Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Riptide GP Renegade Review (XONE)

I love it when a sequel comes out and fixes all the stuff I didn’t like about a previous game. The first Riptide GP release on Xbox One, Riptide GP 2, a couple of years ago had some distinct problems such as brutal A.I., no online multiplayer, and not hiding its mobile roots very well. I can happily say that the follow-up, Riptide GP Renegade, fixes all of that and more and is a better wave racing game in pretty much every way. It looks better, is more accessible, features a ridiculous amount of content, and is a total blast to play either in a great new story mode or in local or Xbox Live multiplayer. This is the way to make a sequel! See all of the details here in our full Xbox One Riptide GP Renegade review.

Game Details

  • Publisher: Vector Unit
  • Developer: Vector Unit
  • ESRB Rating: “E10” for Everyone 10+
  • Genre: Racing
  • Pros: Tons and tons of content; great gameplay; difficulty options; engine sounds
  • Cons: Visuals could be better
  • MSRP: $10

Riptide GP Renegade is a jet ski racing game that takes place not just on set tracks, but also in the ruins of flooded cities after some natural disaster. Racing in these areas is illegal, however, so the police occasionally make an appearance in a sort of nod to classic racers like Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit. At its core it is still all about the racing, of course, but the addition of a single-player story mode to give context to what you’re doing is appreciated.

The story mode is surprisingly, even overwhelmingly, stuffed with content as there are dozens of events, races against boss characters, running from the police, optional side events, and more. There are also tons of unlockables like new vehicles, characters, and decals as well as upgrades for your vehicle and new buffs and tricks to buy when you level up. The amount of single-player content is pretty nuts, but Riptide GP Renegade also includes a full suite of multiplayer options including both local splitscreen and Xbox Live play. For $10 you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck.

The gameplay was one of Riptide GP 2’s strong points, but that has also improved a fair amount in Renegade. The core idea is that you’re racing along the water and have to contend with natural waves as well as the wake from other craft to go as fast as possible. You can do tricks off of obstacles or off of large waves, and landing those tricks give you turbo boost that makes you go faster for a few seconds. The controls are very responsive and the game feels really good to play. I also have to give a shout out to the track designs. Most of the courses are awesome and feature some neat weather effects and crazy huge waves that are fun to race on.

What sets Renegade apart from Riptide GP 2, however, is that it is more accessible and easy to get into. Riptide GP 2 had absolutely brutal A.I. that made actually winning races surprisingly difficult unless you grinded through a lot of third-place finishes in order to earn enough money to upgrade your craft and perform better. Renegade tones that down quite a bit, and also offers selectable difficulty levels to make things even more reasonable, so you can play the game and make progress and have fun without banging your head against the wall too often. The result is a game that is easy to pick up and play, easy to make progress, and fun and addictive enough that you keep coming back for more. 

The presentation is also quite nice overall in Riptide GP Renegade. It still doesn’t quite look like what we’d expect on Xbox One / PS4, but it does look pretty good. The lighting and weather effects are very good and the game runs at a smooth framerate even when crazy stuff is going on around you. I also quite like the sound design, particularly the engine sounds that make the watercraft sound like F1 cars.

All in all, Riptide GP Renegade is a fairly substantial improvement over Riptide GP 2. Better presentation, more content, solid gameplay, actual online multiplayer, and a more accessible single-player mode make it a much better game overall. You’re getting a heck of a polished experience and a ton of content for just $10 in Riptide GP Renegade, which makes it easy to recommend for a purchase if you’re looking for a new racing game.
Disclosure: A review code was provided by the publisher.