Saturday, May 4, 2013

A short REVIEW - Dead Island: Riptide.


Dead Island: Riptide is a two-steps forward, one-step back type of sequel.  There are a few welcome additions, here, by way of cool mini-dungeons with extra-hard enemies and a few valuable trinkets to discover, and the game engine seems to have been optimized a bit.  The framerate is more reliable and the game world is far better-looking than it was back in 2011, but thankfully the important bits remain untouched.

Dead Island: Riptide retains the stunningly effective gameplay of its predecessor. It's still incredibly immersive and remarkably satisfying to get into first-person brawls with hungry undead monsters - but Riptide also retains the franchise's weaknesses.

The menus are a chore, the characters are deeply uninteresting, the quests - particularly the main story - are terribly boring, and it's worth noting that Riptide seems to have about two-thirds of the game real estate that the original game boasted.  Riptide, then, is a far cry from Dead Island 2.  It's Dead Island 1.5 with a few minor tweaks, a bit more Dead Island content to enjoy and a slightly lower price tag.

It's entirely worth noting, however, that Dead Island's combat is... incredible.  Supernatural.  Eye-opening.  And first-person open-world zombie bludgeoning that's done really, really well - a game that's this involving, this immersive - is nothing short of a gift from the gaming gods.

If you find any part of the phrase "first-person open-world co-op zombie apocalypse brawler" turns you on, buy this game.  It's the most fun I've had so far this year.

Yes, including Blood Dragon.

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