Dead Island: Riptide starts off where the original Dead Island ended. The intro scene shows us what happened to our characters after their escape from prison. And it’s not too original either. Your crew was saved by the military which, under the orders of an evil scientist, proceeds to quarantine and experiment on your crew. And predictably, things go south from there. After you select your character (the same characters from the original game plus one new character), you set off on a navy vessel fighting off the zombiefied crew while you try to prevent the ship from crashing. But of course, you fail and end up on an island not much different from Banoi.
And from here on out, you are playing pretty much the same game as the original. The visuals are almost the same, the combat is the same and even most of the zombies are the same. You are back fighting your way through the zombie infested jungle. Which is great! I don’t know what it is, but I just can’t get enough of the zombie onslaught on a perfect sunny day on a beach straight from heaven. I just like the way the game contrasts the idyllic scenery of a tropical paradise with the mayhem of slaughtering zombies. Sure, it can all get pretty boring and repetitive after a while but as you progress different weapons and its customization help keep things fresh.
It is clearly visible that the game developers managed to learn from the original game and fix some of the problems that bugged its predecessor. Dead Island: Riptide is very well polished game with only a few glitches I managed to spot. But it saddens me to see that the same approach to storytelling remained. The quests and the characters are very much one-dimensional and provide nothing towards better game-play. Missions are more or less go-and-fetch types which get boring pretty damn fast.
As far as the weapons go, everything is more or less the same. Obviously there are new weapons and weapon mods but the lack of firearms in the first half of the game is very frustrating. It is fun to bash, slice and chop but after awhile you just want a change, some distance between you and those sonsofbitches and a 12 gauge shot to the head.
So, to summarize: If you liked Dead Island, you’ll like Dead Island: Riptide as well as they are virtually the same game. It provides meaningless fun without much emphasis on quality storytelling or character development. Just hours of beautiful open world tropical scenery populated with bloodthirsty zombies for you to dispose of.