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Now that we finally have an official release date — April 26, 2013 — for Dead Island: Riptide, I can finally begin to worry less about if, or when for that matter, my favorite zombie slasher will return.
According to publisher Deep Silver, Dead Island Riptide adds “additional gameplay mechanics, all-new gorgeous locales to explore, more types of zombies to provide constant threats, an additional character class and the best co-operative zombie action experience in gaming.”
But this is what I want from the upcoming sequel.
A deeper emphasis on story
In Dead Island, I thought that developer Techland had a tremendous opportunity to create an entirely new and unique story, which few survival-horror games are able to accomplish. Most, if not all, genre titles — Dead Island among them — thrust story to the side to focus on gameplay and survival-horror mechanics. Dead Island was ultimately held down by poor writing and pacing.
Riptide picks up right after where its predecessor left off, as the four survivors find themselves on the island of Palanai in the Banoi archipelago, obviously now overrun by zombies. Hopefully, Techland will explain how the zombie outbreak started in Banoi and what is happening in other spots of the world. Will governments step in? Or more importantly, can we get some backstory on the four iconic heroes of the game?
Another element I felt really weighed down Dead Island was the horrendous voice acting for practically everyone in the game, save for the people depicted in the audio recordings — which I thought were really well done.
Almost anything will beat the lackluster performances delivered in the first game, so hopefully Techland will pull its act together and hire some voice actors who can actually do their job — "act."
Balanced weapon degradation
Weapons in Dead Island went to waste after what seemed like the first few swings. One group of zombies meant the sacrifice of your favorite baseball bat or sledgehammer. I don't mind the mechanic — in fact, I like the idea behind it — but it was just poorly executed in the end.
With a lot of time left on the clock, hopefully Techland can right their wrongs with Dead Island and give us a worthy sequel to a flawed — but promising — initial offering.