Dead Island: Riptide – Review
Follow Genre: Action, RPG
Developer: Techland
Publisher: Deep Silver
Platform: PC, PS3, 360

Dead Island: Riptide – Review

Site Score
Good: Decent first half, defending camps suits the game's style.
Bad: Cluttered by bugs, clunky combat, weak story.
User Score
(2 votes)
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Rating: 4.5/10 (2 votes cast)


There’s a market nowadays for decent survival games. Even if they rely on zombies, the world most over-used monster.

Because let’s be honest, if there was any stopping a mindless horde of undead, they would have been flogged to death by their own entrails.

Both as a survivalist’s wet dream and a horror game, the original Dead Island left a lot to be desired. The game couldn’t fill the giant shoes its own announcement trailer and subsequent hype left behind.

Riptide makes another attempt at succeeding, but does it?


Riptide’s story reminds me of the Jurassic Park saga. Our band of ragtag heroes unwillingly arrives on a second island, only to discover giant prehistoric reptiles zombies are running amuck here as well. Queue a series of heroics, deaths portrayed by sub-par actors and betrayal lurking behind every corner.

There’s not much else to tell here aside from also mentioning the new playable character, John Morgan.

John’s a deserter, abandoning his duty after he was ordered to abandon the people he pledged to protect. He -along with his four predecessors- makes up for his lack of personality with a very, very thick accent.



I’ve always thought Dead Island looked a bit like the Caribbean Playmobil-set I had as a kid. Read: made from plastic, with colors that always seemed a bit off.

Sure, the game offers plenty of breathtaking vistas, until you start noticing the details. Trees, grass and other objects feel like clutter, not as if they are a part of the actual environment. Physics and special effects never manage to amaze and I’d swear I’ve been seeing the same wooden huts, bars and parasols since the first Dead Island.


Its soundtrack is the one area in which Dead Island: Riptide succeeds. The music properly sets the mood, adding suspense whenever it’s required and chiming in with summery tunes to accompany you while exploring the island.



Let’s start with the good news; bashing zombies in the head is bloody good fun. It’s the same in Riptide as it was in the first Dead Island. Never knowing where another undead punching bag might appear from still makes for gameplay that will definitely get your blood pumping. Then there’s the jungle, Riptide’s first major area, which prepares a feast to die hard explorers.

That’s where the good news ends though, on to everything that’s wrong with this game.

Let’s start with the game’s combat, no doubt Dead Island’s most important and prevalent aspect. Wielding the game’s many melee weapons feels clunky, as if you’re character has the world’s worst hand-to-eye coordination ever.

I’d like to remind everyone that every single playable character in this game is supposed to be a badass at a particular fighting style.

Only after fiddling around with the camera controls did Riptide play slightly more fluently.

The zombies themselves don’t help either. During my time with the game, I had zombies getting stuck behind table corners, open doors, chairs, palm trees, small huts, cars, boats and other non-playable characters. Just to name a few.

The undead refused to feast on my character’s brain seemingly at random. This is not how suspense -and I’m using the term very loosely here- works.


Aside from combat, Riptide unrelentingly chases most of the original Dead Island’s other mistakes. The second half of the game, set in an urban area, fails to uphold the explorer’s spirit the initial jungle region held. It’s also a lot less interesting than to play through that Riptide’s first part.

When viewed in its entirety, Riptide is essentially the same game as the previous Dead Island. Sure there are new ideas that have been implemented here. Riptide looked closely at Call of Duty’s zombie-mode by adding camps you need to barricade and defend.

This works lovely for the game and it fits in with the rest of its survivalist setting.

Other than that, this is the exact same game we got two years ago.


Dead Island: Riptide is no proper sequel to 2011’s game, not in the sense of gameplay anyway. Call it Dead Island one and a half, a game that adds just as many problems as it fixes.

Unwieldy, awkward combat leaves much to be desired, while fatally dumb zombies will frustrate those looking for a decent, but fair challenge.

It’s a pity, but unless a third game shakes things up aggressively, Dead Island and Dead Island: Riptide will always be remembered as the games that would but couldn’t. At least we still got some awesome trailers to loop.

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Rating: 4.5/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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Dead Island: Riptide - Review, 4.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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