Game Backlog Update #3
Here’s yet another game I can scrub off my “Games I Wasted Money On…” list. Let’s see how I got on with Dead Island: Riptide…
Dead Island: Riptide
Played solo, Riptide is an unending, mindless slog through a zombie apocalypse that’s more annoying than terrifying. The flaws, of which there are many – though not as many as the original Dead Island, admittedly – give the overall impression of a hastily cobbled together zombie game. There are far too many of them around as it is.
Played co-op, however, and Riptide is downright hilarious.
The janky animations of player characters never failed to amuse me. They’re crap but they feel almost intentional. Watching your mate arrive just in time with an awkward flying kick, or watching them gleefully jump onto downed zombies’ heads was a real joy. It made me forget about the horror of being on an undead-infested island. But that’s the whole point of Dead Island: Riptide, in order to get the most out of it, you really cannot take it seriously.
The first few hours were really bland. It felt like an endless stream of uninteresting fetch quests, coupled with trying to manoeuvre an unwieldy boat around tight waterways. The real fun began once we got to the siege missions. During these missions we had to strategically place mines, traps and gun emplacements all around our base.
It was an absolute blast watching hordes of zombies shamble into chokepoints that we had set up, only to be mowed down by our gun emplacements. These tower defence-esque missions were the highlight of the whole game.
It’s just a shame that these types of missions weren’t as common as the less interesting ones. Riptide regularly threw bland missions at me, which really grated on me after a while, but it at least made the few tower defence missions all the more memorable.
It’s a cautious recommendation from me. Riptide is exactly what you would expect from a Dead Island game, which means that it can be a lot of fun if you can overlook the many flaws. The graphics and animations are particularly ropey, but the co-op gameplay and weapon modifications are really entertaining.
Ultimately, I can only recommend Riptide if you can embrace the silliness of it and you have a friend to play it with. Of course, it helps if that friend is a zombie-killing maniac who laughs hysterically at every undead head that goes pop.