The open-world zombie survival/RPG Dead Island launched to critical and commercial success last year, and most expected that developer Techland would have a sequel on the cards. However, the announcement of the follow-up Dead Island: Riptide was confusing for many, with its announced $50 price point prompting some to believe that the game would be some sort of expansion rather than a full-fledged sequel. In an attempt to clear up the confusion, I sat down with Riptide’s Creative Producer Sebastian Reichert to learn more about this sequel, find out what’s new, and what it does to move the Dead Island series forward.
Featuring a new island, new features, and new characters, Dead Island: Riptide is a bonafide sequel, and has been stressed by publisher Deep Silver as not an expansion or spin-off, following directly after the events of the first game. Most interestingly, Riptide will allow you to transfer your character from the first game over if you have a save-file, further adding to the series' RPG elements that help set it apart from other zombie games.
Our demo began in the shoes of Logan, returning as a playable character from the last game, alongside a friendly NPC, stranded on the new island of Pallanai. Making their way to what appeared to be an abandoned shack, which served as the perfect place to highlight the game’s new “Defense Mode”. Reminiscent of Call of Duty’s “Zombies” mode, Logan had to set up defenses for the shack by planting mines in the surrounding swamp, building fences at the entrances, and picking good locations for the mini-guns. It remains to be seen how often this style of gameplay will pop up in Riptide’s campaign, but it appears to be a substantial addition to the Dead Island formula.
Reichert revealed that all of the playable characters from the first game would return, as well as the addition of one new playable character. Unfortunately, he could not reveal any more details beyond that hint.
My time with Dead Island: Riptide alleviates any confusions surrounding its announcement earlier this year. Featuring new enemies and a dynamic weather system, alongside the new gameplay modes, developer Techland has made it clear that they are producing a true sequel. Dead Island gave gamers a refreshing take on a tried-and-true genre, and returning to this world looks like it will be a treat for fans of the undead horde everywhere. Dead Island: Riptide is expected to hit store shelves sometime next year.