The lights are on
Deep Silver hasn't revealed anything about Dead Island
Riptide beyond a title and a logo, but we already have a list of things we'd
like to see in the game.
Developed by Techland, Dead Island shook up the survival
horror genre with its open-world structure, RPG-esque leveling and loot systems,
and four-player co-op. The
game wasn't perfect, but it gave us plenty of reasons to get excited for another
zombie apocalypse. Here's what we'd like to see in a sequel.
A Brave New World:Much of Dead Island's success can be attributed to its
titular location. The massive island of Banoi stood in stark contrast to the
typical setting for an undead Armageddon, and the open-world format offered an
equally welcome break from linear level design.
For Riptide, we'd like an even larger world to explore,
along with more location variety. While we had a blast investigating Banoi's
beach front properties, mucking about in the underground sewers was a monotonous,
joyless pain. Finally reaching Banoi's city is an awesome experience, but few
of the urban areas stand out. We hope Riptide's world features more unique
locations, with more interior areas as well; give us the occasional creepy
mansion or abandoned military base to explore.
We'd also like some new ways to interact with the
environment beyond just looting abandoned suitcases. Let us create our own
safehouses by barricading doors and windows in our buildings of choice, or set
up environmental traps to take down zombies and looters alike. Let us learn more
about the back story and its characters by simply exploring the world, beyond listening to scattered audio files. Also, throw
in some greater weather variation and a day/night cycle to change up the gameplay.
Back To Survival
Horror:Thanks to its focus on visceral melee combat and deadly
enemies, Dead Island felt more like a survival horror game than your typical
run-and-gun action game. The Ryder
White DLC tried upping the action quota, and was worse off because of it.
We hope Riptide sticks to its roots, and places an even greater emphasis on
the struggle for survival. Instead of assigning players random fetch quests to
help out hungry NPCs, tie gathering supplies into the core gameplay loop by
having them provide stat buffs or new items beyond the weapon crafting system. Give
us a better reason to take care of NPCs beyond simple mission rewards.
Also, make the zombies deadlier; being immune to the
infection is a copout, and reduces your undead foes to run-of-the-mill melee enemies. Incorporate the risk of getting turned into a zombie into the gameplay to give players extra incentive to work together (while simultaneously keeping an eye on one another for signs of infection).
A Story That Matters:Techland reintroduced gamers to Dead Island with one of the greatest
trailers of all-time, but unfortunately, the story in the final game had
nothing in common with the emotional CGI teaser. Poor voice acting and wooden
character models were part of the problem, but the bigger issue is that
everyone you interacted with only served as a quest dispenser. For Riptide, we'd
like to see more interaction with NPCs, and a branching story based on our
actions. Have those extra survivors accompany us on dangerous missions instead
of just hogging resources back at the safehouse. More importantly, put the
lives of our non-playable allies in our hands, and provide missions with
multiple solutions and outcomes. Perhaps then Riptide's gameplay will pack the
same emotional weight as Dead Island's early teaser trailer.
Email the author Jeff Marchiafava, or follow on Google+, Twitter, and Game Informer.