THE ORIGINAL DEAD ISLAND was a game that bristled with potential. It offered gamers a mix of first-person survival horror gameplay, spliced with cooperative open world RPG elements similar to those seen on THQ's stellar Borderlands game series.
However, the game's potential to shine was let down by slightly repetitive combat mechanics, an inconsistent and not very original story and a number of graphical issues that consistently broke the game's otherwise immersive tropical island setting.
Despite these problems there was still plenty to like about the first Dead Island, which is why in its sequel Dead Island: Riptide we hoped to see a refined version of the original game that made good on the series' inherent promise. Sadly though, our optimism is yet to be rewarded and we have been treated to a title that only makes at best nominal changes to the Dead Island formula.
At its heart, Dead Island: Riptide remains a four player, mission based cooperative brawler that tasks you survive a zombie apocalypse using whatever weapons and equipment you can find. The mission based format uses the same dialogue and explorative elements as the first game, tasking you to pick up quests from non-player characters or uncover them by exploring the game's open world tropical island setting.
Missions range from story based quests that forward the game's main narrative to survival based side excursions. Side quests provide the most variety, tasking you to do things like defend a fellow survivor from a horde of flesh hungry zombies or collect essential supplies like food and water for your camp.
Looking to keep things interesting, Deep Silver has also integrated role-playing character levelling and loot mechanics to the game. The character levelling system follows the familiar character development formula seen on most RPG titles. Your character levels up whenever they gain enough experience points, which are earned by killing enemies and completing quests. For your effort, every time you level up you're rewarded with one statistical point that can be used to unlock a talent from your character's skill tree.