It is no secret that I did not enjoy the first Dead Island. I felt mislead by the amazing advertisement and promise of an open world zombie game. What I received was a series of fetch quests that actually made me hate zombies for a time. If I was not reviewing the game I would have just set it down and probably never picked it back up again. However, what I saw of Dead Island Riptide was enough to make me consider picking the game up, even with the sour taste in my mouth.
The gameplay demo we were shown was set in a lush marsh on an island not far from Banoi. It was immediately apparent that water was going to play a much bigger role in this game. It was immediately apparent because of three things. One, the developer giving us a runthrough of the demo made sure to mention that they had vastly improved the water. Two, there was a small boat section where one person drove the boat and another covered the driver. Three, zombies can now seemingly spawn anywhere in the water, eliminating any possibility of being safe.
This last point was especially prevalent in the last sequence of the demo. While in this marsh the characters had to fortify and defend an abandoned temple. Which meant that they had to gather certain supplies like, fences, gatling guns, mines, and all that good jazz. When all the items were placed in their proper locations a pump was activated and the horde came from afar and rose from the depths.
Unlike the previous game where you were constantly up in zombie faces, Riptide seems to take a more ranged approach. During the demo the players used guns almost exclusively until the dead heads got too close for comfort. The commentator mentioned that guns had been greatly improved upon and were now actually useful. It seemed to be true as headshots were actually taking down enemies instead of just glancing off them like in the previous game.
When the first fence broke down an NPC ran out into the fray. This is when I heard the first really bad news of the entire Demo. If an NPC dies in one of these “Defense Missions,” of which there will be multiple during the game, the entire mission is failed. Now I do not mind keeping some silly NPC alive; I have been begrudgingly doing it for my entire life. What I do mind is when that NPC runs out into a swarm of five zombies with a reckless disregard that rivals Evil Kinevel. In a real apocalypse I would just shrug my shoulders and walk away, because I would never want to be around someone that utterly insane.
But somehow they saved him, though there were zombies all about, they saved him. They fought the rest of the zombies off and rebuilt their defenses to do it all again. In the end I was not overwhelmingly impressed by Riptide but I was not let down either. Riptide looks like it could be a solid update to the Dead Island formula and I am hopeful for it. I also hope that it does not boil down to fetch quests with zombie inconveniences again.
Things you should know about Dead Island: Riptide
- All the old characters are back.
- You can import your chatracter from the original Dead Island.
- Fruit and Soda make their heath restoring return.
- The game takes place almost exactly after the first game.
- There will be more weapon blueprints.
- Coming sometime 2013.
- Will retail for 50$.