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Dead Island: Riptide Review

The tourists aren't the only ones affected by the plague: the native villagers have had their world turned completely upside down.

Dead Island: Riptide is comprised of a few unique features that combine together to make something impressive. Techland's attention to detail with the tropical island of Palanai is one of the most significant features, as they've brought a distinctly unique and memorable series of environments to the zombie apocalypse genre. The first game retained these sentiments, however Riptide's flourish is much more pronounced, with incredible vistas nearly everywhere you turn. 

The island of Palanai is a sprawling series of atolls and reefs with its own verdant ecosystem. It's not just sand and palm trees, but a multitude of flora and fauna that sprout across the jungles, waterways, and rocky cliffs that pepper the island itself. Techland's attention to detail in the environments goes a long way in immersing gamers in this new world, one where chaos and terror run amok.

The crystal clear water of the beaches is marred with the bodies of the slain and dead.

The map itself is quite expansive, and each of the different areas, villages and towns has their own distinct style and feel, but all keep with the overall tropical island theme. The sweltering jungles are torrid and the rivers and waterways are overflowing, and beachside the water is crystal clear with pearly white sand underfoot. The detail is stupendous and is quite refreshing, despite the fact that most of it is littered with gore and death.

Techland has also captured the plight of the indigenous denizens of Palanai, and throughout the game players come across a few of these native folk. Palanai has many ancient structures that were built by the natives, from rock-carved statues and totems to shrines lit with tiki torches, and give insight to the cannibalistic horrors that their culture had practiced which adds fresh terror to the game.

From sandy coves to muggy lagoons, Techland has created a vibrant series of environments in Riptide.

Another unique feature of Dead Island: Riptide is the sound effects and music. When you step into Paradise for the first time, you're met with this eerie, yet satisfying, tune that permeates through the scattered rain, bringing with it that signature horror-movie feel. The music and the sound effects make players feel as if they are in a move in itself, perhaps a B-movie horror flick with grindhouse overtones.

From the crackling of thunderheads to the abhorrent and terror-inducing screams from the walking dead, the sound effects are brilliantly cured to transport gamers into the chaotic world of Riptide. Every scream, every moan, every splat and slice and smash reinforces the feeling of being in a horror film–a staple great audio effects.

Derek Strickland
Derek is an avid fan of gaming and everything geeky, and is compelled to make his mark in the field of games journalism. When he's not gaming on a console (everything from SNES to X360) you can find him reading about ancient civilizations or enjoying a fantasy epic or two.

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