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Oh my god, what happened. I played the original some time ago and absolutely loved it, so I was really looking forward to playing this sequel.
So you can imagine my dissapointment when after 2 hours of play I feel into a coma. Well obviously I didn`t, but jeez the first half is soo boring, the developers must have just wanted to make a quick buck. There really isnt that much more going on with this - the storyline is a direct follow on from the first game, and it does have a nice little 10 minute recap at the beginning so its good to remember what went on.
But apart from one addition, the main characters are all the same, plus some extra computer controlled characters have been thrown in. The enviroment is mostly all the same, the game mechanics and even the glitchy physics engine is still there (like when you throw loads of your weapons into an infected and the die near a corner and you cant get your weapons back.
The enviroment has been changed somewhat in that the first half is mostly spent going about in small river boats and cars, in mangroves and swamp and lagoons on a second island in the same chain as the first infected island...so the bit gimmick is that its more watery than land based like in the first game. The second half of the game is spent in the town of Henderson, but you are able to go into more buildings and interact with more characters in the town then the main captial in the first town, the plaza`s in Henderson look more detailed and very realistic I think.
Apart from that there are many drawbacks. Firstly spending most of your time in 2 main enviroments is very boring, there are some extra weapons, like cool chain guns and a chain saw but the mods are very similar. There are also very few cut scenes in this sequel, especially compared to the first, most of the scenes seem to be in the second half set in town - so now when you play it , it just feels like you are playing mission after mission, doing favors for people and you dont really feel that the story is moving you along from place to place and that you feel like you are progressing.
And this last point is the main point of my critisism and why the game just is not as good.
The graphics - especailly water, rendering, soundtrack and voice acting are still great (apart from Dr Kesslers weird German accent) - but its lack of progressive plot kills it like zombies kill a group of survivors holed up in shopping centre.
== DEAD ISLAND RIPTIDE ==
Dead Island Riptide is the sequel to the very impressive but somewhat glitchy game known as just Dead Island. Set on a new island and full with a whole new bunch of weapons, enemies and more, Dead Island Riptide definitely impresses. Dead Island Riptide was developed by Techland and published by Deep Silver. The game is available for PC, PS3 and of course the Xbox 360. Riptide is a survival horror game with role playing elements, first person elements and also an adventure game. Also the game features all four characters from the previous Dead Island game but it also features a brand new playable character. Each character has their own skills and abilities to suit how you want to play the game.
=== STORY ===
Dead Island Riptide takes place straight after the ending of the first game with all four members from the previous game being transported off the prison island. All four characters are taken into custody by Colonel Sam Hardy of the Australian Defence Force and Frank Serpo, a civilian VIP. After landing on an aircraft carrier they meet a new character that is also immune like the other characters. After the gang are examined and after waking up from being passed out by sedatives, they find the ship they are on is overrun by flesh eating zombies yet again. Frank Serpo escaped using a helicopter aboard the ship, while the others crash into a rock and end up stranded on the shore of the island of Palanai. The group along with newest member John Morgan, meet up with WHO researcher Harlow, who tells them the zombie infection has taken over this island as well. After saving a holdout full of survivors from an attack from the infected, the group meet back up with Colonel Sam Hardy again. He informs them that a nuclear strike against Palanai is planned to rid the infection and cover up evidence of any outbreak.
=== GAMEPLAY ===
Dead Island Riptide is one of the most enjoyable games I have played in a long time and the main reason for this is because its full of thing to do. The game is set from a first person perspective, which works well throughout and you can tell from the previous game that the development team have worked hard on improving things from that view. Not only does the game look slightly different but it also feels a lot different when swinging weapons, running or even just walking. The game has a main story line which you must follow to some extent but as soon as you're on the island of Palanai you are free to do what you want. You can explore the beautifully designed island looking for things such as rare items or even survivor in need of help. There are also shops hidden throughout the game that sell all kinds of items and weapons. There are some places that you cant explore at the start of the game because most of it does come up in the main story, so you have to do that to get to new places.
The story is very easy to follow and some objectives can take a long time to do because I guarantee that you will come across survivors whilst going to your objectives and you nearly always must help them there and then because you never know what they may give you in return of saving them. One of the biggest things about Dead Island Riptide is the action. Riptide offers you a fantastic range of weapons and a wide range of different enemies. Weapons that you can use to kill zombies and other enemies include swords, throwing knives, wooden planks, numerous guns, baseball bats, even grenades and lots more but the best thing about all the weapons is that about 60% of them can be used at repair benches to create something spectacular. There are hundreds of different mods that are scattered throughout the whole of Dead Island and these let you add items to weapons to make them stronger. For example you can get a nail mod and use it on a baseball bat to make a spiked bat and this makes it much more effective.
Some of the places on the island that you visit include caves, a city, sewers, a barracks and many more and each is designed brilliantly. You also get many dead zone places that usually have lots of rare items in and a mod in almost each dead zone. The only problem with the dead zones is that there usually is a very tough enemy lurking and waiting for you to enter. There are a lot of different enemies, even more so than the previous Dead Island game and the good thing is that its not just normal zombies that want your blood. There are zombies that I like to call rushers which are very annoying and offer a huge threat because if you decide to run then they will run after you and wont give in. There are also rams which are about the size of five zombies and basically ram you whilst wearing a straight jacket. Floaters are fat ugly looking zombies that can poison you because they squirt green mist at you, screamers are hectic because they scream at you and knock you over constantly, there are also prisoners that are human but will attack you with guns and other weapons and there are lots of other different enemies that do numerous things.
There are a lot of side missions around the island of Palanai most of which have you taking out the zombies surrounding them. There are a lot of survivors around and the only problem is finding them all. Some other side missions include going long distance to find specific items or doing other varied objectives. There are also numerous vehicles that you can use to get around the island much quicker from cars to boats. When surrounded by enemies there are a few different ways you can attack your enemies which include basic hack and slash or you can hold your button to take a longer swing. You can hack off heads, arms and legs to defeat your enemies and you can even mow them down in the cars and boats. Each character has their own abilities and you can learn new things with each character when you level up. Every level gained you earn a point that can be spent on numerous things such as a combat skill, survival skill or a skill in which the character you've picked specializes in. Overall the game is fantastic for gameplay, its action packed, bloody and so much fun.
=== GRAPHICS & SOUND EFFECTS ===
In my opinion Dead Island Riptide is the most beautifully designed game out there to date. With flawless graphics most of the time, with less glitches than the first game, this definitely makes Dead Island Riptide an awesome game to play. The most impressive part of the graphics are the way the weather quickly changes from beautiful sunshine to a very dismal pour down of rain. The rain starts off slowly but within a couple of seconds its thrashing it down and it really does look beautiful. The whole island is very beautifully designed with scenery really standing out, beaches looking gorgeous, the city being expertly designed and enemies looking very ferocious and damn right scary. Also with the game shot from a first person perspective it makes the game stand out even more so you can take more of the scenery in and enjoy the game at its fullest. The only downside in my opinion is the characters because they don't really stand out as main characters from other games. They look a little plain and a little ordinary. However overall the graphics for Riptide are absolutely fantastic.
Now the sound effects are also really good. One thing about the sound effects is that it will have you on the edge of your seat with excitement. The music is quite good and definitely makes the game stand out a little but the best part of the sound effects are the overall sound of it. From hacking and slashing action sounding like its coming right out of your TV to the sound of a close by waterfall sounding phenomenal. With the wide range of enemies available in the game, each one has their own sounds and make their own noise so you know exactly what is coming. The screamers can be extremely annoying with the way they knock you down, but that's not the worst of it because they are noisy creatures. Rams stand out the most with the way they are not only do they make struggling sounds but they also ram buildings and other bits so its not very hard to know when they're around. The voice acting in the game is great and definitely lightens up the game overall. So both sound effects and graphics are fantastic overall and make the game much more enjoyable.
=== DIFFICULTY & LONGEVITY ===
The games overall difficulty can be changed. I do feel its better to have it what it originally starts on because the game can become a little tricky later on. The normal zombies that don't run are very easy and most of these are at the beginning of the game. The game gets a little harder when different enemies come into it such as the rushers and the enemies that take a beating to kill. The overall difficulty of the main story missions is a little disappointing because they don't offer that much of a challenge unless you play alone. Playing with friends make this game easier and more fun. Side missions are very easy which is a good thing. The hardest part of the game is when you find yourself up against numerous enemies, surrounded or cornered in somewhere because they will kill you almost instantly. The game doesn't get easier the higher your level is because the enemies also level up when you do.
The length of the game is an interesting subject because if for some reason you only want to do the main story missions then the game will only last about 12 hours give or take but if like me you like to do absolutely everything and get your moneys worth then the game will last around 30 hours. Okay so it still doesn't seem that good? But it actually is because the game has replay value and its so much fun playing with 3 other online players doing the story, side missions or even just messing around. Also with all the achievements you will find yourself doing some crazy stuff such as hacking zombies to death with a chainsaw and more. So overall I feel the length of the game is pretty good and definitely value for money.
=== PROS ===
*A brand new and just as big and beautiful island to explore.
*Great story, lots of side missions and survivors to find and help.
*Thousands of different weapons and the ability to create weapons with mods you collect.
*Beautifully designed game with great graphics and some fantastic sound effects.
*Great to play with friends or other online gamers.
=== CONS ===
*Its bloody, gruesome and can be quite scary in places with the element of surprise.
*The main story isn't that long and lasts only about 12 hours if you take your time.
*The playable characters look a little plain and ordinary and don't really look like the hero type.
*Its not an all out gun fight like most first person shooter games and is more a fight for survival.
*Can be a little hard when playing alone.
=== FINAL THOUGHT ===
Dead Island Riptide is definitely an improvement from the first game even though both games are fantastic. Riptide features a lot less glitches which instantly makes it better because the first game was literally full of them. There is much more action throughout the game, more enemies, more weapons and items. Overall the game has more to offer than the first one and even offers a new character. Riptide is one of the better looking games this year and it will definitely take some beating on that front. So if like me you love a good blood filled hack and slash first person survival game then I urge you to check this out because its fantastic.
I would definitely recommend the game if you loved the first. Even if you've decided not to bother because of glitches and flaws in the first game because this one rarely features a mistake. It offers gamers more in many ways. If you love games that have an open world for you to explore then this is no different and offers that also. The game is available in most places. I got my copy from ASDA for just £28 a day after its release. The game now goes for around the £20 mark on Amazon and that is definitely value for money for what you get.
The game is definitely an 18+ and worthy of its rating because not only does it features strong language but it also features bucket loads of blood and limbs flying all over the place. Not for the faint hearted!
Overall a fantastic game and one of my favourites on the Xbox 360. I would give the game a very strong 9/10!
Review also on Ciao under the username: MrBrightside1987!