Wave Race, Wipeout and Hydro Thunder walk into a bar. That Bar is this game.
If you are like me, the first thing you thought of when you heard the title of this game was the mobile game. You will be happy to hear that this is the developers first in the series of games to be built from consoles. They ran the gauntlet that is Microsoft’s XPA certification standards to make sure to delivery a high quality game.
You jump right into what can best be described as the plot from a Fast and Furious movie. You are a racer who has been challenged by a rival racer to an “illegal” race. Once you reach the finish line, it becomes obvious you were set up and go to jail!! I’m presuming some type of racer jail with a bunch of cool guys like in the Longest yard. Meanwhile your rival rises to the top of the racing circuit. once you are released from Water jail, you best friend/racer is waiting for you…… who immediately challenges you to another illegal race! Would your character be so stupid to go along with this?
Don’t worry, she assures you that there are no police here. So of course, you go with her. You soon learn that you are not welcome back in the circuit, but if you start from the bottom in underground races (in very public areas by the way) that you might be able to get some reputation back and be allowed back in. With your ultimate goal of getting revenge and beating the man who set you up!
I’m going to be honest with you, the story is pretty bland. There are a few entertaining moments, like a robot named DeadBeef, and a comical brother and sister rave duo. But you are not going to play this game or remember it for its story. Let’s get into the game.
You have a selection of “levels” which unfold into a bunch of events inside each one. Naturally they are all locked at first and as you progress you unlock the next race. Typically the requirement to get to the next race is that you have to earn at least 1 star (bronze/3rd place) in each previous event. You can’t stack up stars to unlock future levels. Meaning even if I get 3 stars on the first race, I need to at least get one on the next stage to progress. I will say this did both me a little bit. There are some races that are purely just stunt points, and you compete against computer scores in a race of unique stunts. For me, is not a huge stunt guy (at least not until this game), so it really bummed me out that I could not progress until I got at least 1 star. That being said, it’s really a tiny gripe.
Where the game really shines is its level design. Not too dissimilar from MARIO Kart, each lap (3 total usually) changes the level in some way. There are a lot of things going on in the background, whether it’s a space shuttle launching or different parts of the level unlocking. It’s really quite impressive. It really keeps the replay ability high, which is important, because you will find yourself racing on the same maps quite frequently.
There is also the leveling mechanic. You have your watercraft and as you win races you win credits. Each craft does have a max level it can be upstaged to, your starting craft obviously low leveled. As you progress through the game you will ultimately have Boss Fights and win that character and their watercraft. You can switch out your racer, but that has no effect of your stats. So if you want to race as Deadbeef, have a blast! Not me. You also unlock the racers vehicle, which can and should be upgraded. Along with that you also earn experience points in which you can buy passive upgrades and new stunts. Like I said earlier, stunts are not for me. However there are some very cool stunts, like something out of SSX Tricky.
RipTide also offers one of my favorite features that seem to be long lost in this current gaming culture. Local competitive play. You can play Riptide GP in 6 player split screen! Now I just need 6 friends!!
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with this game. It’s an exciting adventure into full console gaming for the developer and i cant wait to see what they do next.. You can tell they put in a lot of work to make this an exciting and challenging racer. Go out and pick this up and have a blast!
Riptide GP: Renegade offers a fun and challenging racer akin to the good ole days of arcade games crashing into your living rooms. If you have the need for speed, cruise your “wave” over to this Thunderous racer!