sum things up, expect a similar experience to that of the original Dead Island, of course.  This is still a game that features a generous helping of melee-based combat, which for some is extremely appealing while others might deem it clunky.  Not to worry though, as with its predecessor, you can still use guns, but you’re going to need to have built up your stats to truly be effective or do any major damage, of course.  In short, definitely get this game if you’re in the market for something that can provide open-world cooperative gameplay or zombie / survival-horror-based violence.

Rating – 7 / 10

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