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PS3 Game Review

Dead Island: Riptide


Format: PS3
Deep Silver
RRP: £49.99
4 020628 511326
Age Restrictions: 18+
Available 26 April 2013

They thought they had escaped the terrors of Banoi and survived the apocalypse on a corrupted paradise. Then their fate took a terrible turn. The Dead Island heroes escaped in a helicopter to the safety of a military ship, but when a powerful storm hits and the virus suddenly spreads among the crew, the nightmare returns, leaving hope waning in the rising tides...

If you were a fan of 2011's Dead Island game, then Dead Island: Riptide offers more of the same. In fact, some may moan that graphically it looks identical and the game play has hardly changed... but then if it ain't broke, don't fix it!

Review imageThe action follows on where the previous game left off. Once again you can choose between the four characters from the previous game - all of whom have their own special abilities - as well as deciding whether your character's strength lies in delivering strong attacks but with a weaker defence; a strong defence but with weaker attacks; or a good mix of the two. In all honesty, as with the previous game, I couldn't really tell that much difference between the characters other than Sam B is generally the character that is the strongest and as you'll be spending most of the games swinging weapons blindly at the enemy, his strengths are the obvious choice if you're new the game. There's also a new character in the form of John Morgan, whose specialist skill is hand-to-hand combat.

The skill trees are also a little redundant as they don't actually seem to make much difference to the game play. Here you can chose elements that will help you (or your team) to survive the zombie apocalypse. And, should you be overwhelmed... you don't die, just respawn very close to the place where you fell in battle. This is a good way of ensuring that the gamer doesn't spend ages trying to get back into the fight. And, in addition, any zombies you killed before you respawned stay dead and any injury you caused to bigger enemies isn't replenished. So even the toughest of bosses can be taken down, eventually, by even the weakest of weapons, or even your fists if you're really stuck.

Review imageAs in the original, you have the main story campaign to complete, as well as rewarding side missions and ongoing tasks (like collecting tinned food or painkillers for certain characters). Whether you get the most out of this game will depend on whether or not you're prepared to spend the time examining each and every corner of the environment. You can find firearms in the most unlikely of places, and there are also secret files, postcards and audio recordings to discover.

You start the game with the most basic of weapons and as you level up you can create more lethal weapons as well as upgrade and customise items you have (if you can find blueprints and the necessary items to construct numerous lethal variants at the workbenches dotted around the island).

Travelling around the island can be accomplished by fast travel points which instantly transport you across the island; cars; boats; and of course by foot.

Review imageThe online co-op game is where the most fun is to be had. While we received this game to review over a week before the official launch, there were still enough online gamers (presumably other journalists and Deepsilver staff) online to make the co-op elements fun - although when the game goes live it will be much more intense as all four of the other characters can join you in your quest.

But to be fair, even without the online co-op the game is fairly easy to plough through. In the segments where all the team are together, it's simply a case of looking out for when one of the group needs your help and rushing to their aid. This is essential, because if one of your team dies then you have to start that segment all over again.

So, while some gamers may moan that it's just more of the same, in truth it's a more intense offering that builds well on the first game. In fact, if you don't own the first game I'd recommend buying that before you play this sequel, as it's worth getting the characters back stories and soaking up the full Dead Island experience.


Darren Rea

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