Pretty fun and addicting, despite being a nearly copy & paste duplicate of the original game.

User Rating: 6.5 | Dead Island: Riptide X360
I've seen a pretty mixed bunch of reviews when it comes to this game. While I think the editors of GameSpot were a little brutal giving it only a 4.0 rating, I wanted to give my fair and unbiased opinion of this game. I was pretty excited for this game, even so much as pre-ordering it from GameStop. I really enjoyed the first, and it seemed like another good investment for my limited collection of games. Was it worth the $50 right off the bat? Probably not so much...I'll break things down into some of the important categories.

GRAPHICS (9/10):
I've got to hand it to the designers here...the graphics on this game are quite beautiful. It definitely looks like a paradise in the sea, despite all the zombies and bloody splats everywhere. The zombie models were done terrifically and always bring enjoyment when smacking and dismembering them as they come at you. The human and player models, while nice, seem to be a bit awkward. They move and act very stiff, and why do the NPC character heads always wobble side to side when talking to you? It just comes off as rather creepy!

SOUND (6/10):
The sound for Riptide was done quite well, but unfortunately, pretty much everything was copy/paste from the first game. All the little one-liners and item pickup responses were brought over from the first game. The voice acting was pretty corny as well...to me, most of the dialog seems forced and uninspired. I guess that goes par for the course, considering not much thought was given to the storyline. Also, some of the background noises make me scratch my head...you hear all sorts of wildlife that you never see in the game. Monkeys, amphibians, and I think even elephant noises are present in the background.

STORYLINE (5/10):
Similar to the first Dead Island game, this one pretty much has no storyline to captivate you whatsoever. Again, your character ends up stranded on a tropical island. You're not sure what's going on, you're not sure what caused the zombie outbreak, and you're not sure what or who is behind the outbreak. Plot holes are abundant once again, and the NPCs you meet throughout the game are pretty boring and serve very little to forward the game's story. Pretty much everything you do for them is "I need XXX to continue and I heard you have it" followed by "yes, I have XXX but before I give it to you, you need to bring me YYY." Pretty dry and bland.

CONTROLS & GAME PLAY (4/10):
This is one category I have to be pretty harsh with. Controlling your character can be quite a bit frustrating. Moving you character forward and backwards is good and straightforward, but trying to get your character to strafe or walk side to side is not an easy task. It feels as if your character fights you on such movement or as if they keep tripping over their own feet. Movement is very jerky and the speed varies all the time. Getting your character to jump is nearly laughable as well. This "jump" can be described as little more than a half-assed "hop" since you maybe get a handful of inches off the ground. I have the hardest time jumping over the most minor of obstacles or boxes, and even getting running starts over gaps is a tedious chore.

Game play also suffers from the same setbacks as the first game. The most major problems I've noticed come from graphical slowdowns stemming from such minor things as water splashes or blood splats when smacking a zombie upside the head. This can be extremely frustrating when you're in the midst of a zombie horde surrounding you because the slowdown makes it look as if the zombies are teleporting from one location to another, disorienting you and resulting in a frustrating death. I've also had the game completely crash on me multiple times now...even with the game installed to the HDD on my XBOX. I've had the sound completely die in the game, the graphics slow down so much that it completely locks up the system, and I've even had the game stop functioning to where you can't talk to the game's characters, shop, or even turn in missions. If this wasn't frustrating enough, there are multiple places where your character will get stuck in the scenery and can't move. I've even had my character and weapons fall through the floor to where they can't be recovered. The game has to be exited and reloaded to even continue when that happens.

Collision detection is also quite poor when it comes to zombies and character interaction. There are multiple places where zombies get stuck in the scenery and can't get out, and there are many times zombies can reach through solid walls and punch you...and vice-versa. Smacking the zombies also becomes quite the chore, because most of your attacks do little to stop a charging zombie. Your basic kick is the best strategy, but if you try a full-on swing with a baseball bat or other big, heavy object...it has zero effect. The zombies don't slow down, falter, or act as if they've been hit at all. This is extremely frustrating when you're near death.

REPLAY VALUE (7/10):
Despite all the game's glitches, goofs, corny characters and story...I still have an awful lot of fun playing this game. You've got five characters to chose from and to customize and upgrade to level 70. There are tons of melee weapons, bladed weapons, throwing weapons, guns, and explosives to play with and modify that will keep you busy for hours. The ability to play alongside three other buddies makes the zombie smashing chore even more fun. My most favorite thing to do in the zombie melee is modify one of your weapons with electric damage, then swing away and watch as the zombie does an extremely entertaining dance/garbled scream session while being electrocuted. It always brings a smile to my face!

Overall, I wouldn't say the game was worth the $50 up front unless you were just a die-hard fan of the original Dead Island game. As many have said before me, it's little more than a copy and paste version of the first game that should have been considered an expansion or DLC at best. Once it ends up in the local bargain-bin, though...I would definitely suggest picking it up and having an all out zombie brawl with your friends!

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