Swimming Against the Current in Dead Island: Riptide

The original Dead Island was a horrifying Fallout 3/New Vegas-inspired game with an emphasis on zombies, zombies, and more zombies with a side order of terror due to swarms of them coming after you. With a limited supply of fragile weapons, you had to fight smart to survive, and it was one of the few games to really capture the scares of old zombie movies. It also allowed you to play the game through with a variety of characters, and while its story wasn’t the most robust or compelling, it did still make you care about its characters.

Now, four of the survivors are back on a zombie-filled island, and they really should want to kill their travel agents for their luck. Getting a trip to the Bermuda Triangle might be an improvement. Anyway, they’re up a creek without a paddle – almost literally. Your group is in a partially-flooded area, making traversal on foot tough. Boats have been added to the mix to give you a faster way to get from point A to B without getting all muddy. After all, who wants to get muddy after getting covered in blood and undead guts?

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Speaking of which, you’re still able to splatter them rather freely with a combination of gunfire and ramshackle weaponry. If you’re lucky, you’ll locate a gun turret and kill a bunch of zombies within a few seconds. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Dead Island game if you were given that power for long, so enjoy the fleeting moment of complete domination while it lasts. Once that sputters out, you’ll have to resort to the usual temporary weapons like axes and machetes in order to survive. Like before, you’re able to upgrade them and increase their durability and power by managing to hold onto them until you reach a workbench. There, you’ll be able to craft makeshift doom-bringers and stave off a zombie-led death for at least a little bit longer.

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Riptide brings with it the ability to carry over your character data from the original Dead Island – so if you’ve got a maxed-out character, you can use them to be at slightly less of a disadvantage against your many foes. However, if that doesn’t appeal to you and you’d like to add to the challenge, you can start with a fresh character. There’s even a new character inspired by, but completely legally distinct from Steven Seagal. Given the franchise’s use of energy drinks as health aids, he’s a natural fit. It isn’t known if he can kill zombies with wooden acting or bad one-liners though. Maybe they’ll be DLC or something.

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From what’s been shown so far, Dead island: Riptide doesn’t appear to change up too many things about Dead Island‘s formula. If you loved the original, then that’s probably a good thing. It seems like the very definition of the kind of game that gives you more of the same, and if that isn’t bungled up due to some unforeseen issues, it should be a lot of fun. It comes out on April 23 for the PC, Xbox 360, and PS3, and thankfully lacks a silly edition with a severed torso. You are still able to get a steelbook ,¬†or a collector’s edition with a bobblehead, suitcase, bottle opener, keychain, and digital items including a map and a special weapon.