Welcome to the deadly island.
The Pitch: Dead Island: Riptide picks up right where the original Dead Island left off, but adds in new enemies, a new character, and puts the action in a new setting. Spoiler alert: it’s another island.
What It Really Is: When we first heard about Riptide we thought it was a DLC pack to Dead Island. After playing through it, we’re still not sure why it wasn’t a DLC pack, because Riptide doesn’t play anything like a new game. Sure, we’re moving from an island...to a new island, there’s a new character, and now you can use boats, but these small additions do little to remedy the problems that plagued the original game. The end result is that Riptide disappoints in the same way that Dead Island itself disappointed back in 2011: By taking all the hype and potential of a co-op zombie RPG shooter and turning it into a plotless, forgettable grind of fetch quests, monotonous combat, and lackluster bosses.
Worse than the handful of poor creative choices that interfered with the gameplay are the unforgivable technical issues that persist throughout the game. Glitches, bad textures, and other environmental pop-ins crop up more often than you’d expect with a major launch title. Right now, gamers are more patient than ever, favoring quality over quick delivery. Yet, Riptide takes the bold stance of rushing an underdone product to market and ends up feeling like the video game equivalent of a pizza bagel taken out of the microwave so early it still has frost on it.
Fun Fact: There is much debate on whether or not zombies can swim. The major consensus is no, they cannot swim, but they can walk slowly through water, making the events of Dead Island possible, even if the outbreak occurred elsewhere. This, of course, is all based on the presumption that zombies are real...which they are not....yet.
Who It’s For: The most redeeming quality of Dead Island: Riptide, hands down, is its co-op functionality. Playing with friends means you can ignore the pointless plot and lame dialogue in favor of making jokes and strategizing with your buddies who, presumably, also love stomping zombies. Heed our warning though: Dead Island: Riptide will, in no way, help you survive a real zombie apocalypse. In fact, it might actually get you killed quicker.