Posted on March 23, 2013 AT 03:14pm
2011′s Dead Island was an unexpected thrill from Deep Silver and Techland, so it comes as no surprise that a sequel would be in the works. At PAX East I was able to see how much has progressed since the first game. The results: tougher zombies coming in massive droves, mixed with a bit of clever tower defense.
In the fifteen-minute playthrough of Dead Island: Riptide you start off being shipwrecked on a new section of Banoi called Palanai with three other survivors. Quickly you’ll need to find sanctuary at a not-so-well protected fort. As soon as you read the bridge that connects to your destination the zombies come in fast, massive packs. After you clear off the undead, you then have to fence in any holes in your defensive barriers before more arrive to kill you. Once that task is complete, you’ll need to take a flare gun to blow up the bridge, cutting off any pathway that the zombies may have.
A lot happens in the first fifteen minutes, and fortunately the gameplay mechanics of the first Dead Island have been transitioned well into the sequel. You still need to time your strikes properly so as to not exhaust your character; otherwise you become an easy target. Weapons also can become dull, but fortunately a work bench is located in the fort for use whenever needed. Money will be needed to fix up and upgrade any weapon once more, so be sure to save your cash for when (not if) that time is needed.
Playing co-op with three other players also has its perks. You can all gang up on one zombie and take him down easier, especially if they’re a higher leveled infected being. However when it comes to picking the pockets of corpses be sure to do it quick before someone else grabs whatever they’re holding.
Finally there’s the whole difficulty level of the infected, who seem a lot more challenging to put down than in the past game. I think I spent almost half a minute stabbing a zombie in the head before it finally took a knee. No doubt tougher weapons will be found or crafted, but for the opening scene in the game it was a tad bit frustrating in some places.
With that being said Dead Island: Riptide looks to be taking what made the first game and expanding it into a better and more polished experience. The game is due to be released on April 25th for Xbox 360, PS3, and PC at the retail price of $49.99. After what some people may have had to deal with regarding the recent disappointing Walking Dead game another trip to Banoi might just be what the zombie doctor ordered.
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