Games Review: Dead Island 2: Riptide
- Credit: Archant
More sun, sea and slaughter in the follow-up to the tropical island zombie-slayer
(Tested on the PlayStation 3)
KILLING zombies should never become boring… There’s just something very satisfying about bludgeoning the walking dead with a variety of lethal instruments, as hoards of them groan and lurch towards you relentlessly, and when that becomes tiresome it’s probably time to put away your console and move onto something new.
Transposing creatures usually seen marauding through shopping malls and devastated small towns to a luxurious tropical island certainly makes for a positive change, so there’s no surprise that the original Dead Island proved a massive success.
This follow-up picks up immediately after the events of the first game, with the four immune survivors landing on a military ship which is now under the control of a private corporation intent on weaponising the zombie infection for their own gain.
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Naturally, everything swiftly goes wrong, the ship is taken over by the undead, and crashes onto the new island of Palanai, also part of the Banoi archipelago, and again there are hundreds of bikini-clad zombies roaming about all over the place…
So that’s the set-up, the actual game itself involves taking part in a series of missions alongside other survivors with the ultimate aim of getting off the island before a threatened nuclear strike, all the while repelling the resurrected hoards using makeshift weapons and scavenging for useful goodies, food and supplies.
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The missions themselves aren’t particularly innovative, and generally involve fetching items for rewards, but a game of this nature thrives on its combat, and if brutally beating zombies to a pulp isn’t your bag then you may find it lacking in long-term playability.
Although there are plenty of swarms to plough through with bloody abandon, there are also the odd enemies who need a bit more thought like the oversized Thugs or acid-vomiting Floaters, but there’s no avoiding the fact that it is somewhat repetitive despite the comprehensive range of different weapons available to use.
New features include flooded areas of the island only accessible by boats, but the developers have failed to fix the flaw in the previous instalment which restricted rear views when in vehicles, leading to zombies attacking from any angle and only a limited time to respond.
Annoyingly, the main other glitch which also hasn’t been resolved is a tendency to get stuck to the environment, and hopefully this will be resolved with a patch further down the line. It’s debatable whether there’s enough here to justify the description of sequel, or if Riptide is actually little more than an over-priced expansion pack for the first game, as it adds very little to the original Dead Island.
Despite multiple instalments of Resident Evil, Left4Dead, Dead Rising and now Dead Island, the zombie apocalypse is showing no signs of ending any time soon, but we might need to look at some new and innovative ways of killing the undead in future games.