One thing keeps going through my mind after playing R.I.P.D. The Game: “why does this exist?”. It’s a video game based on a recently released film that’s based on a comic book that, from what I can tell, isn’t even very popular. But just because the property it’s based on isn’t particularly popular, or even very good, doesn’t mean this is a bad video game, right? It could be fun, it could be exciting, it could tell an engaging story that spurs discussion among gamers. But is it — or does it do any of those things? The answer is a resounding “No.”
R.I.P.D. gives players the choice of stepping into the shoes of either “Roy Pulsipher” or “Nick Walker” — the two main characters of the film/comic — and lets them shoot at things. That’s about it. Were you expecting a short, semi-linear story mode featuring kooky banter between the two protagonists? Sorry, you wont be getting any of that. R.I.P.D. offers hardly any story, about 20 different lines of cringe-inducing dialog, and its only offering is a mode similar to Gears of War 2’s “Horde Mode”, but comparing the two is almost insulting because of how poorly it’s executed in R.I.P.D.
For those who don’t know, Gears of War 2’s “Horde Mode” drops players into a reasonably spacious map, and sends enemies at them in increasingly difficult waves. For the game to end, all players have to die, or Wave 50 has to be defeated. I loved the mode, and spent upwards of forty hours of playing it. But in R.I.P.D., the five hours I spent playing it were just short of torture.
R.I.P.D. is made up of six similarly sized maps that are just a tad smaller than the average “Horde Mode” map. That said, map-size is not this game’s problem, it’s the fact that you have to play through each map around five times to beat the game. Are the waves increasingly difficult? Of course not. Are they all similarly boring? Most definitely.
Thankfully unlike “Horde Mode,” there are only five waves to each game in R.I.P.D., and each game you play gets you a little bit closer to the game’s unsatisfying last mission. The “Gold Meter” (pictured above) is the only real indication of progress in R.I.P.D.. Each of the diamond shapes on the bar represent a “Story Moment”, your reward for reaching a “Story Moment” is an audio clip that basically just says “Good work, but there’s more to be done.” Each game takes around twelve minutes to complete, and you have to play six of them just to reach one of these “Story Moments”.
The game can either be played co-op with a friend or alone. Playing the game with a buddy certainly makes the experience a bit more bearable, but then again, the same can be said about pretty much any activity. Also, in this day and age, there’s something to be said about a commercially-released game that messes up standard third-person-shooter gameplay. There is no sticky-cover, and there is no way to crouch. Although it looks as if one of these “features” was planned to be included in the game, as there are a hilarious amount of waist-high walls scattered around the six different maps that are of no use to the player. When getting shot at, your only option is to run to another room. Sure, the shooting doesn’t feel entirely broken — there’s practically no feedback to tell you whether you’ve successfully shot an enemy or not, and all of the guns feel similarly weak — but sure, it functions.
It saddens me to say that there really isn’t anything redeemable about R.I.P.D.. It’s boring, repetitive, and there really isn’t any circumstance I can think of that would make me recommend it to anyone. I could prolong this depressing review by talking about some of the game’s smaller features, but it would all be for nothing, as they are really just more garbage thrown onto the pile. And I’d much rather rid myself of R.I.P.D. by playing a better game.
Version Reviewed: PC