Dead Island Riptide

How Dead Island Riptide Improves Upon The Original Dead Island

Dead Island Riptide is officially available in North America today and will hit shelves globally on Friday, April 26th. We've been spending some time with the game and as fans of the original Dead Island, the comparisons have been present in our mind throughout our time playing Riptide.

We figured we'd share some of those thoughts with our readers, because doubtless many of you played the original Dead Island and are curious if Riptide is worth your time and money. 

To start with, it should be said that Dead Island Riptide would be more accurately billed as a spinoff or a very lengthy expansion, rather than a true sequel. The gameplay elements and core mechanics are virtually unchanged, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Dead Island was a great co-op game and Riptide follows in those bloody, shambling footsteps and we're okay with that.

But most players want change, so here are a few things that Dead Island Riptide does better than the original Dead Island.

Better Crafting

Crafting in Dead Island was an integral part of the action. The system is pretty simple, throughout the game you can pick up blueprints and items to craft new weapons or modify existing ones.

In Dead Island Riptide, this system is expanded on with more items to collect, more blueprints to uncover and so many more weapons and mods to build.

Unless you are a die-hard completion, you will not come anywhere near crafting everything that there is to craft in Dead Island Riptide in one play through. But you can always go back, find different blueprints and craft different items the second time around.

Finding blueprints is rewarding, whether you find them on your own or are given them via quest completion. It's exciting to see what the weapon will be and rewarding to gather up the necessary items to craft it.

More Zombies

Not that the original Dead Island had a lack of unique zombie types, but Dead Island Riptide simply takes an already sprawling portfolio and expands upon it with a bunch of new enemy types, namely; the Wrestler, the Grenadier and the Drowner.

These new zombie types give the impression that the action really has shifted in Dead Island Riptide, you have new enemies to take on and must adapt your tactics for those enemies accordingly because they all have different weaknesses, strategy and abilities. For those who loved the original lineup of zombie types, they are all still in Riptide. 

You can still take down mobs of Infected, shambling Walkers and disgusting Floaters but in addition to those, you've got a few new friends to take to the party.

Better Co-op

It's apparent that a lot of people reading this will be a bit surprised that we're touting better co-op in Dead Island Riptide. After all, Dead Island is widely considered one of the most enjoyable cooperative experiences in the past few years. Not groundbreaking, not revolutionary but highly enjoyable to play with friends.

Well, Dead Island Riptide does everything that the original game did just as well, but they add to the experience. Specifically, the new Hub Defense mode. We hate to say it, but this is really just a Dead Island version of Call of Duty's iconic Zombies game modes, but that's not a bad thing. Players will have to team up with a group of friends or players online to defend against a horde of zombies.

The option to set traps and defensive emplacements like fences and turrets brings a new level of gameplay that Dead Island didn't include. Again, this Hub Defense mode is completely in addition to the core co-op gameplay of the open world in Dead Island Riptide, so it doesn't detract from the traditional gameplay that players loved in the first Dead Island.


Dead Island Riptide is a worthy addition to the Dead Island franchise and a great game to play with friends. What do you think Riptide does better or worse than the original Dead Island? Are you planning on picking this one up to play with friends?

Related: Check out our Dead Island Riptide guides and tutorials!

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