Dead Island Riptide Preview – Just Add Water

The first game in the Dead Island series got a massive publicity boost thanks to an amazing teaser film that didn’t feature any actual footage from the game.  When it arrived, it was judged favorably one its own merits (Once the launch bugs were taken care of).  The upcoming sequel Dead Island Riptide takes everything fun about the first game and enhances it with more of the same, but now with Fort-Building and Water.
In Dead Island Riptide gameplay is mostly the same, the story picks up where the first game ended, gamers who played the first Dead Island will be able to import their character with all of their leveled up abilities, and the level cap will be extended.  For people who enjoyed their time fighting zombies on the fictional isle of Banoi, checking out Riptide will be an obvious choice.
The Dead Island series puts players in control of a lucky survivor of a zombie plague on a tropical resort island.  The Player is immune to the zombie virus, and thus gets sent out of the safe areas to forage for supplies and search for a means of escape.

Although viewed from the first person perspective, the focus is on melee, not shooting, and players find a huge selection of hand-to-hand weapons, plus upgrades to create all sorts of strange and unique zombie-killers.  No one will say that there wasn’t enough diversity in the weapon selection in the first game, but Riptide will add in a broader selection of weapons as well as new upgrades for customizing them.

The mission structure in the first game used a lot of free-roaming as players stumbled across fun things to do while engaged with the main quest.  It also had a very entertaining multiplayer feature would let players stumble across each other while out exploring the city, and hopefully this returns for the second game.

For people who were unsatisfied with the first game, there are several additions to the formula.  As the title “Riptide” implies, water is going to be an important factor.  Players will be able to drive around in boats while zombies attack from beneath the waves.  Missions will also involve pumping water from areas to allow the survivors access to new locations.

At PAX Prime the developers showed another new feature that allows players to deploy fences and mines to defend areas from swarms of zombies.  Stationary weapons were available too, giving this sequence the feeling of the survival mode in Left 4 Dead, or the zombie modes of Call of Duty.  This sequence added in some variety to the Dead Island standard gameplay of free-roaming and fetch missions.

Gamers who weren’t taken by the character roster in the first game will find a new playable character in Riptide (Although the four survivors from the first game return too).  The new character hasn’t been revealed yet, but the developers have confirmed that there will be at least one new playable character in the game.

Zombie hunters who chose to play as the gun-specialist Purna in the first game, only to find that guns were remarkably scarce, will be happy to hear that firearms will be much more readily available in Riptide.

Dead Island Riptide is clearly taking an “If it ain’t broke” mentality with the series, and targeting their fans with a bigger, more varied version of their already good game.  It will arrive in 2013 for PC, Xbox 360 and Playstation 3.  Keep an eye on for updates on its development.