- Fun Factor
When I heard a new Dead Island was being produced I have to admit I was rather excited in general as the first Dead Island was a fairly brilliant, visceral zombie slaying experience, only marred by a few minor issues and an awful “sewer” level. Well, the good news first, if you liked the first game you’ll enjoy Dead Island riptide, but newcomers to the series may be better served by purchasing the original for a much lower price.
The visuals have been slightly updated to add a fresh coat of paint to what is now monsoon season on the titular island, and the weather animations are fairly beautiful, with onrushing downpours taking visibility down to unnerving levels. Although the new graphical features don’t seem to change things too much and many a times I recalled dead island fondly while exploring the lush tropical setting of Riptide.
This time around it seems cars have been swapped out for boats, however the zombies don’t appear to mind as they happily race alongside your boat, running with great ease through water that slows your movement to a crawl. Apparently zombies aren’t required to obey the laws of physics, but I digress. Fast travel also makes a return in DI: Riptide, which eases the pain of boating or driving between locations somewhat, although you do have to make the initial trip to discover the location, as is par for the course when discussing fast travel.
The added ability to import a save from the first Dead Island is nice, although as your weapons are not included (due to the whole shipwreck thing, I’m assuming) the value of this feature is slight, simply allowing you to import your existing skill tree essentially and making the first few hours of the game a rather repetitive, up close and personal slugfest with boat paddles and flimsy knives instead of the supercharged hardware your existing character may have been equipped with.
A complaint that was often heard about the first Dead Island was the scarcity of firearms and ammunition, which are normally the bread and butter of zombies slaying games, Deepsilver appears to have heard the complaints loud and clear and within the first 15 or so minutes of gameplay you are equipped with a pistol, a rather satisfying shotgun and an assault rifle… although your time as a military grade zombie destroying machine comes to an end quite quickly (also due to that whole shipwreck thing)
The audio and ambient sounds appear to have been recycled from the first game for the most part, aside from some rather stiff voice acting for the new cutscenes and characters, although for the most part things still work, with appropriately creepy ambiance produced by the walkers many various cries, moans and groans.
The online co-op is the meat and potatoes of the game however, and deepsilver seems to have brought us another dose of the frantic co-op fun that was had playing the first DI, while still playable solo, the game really shines when you have three friends watching your back as the number of walkers seems to have increased slightly since the first rodeo and can provide quite a challenge for a lone player.
Overall DI: Riptide is a fun, brutal, zombie slaying melee fest hampered by a few minor bugs and some flat voice acting. If you liked the first Dead Island we here a Eye Cavity think you’ll enjoy Dead Island Riptide as well.