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Dead Island Riptide Review

By Paul Ireson in Reviews

Well the time is upon us. The foul smell of rotting flesh is in the air. What will be your weapon of choice? Who will live to fight another day and who will fall victim to the mounting hoards of reanimated, mindless, flesh hungry zombies? Dead Island Riptide is the perfect blend of survival and horror and redefines the genre which has often been accused of becoming watered down. The action of the game is intense, the story pulls you in and grips you, but most importantly you really feel like you are living in a post-apocalyptic world in which your every move must be calculated. Your eyes will learn to scan for infected constantly. Every time you turn a corner you will have to be prepared to strike.

When you consider the repetition of level use and the hours of running in circles that some other certain zombie titles may offer, Dead Island Riptide is a whole new experience adding much needed originality to the survival horror genre. Gathering of materials to build and modify weapons, eating snacks and drinking energy drinks to regenerate your health all help to provide the realistic feeling of having to survive not just get through rounds or waves. Anyone who has been here knows there is no end to Dead Island’s dead.

A ton of side missions help to prolong the main storyline which focuses in part around your characters search for escape from their continued stranded situation. There’s tons of weapons and side content which serves to provide the value of extended game-play, especially when you are playing co-operatively. If you think you will just be able to run past the immediate danger though and do speed runs, think again. No matter how fast or far you run nearly every square inch of Dead Island Riptide is packed full of willing participants prepared to rip your face and snack on it. There are a few safe zones but you will have to gain the trust of the inhabitants first by completing some of their much needed tasks before gaining access to these areas in the game.

Some of the more forgiving features of the game include the ability to respawn without losing progress, instead you’ll just lose a hefty percentage of your cash flow. Players can revive each other if they have medkits in their inventory at the moment, however this must be done nearly instantly and since the consequence for dying is low it’s not as much of an annoyance as most games’ revive features turn out to be. Having four different characters all specialized in certain types of weapons and combat style also opens up new experiences per play. Each character has a specific set of preselected skills. You will earn skill points every time you achieve a new rank. To purchase skills the skill trees that can be accessed from the menu. Another thoughtful feature in Dead Island Riptide is the fact that a little bit of grinding allows players to unlock all of the skills from all 3 skill trees.

Fighting some of the enemies in the game can prove to be more difficult than you may think. The learning curve of the game starts off slightly steep as you master the beheading of zombies and the balance of your stamina’s recharge meter with your urge to sprint everywhere. You will have to take a step back in-between your attacks to maintain the energy to continue delivering deadly blows. Get to close and they won’t just scratch or grab you they will actually knock you on your ass if you’re not paying attention. Not only are they allot stronger than the average ingame undead, they are also way faster than any others I have experienced in the past. Dying will cost you the hard earned cash you have been digging up everywhere you go so take a second to regroup if you’re going down.

The pure carnage and destruction of body parts never gets boring even after they die I still feel the need to continue chopping them up into pieces and this game encourages you to do so by providing you with slow motion action and separation of limbs till there is nothing left. Splattering guts and juices flying everywhere is all you see while in the heat of the battle. Other than the color of blood tainted water and the groaning of the inhabitants  the textures and sounds of the island are aesthetically pleasing.

Although we know the map is not really huge they have done a great job making it feel as if it is. The vehicle travel with boats and trucks helps with this giving the players a means to escape an ominous situation as well as getting a chance to explore other areas of the map without having to get all the way there on foot to realize there is nothing there and walk all the way back. They also achieve this with the way the roads are blocked off from vehicles at the entrances to the resorts that sit on the oceans edge while the roads are all sitting up on the higher ground.

Weapon building, customizing, and upgrading all play a huge roll in your ability to overcome the crazy never ending numbers that only to eat you. Searching to collecting the plans and materials to do this is part of the fun. Attaching nails to baseball bats or barbed wire to a skull on the end of a stick may sound a little strange at first but when you wield one of these objects and see the carnage they produce you will figure out quickly that it is a good thing.

Buying and selling are part of this system there will be other survivors around willing to pay for the things you collected that you may not want or need as well as sell some of the stuff you may not want to hold onto. After a while you will even have a guy who is willing to put your extra stuff you may not want to get rid of into storage for a price so that you can go on collecting and building without having to sell or toss away.

I find this game to be very co op friendly having been set up to have anyone join any game at anytime. No matter what level you are what missions have been started or completed as long as the public or private slots are open for your match your friends or people just looking to jump in can do so easily. Obviously if the person you are joining is further along than you some of the content will be missed. You will be alerted to this situation before joining with an in-game message popup. They have also provided nine save slots so that you may have different characters on different levels and or saves you have played with different friends so they stay at the same point you left off with them so you don’t miss a thing.

Overall, Dead Island Riptide has a huge amount of replay value with the custom building of weapons and the wide variety of character skill customization. The views around the island are breathtaking and just make me want to grab a drink and sit under a palm tree enjoying the sounds of the ocean and natural surroundings. The detail of the carnage take a close second with pieces and parts being severed and flying further than I thought possible the good ones in slow motion so you may enjoy the full effect  I say this after my experience with multiple zombie situations from the recent worlds of  Treyarch and Capcom Dead Island Riptide is an original well thought out and graphically pleasing and seriously challenging for even the most experienced of zombie hunters.

Dead Island Riptide seems to pull together the best gameplay mechanics a zombie survival horror game can ask for; chopping off limbs, stealth and plot suspense thick enough to cut with a knife, and eventually all out mayhem with shells flying everywhere. The story and controls feel a little funky at first, but once you’ve spent a little bit of time in the gameworld you feel right at home and the fun factor is sky high as you will find yourself mastering what seems like an impossible system at first. This is the most complete package when it comes to zombie survival games, the gameplay experience of Dead Island Riptide proves this franchise is not just a fluke and it still has more to give to the industry.

The only issue where the game needs improvement lies in dropping some frames and audio here and there due to the limited amount of RAM on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 game consoles. There also needs to be a game mode where players get to defend against waves of enemies because Dead Island Riptide has the enemy design and gameplay to compete with these long-lasting multiplayer franchises out there. Overall the game scored a 9.5 out of 10 points with RealGamerNewz, barely missing the mark for a perfect game. Seeing the cliffhanger at the end of the game and bearing this all in mind, we are extremely looking forward to Dead Island on next generation consoles and urge you all to take a leap of faith and jump into Riptide’s deadly waters.

Developer: Techland

Publisher: Deep Silver

Overall Score: 9.5/10

Available Now On: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Computer

Played On: PlayStation 3

ESRB Rating: M for Mature (17+)

Review Copy Info: two copies of this game were given to RealGamerNewz by the publisher for the purposes of this review.

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