The last time you probably heard about Dead Island Riptide, was over that whole grotesque torso situation. Well, let's take a step past that and get into discussing our impressions of the hands on demo at PAX East this year. It was about 15 – 20 minutes long and featured four player co-op with mics on Xbox 360, so it had a nice little setup.
Walking into Dead Island Riptide it was pretty exciting to hop back into slicing zombie limbs off. I mean, who doesn't love doing that? Especially with the analog controls in which you were able to chooes the direction you'd slash in the first. Anyway! Starting off the demo you can choose your character similarily to the first. The original characters are back after thinking they had outrun or somehow gotten rid of the good ole' Dead Island virus.
Moments later you awaken on a beach and guess what! Yep, the virus hasn't been eradicated quite yet. You're back and ready to kick some zombies to death. After a little cinematic you hop into the game with a knife and three other pals. While getting hands on with the co-op, I had my brother by my side and two other people, so we made some use of the mics on our headset. You know, giving each other tips, waiting for everyone to get together, and then charging zombie after zombie. A new features in Riptide worth mentioning, is that players can use the d-pad to target enemies. It basically puts a litle mark on top of their head so you can try and strategize a little more.
But why do that when we can either stab as frequently as possible or kick as rapidly as possible? While not entirely sure where to go right away, it ended up becoming linear, so we figured it out quick. There were a few small areas and ladders to climb along the way. Snatching money here and there and making note of where energy drinks for healing was a good idea. As you progress through a short area, you come across a small fortified outpost in distress. Obviously the goal is to go help out defend against a horde that they're already wiping out fairly well. I recall running over to one of the NPC's that basically just was holding down a zombie with his foot doing barely any damage, so I just had to run over and stab the zombie 30 times on the floor.
Here comes the hub defense now. In late January there was pre-alpha footage that gave us around nine minutes of gameplay including the hub defense. So if you have no idea what I'm talking about you can check that out or just keep reading. After clearing out the remaining zombies, we have to fortify the outpost, since as we can tell, the zombies found a way in. As we ran around the outpost, there were several shiny things to pick up, in this case it was only barbwire fences. Where as in the pre-alpha footage you could bring out mines, barbwire fences, and even a mini-gun. Come on Deep Silver, hook me up with a mini-gun!
Regardless, after clearing out the outpost, we'd go discuss with the head of the outpost. Low and behold now that we're done defending the camp, WHO SHOWS UP!?! A colossal zombie horde appears. I should probably mention that we came to the outpost from a bridge, but the areas we blocked off with barbwire were now being attacked by zombies. Considering the fact that all we had were knives, we had to stab and kick as much as possible. And I'm not talking like 5 or 10 zombies, it was more like 30 zombies. Being that I've beaten Dead Island and figure hey, I'm a badass. I decided to defend the bridge where the majority of the zombies are coming from. *Kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick* That's basically how that went down and then if I was lucky I could get a few knife jabs in while they were knocked over. Fortunately a team mate made their way over and started helping me out.
Now that our AI comrades realize we can't defend the horde, we get flareguns to blow up the bridge. You'd figure shooting a flare at the bridge and lighting it on fire would be stupd right? So why not just have explosive barrels there all over the bridge for some odd reason. You know, I never understood that, but if it's helping me, why not! After kicking my way through zombies, I must have shot the barrels a good five times from nearby without anything happening. So I took to higher ground, only one more story higher.
Nearing the end of the demo, what better way could I have ended it and slowly backed away? I'm on the second story, no zombies around me, clear shot at the barrels. One shot, nothing happens. Next thing you know, my team mate the farthest from me runs basically in the middle of the bridge to fight zombies. Guess what, the second shot made those barrels explode and man was it a big explosion. *whistles*
Overall, it's nice to hop back into Dead Island Riptide, but it wasn't at the top of my list at PAX East. I think Deep Silver will have to really grab players with the story or hopefully somehow with the new features they've added. Such as the hub defense, the boat for traveling, and whatever else they may have up their sleeve. Plus, it's launching next month, so I don't know. We'll see what happens!