R.I.P.D. The Game Review

R.I.P.D. is a pitiful excuse for a cooperative shooter and a prime example of a disappointing movie tie-in.

R.I.P.D., much like the movie of the same name, is about the afterlife, and thus it's appropriate that playing it is like suffering through a little version of hell. That's not so much because the world around us turns out to be packed with criminals playing hooky from facing their divine retribution (though there is that), but rather because it's so tedious and unsatisfying to bring them to justice. With its humdrum gameplay and severely flawed mechanics, R.I.P.D. is a mess of cooperative shooter.

Need to arrest someone? No need for handcuffs--just stand there.

The word being passed around in critical circles is that the film starring Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges is an uninspired knockoff of Men in Black and Ghostbusters, so it's perhaps only fitting that the game tie-in is an uninspired knockoff of developer Old School Games' own God Mode that debuted earlier this year. Much like God Mode, R.I.P.D.--that's Rest in Peace Department, by the way--doesn't waste any time on a story aside from a brief montage of illustrated stills at the beginning, making gunning down the hordes of bad guys you face feel entirely pointless.

That's partly because there's no campaign to speak of. At its core, R.I.P.D. is little more than a third-person cooperative shooter that has you fighting through seven horde mode maps and a final boss encounter with either of the film's two main characters. On the one hand, you have Jeff Bridges' Roy Pulsipher, an Old West lawman who's still stuck shooting baddies more than a century after his death; on the other, there's Reynolds' Nick Walker, whose model spends the entirety of R.I.P.D. looking as though he accidentally kicked a puppy.

Beyond Pulsipher's Stetson and Walker's perpetual wince, though, there's little to nothing else to give them personalities of their own. Pulsipher may have been in his prime in the days of Hickok and Earp, but he can handle a submachine gun just as well as Walker, and you can buy additional weapons like harpoons and bananas (not a typo) when you collect the bounty from completing a level. Provided, that is, you can even earn a bounty. Securing a bounty involves enduring all five rounds of each map, and you'll likely end up going it alone by making a custom map thanks to the ghost town servers on Steam. Even if you manage to find a working Quick Match, it's common for the hosts to jump ship long before the match ends.

You can always count on criminals to make too much noise in the library.

Players' willingness to ditch a game in mid-match might have something to do with the dimwitted AI, which knows no other offensive tactic besides swarming you like paparazzi every time you turn a corner. The game is not even that pleasant to look at; with an arsenal of toilet plungers and discarded car doors complementing their tattered shirts and jeans, you could be forgiven for thinking Pulsipher and Walker had declared war on a community of squatters. At least there's some variety to spice things up in the form of healing deados, sniper deados, and the occasional giant, but that cast of a mere 12 or so thugs doesn't even come close to matching the variety in the superior but similarly flawed God Mode.

It doesn't help that they're a dull bunch, complete with pathfinding so terrible that these former thieves and murderers frequently get stuck on little obstacles like turnstile bars. Special abilities such as turrets and decoys allow you to overcome enemies when the swarm gets too intense, but it's not even fun to kill them in the first place. Hits barely register, and the aiming assist is all but required whether you're playing with a keyboard or a gamepad. Even then, the aiming reticle has an odd tendency not to center on targets but rather focus on a spot slightly to their side. Once you've endured enough of this, each stage culminates in the arrest of some nameless criminal, which involves standing around the defeated enemy much as if you were capturing a point. Don't have the patience for that? Just shoot him in the head for a smaller reward.

Is there any fun at all in R.I.P.D.? Only in the sense that misery loves company. If you and a friend were so unlucky as to pick up R.I.P.D. together, there's some generic shooter fun in clearing the levels as well as in performing simple acts of teamwork, like hitting one of the car-door-wielding deados from behind while your buddy distracts it. Elsewhere, random challenges, such as capturing two points within three minutes or picking up gold trinkets, at least give you something to strive for, as does a betting system that lets you predict how you'll score on goals like headshots and enemies killed.

So much for 'quick' match.

But much like Pacific Rim earlier this month, R.I.P.D. serves to remind us why movie tie-ins get such a bad rap. Perhaps with more time and resources, Old School Games might have been able to turn R.I.P.D. into something that could have outlasted the film's theatrical run. But this effort is dead on arrival. It must be a feat to make a game so soulless when the entire concept centers on hunting down wayward souls, but R.I.P.D. somehow manages to pull it off. Rest in peace indeed.

The Good
Challenges and betting make cooperative play somewhat enjoyable
The Bad
Horrible enemy pathfinding and AI
Wonky aiming, even with aim assist
Absence of leveling or story makes the gameplay a pointless grind
Aside from the final battle, gameplay never deviates
2.5
Terrible
About GameSpot's Reviews

About the Author

Leif Johnson (pronounced "Layf") is a freelance writer whose works have appeared on GameSpot, IGN, PC Gamer, Official Xb

Discussion

234 comments
net_demon_demon
net_demon_demon

I checked this game out and even watched the movie. I will say that this game is not worth 10 dollars and not even worth 5 dollars. They could have made it better but did not. This is one of the worse games created thus far. If the people that are responsible for this game reads these forums then perhaps they should take the game and recall them all and maybe try and create a better version some how.

Leria
Leria

WOW! They really SAVAGED this game..... hmm..... maybe I'll check it out when it hits the 'bargain basement' and give my own review of the game.

Personally, I have found that reviewers see so much 'gold' that they expect everything to be gold, so they savage titles when they do not meet their lofty expectations.

meatz666
meatz666

Why Game Industry!! Why!!! You're tearing me apart, ATLUS!!
Why pick up a project like that?
Is your sales team smoking crack or somethin?

Kronblom71
Kronblom71

wow... really has been a couple of stinkers coming out this year.

slefo29
slefo29

A video review of the crap games would be a plus. 

And yes, people, I read. Can you not see I know how to use commas? 

boutoura
boutoura

this game it's just wast of time wast of money even wast of space here in the wall of GS

Hiddai
Hiddai

So this game got 2.5 and GS still puts it 5 on the most popular games list...WTF

3v1LR0n1N
3v1LR0n1N

one thing to consider people... this is a $10 game, and not a $30 (like the MUCH WORSE ride to hell game is) or even *gasp* $60 one (like the horrible Battleship game was). so for its price point i think its fine, I mean you could seriously do ALOT worse for $10 (Motorbike comes to mind or was that $15 please by all means correct me there)

McGuirex3
McGuirex3

Maybe a little better on paper a guess!

JudgeSim
JudgeSim

still better than the wii u

jolly_joel
jolly_joel

Game rating:2.5

Top 10 Games List:Number 1

Rayrota
Rayrota

A 2.5 isn't that bad for a movie based game. :-p Anyway, is the movie any better than this game?

StormV4
StormV4

Atlus made a bad game... I'm still in shock even though it is a shooter. Perhaps they ought to stick with what they do best rpgs and puzzle games.

Nemesis_47
Nemesis_47

Charging people money for this should be a crime.

fredwv
fredwv

why did gamespot even review this game?  Was there really a need?

3v1LR0n1N
3v1LR0n1N

trust me everyone there are worse games that came out this year... and for almost twice to 3 times as much (motorbike AND ride to hell retribution come to mind instantly for me) and for $10 you honestly could do worse, though at the same time you also could do better.... IMO like God Mode before it this game is mediocre at worse and average at best

Axile11
Axile11

wow I didnt know a game could be that bad

mutanto
mutanto

On the other hand, if we had no bad games how could you people make such entertaining reviews? 

MAXAM999
MAXAM999

OH Goosh .. I Feel so bad for ATLUS for Publishing it :'-[

Zevvion
Zevvion

Pacific Rim is better than this.

bf210
bf210

I love the fact that Gamespot are taking the time to review more shitty games lately. I enjoy reading reviews for bad games like this more than reviews for good games.

Crucifier_Z
Crucifier_Z

@Hiddai Popular as in it's being discussed alot, doesn't tell you anything about how good the game is

PlasmaBeam44
PlasmaBeam44

@3v1LR0n1N  That excuse doesn't work anymore. I can name about a dozen games off the top of my head that are the same price that will get you much more enjoyment than this garbage.

3v1LR0n1N
3v1LR0n1N

@JudgeSim hey hey at least the Wii U had 5 good games.. wait X, zelda, and smash brothers arent out yet.... so 2

3v1LR0n1N
3v1LR0n1N

@Rayrota I seen the movie and i kind of liked it... it had the Men in Black vibe to it that i personally liked. but is it better than the game.... yes far better. even if it was dumb in your opinion at least it had a story, and substance to it

3v1LR0n1N
3v1LR0n1N

@StormV4 Atlus only published it, IF Atlus made it it be a different game all together.

Ghost_Thumbs
Ghost_Thumbs

@3v1LR0n1N  If you are writing it then it is obviously your opinion. stop destroying the language by condensing "in my opinion."

Zevvion
Zevvion

@bf210 That's basically because it's summer dude. Barely any good games coming out, if any.

Zevvion
Zevvion

@Eric_Drav3n Ride to Hell. Check out the Quick Look on Giant Bomb. It's so dumb that's it's pretty funny.

Assertonsin
Assertonsin

@Eric_Drav3n Ride to Hell: Retribution got a 1/10 and its metacritic score is the lowest out of every game. So I would get this.

Zevvion
Zevvion

@Crucifier_Z @Hiddai On top of that the popularity lists automatically update. They are just number of searches for, number of views of, number of comments of etc.

GameSpot doesn't pick them. The users do.

3v1LR0n1N
3v1LR0n1N

oh and i wouldnt call this game "bad" just simple mediocre

3v1LR0n1N
3v1LR0n1N

@PlasmaBeam44 @3v1LR0n1N not really an excuse if its true.... yes you can name a bajillion games that cost $10 and are way better... but how many bad or decent full price  games would you honestly say would be better off worth $10 over say $60... again that stupid battleship game comes to mind... my point is $10 is reasonable even for a "bad game"

3v1LR0n1N
3v1LR0n1N

@Ghost_Thumbs @3v1LR0n1N of all the things to complain about thats it? just kidding, buts seriously, at least my entire post isnt abbreviation after abbreviation. right?

3v1LR0n1N
3v1LR0n1N

@Zevvion@3v1LR0n1N@PlasmaBeam44missed my point yet again... okay let me say it this way..... I'm saying I think it's better a bad or mediocre game be $10 like R.I.P.D. is at release than it would be at $60 like Battleship (awful game by the way) was when it was released... however you are right value has nothing to do with how good a game is... 

even though i personally put value on certain "bad games"  like the AMC Walking Dead game I wouldnt pay more than $20 for that, or Aliens Colonial Marines I wouldnt pay more than $30 for that, God mode i definately wouldnt have paid for that if it was more than $10... or any of the leasure suit larry games... i wouldnt pay more than $.01 for those. again my opinion

but let's face it charging $.01 for any bad or mediocre game is asking too much of a developer that put time into it, even though they should have put more time and testing into it. dont matter how awful a game is if you support a dev and tell them what they need to improve or completely change and this Godmode/R.I.P.D. thing wouldn't have happend in the first place... 

which brings me to another point... devs need to learn that reskinning a game and calling it something else is a bad idea at least in my opinion. Orion: Dino Horde is a perfect example of this... actually a game where very few changes were made to an already bad game and re release it as something else

Zevvion
Zevvion

@3v1LR0n1N @PlasmaBeam44 No it's not. 

Money is not a factor of quality and fun. If I paid 10 bucks for this I would still be bored and feel bad because of how bad the game is. 

You can't bribe people into thinking they are having a good time by setting a low price. It doesn't work like that. 

You can take your argument, reverse it, and it will make more sense. meaning: I'd rather pay 60 bucks for a decent game, than 10 bucks for this extremely poor one. 

Money is a factor of worth. Not fun. You can't create a shit game and offer it for cheap so that it will still be fun. If it's shit, it's shit and money won't change that. 

R.I.P.D. The Game More Info

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  • First Released
    • PC
    • PS3
    • Xbox 360
    R.I.P.D. The Game is a two-person co-op shooter where players will take up the holsters of two lawmen dispatched to the otherworld to protect and serve the living from an increasingly destructive array of souls who refuse to move peacefully to the other side.
    3.9
    Average User RatingOut of 51 User Ratings
    Please Sign In to rate R.I.P.D. The Game
    Developed by:
    Old School Games
    Published by:
    ATLUS
    Genres:
    Action, Third-Person, Shooter, 3D, Team-Based
    Content is generally suitable for ages 13 and up. May contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling and/or infrequent use of strong language.
    Teen
    All Platforms
    Drug Reference, Mild Language, Partial Nudity, Violence