A step down from the original.

User Rating: 6 | Dead Island: Riptide PS3
As a huge fan of Dead Island, Riptide gave me my money's worth, but only barely. What I especially loved about the original is the sense that I really was enduring the zombie apocalypse. Screams trailing away from an indeterminate direction often gave me chills when I couldn't tell if it was background noise or a genuine threat. A undetected corpse at my feet rising, raving, and throwing itself upon me could make my heart skip a beat. Patching together Molotov cocktails, crafting flaming baseball bats, welding steel plating on a vehicle, etc. were all a thrill. Rather than dumping all these abilities on you from the outset, the game permitted you to discover or learn these skills as the game progressed. It truly gave the sense that my character was growing or adapting to the times and I was rising above the disaster that had engulfed everyone else.

Riptide is missing much of that. I'm not convinced it's the developers' fault. Much of what was in the original is in place here, but perhaps one simply grows inured to the game over time because the same gimmicks didn't really work this time. The screams didn't frighten me. The overlooked zombies didn't shock me. The new weapons didn't thrill me. Too much of the game was cookie-cutter simple for my taste. Side-quests were inevitably a random npc perched on high above a horde of reaching zombies. You took out the horde, and they thanked you and gave you a small reward. After doing the same thing a dozen times, it ceases to work on you. In the same way the incredible Dragon's Age abandoned the story in its sequel, I felt like Riptide did as well.

In short, if you're a hack n' slash gamer that enjoys the violence, the power, counting your gold and your level, I suspect you'll love Riptide. If you're a player who enjoys character and story, who loves the backdrop of Borderlands as much as the actual gameplay, you could probably pass on this one. The excitement and fun are simply missing in the sequel and there's very little that's new.